Of the PalantÝri / Test Layout
These were stones of perfect round shape and had the abilities to show images from distant places and times. It seems they were initially made for this purpose alone. People, who knew how to use them, could interchange therefore information from afar, both in distance and time.
- (Quenya) far and wide
- (Quenya) watch; watch over
In the Simarillion, (Chapter 6, Of FŰanor and the Unchaining of Melkor), they are mentioned as one of the first creations of the restless mind and high craft-skills of FŰanor.
The PalantÝri were at some later period offered as a gift from the Eldar to the Numenoreans.
- The first gems that FŰanor made were white and colourless, but being set under starlight they would blaze with blue and silver fires brighter than Helluin; and other crystals he made also, wherein things far away could be seen small but clear, as with the eyes of the eagles of ManwŰ. Seldom were the hands and mind of FŰanor at rest.
HoMe XII (The Prologue And Appendices To The Lord Of The Rings) lays further the story of how the “seeing stones” were brought to Middle Earth and their fate in later years.
The PalantÝri, or Seven Stones of Sight, were divided, and set up in towers: three in Arnor, at Annuminas, and at Amon Sul,and upon the Emyn Beraid looking towards the Sea; four in the realm of Gondor, at Osgiliath, at MinasIthil, at MinasAnor, and at Orthanc in Angrenost (Isengard).
- The great fleet of Ar-Pharaz˘n sets sail into the West and encompassing Avallon assails the shores of Valinor.Numenor is destroyed, and swallowed up by the sea.
- The world is broken and Valinor separated from the lands of the living.
- Elendil and his sons Isildur and Anarion escape and fly east with nine great ships to Middle Earth. They bring with them the Seven Stones or Palantiri, gifts of the Eldar of Avallon, and Isildur brings also a seedling of the White Tree of Avallon.
From the “Early Legend” (HoMe):
The addition in FN II, Therefore they built very high towers in those days, must be the first reference to the White Towers on Emyn Beraid, the Tower Hills. Cf. The Lord of the Rings Appendix A (I. iii), where it is told of the palantir of Emyn Beraid that Elendil set it there so that he could look back with "straight sight" and see Eressea in the vanished West; but the bent seas below covered Numenor for ever.
HoMe XII (The Prologue And Appendices To The Lord Of The Rings)