Varda

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“With Manwë dwells Varda, Lady of the Stars … Too great is her beauty to be declared in the words of Men or Elves; for the light of Illuvatar lives still in her face. In light is her power and her joy … Of all the Great Ones who dwell in this world the Elves hold Varda in most reverence and love. Elbereth they name her, and they call upon her name out of the shadows of Middle-earth, and uplift it in song at the rising of the stars.” — Silmarillion, Valaquenta

Indeed, Frodo can tell the Elves crossing the Shire in Fellowship are High Elves because they sing of Elbereth (see below). I wanted Varda to be youthful and yet matronly, which is befitting one of the greatest of the Valar. Her hair  is similar to Galadriel’s which captures the light of the Two Trees of Valinor, but instead of the Trees it captures the light of her stars.

Varda inspired the longest verse of Sindarin to make it into one of Tolkien’s published works. “Ah!” but you might say, Galadriel’s lament is much longer than this fragment. To that I say, it is in Quenya, not Sindarin.

A Elbereth Gilthoniel
silivren penna míriel
o menel aglar elenath!
Na-chaered palan-díriel
o galadhremmin ennorath,
Fanuilos, le linnathon
nef aear, sí nef aearon!
O Elbereth Starkindler,
white-glittering, slanting down sparkling like a jewel,
the glory of the starry host!
Having gazed far away
from the tree-woven lands of Middle-earth,
to thee, Everwhite, I will sing,
on this side of the Sea, here on this side of the Ocean!

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