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"I shan't call it the end, till we've cleared up the mess." — Sam
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"Lost and forgotten be, darker than the darkness,
Where gates stand forever shut, till the World is mended
Tom Bombadil, Fog on the Barrow-downs

The Outer Void, or the Timeless Void, was a term used in various ways.

Cosmologically, it describes the uninhabited regions of (non)existence outside Time and Creation, the absence of the Flame Imperishable.

Melkor used to wander in the Void to look in vain for the Flame Imperishable.

The Timeless Halls of Ilúvatar seem to be apart from the Void; is created amidst the Void but is not a part of it.

After his defeat in the War of Wrath, Melkor was cast out into the Timeless Void "through the Door of Night beyond the Walls of the World", but legends predict that he will return to the World before its end. The Void thus in that context refers to the vast distant empty spaces of . This was often confused by Elves and Men with the Void that existed before the creation of .[1]

Sauron's spirit also entered the Void after The One Ring was destroyed.[2]

It is also possible Gandalf's spirit entered the Void after his battle with the Balrog in Moria, as he "passed out of thought and time."[3]


The Void was also known as the Outer Dark (or the Outer Darkness), the Everlasting Dark, the Ancient Darkness. Qenya names were Avakúma, Oiakúma[4], and Kúma.[5][6]


  1. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), Morgoth's Ring, "Part Five. Myths Transformed", "[Text] VII"
  2. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Valaquenta: Of the Enemies"
  3. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Two Towers, "The White Rider"
  4. J.R.R. Tolkien, "Addenda and Corrigenda to the Etymologies — Part Two" (edited by Carl F. Hostetter and Patrick H. Wynne), in Vinyar Tengwar, Number 46, July 2004, p. 8
  5. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The History of Middle-earth Index, p. 31
  6. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Lost Road and Other Writings, "Part Three: The Etymologies", p. 379
Middle-earth Cosmology
 Constellations  Anarríma · Durin's Crown · Menelmacar · Remmirath · Soronúmë · Telumendil · Valacirca · Wilwarin
Stars  Alcarinquë · Borgil · Carnil · Elemmírë · Helluin · Luinil · Lumbar · Morwinyon · Nénar · Star of Eärendil · Til 
The Airs  Aiwenórë · Fanyamar · Ilmen · Menel · Vaiya · Veil of Arda · Vista
Narsilion  Arien · Moon (Isil, Ithil, Rána) · Sun (Anar, Anor, Vása) · Tilion
See Also  Abyss · Arda · Circles of the World · · Timeless Halls · Two Lamps · Two Trees · Void