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Chasm of Ilmen

"a complete consistency [...] is not to be looked for, and could only be achieved, if at all, at heavy and needless cost." — Christopher Tolkien
This article's canonicity is disputed.
Christopher Tolkien's sketch, showing how Hithlum and Helcaraxë are close to the Chasm at the northern edge of the world.

The Chasm of Ilmen (Qenya: Ilmen-assa)[1] is the gap between the edge of the World and Vaiya. It is filled with the air of Ilmen.[2]

Where the interior seas fell down the Chasm of Ilmen, their waterfalls made bridges of ice which close the chasm. The ice extended to all Vaiya and even the Ilurambar.[2]

Tilion who guides the Moon plunges in the chasm between the western shores of the earth and Vaiya, the Outer Sea.[2][3]

[edit] Other versions of the Legendarium

Christopher Tolkien notes that in the Ambarkanta, as well as an earlier unfinished version of the Silmarillion (c. 1937),[3] there is a chasm between the Earth and the Outer Sea (=Vaiya), into which Tilion guides the Moon. However for the published Silmarillion,[4] he preferred a later passage (c. 1951)[5] where Tilion plunges into an unnamed chasm which is beyond the Outer Sea (=Ekkaia).[6]

References

  1. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Shaping of Middle-earth, "V. The Ambarkanta: [Notes to] Of the Fashion of the World", Note #5
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Shaping of Middle-earth, "V. The Ambarkanta: Of the Fashion of the World"
  3. 3.0 3.1 J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Lost Road and Other Writings, "Part Two: Valinor and Middle-earth before The Lord of the Rings, VI. Quenta Silmarillion", p.242
  4. Cf. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Quenta Silmarillion: Of the Sun and Moon and the Hiding of Valinor"
  5. Cf. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), Morgoth's Ring, "The Annals of Aman": §177
  6. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Shaping of Middle-earth, "V. The Ambarkanta: Commentary on the Ambarkanta", p.154, footnote