Description of a mallorn:
- Unfinished TalesIts bark was silver and smooth, and its boughs somewhat upswept after the manner of the beech; but it never grew save with a single trunk. Its leaves, like those of the beech but greater, were pale green above and beneath were silver, glistening in the sun; in the autumn they did not fall, but turned to pale gold. In the spring it bore golden blossoms in clusters like the cherry, which bloomed on during the summer; and as soon as the flowers opened the leaves fell, so that through spring and summer a grove of malinorni was carpeted and roofed with gold, but its pillars were of grey silver. Its fruit was a nut with a silver shale...
It seems clear to me that these wonders would be a marvel to see. When I was flipping through Unfinished Tales and saw another passage (which I will relay shortly), it brought to mind another comment I had read long ago but given little thought to; while speaking to the Fellowship in the woods of Lothlórien, Haldir the Elf said:
When I read that, I pitied the Elves of Lothlórien, and understood the sacrifice that was being made; how all Galadriel had done with Nenya, her Ring, would be unmade once the One Ring was destroyed."Alas for Lothlórien that I love! It would be a poor life in a land where no mallorn grew. But if there are mallorn-trees beyond the Great Sea, none have reported it."
However, it seems that I empathized with the Elf too soon - according to what I have read, there were mellyrn in the West, though it is only subtlely hinted to in LotR. For one, Sam's mallorn was described as:
the only mallorn west of the Mountains and east of the Sea, and one of the finest in the World.
So the Professor is implying that mallorn-trees grew in the West. What's more, I've come across more passages to elaborate upon that very fact, and the history of mallorn-trees in Middle-earth (i.e. Lothlórien).
According to the Unfinished Tales, Galadriel received mallorn-'seeds' from her nephew Gil-galad of Lindon. Apparently he had tried to plant them in Lindon near the Havens, but with no such luck.
But it doesn't end there - the text infers that Gil-galad was sent the seeds in his possession by Tar-Aldarion — the fourth king of Númenor! Apparently mallorn-trees were abundant in the region of Nísimaldor (in Númenor), specifically at the haven of Eldalondë where other great trees and plant life grew, such as the oiolairë, lairelossë, laurinquë, nessamelda, vardarianna, taniquelassë, and yavannamírë. Even more surprising, it is noted that those trees were all brought to Númenor by the Eldar of Tol Eressëa - and that the mellyrn in Númenor were not as grand or magnificent as those in Tol Eressëa. (Galadriel's mellyrn in Lothlórien were said to pale in comparison to those of Númenor, so therefore the ones on the Lonely Isle would be even more grand, compared to hers!)
Ok, so I went from feeling sorry for the Elves of Lothlórien because they had to depart over the Sea and go to a land without mellyrn (as Haldir put it), to finding out that they were actually leaving for a place where mellyrn were more beautiful, more abundant, and far greater than the ones they had known in Lothlórien? :shocked: And I was all worked up over those poor Elves? Please.... :elfroleeyes: