Places in Middle-earth
Type: Kingdoms, Realms, Lands
Meaning: Land of the Powers or Rulers of the World
Other Names The Blessed Realm, Land of the Gods, The Guarded Realm, Land of Light
Location: The westernmost land mass in Arda.
Description: "Thus ended the Spring of Arda. The dwelling of the Valar upon Almaren was utterly destroyed, and they had no abiding place upon the face of the Earth. Therefore they departed from Middle-earth and went to the Land of Aman, the westernmost of all lands upon the borders of the world; for its west shores looked upon the Outer Sea, that is called by the Elves Ekkaia, encircling the Kingdom of Arda. How wide is that sea none know but the Valar; and beyond it are the Walls of the Night. But the east shores of Aman were the uttermost end of Belegaer, the Great Sea at the West; and since Melkor was returned to Middle-earth and they could not yet overcome him, the Valar fortified their dwelling, and upon the shores of the sea they raised the Pelóri, the Mountains of Aman, highest upon Earth. And above all the mountains of the Pelóri was that height upon whose summit Manwë set his throne. Taniquetil the Elves name that holy mountain, and Oiolossë Everlasting Whiteness, and Elerrína Crowned with Stars, and many names beside; but the Sindar spoke of it in their later tongue as Amon Uilos. From their halls upon Taniquetil Manwë and Varda could look out across the Earth even into the furthest East.
"Behind the walls of the Pelóri the Valar established their domain in that region which is called Valinor, and there were their houses, their gardens, and their towers. In that guarded land the Valar gathered great store of light and all the fairest things that were saved from the ruin; and many others yet fairer they made anew, and Valinor became more beautiful even than Middle-earth in the Spring of Arda; and it was blessed, for the Deathless dwelt there, and there naught faded nor withered, neither was there any stain upon flower or leaf in that land, nor any corruption or sickness in anything that lived; for the very stones and waters were hallowed.
"And when Valinor was full-wrought and the mansions of the Valar were established, in the midst of the plain beyond the mountains they built their city, Valmar of many bells. ...
The Silmarillion, Quenta Silmarillion, Ch 1, Of The Beginning of Days
"§3. According to Elvish historians the Elven-folk, by themselves called the Quendi, and Elven-speech were originally one. The primary division was into Eldar and Avari. The Avari were those Elves who remained content with Middle-earth [struck out:] and refused the summons of the powers; but they and their many secret tongues do not concern this book. The Eldar were those who set out and marched to the western shores of the Old World. Most of them then passed over the Sea and came to that land in the Ancient West which they called Valinor, a name that means the Land of the Powers or Rulers of the World. But some of the Eldar [added: of the kindred of the Teleri] remained behind in the north-west of Middle-earth, and these were called the Lembi or 'Lingerers'. It is with Eldarin tongues, Valinorean or Lemberin [> Telerian] that these tales are concerned."
The Peoples of Middle-Earth, HoME Vol 12, Part 1, Ch 2, The Appendix on Languages: The Languages at the end of the Third Age
Note:I have found only two maps of Tolkien's that show Valinor or Aman. The clearer map is bound into the center of The Shaping of Middle-earth, HoME Vol 4. The land mass is shown as an elongated crescent. There is a small map that appear as a cross section, in The Book of Lost Tales 1, HoME Vol 1, at the end of the Foreword.
Contributors: Lyllyn 12.27.04