The Count of Time



After the ending of the Spring of Arda, the Valar retreated, and set up great mountains as fortifications; these mountains were called the Pelóri. Higher than all the Pelóri was Taniquetil, upon which Manwë set his throne. Within the walls of the mountains the Valar established the region called Valinor.
Beyond the mountains they built Valmar, and outside the western gate of that city there was a hill called Ezellohar, on which Yavanna caused to grow the Two Trees of Valinor: Telperion and Laurelin. 
Thus began the Count of Time. 

Quotey Version:

The Valar went to the far west, to the Land of Aman, whose western shores face the Outer Sea. "How  wide is that sea none know but the Valar; and beyond it are the Walls of the Night." On the shore of the sea they built great mountains, highest in Arda, called the Pelóri. Taller than the Pelóri was the mountain on which sat the throne of Manwë. "Taniquetil the Elves name that hole 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."

Behind the Pelóri, the Valar established Valinor. "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 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."

When Valinor was established, in a plain beyond the Pelóri, the Valar built Valmar of many bells. "Before its western gate there was a green mound, Ezellohar, that is named also Corollairë"
Yavanna sat there and "sang a song of power, in which was set all her thoughts of things that grow" but Nienna "watered the mould with tears." The rest of the Valar gathered to listen and watch as Yavanna sang. 

At last, there grew on the mound two saplings "and silence was over all the world in that hour, nor was there any other sound save the chanting of Yavanna." Thus began the Two Trees of Valinor. 

"The one had leaves of dark green that beneath were as shining silver , and from each of his countless flowers a dew of silver light was ever falling, and the earth beneath was dappled with the shadows of his fluttering leaves." This was Telperion (called also Silpion and Ninqulótë). Laurelin "bore leaves of a young green like the new-opened beech; their edges were of glittering gold. Flowers swung upon her branches in clusters of yellow flame, formed each to a glowing horn that spilled a golden rain upon the ground"

In seven hours, each tree "waxed to full and waned again to naught; and each awoke once more to life an hour before the other ceased to shine." Each day of the Valar in Aman was twelve hours. Telperion came first to full stature "and that first hour in which he shone, the white glimmer of silver dawn, the Valar reckoned not into the tale of hours, but named it the Opening Hour, and counted from it the ages of their reign in Valinor." At the sixth hour of the day, Telperion waned as Laurelin waxed, and at the twelfth hour Laurelin ceased her blossoming. Each day ended with the second mingling of the lights, and a new day began.
random thing that helped me imagine how the light worked

"But the light that was spilled from the trees endured long, ere it was taken up into the airs or sank down into the earth; and the dews of Telperion and the rain that fell from Laurelin Varda hoarded in great vats like shining lakes[...] Thus began the Days of the Bliss of Valinor; and thus began also the Count of Time."

The Shores of Valinor


The only time in Lord of the Rings that I found this word was in the song of Galadriel, in Fellowship of the Ring. The other listed names for Taniquetil aren't mentioned, as far as I can tell. The word itself is Quenya, meaning something like "everlasting snow" or as the Silmarillion suggests "Everlasting Whiteness". 
Oio meaning 'ever' and losse meaning 'snow'. 

Ai! laurië lantar lassi súrinen,

Yéni únótimë ve rámar aldaron!

Yéni ve lintë yuldar avánier

mi oromardi lisse-miruvóreva

Andúnë pella, Vardo tellumar
nu luini yassen tintilar i eleni
ómaryo airetári-lírinen.

Sí man i yulma nin enquantuva?

An sí Tintallë Varda Oiolossëo
ve fanyar máryat Elentári ortanë
ar ilyë tier undulávë lumbulë;
ar sindanóriello caita mornië
i falmalinnar imbë met, ar hísië
untúpa Calaciryo míri oialë.
Si vanwa ná, Rómello vanwa, Valimar!
Namárië! Nai hiruvalyë Valimar.
Nai elyë hiruva. Namárië!
~ The Fellowship of the Ring (highlight added)


I found this mentioned briefly in the Return of the King:
"And Gandalf coming looked at it, and said: ‘Verily this is a sapling of the line of Nimloth the fair; and that was a seedling of Galathilion, and that a fruit of Telperion of many names, Eldest of Trees."


Reference is not made to the original tree in LOTR, but to Laurelindórenan which is another name for Lothlórien

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(Lest there should be any confusion or matter of rights and whatnot, all quotes in this post are from the works of JRR Tolkien, unless otherwise mentioned. If you notice any errors in the quotes, please let me know.
Header image is a depiction of Taniquetil by JRR Tolkien. Closing image is by Ted Nasmith.)

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