Seven stars and seven stones and one white tree.

From the Lord of the Rings:

Tall ships and tall kings, three times three.
What brought they from the foundered land over the flowing sea?
Seven stars and seven stones and one white tree.

This is from rhymes of lore that Gandalf is going over in his head while riding to Minas Tirith with Pippin after breaking the staff of Saruman. In the book it is made clear that the white tree is a decedent of Galathilion, which was made by Yavanna in memory of Telperion and that the seven stones are the Palantir, but what were the seven stars? I know that the stone of Erech fell from the sky and the sphere of light of Umbar was also placed by Isildur, were they two of the seven stars? Is it a reference to the the sickle of the valar? What are the seven stars?

They’re Varda’s sign of doom for Melkor, also known as the Valacirca, or the Sickle of the Valar. She hung them in the sky just before the elves awoke at Cuivienen. It was one of the first sights the elves beheld upon awakening.

They are Númenórean in origin, the 7 stars that represent the 7 banners on the 7 ships of the Faithful that carried the 7 stones. The banner is after all based on Elendil’s Banner. There were more than 7 ships of course.

It’s a trick poem.

Only Gandalf is going to St Ives.

So the “Tall ships and tall kings three times three” isn’t a reference to The Nine?

I know about the Valacirca, but how did they bring them from Andor?

Say what? The seven stars they brought from Numenor were the flags they had on seven (out of nine) of their ships? Where did you get this?


IIRC there were only 7 ships that escaped the downfall, but that didn’t account for the entire population of Arnor and Gondor. Some of the faithful left Numenor before that.