Sundering of the Elves

In J. R. R. Tolkien's legendarium, the Elves are a sundered people. They awoke at Cuiviénen on the continent of Middle-earth (see: Awakening of the Elves), where they were divided into three tribes: Minyar (the Firsts), Tatyar (the Seconds) and Nelyar (the Thirds). After some time, they were summoned by Oromë to live with the Valar in Aman. That summoning and the Great Journey that followed split the Elves into two main groups (and many minor ones), which were never fully reunited.

The name Quendi refers to "all" elves.


The Avari are "Those who Refused the Summoning" of Oromë, or simply "The Unwilling". Half of the Avari came from the largest tribe, the Nelyar, but most of the Nelyar went on the journey. ["The War of the Jewels": "Quendi and Eldar", p. 381, "The proportions, out of 144, that when the March began became Avari or Eldar were approximately so: "Minyar" 14: "Avari" 0, "Eldar" 14; "Tatyar" 56: "Avari" 28, "Eldar" 28; "Nelyar" 74: "Avari" 28, "Eldar" 46: "Amanyar Teleri" 20, "Sindar and Nandor" 26." ("Nandor" 8 - p. 412) It can be seen that the Avari are made up of a proportion of 28 Tatyar and 28 Nelyar.] Half of the Tatyar remained as well.

After the Separation the Avari became divided even more than the Eldar, though little of their history became known to the Elves and Men of the West of Middle-earth. At least "six" kindreds existed, and they continued to call themselves 'Quendi', [This name evolved into different forms in the language of each kindred: Kindi, Cuind, Hwenti, Windan, Kinn-lai and Penni. ("Quendi and Eldar", p. 410)] considering those who went away as deserters. Some of these tribes later also journeyed westward, intermingling with the Nandor, and a few even reached Beleriand, though usually remaining in unfriendly relationship with the Sindar.


The Eldar are those who accepted the summons. Their name, literally "Star People", was given to them by Oromë in their own language.
* All of the Minyar became the Vanyar ("Fair Elves" - referring to their golden-blond hair).
* Half of the Tatyar became the Noldor ("Deep Elves" - referring to their knowledge).
* More than half of the Nelyar became the Teleri ("Those who come last") or as they referred to themselves the Lindar ("The Singers").
** Those of the Teleri who refused to cross the Misty Mountains and stayed in the valley of Anduin were called the Nandor ("Those [Elves] who turn back").
*** Those of the Nandor who later entered Beleriand were called the Laiquendi ("Green Elves" or "Green People").
*** The other Nandor who stayed around Anduin became known as the Tawarwaith, living in the forests of Wilderland, also called the Silvan or Wood Elves. They were joined there by those Avari who eventually passed to the West.
** Those of the Teleri who reached Beleriand by the Great Sea but chose not to cross to Aman were later called the Sindar ("Grey Elves").
*** Many of the Teleri (Sindar) chose to remain behind in order to look for their lord Thingol, who disappeared near the end of the journey. These later inhabited Doriath and were named the Iathrim ("People of the Girdle"), referring to the magical 'Girdle of Melian' that surrounded the kingdom.
*** Those of the Teleri (Sindar) who came to the shores of the Great Sea but decided to stay there or arrived too late to be ferried were called the Falathrim ("People of the Shore").
*** Those of the Teleri (Sindar) who chose to remain behind and populated the lands to the north-west of Beleriand were called Mithrim ("Grey People"), giving their name to the region and the great lake there. Most of them later merged with the Noldor who returned to Middle-earth, especially those of Gondolin.
** Those of the Teleri who reached Aman were called "Amanyar Teleri" or Falmari ("People of the Waves").

The Vanyar, the Noldor, and those of the Teleri who reached Valinor are called the Calaquendi ("Elves of Light") because they saw the Two Trees. In the language of the Noldor in Aman all other Elves were called the Moriquendi ("Elves of Darkness") in recognition of the fact that they did not see (and did not desire) the Light of Valinor, but later the Sindar were counted among neither of these groups.

Most of the Noldor returned with Fëanor to Middle-earth before the raising of the Sun. These became known as the Exiles. In Beleriand they were divided by the place of dwelling, namely Hithlum, Gondolin, Dorthonion, Nargothrond and the March of Maedhros.

After the War of Wrath the greater part of the surviving Noldor and Sindar (mostly mingled into a single people) returned into the West to dwell in Tol Eressëa. Many remained still throughout the Second and Third Ages, entering the realms of Lórinand and Eryn Galen of the Wood Elves or establishing the kingdoms of Lindon, Eregion, Lothlórien and Imladris. The Havens of the Eldar are as follows:

*the Havens of the Falas in Beleriand, Brithombar and Eglarest
*Alqualondë, the Swanhaven of the Teleri of Valinor
*Edhellond, the Elven haven in southern Gondor
*Mithlond, the Grey Havens of Eriador
*Harlond or Forlond, the havens of Lindon
*Eldalondë, a haven of Númenor
*Avalonnë, the Elven haven of Tol Eressëa


Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • The Death Gate Cycle — is a seven part series (heptalogy) of fantasy novels written by Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman. The main conflict is between two powerful races, the Sartan and the Patryns, which branched off from humans following a nuclear/anti matter holocaust …   Wikipedia

  • Dark Elves (Warhammer) — In Games Workshop s Warhammer Fantasy fictional universe, the Dark Elves are a race of harsh, warlike and vicious Elves. They are also known as the Druchii in most Warhammer fiction books. They cruel, sadistic raiders with much disdain for all… …   Wikipedia

  • Chronicles of the Dark Empire — In Games Workshop s Warhammer Fantasy setting, the High Elf online community of [] created a series of online campaigns that led to the creation of a popular fan made alternate universe for the Warhammer World. The… …   Wikipedia

  • Silvan Elves — Woodland Elves, Wood elves, Galadhrim Current leader Galadriel and Celeborn in Lothlórien Home world Middle earth Base of operations Mirkwood, Lothlórien …   Wikipedia

  • Dark elves in fiction — Elves, a word from Germanic mythology, are frequently featured in Fantasy fiction. In modern fiction, particularly because of the influence from J. R. R. Tolkien s The Lord of the Rings, elves are modeled mostly after his original description:… …   Wikipedia

  • High Elves (Warhammer) — In Games Workshop s Warhammer Fantasy setting, the High Elves, or the Asur as they name themselves, are a race of Elves who live on the Isle of Ulthuan, analogous to Atlantis. The High Elf army appears to bear resemblance to the Byzantine Empire… …   Wikipedia

  • Dark Elves in fiction — Due at least partly to influence from the Dungeons Dragons role playing game, and perhaps also to the ever growing tendency toward synthesis of folklores, it is not uncommon for both Trows and Drow, along with black elves and dark elves, to be… …   Wikipedia

  • World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade — Обложк …   Википедия

  • Outline of Middle-earth — The following outline is presented as an overview of and topical guide about Tolkien s fantasy universe: Middle earth – fictional setting of the majority of author J. R. R. Tolkien s fantasy writings. The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings take… …   Wikipedia

  • Elf (Middle-earth) — Races of Middle earth Valar Maiar Elves Men Dwarves Hobbits Ents Eagles Orcs Trolls Dragons Other In J. R. R. Tolkien s legendarium, Elves are one of the races that inhabit a ficti …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.