:"Edhel redirects here. See
Éðelfor the Anglo-Saxon term."
In the works of
J. R. R. Tolkien, the fictional Sindar (meaning "Grey People", singular "Sinda", although the latter term was not generally used by Tolkien) are Elves of Telerin descent. They are also known as the Grey Elves. Their language is Sindarin. The King of Doriath, Elu Thingolwas the King of the Sindar.
The Sindar were happy in Middle-earth, but once the desire for the Sea was aroused in them, they could not be content until they sailed to
Eldamar. Although less learned and powerful than the Calaquendiand less interested in crafts than the Noldor, they were extremely gifted in music, and their voices were very fair.
The Sindar are "grey" perhaps because they were not Elves of the Light, never having actually set foot in
Valinor, but neither were they Avari, since they did accept the invitation and set out on the journey (and therefore were technically counted among the Eldar). They are sometimes referred to as Elves of the Twilight. The term "grey" may also refer to Elu Thingol's grey cloak. The term "Sindar" is actually not Sindarin in origin: it is the Quenyaname devised by the Noldorin exiles. It may also be related to "Lindar", the Telerin name for themselves. The name that the Sindar used for themselves was simply "Edhil" ("Elves", singular "Edhel"). When the Teleri left for Aman, they called themselves the Eglath, the Forsaken Ones.
The Teleri were the greatest host of the Eldar. They had two kings, the brothers
ElwëSingollo (or Elu Thingolas he was later known in the Sindarin tongue) and Olwë. When the Teleri reached Beleriandduring the Great Journeyfrom Cuiviénen, Thingol went wandering in the forests as was his wont. In the forest of Nan Elmothhe met Melian, one of the Maiar. They fell in love, and with Melian, Thingol stood spellbound in Nan Elmoth for several years.
In the meantime, Olwë and many of the Teleri could not delay longer, and went to
Amanwithout Elwë and his following. Elwë's followers stayed in Beleriand, to search for their king. At long last he awoke from the spell and set up a kingdom in the midst of Beleriand: Eglador(Land of the Forsaken, or Land of the Elves. The etymology is not clear.). The Dwarves of Nogrodand Belegostin the Ered Luin(Blue Mountains) were contracted to aid in the building of the city of Menegroth(the Thousand Caves).
Other Teleri also stayed behind: these were the friends of
Ossëthe Maia, who had fallen in love with the shores of Middle-earth, and did not wish to depart. Their leader was Círdan, and they established cities at Eglarestand Brithombar. They were known as the Falathrim, or Elves of the Falas(Shore). They were not part of the realm of Eglador, but still took Thingol as their King.
Yet other stray bands of Teleri settled in
Nevrastand Hithlumto the north of Eglador, although these did not form any realms.
The Teleri of Eglador, the northlands (Mithrim), and the Falas were collectively known as the Sindar, or Grey Elves, in later days, because they developed a civilization all its own, which almost equalled that of the
Calaquendior Light Elves of Valinor.
A last group of Teleri in Beleriand were the
Laiquendior Green Elves: they were descended from the Nandor, which had split from the Great Journey before the Hithaeglir(Misty Mountains), and gone south along the Great River ( Anduin). A part of them, under Denethor son of Dan, crossed the Blue Mountains eventually, and settled in Ossiriand, or as it was later known Lindon(land of the singers). They remained a people apart for long, although many of them removed to Thingol's realm after Denethor was killed.
Just before the arrival of the Noldorin exiles, the Dark Lord
Morgothreturned to his old stronghold of Angband, and his activities increased. Thingol had Melian use her magic to create a girdle of bewilderment around Eglador, so that nobody could enter without the king's permission. Ever after it was known as Doriath(Land of the Fence). Thingol remained High King of the Sindar and nominal Overlord of Beleriand, although especially the Noldor following of the sons of Fëanorusually ignored his commands.
The language of the Sindar diverged from common Telerin over the long ages they were sundered from their kin, and became known as
Sindarin. By the time the Noldor arrived in Beleriand, the languages had become mutually unintelligible, but the Noldor were quick to learn it. In the Second and Third Age, Sindarinbecame known as the Noble Tongue, and became the Elvishtongue used in daily speech throughout Middle-earth(helped by the decree of Thingol, who forbade the use of the Noldorin language in his realm). It was also adopted for daily use by the Númenóreans, and remained somewhat in use in the Realms in Exile of Gondorand Arnor.
Sindarin eventually replaced Noldorin
Quenyaas the language used by the Noldor in Beleriand, even in predominantly Noldorin settlements, with the exception of Gondolin, where Turgon revived Quenya. Elsewhere, Quenya survived as a language of knowledge, taking the same role as Latin today.
Peredhil, Elrondand Elros, were partially of Sindarin Elven descent, as their mother Elwingwas the daughter of Dior, the son of Lúthien, the daughter of Thingoland Melian.
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