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Rob Alexander - Elven Cloak.jpg
"Elven Cloak" by Rob Alexander
General Information
OriginsTeleri who turned aside from the Great Journey east of the Misty Mountains and journeyed down Anduin
LocationsVales of Anduin, Ossiriand, Lindon, shores of Lake Nenuial[1], Lothlórien, East Lórien, Belfalas, Woodland Realm, Ithilien
LanguagesNandorin, Sindarin
MembersLenwë, Denethor, Nimrodel
Physical Description
DistinctionsSecretive, lovers of the forests and animals
Average heightTall
Hair colorUsually dark
Skin colorWhite or olive
GalleryImages of Nandor

The Nandor (Q, pron. [ˈnandor]; sg. Nando), who included the Silvan Elves (or "Wood-elves") and Green-elves, were one of the Telerin races of Elves. Like the Sindar, they were Úmanyar i.e. part of the Teleri who began the Great Journey but did not complete it. The Nandor were the original elven inhabitants of Middle-earth east of Beleriand, but eventually they also stretched out across the Ered Luin as well into Ossiriand. Many journeyed down the River Anduin forming Kingdoms of the Silvan Elves: the Woodland Realm and Lothlórien. The people of Lórien were of this kind, as were the Wood-elves of Mirkwood.

As other Teleri, they loved water and dwelt most beside falls and running streams. But living wild in the nature, they have greater knowledge of trees, plants, animals and birds, than all other Elves.[2]


[edit] History

[edit] Lenwë and Denethor

Those who would become the Nandor were in the hosts of the Teleri under Elwe and Olwe. They stayed long in the Vales of Anduin upon the east bank of the river while they waited for Orome, but while the Vanyar and the Noldor crossed the Hithaeglir, the Teleri were afraid looking at their shadowy peaks.

Then Lenwë, from the host of Olwë, decided to forsake the march as he was content to remain in the wide forested lands; others broke from the host and followed him southwards along the Great River.[3]

Gradually, the Nandor spread out. They may have moved on to live in Eriador, or by the mouth of the Sea at the outpouring of Anduin. They were a simple folk, with no weapons of steel. They made friends, too, with the Naugrim, and were contented. But evil beasts came from the north, and they had no defence against such terrible weapons. They had been told by the Naugrim about King Thingol and the might of the Sindar, therefore Denethor, Lenwë's son, crossed over the Ered Luin into Beleriand, the western lands of Middle-earth. There they settled in the green and many-rivered Ossiriand, welcomed by Thingol as long-lost relatives. They were called the Laegrim.[4]

[edit] Wars of Beleriand

Main article: Green-elves

The Laegrim took little part in the Wars of Beleriand; in the First Battle of Beleriand against Morgoth, they took heavy losses including their beloved leader Denethor. They became reclusive, pulling away from the many troubles of Beleriand, and fighting no longer against Belegurth.[4]

The Laegrim also accepted Beren and Lúthien, and joined him in the Battle of Sarn Athrad. The Green-elves later sent the news to King Dior Eluchíl of the final deaths of Beren and Lúthien.[5]

After the Nirnaeth Arnoediad, the Sons of Fëanor wandered in the lands of the Laiquendi, bereft of lands, often mixing with them.[6]

[edit] Second Age

(Henceforth see also Galadhrim and Elves of Mirkwood)

After the War of Wrath, Ossiriand survived no longer, and the survivors of the Laiquendi once more merged back into the main Nandorin population, who now were spread over the face of Middle-earth. The Nandor on both sides of the mountain range were of a somewhat less pure strain, those in Ossiriand having mixed blood with some Sindar, and those in the east having mixed blood with the Avari who came westwards. As the Second Age went on, the blood became even more mixed. Even their language changed from Nandorin to Sindarin. Gradually, the Nandor were changing into what became known as Silvan Elves or Tawarwaith, meaning "Forest People"[7].

The Nandor, now known in their impure state as Tawarwaith, were soon pushed into refuge when Sauron rose to challenge elven power in Middle-earth. Some were forced to take refuge with the Noldor, who although weakened were still very powerful, in Lindon and Imladris. Others dwelt with Círdan the Sinda in Mithlond, and still others hid in their ancient forest homes Lórinand and Eryn Galen. They took leaders from the pure-blood clans of Noldor and Sindar; in the case of the latter two refuges, the Sindarin lords Amdír and Oropher respectively.

The Tawarwaith of Lórinand (the Galadhrim) and Eryn Galen played mostly a small role in the events of the Second Age, as they had in the First. Amdír and Oropher built up their kingdoms as the shadow of Sauron grew longer and longer, and evil more powerful. Both Amdír and Oropher took great hosts to join the Last Alliance of Elves and Men, and fought in the war that followed. Both hosts suffered immense losses; Amdír was cut off and killed in the Battle of Dagorlad with many of his followers, while Oropher rashly disobeyed King Gil-galad in Mordor and fell beside two thirds of the entire company[7]. The Tawarwaith entered the Third Age greatly weakened and disheartened, despite the seemingly final defeat of Sauron.

[edit] Third Age

Lórinand, now known as Lothlórien, and Eryn Galen, now known as Mirkwood, continued to host the larger populations of Tawarwaith. Amroth took over in Lothlórien, later passing the rulership on to Galadriel and Celeborn, while Thranduil became king in Mirkwood. Under these rulers, the Tawarwaith prospered and became numerous once more, while the Noldor and Sindar were in slow but steady decline. Yet though mostly inactive, they were watchful of the growing of men and the ominous change the Third Age would bring[7].

But the elves of both Lothlórien and Mirkwood were threatened by a new evil growing in south Mirkwood. The Necromancer was building Dol Guldur. As the Third Age continued and Sauron rose, the White Council was formed. Sauron was driven from Dol Guldur several times, but the Tawarwaith were still for the most part impassive. Eventually, the War of the Ring came. Legolas, Thranduil’s son, became a hero of that war, while both Lothlórien and Mirkwood were invaded by Dol Guldur in the Rhovanion Campaign. All attacks were repulsed, and Dol Guldur was thrown down at last in a grand counterattack by Celeborn and his forces[8]. Mirkwood was renamed Eryn Lasgalen. Yet the Silvan population was again diminished. Galadriel and Celeborn passed west, and the light of Lórien faded.

Throughout the Fourth Age they aided the rising Reunited Kingdom, making Ithilien green, for instance[9]. Their eventual fate was to pass west to the land they had never seen, or else to remain in Middle-earth Changed and fade into forgetfulness.

[edit] Etymology

Nandor is a Quenya name, meaning "Those who go back",[10] apparently containing the element nan-.

In early Qenya, nandor meant "farmer"[11] containing the Elvish element nan "field, valley".

[edit] Names

The Nandor were also known by many other names: the Host of Dân, the Wood-elves, the Wanderers, the Axe-elves, the Green Elves, the Brown Elves, the Hidden People.[12]

(Quendi · People of the Stars · Firstborn · Elder Kindred)
Three Kindreds:
(Eldar · Eldalië · Edhil)
 Vanyar (Fair-elves · Minyar) · Noldor (Deep-elves · Tatyar) · Teleri (Lindar · Nelyar)
(High-elves · Amanyar)
 Vanyar · Noldor · Falmari
Úmanyar:  Sindar (Grey-elves · Eglath) · Nandor (Green-elves · Silvan Elves)
 Moriquendi:  Úmanyar · Avari (Dark Elves · The Unwilling)
See Also:  Awakening of the Elves · Sundering of the Elves · Great Journey


  1. A note in the Unfinished Tales
  2. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Quenta Silmarillion: Of the Coming of the Elves and the Captivity of Melkor"
  3. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Quenta Silmarillion: Of the Coming of the Elves and the Captivity of Melkor"
  4. 4.0 4.1 J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Quenta Silmarillion: Of the Sindar"
  5. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Quenta Silmarillion: Of the Ruin of Doriath"
  6. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Quenta Silmarillion: Of the Fifth Battle: Nirnaeth Arnoediad"
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), Unfinished Tales, "The History of Galadriel and Celeborn", Appendices A & B
  8. The Lord of the Rings, Appendix B
  9. The Lord of the Rings, Appendix A
  10. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The War of the Jewels, "Part Four. Quendi and Eldar: C. The Clan-names, with notes on other names for divisions of the Eldar", p. 384
  11. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Book of Lost Tales Part One, Appendix: Names in the Lost Tales – Part I, p. 261
  12. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), Morgoth's Ring, "Part Three. The Later Quenta Silmarillion: (I) The First Phase: 3. Of the Coming of the Elves", p. 164