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Sundering of the Elves

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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: the [[Vanyar]], the [[Noldor]], and the [[Teleri]]. After some time, they were summoned by [[Oromë]] to live with the [[Valar]] in [[Aman]].  That summons and the [[Great Journey]] that followed split the Elves into two main groups (and many minor ones), which were never fully reunited.
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The [[Elves]] were a race subjected to many sunderings and divided into many tribes and peoples. The name '''[[Quendi]]''' refers to ''all'' Elves, but even from their [[Awakening of the Elves|beginning]], elvenkind was divided.
 
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The name '''[[Quendi]]''' refers to ''all'' elves.
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[[Image:Elven Kindreds.jpg|center|750px|A chart of the Sundering of the Elves]]<br style="clear:both">
 
[[Image:Elven Kindreds.jpg|center|750px|A chart of the Sundering of the Elves]]<br style="clear:both">
  
== Avari ==
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==Minyar, Tatyar & Nelyar==
The '''[[Avari]]''', the "Unwilling", are those who refused the summons of Oromë. Most of the Avari came from the largest tribe, the Teleri. {{fact}} A few of the Noldor remained as well, but were no longer called by that tribal name. Together with the Nandor and the Sindar, they are called the '''[[Moriquendi]]''' ("Elves of Darkness") in recognition of the fact that they did not see the light of the [[Two Trees]]. The largest part of this group were Teleri, since that was the most numerous people from the beginning, and they suffered more than one sundering on their voyage to the western shore. <ref>{{S|3}}</ref> While all of the Eldar departed Middle-earth by the early [[Fourth Age]], it appears that the Avari mostly stayed or died out: there is no account of their passage Westward. {{fact}}
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The unbegotten Elves who awoke at [[Cuiviénen]] were divided into three tribes, distinguished by appearance and temperament.
 +
* The '''[[Minyar]]''' were golden-haired and loved poetry.
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* The '''[[Tatyar]]''' had dark hair and grey eyes and loved craft and knowledge. They were noted as being especially quarrelsome.<ref name=WJ380>{{WJ|C}}, pp. 380-85</ref>
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* The '''[[Nelyar]]''' were dark or silver of hair and loved song (this was the source of their alternate name, '''[[Lindar]]''', meaning "Singers"), the woods, and the Sea.
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==Eldar and Avari==
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Some time after the Elves awakened, the [[Valar|Vala]] [[Oromë]] discovered them and invited them to come west to live in [[Aman]]. That invitation and the [[Great Journey]] that followed split the Elves into two main groups and many minor ones, which were never fully reunited.
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The '''[[Avari]]''' (the "Unwilling") were those who refused the summons of Oromë. Half of the original Avari were of the [[Tatyar]] and the other half were of the [[Nelyar]].<ref name=WJ380/>
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The '''[[Eldar]]''' were those who accepted the summons. Their name, "People of the Stars", was given to them by Oromë in [[Primitive Quendian|their own language]]. All the Minyar accepted the summons to Valinor and became known as the '''[[Vanyar]]'''. Those of the Tatyar and Nelyar who embarked on the Great Journey would come to be known as the '''[[Noldor]]''' and '''[[Teleri]]''' respectively.  
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===Sunderings of the Teleri===
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Unlike the Vanyar and Noldor, the Teleri were subject to multiple sunderings along the Great Journey:
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* Those who feared to cross the [[Misty Mountains]] and stayed in the vales of the [[Anduin|River Anduin]] were called the '''[[Nandor]]''' ("Those Who Go Back").<ref name=WJ412>{{WJ|Author}}, p. 412, Note 18</ref>
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** A splinter group of the Nandor left the vales of Anduin under the leadership of [[Denethor of the Nandor|Denethor]] and came to Beleriand before the dawn of the First Age. These were called the '''Laiquendi''' ("[[Green-elves]]").<ref name=WJ380 />
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* Those who reached [[Beleriand]] west of the [[Blue Mountains]] but did not make the crossing to Aman were called the '''[[Sindar]]''' ("Grey-elves").
 +
** Many chose to remain behind in order to look for their lord [[Thingol]], who disappeared near the end of the journey. These were known as the '''[[Eglath]]''' ("Forsaken"), because they were left behind when their kindred crossed the Sea.
 +
** Those who came to the shores of the Great Sea but decided to stay there or, like [[Círdan|Nowë]], intended to cross to Aman but arrived too late to board the [[Tol Eressëa|island ferry]], were called the '''[[Falas|Falathrim]]''' ("People of the Shore").
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* The Teleri under the lordship of [[Olwë]] who crossed the [[Belegaer|Great Sea]] to reach Aman were known as the '''[[Falmari]]''' ("Wave-folk").
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==Calaquendi and Moriquendi==
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The Elves who completed the journey to Aman – the Vanyar, the Noldor, and the Falmari – referred to themselves as '''[[Calaquendi]]''' ("Elves of Light"). They referred to the Avari, Nandor, and Sindar as '''[[Moriquendi]]''' ("Elves of Darkness") in recognition of the fact that they never saw the light of the [[Two Trees]]. The largest part of the Moriquendi were Nelyarin, since half of the original Avari were so, as were all of the Nandor and Sindar.<ref>{{S|3}}</ref>
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===Amanyar and Úmanyar===
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After the [[Darkening of Valinor]], most of the Noldor returned to Middle-earth with [[Fëanor]] and some remained there until the end of the [[Third Age]]. These became known as the '''[[Exile of the Noldor|Exiles]]''', and they lived near to the Sindar for the rest of their time in Middle-earth. The Sindar were insulted by the appellation "Moriquendi," so the Exiles instead generally referred to them as '''[[Úmanyar]]''' ("Those Not of Aman"). Over the ages, use of this term grew to include all those Elves who started on the Great Journey but did not complete it. The Exiles referred to themselves and those who still dwelt in Valinor as '''[[Amanyar]]''' ("Those of Aman").
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===Thingol===
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Thingol was an exception to the usual overlap of the categories Calaquendi with Amanyar and Moriquendi with Úmanyar. This is due to the fact that he was one of the original three Elven ambassadors to Valinor and saw the light of the Two Trees, but did not complete the Great Journey and never dwelt in Valinor. As such, he alone was both Calaquendi and Úmanyar.<ref>{{S|4}}</ref>
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==Reunions of the Elves==
 +
In the great forests of Middle-earth, several new peoples were born from the unions of tribes that had once been sundered.
 +
 
 +
===Silvan Elves===
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The '''[[Silvan Elves]]''' were a composite tribe of Nandor and Avari that emerged in the forests of [[Rhovanion|Wilderland]] (notably [[Eryn Galen]] and [[Lindórinand]]) before the end of the First Age.
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The Nandor had lived in the forests that girdled the upper vales of the Anduin since the time they turned back from the Great Journey. Over the course of time, tribes of Avarin Elves spreading westward from Cuiviénen reached the Anduin as well, where they reunited with their Nandorin kin. These peoples effectively "became merged together."<ref name=WJ380 />
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By the end of the First Age, some Silvan Elves had migrated as far south as the [[Ethir Anduin]] and [[Edhellond]].
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===Galadhrim===
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The '''Galadhrim''' ("Tree-people")<ref>{{PE|17}}, p. 50</ref> were a composite tribe of Silvan Elves, Sindar, and Noldor that emerged in the forest of [[Lindórinand]] in the [[Second Age]]. It is unclear when exactly the residents of Lindórinand began to refer to themselves as "Galadhrim," but this name came to include many elves of diverse origin that arrived in Lindórinand in multiple waves of immigration.
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After the [[War of Wrath|sinking of Beleriand]], the Elves who had lived there and did not wish to leave for Valinor had to find new homes. Those Sindar and Laiquendi who preferred the forests to the sea shores (or who wished to distance themselves from the remaining Noldorin Exiles) went eastward to reunite with their Silvan kin who dwelt in the great forests of Eryn Galen and Lindórinand. In both forest realms, the native Silvan Elves took Sindar for their kings ([[Oropher]] and [[Amdír]], respectively) and underwent a process of "Sindarization" as they absorbed the culture of the Beleriandic immigrants. There were also Noldorin immigrants to the forest realms at this time, though evidently lesser in cultural impact than the Sindar.<ref name="Galadriel">{{UT|Concerning}}</ref>
  
== Eldar ==
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Separately from Eryn Galen, Lindórinand experienced a second great wave of immigration after the [[Sack of Eregion]] in {{SA|1697}}. Many Elves of Eregion, who were primarily Noldor,<ref>{{App|B1}}</ref> escaped [[Sauron]] by fleeing through [[Khazad-dûm]] and emerged from the eastern side of the Misty Mountains onto Amdír's very doorstep. Some traveled down Anduin to Edhellond to depart Middle-earth, but others remained in Amdír's realm and dwelt there.<ref>{{UT|Amroth}}</ref> By the time [[Galadriel]] and [[Celeborn]] took up the [[Lord and Lady of Lórien|Lord and Ladyship]] of the realm in {{TA|1981}}, the Galadhrim had thoroughly absorbed these Noldorin refugees into their culture; there is no further mention of them as a distinct people within the Elves of Lórien.
The '''Eldar''' are those who accepted the summons.  Their name, "People of the Stars", was given to them by Oromë in [[Primitive Quendian|their own language]]. Those of the Lindar who undertook the Great Journey were called the [[Teleri]].
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* Those of the Teleri who refused to cross the [[Misty Mountains]], and stayed in the valley of the [[Anduin|Anduin River]], are called the '''[[Nandor]]''' ("Valley People").
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** Those of the Nandor who left the Anduin under the leadership of [[Denethor of the Nandor|Denethor]] and came to Beleriand are called the '''Laiquendi''' ("[[Green-elves]]").
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** The other Nandor became known as the '''[[Silvan Elves]]''', living in the forests of  [[Rhovanion|Wilderland]]. They were joined there by some of the Avari.
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* Those of the Teleri who reached [[Beleriand]] by the [[Belegaer|Great Sea]] but did not make the crossing to Aman were called the '''[[Sindar]]''' ("Grey-elves").
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** Many of the Teleri chose to remain behind in order to look for their lord [[Thingol]], who disappeared near the end of the journey. These were known as the '''Eglath''' ("Forsaken"), because they were left behind when their kindred crossed the Sea.
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** Those of the Teleri who came to the shores of the Great Sea but decided to stay there or, like [[Círdan|Nowë]], intended to cross to Aman but arrived too late to board the [[Tol Eressëa|island ferry]], are called the '''[[Falas|Falathrim]]''' ("People of the Shore").
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* The Teleri under the lordship of [[Olwë]] who made the crossing across Belegaer to Aman are known as the [[Falmari]] ("Wave-folk").
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* The Vanyar, the Noldor, and the Falmari are called the '''[[Calaquendi]]''' ("Elves of the Light") because they saw the Two Trees.
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** Most of the Noldor returned with [[Fëanor]] to Middle-earth, and at least some of these remained there through the [[Third Age]].  These became known as the '''[[Exile of the Noldor|Exiles]]'''.
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** Those Noldor that remained behind or returned under [[Finarfin]] became known as the '''[[Aulendur]]''' ("Servants of [[Aulë]]").
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Latest revision as of 07:52, 18 February 2021

The Elves were a race subjected to many sunderings and divided into many tribes and peoples. The name Quendi refers to all Elves, but even from their beginning, elvenkind was divided.

A chart of the Sundering of the Elves

Contents

[edit] Minyar, Tatyar & Nelyar

The unbegotten Elves who awoke at Cuiviénen were divided into three tribes, distinguished by appearance and temperament.

  • The Minyar were golden-haired and loved poetry.
  • The Tatyar had dark hair and grey eyes and loved craft and knowledge. They were noted as being especially quarrelsome.[1]
  • The Nelyar were dark or silver of hair and loved song (this was the source of their alternate name, Lindar, meaning "Singers"), the woods, and the Sea.

[edit] Eldar and Avari

Some time after the Elves awakened, the Vala Oromë discovered them and invited them to come west to live in Aman. That invitation and the Great Journey that followed split the Elves into two main groups and many minor ones, which were never fully reunited.

The Avari (the "Unwilling") were those who refused the summons of Oromë. Half of the original Avari were of the Tatyar and the other half were of the Nelyar.[1]

The Eldar were those who accepted the summons. Their name, "People of the Stars", was given to them by Oromë in their own language. All the Minyar accepted the summons to Valinor and became known as the Vanyar. Those of the Tatyar and Nelyar who embarked on the Great Journey would come to be known as the Noldor and Teleri respectively.

[edit] Sunderings of the Teleri

Unlike the Vanyar and Noldor, the Teleri were subject to multiple sunderings along the Great Journey:

  • Those who feared to cross the Misty Mountains and stayed in the vales of the River Anduin were called the Nandor ("Those Who Go Back").[2]
    • A splinter group of the Nandor left the vales of Anduin under the leadership of Denethor and came to Beleriand before the dawn of the First Age. These were called the Laiquendi ("Green-elves").[1]
  • Those who reached Beleriand west of the Blue Mountains but did not make the crossing to Aman were called the Sindar ("Grey-elves").
    • Many chose to remain behind in order to look for their lord Thingol, who disappeared near the end of the journey. These were known as the Eglath ("Forsaken"), because they were left behind when their kindred crossed the Sea.
    • Those who came to the shores of the Great Sea but decided to stay there or, like Nowë, intended to cross to Aman but arrived too late to board the island ferry, were called the Falathrim ("People of the Shore").
  • The Teleri under the lordship of Olwë who crossed the Great Sea to reach Aman were known as the Falmari ("Wave-folk").

[edit] Calaquendi and Moriquendi

The Elves who completed the journey to Aman – the Vanyar, the Noldor, and the Falmari – referred to themselves as Calaquendi ("Elves of Light"). They referred to the Avari, Nandor, and Sindar as Moriquendi ("Elves of Darkness") in recognition of the fact that they never saw the light of the Two Trees. The largest part of the Moriquendi were Nelyarin, since half of the original Avari were so, as were all of the Nandor and Sindar.[3]

[edit] Amanyar and Úmanyar

After the Darkening of Valinor, most of the Noldor returned to Middle-earth with Fëanor and some remained there until the end of the Third Age. These became known as the Exiles, and they lived near to the Sindar for the rest of their time in Middle-earth. The Sindar were insulted by the appellation "Moriquendi," so the Exiles instead generally referred to them as Úmanyar ("Those Not of Aman"). Over the ages, use of this term grew to include all those Elves who started on the Great Journey but did not complete it. The Exiles referred to themselves and those who still dwelt in Valinor as Amanyar ("Those of Aman").

[edit] Thingol

Thingol was an exception to the usual overlap of the categories Calaquendi with Amanyar and Moriquendi with Úmanyar. This is due to the fact that he was one of the original three Elven ambassadors to Valinor and saw the light of the Two Trees, but did not complete the Great Journey and never dwelt in Valinor. As such, he alone was both Calaquendi and Úmanyar.[4]

[edit] Reunions of the Elves

In the great forests of Middle-earth, several new peoples were born from the unions of tribes that had once been sundered.

[edit] Silvan Elves

The Silvan Elves were a composite tribe of Nandor and Avari that emerged in the forests of Wilderland (notably Eryn Galen and Lindórinand) before the end of the First Age.

The Nandor had lived in the forests that girdled the upper vales of the Anduin since the time they turned back from the Great Journey. Over the course of time, tribes of Avarin Elves spreading westward from Cuiviénen reached the Anduin as well, where they reunited with their Nandorin kin. These peoples effectively "became merged together."[1]

By the end of the First Age, some Silvan Elves had migrated as far south as the Ethir Anduin and Edhellond.

[edit] Galadhrim

The Galadhrim ("Tree-people")[5] were a composite tribe of Silvan Elves, Sindar, and Noldor that emerged in the forest of Lindórinand in the Second Age. It is unclear when exactly the residents of Lindórinand began to refer to themselves as "Galadhrim," but this name came to include many elves of diverse origin that arrived in Lindórinand in multiple waves of immigration.

After the sinking of Beleriand, the Elves who had lived there and did not wish to leave for Valinor had to find new homes. Those Sindar and Laiquendi who preferred the forests to the sea shores (or who wished to distance themselves from the remaining Noldorin Exiles) went eastward to reunite with their Silvan kin who dwelt in the great forests of Eryn Galen and Lindórinand. In both forest realms, the native Silvan Elves took Sindar for their kings (Oropher and Amdír, respectively) and underwent a process of "Sindarization" as they absorbed the culture of the Beleriandic immigrants. There were also Noldorin immigrants to the forest realms at this time, though evidently lesser in cultural impact than the Sindar.[6]

Separately from Eryn Galen, Lindórinand experienced a second great wave of immigration after the Sack of Eregion in S.A. 1697. Many Elves of Eregion, who were primarily Noldor,[7] escaped Sauron by fleeing through Khazad-dûm and emerged from the eastern side of the Misty Mountains onto Amdír's very doorstep. Some traveled down Anduin to Edhellond to depart Middle-earth, but others remained in Amdír's realm and dwelt there.[8] By the time Galadriel and Celeborn took up the Lord and Ladyship of the realm in T.A. 1981, the Galadhrim had thoroughly absorbed these Noldorin refugees into their culture; there is no further mention of them as a distinct people within the Elves of Lórien.

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

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 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", pp. 380-85
  2. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The War of the Jewels, "Part Four. Quendi and Eldar: Author's Notes to Quendi and Eldar", p. 412, Note 18
  3. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Quenta Silmarillion: Of the Coming of the Elves and the Captivity of Melkor"
  4. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Quenta Silmarillion: Of Thingol and Melian"
  5. J.R.R. Tolkien, "Words, Phrases and Passages in Various Tongues in The Lord of the Rings", in Parma Eldalamberon XVII (edited by Christopher Gilson), p. 50
  6. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), Unfinished Tales, "The History of Galadriel and Celeborn", "Concerning Galadriel and Celeborn"
  7. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix B, "The Second Age"
  8. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), Unfinished Tales, "The History of Galadriel and Celeborn", "Amroth and Nimrodel"