The Encyclopedia of Arda - an interactive guide to the world of J.R.R. Tolkien


About this entry:

  • Updated 31 July 2008
  • Updates planned: 1
Encyclopedia of Arda Timeline
Years of the Trees First Age Second Age Third Age Fourth Age and Beyond

For three ages after the departure of the Vanyar, Noldor and Teleri to Aman, the Elves who inhabited Beleriand comprised that part of the Telerin people who remained in Middle-earth, known as the Sindar or Grey-elves after their king, Thingol Greycloak of Doriath.

At the rising of the Moon in the beginning of the First Age, many of the Noldor returned to Beleriand from Aman to make war on Morgoth. While there was some enmity between the Sindar and the Noldor (especially the Sons of Fëanor), the two peoples lived together in the face of their common foe, Morgoth Bauglir.

Finally, a small part of the Nandor, kin of the Sindar who had turned aside from the westward journey east of the Misty Mountains, entered the land of Ossiriand during the First Age. Though these people, called the Laiquendi or Green-elves, played little part in the wars against Morgoth, they are accounted a part of the Elves of Beleriand.

Elves of Doriath The woodland people of King Elu Thingol, who occupied Neldoreth and Region, the central forests of Beleriand. The city of the King at Menegroth represented the height of Sindarin culture, and Thingol himself was acknowledged as the Lord of Beleriand by all the Sindar, whether or not they dwelt within the borders of his realm.
Elves of the Falas A Sindarin people who took Círdan as their lord and dwelt on the western shores of Beleriand. Renowned as shipwrights and mariners, these Falathrim dwelt in two great walled Havens, Brithombar and Eglarest, which stood until after the great defeat of the Nirnaeth Arnoediad.
Elves of Gondolin Also known as the Gondolindrim, a people of mixed Noldorin and Sindarin stock who followed Turgon out of Nevrast and settled in his Hidden City of Gondolin. That city was built in a valley deep within the Encircling Mountains, and so the Elves of Gondolin long remained concealed from Morgoth. Gondolin's location was eventually betrayed, and the city fell at last, though many of its people were able to escape.
Elves of Nargothrond The followers of Finrod Felagund, whose capital was the underground city of Nargothrond beside the River Narog. From there, Finrod ruled much of West Beleriand until he was lost giving aid to Beren on his quest for a Silmaril. Finrod was succeeded by his brother Orodreth, who ruled until Nargothrond's destruction by the Dragon Glaurung.
Laiquendi A reclusive and secretive people, the Laiquendi, or Green-elves, of Ossiriand were a branch of the Nandor who had crossed the Blue Mountains before the first rising of the Sun and Moon. They settled in the Land of Seven Rivers that lay between the mountains and the River Gelion.
Sons of Fëanor The seven Sons of Fëanor dwelt apart from the other Elves of Beleriand. For much of the First Age, they occupied lands to the north and east of Beleriand, and their main fortress was Maedhros' stronghold on the Hill of Himring. In the years after the Dagor Bragollach, Maedhros forged an alliance with many of the other Elves of Beleriand and planned a massed assault on Angband. That was the ill-fated attack that would become known as the Nirnaeth Arnoediad.

The main cultures of the Elves of Beleriand. Note that there were also important nations of Elves outside Beleriand itself, most notably the people of High King Fingolfin who occupied Hithlum to the north.

For acknowledgements and references, see the Disclaimer & Bibliography page.

Website services kindly sponsored by Axiom Software Ltd.

Original content © copyright Mark Fisher 1997-2000, 2008. All rights reserved. For conditions of reuse, see the Site FAQ.