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The Excyclopedia of Arda

Names from outside Tolkien’s canon

The main Encyclopedia of Arda restricts itself, as far as possible, to the names of people, places and events from Tolkien's 'canon', or at least those that fit into the world described in The Lord of the Rings. Tolkien's output was immense, though, and especially in his early work he created a huge number of characters and ideas that were later abandoned.

We know from our e-mail that many visitors are looking for more information about these 'lost' names, but they tend not to fit easily into Tolkien's complete world, and it would be hopelessly confusing to insert them into the main Encyclopedia. So, we've created this 'Excyclopedia', listing some of the most commonly requested subjects from outside the main canon.

As well as those names created by Tolkien himself, we've listed some of those from outside sources, too. So, you'll find that the list also contains a selection of names created for movies and games, or even a few coined by fans. Names in the list that don't come from Tolkien's own writings are marked with an asterisk. It goes without saying that this small compilation is by no means comprehensive. It's simply intended to discuss some of the more commonly mentioned names from outside the main canon of Tolkien's work.

Adûnaphel* The name of one of the Ringwraiths, Adûnaphel the Quiet was said to have been one of the three Nazgûl who were of Númenórean origin. Indeed the name is Adûnaic in form, probably meaning something like 'West-daughter - this Nazgûl is generally presented as female, a notion not supported by Tolkien himself. In fact, Tolkien only named one of the Nazgûl: Khamûl. The names of the other eight, including 'Adûnaphel', were created for a role-playing game. For more information, see 'What were the names of the nine Nazgûl?' in the FAQ.
Ælfwinë A character of crucial importance during the early phases of Tolkien's stories, Ælfwinë (at first known as Eriol) was a mariner from England who found the Straight Road and travelled to Tol Eressëa, where he was told the history of the Elder Days. Ælfwinë was the original source, then, for the stories that made up The Silmarillion. By the time the The Lord of the Rings came to be written, however, the function of story-collector was taken over by Bilbo Baggins, and Ælfwinë's dramatic role became redundant. The name 'Ælfwinë' means 'Elf-friend', and it survived in a slightly different form into The Lord of the Rings as the name of Éomer's son and heir: Elfwine.
Akorahil* Another of the invented names of the Ringwraiths, like Adûnaphel and Mûrazor, Akorahil was said to be of Númenórean descent. He travelled to the far south of Middle-earth, where he abandoned his sight to become a powerful enchanter, before accepting one of the Nine Rings, and so becoming ensnared by Sauron. For more information, see 'What were the names of the nine Nazgûl?' in the FAQ.
Alphros We're given little background about Prince Imrahil in The Lord of the Rings, but in the drafts for the Appendices we have much richer detail about his house. This includes his three sons Elphir, Erchirion and Amrothos, and their younger sister Lothíriel (who became queen to Éomer). Imrahil's heir Elphir had a son in turn: Alphros, born in the year III 3017 - and thus just two years old at the time of the Battle of the Pelennor - who would become the last Prince of Dol Amroth named in records.
Ambar An Elvish name for the Earth, sometimes also seen in the form Imbar. It was said to have been used casually as meaning the same thing as Arda, but properly Ambar referred only to the habitable part of Arda. The exact nature of this relationship developed over time: in one late text, for instance, 'Arda' is the Solar System, while 'Ambar' is the planet Earth. The word survives in the Lord of the Rings, where Aragorn uses the terms Ambar-metta at his coronation to mean 'the end of the World'.
Andreth A wise-woman and prophetess of the House of Bëor who lived during the First Age. Though mortal, she loved the Elf Aegnor, and also had a deep friendship with Aegnor's brother Finrod. She is best known for her part in the Athrabeth Finrod ah Andreth, the 'Debate of Finrod and Andreth', in which the two friends discuss profound metaphysical and philosophical matters. Andreth was also known for foretelling the reappearance of Túrin during the Last Battle at the end of the World. Despite all these achievements, Andreth makes no appearance in the Silmarillion proper.
Arafinwë The name, meaning 'noble Finwë' given by Finwë of the Noldor to his third son. The child was also named Ingalaurë 'golden-haired' by his mother Indis. He set out for Middle-earth, following his half-brother Fëanor, but in the end he abandoned the march and returned to Valinor. Though he never left Aman, he is nonetheless best known by the Sindarin version of his name: Finarfin.
Argon The third son of Fingolfin, who would have been the younger brother of Fingon and Turgon. He emerged very late in Tolkien's work, and his story was never developed in any detail; all we know for sure is that he was killed soon after the Noldor left Valinor. Tolkien experimented with various possible deaths for Argon, but it seems he was ultimately lost in battle with Orcs, shortly after the host of Fingolfin entered Middle-earth.
Aruman* In Ralph Bakshi's animated version of The Lord of the Rings from 1978, Saruman is sometimes referred to (on an apparently random basis) as 'Aruman'. Nobody has ever produced a completely rational explanation for this - it seems likely that the film-makers thought the similar names 'Saruman' and 'Sauron' might confuse audiences, but that doesn't explain why the Wizard is also referred to by his true name 'Saruman' within the film.
Belen Bëor the Old had two sons. The elder of these was was Baran, and from him the great heroes of the House of Bëor were descended, including Barahir and Beren. Bëor's younger son left less of a mark on history, to the extent that he is not even named in the published Silmarillion. He does appear in other accounts, though, where he is named as Belen. Belen's line was a little less illustrious than his brother's: his most famous descendant was his great-great-granddaughter Emeldir, who became the wife of Baran's descendant Barahir.
Bingo Bolger-Baggins In the earliest drafts of the the work that would become The Fellowship of the Ring, the Ring-bearer was not Frodo, but Bingo Bolger-Baggins (also known simply as Bingo Baggins). He survived in the early forms of the story as far as Rivendell, and though Tolkien came to dislike the name, he was reluctant to change it. In the end, though, Bingo was renamed Frodo (actually a name that already emerged as belonging to one of Bingo's companions). Bingo Baggins himself didn't disappear altogether from The Lord of the Rings: the name was transferred to one of Bilbo's uncles, but its status dwindled from the original hero of the story to a single mention in the Appendices.
Boldog The name of an captain of the Orcs who fought in the Wars of Beleriand; he led a raid against Doriath and was slain on its borders. Boldog is curious in that there are hints that he was not an ordinary Orc at all, but an evil spirit in Orc form. It is even suggested that he was resurrected at least once, and led the Orcs in other battles during the First Age.
Brego* The name Brego does actually occur in Tolkien's work (it's the name of the second King of Rohan, taken from the Old English for 'prince' or 'lord'). In Peter Jackson's movie of The Two Towers, the name is transferred from this ancient prince to a horse - specifically, the steed of Théoden's lost son Théodred, tamed and then released by Aragorn. Though that episode does not appear in Tolkien's story, there's a nod to the original version when Aragorn says that Brego is 'a kingly name'.
Cobas Haven The small bay on the coasts of Gondor that lay directly north from Dol Amroth, into which the River Ringló flowed at Edhellond. This name is used in various drafts and preliminary notes for The Lord of the Rings, though it never appears in the final published version. Cobas is simply an Elvish word for a harbour or bay.
Dark Land A large elongated continent that appears on a single sketch-map of Arda, associated with the work known as the Ambarkanta, The Shape of the World, which belongs to an early stage of the development Tolkien's tales. Also labelled 'South Land', the Dark Land lies far to the south of the parts of Middle-earth known in any detail, and is separated from them by a sea known as the East Sea. It is never referred to again in any text.
Dwar* A name for one of the Nazgûl, said to have originated as a conquering warrior-mage who ruled his people as a tyrant, and was seduced by Sauron through one of the Nine Rings. Like most of the names of the Nine Ringwraiths, 'Dwar' does not come from Tolkien himself, but is an invention deriving from a game based on his works. For more information, see 'What were the names of the nine Nazgûl?' in the FAQ.
Elboron According to The Lord of the Rings, Faramir and Éowyn had a grandson named Barahir, so we can be sure they had at least one child. In the drafts for the Appendices, that child is named as 'Elboron', who would have been heir to the Stewardship of Gondor and Prince of Ithilien. However, Elboron did not survive into the final version of the text, and it's therefore unclear whether Tolkien meant his name to stand.
Eriol See Ælfwinë
Er-Mûrazor* See Mûrazor
Eruman An earlier form of the name that appears in the published Silmarillion as 'Araman'. Both forms of the name have the same meaning: 'outside Aman'.
Figwit* An Elf of Rivendell, played by actor Bret McKenzie in a non-speaking role in the movie The Fellowship of the Ring. He appears only fleetingly on the screen, but was nevertheless picked out by fans and given the name Figwit (apparently an acronym from 'Frodo Is Great - Who Is That?'). On the strength of this fan response, Figwit reappears in the movie version of The Return of the King (he is the Elf leading Arwen's escort on her journey to the Grey Havens) and in The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey we discover his name: Lindir.
Fionwë In The Lost Tales, the earliest phase of Tolkien's work, the Valar have children (an idea that was later completely abandoned). Fionwë was one of these - he was no less a character, indeed, than the son of Manwë and Varda. In a sense, Fionwë survived into The Silmarillion. He was the forerunner of Eönwë, and - transformed into a Maia - he became Manwë's herald rather than his son.
Gárulf A name meaning 'spear-wolf', belonging to a character mentioned in The Lord of the Rings but never seen, a Rider of Rohan slain by Orcs. In Peter Jackson's movie version of The Two Towers, Gárulf does make an appearance, though there he has been transformed into a different species: 'Gárulf' there is the name of the horse on which two children escape to Edoras in an early scene of the film.
Gildis The wife of Hador Lórindol of Dor-lómin, and thus grandmother to both Húrin and Huor. Gildis is not mentioned in the published Silmarillion, but she does make an appearance in a genealogical chart reproduced in volume 11 of The History of Middle-earth. Her name appears to mean 'star-woman'.
Gnomes A word used in much of Tolkien's early work to refer to the people otherwise known as the Noldor or Deep Elves. It was originally chosen on etymologicial grounds (the name related to the Greek gnome, meaning 'thought, intelligence', and so was well suited to this division of the Elves). However, it was eventually abandoned due to its more common associations with small, earth-dwelling creatures, and never appears in any remotely canonical work.
Grim An important dweller in the Westfold of Rohan, apparently an ancestor of Grimbold, who fell in the Battle of the Pelennor. Grim was the founder of Grimbold's home township of Grimslade ('Grim's dell'). He is not mentioned in any canonical works, but his existence is revealed in Tolkien's notes on translation with reference to the place name 'Grimslade'.
Gwendelin One of a long series of names belonging to a character dating back to the inception of Tolkien's tales. The evolution of this name is typical of the complex creative process that Tolkien applied to his characters, especially those dating back to the beginnings of his stories. In the Lost Tales, she started out as Tindriel, but was soon renamed Wendelin, which in turn developed into Gwendelin. From there, a multitude of different experimental forms appeared: Gwendeling, Gwedheling, Gwedhiling, Gwenniel and Gwenethlin. All of these variations was superseded in turn: in the later versions of the Silmarillion, this character has evolved into her final form: Melian the Maia, Queen of Doriath.
Hadhafang The sword used by Arwen in Peter Jackson's movies. The name Hadhafang means 'Throng-cleaver' (the Sindarin equivalent of the established Quenya name Sangahyando) and the sword itself was said to have belonged at one time to Idril Celebrindal, the daughter of Turgon. Though Tolkien does mention Hadhafang as a sword-name, its history seems to originate entirely from the movies, or their attendant marketing: Tolkien himself never mentions either Idril or Arwen possessing a sword of any kind, let alone one famous enough to bear its own name.
Hoarmurath* An invented name for one of the Nine Ringwraiths, said to have been in origin the king of a far northeastern land of Middle-earth, and the sixth of the Nine to be entrapped by Sauron. For more information, see 'What were the names of the nine Nazgûl?' in the FAQ.
Imbar See Ambar
Indûr Dawndeath* Another of the invented names for the eight Nazgûl left unnamed by Tolkien. Indûr was said to have been a nobleman of an eastern nation, who used the Ring Sauron gave him to gain power in his native lands before he fell fully under the Dark Lord's domination. For more information, see 'What were the names of the nine Nazgûl?' in the FAQ.
Ingwiel Also seen in the earlier forms Ingil and Ingwil, this was the name of the son of Ingwë of the Vanyar. He is an important character in early stories of the War of Wrath, in which he led his people across the Sea to Middle-earth, where he landed at Eglarest and beat back the Orcs that held the shore there.
Legolas of Gondolin The Legolas of the Fellowship of the Ring, of course, is a well established character in The Lord of the Rings, but he was prefigured long before by another Legolas altogether. This earlier character appears in The Lost Tales, written many years before The Lord of the Rings, where his sharp eyes help the Elves of Gondolin escape its destruction, after which he found his way across the Sea to Tol Eressëa. After The Lost Tales, this Legolas disappears from all further retellings of the same story. At this point, the character seems to have been abandoned by Tolkien until his name re-emerged for (apparently) a quite different individual, Legolas the son of Thranduil and companion of Frodo.
Linwë Tinto See Tinwë Linto.
Lurtz* A powerful Orc, probably intended as an Uruk, introduced in Peter Jackson's movie of The Fellowship of the Ring. He led Saruman's Orcs from Isengard to capture Hobbits, and was slain in the attempt. No comparable character exists in Tolkien's original book, but the name 'Lurtz' is possibly inspired by Lugbúrz, the Orcs' name for Sauron's Dark Tower.
Makar In The Book of Lost Tales, the first incarnation of the stories that would eventually form The Silmarillion, Makar and his sister Meássë were ferocious warrior Valar. They delighted in combat, and dwelt in their own halls in Valinor. In later versions of the stories, both Makar and Meássë disappeared entirely from the pantheon of the Valar.
Meássë Originally one of the Valar, a spear-bearing warrior who dwelt in iron halls in Valinor with her brother Makar. Makar and Meássë were dark and chaotic Powers, with more in common with Melkor than their fellow Valar, and the warlike brother and sister quickly passed out of Tolkien's legendarium after its first phase.
Morinehtar According to a very late note, Morinehtar was one of two Wizards who travelled to Middle-earth in the Second Age. Morinehtar's name means 'darkness-slayer', and with his companion Rómestámo he passed into the east of Middle-earth long before Gandalf and the other more familiar Wizards landed there. The story of Morinehtar and Rómestámo does not sit entirely happily with the account of the Wizards in The Lord of the Rings, nor with other accounts that name the other two Wizards as Alatar and Pallando. Nonetheless, it is possible that Morinehtar might have found his way into the canonical tradition if Tolkien had had the chance to expand his story.
Mûrazor* An invented name for the most powerful of the Nazgûl, the Witch-king himself. The name is also seen in the form Er-Mûrazor, and is said to be Adûnaic in origin, with the meaning 'Black Prince' (though this interpretation seems to be invented, rather than based on known Adûnaic elements). He was claimed to be the second son of Tar-Ciryatan the twelfth King of Númenor, though in fact Tolkien only ever mentions a single son for that King, his successor Tar-Atanamir. For more information, see 'What were the names of the nine Nazgûl?' in the FAQ.
Pengolodh One of the greatest loremasters of the Elves, belonging to the Lambengolmor, a school of lingusts founded by Fëanor himself. Pengolodh was born in Nevrast, but went with his people to dwell in Gondolin and remained there until its ruin. He was one of the survivors of that cataclysm, preserving what ancient texts he could rescue from the fall of the city. He remained in Middle-earth long after the War of Wrath at the end of the First Age, travelling widely, and was even said to have spent time among the Dwarves of Khazad-dûm. As Sauron's power began to extend over Middle-earth, Pengolodh finally took ship into the West and settled on Tol Eressëa. It was through this famous loremaster that much of the surviving knowledge of languages and history of the First Age was said to have been preserved.
Ren* Another of the names created for the eight Nazgûl left unnamed by Tolkien. Very little of Ren's invented history is known, though he seems to have been connected with Angmar at some time in his past, and also to have a connection to the Tower of Cirith Ungol. For more information, see 'What were the names of the nine Nazgûl?' in the FAQ
Rog Called the strongest of the Noldor, Rog was the chief of the house of the Hammer of Wrath in Gondolin. Many of the members that house were smiths; thus they fought with great maces and their emblems were the anvil and the hammer. According to the earliest version of the Fall of Gondolin, all this people were lost as the city of Gondolin fell. In that early version of the tale, Rog was a peer of Glorfindel and Ecthelion, but he does not appear in the story as it appears in the final Silmarillion.
Rómestámo A Wizard, also called Rómestar and Rómenstar, though all variations of his name seem to mean 'east-helper'. He was sent, along with Morinehtar, to Middle-earth in the Second Age to lend aid to those Men who rebelled against Sauron's rule. Rómestámo's story appears only among certain late notes, and is difficult to reconcile with material in The Lord of the Rings.
Tal-Elmar The hero of an unfinished story set in the wilds of Middle-earth during the Dark Years of the Second Age. Tal-Elmar was captured as a child, and raised among a clan of warlike Wild Men who lived in a settlement near the coast. When a fleet of Númenórean vessels anchored off the shore, the fearful tribe sent Tal-Elmar to investigate, but the Númenóreans greeted him as a long-lost kinsman. At that point the story breaks off, and no more is told of Tal-Elmar's mysterious origins or his fate.
Tevildo Named the Prince of Cats, Tevildo was a huge black cat in the service of Melkor in the very early Tale of Tinúviel (in The Book of Lost Tales 2). In that original version of the story of Beren and Lúthien, it was Tevildo who took Beren prisoner, but was later defeated by Huan the Hound of Valinor (a natural nemesis for a Prince of Cats). In later versions of the tale, Tevildo vanished and his place was taken by Sauron, but the original combat with Huan the hound remained a vital part of the story.
Tinwë Linto In the Lost Tales, one of various names given to an Elf-lord who was lost from the Great Journey, and remained in Middle-earth. His name was originally Linwë Tinto, and he was also known as Tinwelint, and many other variations besides. Originally Lord of the Elves of Hísilómë, Tinwë's story changed radically over the years, and eventually he evolved into the character known as Elu Thingol.
Tindriel See Gwendelin
Tinwelint See Tinwë Linto.
Trotter In the earliest versions of the story that would become The Fellowship of the Ring, the Hobbits arrived in Bree to find, not Strider, but Trotter. In those original drafts, Aragorn of the Dúnedain had not yet emerged, and instead Trotter is a venturesome Hobbit who left the Shire to explore the World. The are several different versions of the Trotter story, including one peculiar variation in which he has a pair of wooden feet. As work progressed on the text, the wandering Hobbit Trotter was gradually transformed into the Dúnadan Aragorn.
Uin An immeasurably vast and ancient whale that dwelt in the depths of the sea. In the earliest versions of Tolkien's legends, it was Uin (at Ulmo's command) who drew the island of Tol Eressëa across the Great Sea, and so brought the Eldar to Valinor.
Ulmonan Ulmo's great sea-halls that lay in the distant west of the World, far beneath the Outer Ocean. It was from these halls, so deep beneath the sea that even the other Valar had never seen them, that Ulmo extended his power into the seas, rivers and streams of the World. The halls of Ulmonan are never mentioned outside the Lost Tales, but in the published Silmarillion Ulmo is still said to dwell apart from the other Valar, and so at least the concept of Ulmonan, if not the halls themselves, survived into the final phase of Tolkien's tales.
Ûvatha* Said to have been a powerful Variag of Khand, Ûvatha was seduced by Sauron through the offer of a Ring of Power, and became one of the Nine Ringwraiths. As for all of the Nazgûl apart from Khamûl, Ûvatha's name was not originated by Tolkien. For more information, see 'What were the names of the nine Nazgûl?' in the FAQ.
Wendelin See Gwendelin
Zigûr The Adûnaic name for Sauron, literally meaning 'sorceror' and used especially in Númenor during his time there. The name Zigûr doesn't appear in the main canon of Tolkien's work, but it is used in Part II of The Notion Club Papers, a pair of fantastical tales reproduced in volume 9 of The History of Middle-earth.

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