The Encyclopedia of Arda - an interactive guide to the world of J.R.R. Tolkien
Arose after the coming of the Elves into the West, from about 3,500 years before the first rising of the Sun
The lands occupied by the Elves to the east of Valinor and along the coastlands beyond the Calacirya
Either 'fay'ery', or as English 'fairy'
Other names


About this entry:

  • Updated 24 November 2004
  • Updates planned: 2


The lands of the Elves West of the Sea

The lands of the Elves in Aman, more commonly known by their Elvish name Eldamar, a word variously translated as 'Elvenhome', 'Elvenland' or 'Elvenesse'. The name 'Faerie' belongs to an early period of Tolkien's writings, and is never seen in The Lord of the Rings, but it does survive in a single usage in the earlier book The Hobbit.

The idea of Faerie actually encapsulates a much more profound notion explored by Tolkien in his lecture and essay On Fairy-stories, where it represents a realm on the edge of human experience in which fantastical creatures dwell. In its use in The Hobbit, though, this high idea takes on a more concrete form, and there it relates specifically to the realms occupied by the Elves beyond the Great Sea.



Faerie entered English from Old French, where it carried the meaning 'land of the fays (or fairies)'. It was popularised some centuries later when Edmund Spenser deliberately used it as a more archaic-sounding version of the word 'fairy', and in common use it can mean either 'fairyland' or simply 'fairy'. In the context of Tolkien's tales, however, it specifically refers to the lands of the Elves within Aman, in the Uttermost West beyond the Great Sea.

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