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


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  • Updated 12 February 2017
  • Updates planned: 1

King of the Elves

A title given to Gil-galad

Over the history of Arda, the Elves had many Kings, and in principle the title of 'King of the Elves' could belong to any of them. Ingwë of the Vanyar was accounted High King of all the Elves, but he dwelt in Aman beyond the Great Sea, and so had no involvement in the lives of the Elves of Middle-earth.

The lesser title of King of the Elves was used, at least in Númenor, for the High Kings of the Noldor, the descendants of Finwë who led their people back to Middle-earth in pursuit of Melkor and the stolen Silmarils. There were six Kings in this line, and during the time of Númenor the reigning King was Gil-galad son of Fingon, last and longest-ruling of the line. Throughout the Second Age he held the land of Lindon, the remnant of Beleriand westward of the Blue Mountains, and it was there that he received the first emissaries of the Númenóreans to return from their distant homeland in the Great Sea.

For a full list and genealogy of the High Kings of the Noldor and the descent of Gil-galad, see the entry for High King of the Noldor.

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