The Encyclopedia of Arda - an interactive guide to the world of J.R.R. Tolkien
Dates
Settled in Ossiriand before the Return of the Noldor1, and remained there throughout the First Age
Location
Ossiriand, the lands east of the River Gelion and south of the Ascar
Origins
A branch of the Nandor, led west across the Blue Mountains by Denethor
Race
Division
Pronunciation
laique'ndi (the first syllable is pronounced like English 'lie')
Meaning
Other names

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About this entry:

  • Updated 24 March 2008
  • This entry is complete

Laiquendi

The Green-elves of Ossiriand

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As they reached the Misty Mountains on the Great Journey from Cuiviénen, the great Elf-clan of the Teleri became divided. Some went forward, and either passed across the Great Sea to Aman, or remained beyond the Mountains as the Sindar. Another group remained behind in the Vales of Anduin, and became known as the Nandor. After a time, though, a lord of the Nandor named Denethor persuaded some of his people to follow him across the Misty Mountains, and the Blue Mountains beyond, and come at last into Beleriand. Denethor and his followers settled in Ossiriand, the Land of Seven Rivers beneath the western feet of Ered Luin.

After centuries of peace, Morgoth returned to Middle-earth and unleashed his armies against Thingol. Denethor led his Elves to Thingol's aid, but after their long peaceful existence, they were unready for war. They fought valiantly, and Denethor himself was slain, but at last his followers defeated the Orcs. In the aftermath of the battle, many of the Nandor of Beleriand abandoned Ossiriand, and travelled north and west to settle in Thingol's protected realm of Doriath.

Those that remained took up a secretive existence, dressing in green to blend into the green landscape of the Land of Seven Rivers, and so they gained the name Laiquendi, which derives from the Elvish for 'Green-elves'. They took little further part in the histories of the First Age, except for the aid they gave to Beren when he avenged the death of Thingol and recovered a stolen Silmaril from the Dwarves.

After the War of Wrath that brought the First Age to an end, the land where the Laiquendi had led their hidden lives became the only inhabitable region west of Ered Luin. Under the name Lindon, it became the realm of King Gil-galad. It seems that at least some of the Laiquendi travelled back across the Blue Mountains, though the final fate of the Green-elves is not recorded.


Notes

1

The Grey Annals (in volume 11 of The History of Middle-earth date the arrival of the Laiquendi as 145 Valian Years (about 1,389 solar years) before the Return of the Noldor.

2

The name Laiquendi is Quenya, and is said to be a translation of the Sindarin name Laegelrim (literally 'green-elf-host'). The Sindarin form of the name doesn't appear in the published Silmarillion, but was presumably the more common form in Beleriand itself.

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