The Encyclopedia of Arda - an interactive guide to the world of J.R.R. Tolkien
Dates
Awoke or was born by Cuiviénen1
Apparently still extant in Aman
Race
Division
Culture
Settlements
Pronunciation
o'lweh
Meaning
Not fully known2

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About this entry:

  • Updated 12 August 2007
  • Updates planned: 3

Olwë

The lord of the Teleri in Aman

Encyclopedia of Arda Timeline
Years of the Trees First Age Second Age Third Age Fourth Age and Beyond
Olwë Elwë Elmo
Unnamed sons3 Eärwen

A lord of the Teleri, the brother of Elu Thingol. When Thingol was lost in Beleriand, Olwë took the lordship of those of his people who wished to continue to Aman, and led them there. He rules the Teleri at Alqualondë on the shores of the Blessed Realm.


Notes

1

Olwë appears to have belonged to the first generation of Elves, who awoke at Cuiviénen rather than being born. If this is true, however, it's hard to explain the fact that he had two brothers, Elwë; and Elmo, so it is at least conceivable that he was born while the Elves still lived in the distant east, rather than awakening there.

2

The -wë element of Olwë's name means 'one' (as for example in Ingwë 'first one' or Finwë 'skilled one'). The ol- syllable, however, is obscure. It is possibly related to the same root ulu- seen in the name Ulmo, meaning 'pour' or 'flow', but there is no direct evidence to support this idea.

3

Eärwen is the only child of Olwë named in The Silmarillion, but there is a passing mention of the fact that she had brothers. In a comment reproduced in volume 10 of The History of Middle-earth, it's stated that 'Ingwë and Olwë beget many children', so Olwë may have had many sons (and possibly also more than one daughter, though Eärwen is the only one known).

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