The Encyclopedia of Arda - an interactive guide to the world of J.R.R. Tolkien
Race
Meaning
'Grey People'1
Other names
Pronunciation
si'ndarr
(note that the final 'r' sound should be pronounced - 'rr' is used here to emphasise this)
Note
'Sindar' is a plural term; the singular form is 'Sinda', and the adjective for these people is 'Sindarin'.

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About this entry:

  • Updated 22 May 2004
  • Updates planned: 10

An Elvish people of Telerin origin. Coming to the western shores of Middle-earth with the others of their kin, they did not pass across the sea, but remained in Beleriand. Some had tarried there searching for their lord, Elwë, while others were persuaded to remain by Ossë the Maia.

Before the return of the Noldor to Middle-earth, the Sindar were found in most parts of Beleriand; all claimed Elwë (known as Thingol in the Sindarin tongue) as their high king. There were two main countries of the Sindar, however; in Doriath under the rule of Thingol and Melian, and in the Falas, under the lordship of Círdan the Shipwright.

Before the Return of the Noldor

For two ages, the Sindar dwelt in peace and plenty; they roamed throughout Beleriand, from the shorelands of the Falas in the west to the Blue Mountains in the east, and all owned Thingol as their lord and king.

In the third age of the Captivity of Melkor (that is, the last age of the Years of the Trees), evil things that had dwelt east of the Blue Mountains began to trouble the Sindar. At this time, they first considered the need for weapons and armour, which they had not needed before. They traded with the Dwarves of Nogrod and Belegost, and learned smithcraft from them. Thus armed, they drove the invading wolves and Orcs and other foul things from their land and had peace again, for a time.


Notes

1

The interpretation 'Grey People' is loaded with possible meanings. At least in part, it seems to be meant symbolically: these people were neither Light Elves nor Dark Elves, but lay somewhere between the two. In his index to The Silmarillion, Christopher Tolkien also suggests a more prosaic explanation: that the Noldor (who gave them this name) first encountered the Sindar under the grey northern skies of Mithrim. A connection was also implied with the name of their lord, Thingol (whose name came from Sindacollo, meaning 'Greycloak').

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