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


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  • Updated 14 July 2007
  • Updates planned: 2

Of the Elves that made the Great Journey out of Cuiviénen, the Teleri were by far the largest of the three groups. Led by the brothers Elwë and Olwë, they moved more slowly than the Vanyar or the Noldor, and indeed the name Teleri means 'last-comers'. Their people were also less determined to come to the Blessed Realm, and many fell away from the journey as they passed across Middle-earth. These were the original Nandor, for example, and probably also the founders of the Silvan Elves. After they had reached Beleriand, Elwë disappeared, and many of the Teleri refused to move forward until he was found. Still others settled on the coastlands, and were persuaded by Ossë to remain in Middle-earth.

So, of the original vast host of the Teleri, only a part followed Olwë and embarked on Tol Eressëa to make the last part of the journey across the Great Sea. Even after they had reached the Blessed Realm, they remained on the Lonely Isle for many years, before embarking for the shores of Aman itself. There they settled on the coastlands east of the Pelóri, and at their city of pearl at Alqualondë. These Teleri who came at last into the West are distinguished from the rest of their kind in Middle-earth, and referred to as the 'Teleri of Valinor'.

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