In his early life, millennia before the beginning of the First Age, Thingol journeyed to Valinor with Ingwë and Finwë, and was returned to the Eldar who dwelt at Cuiviénen. From the travellers' reports of the Blessed Realm, many of the Elves agreed to march westward across Middle-earth, seeking the land of the Valar, and the third and greatest host of the Elves, the Teleri, were led by Thingol and his brother Olwë.
As they neared the western coasts of Middle-earth, Thingol came upon Melian the Maia in the wood of Nan Elmoth. Long years passed, and at length he remained with Melian in Beleriand, though many of the Teleri passed West over the Great Sea. With Melian, Thingol founded the woodland realm of Doriath in the central regions of Beleriand, and there ruled the Sindar for many years. Thingol's doom came upon him when Beren brought him a Silmaril from Morgoth's crown as the bride-price of his daughter Lúthien. He summoned Dwarves from the Blue Mountains to set the jewel in the Nauglamír, the Necklace of the Dwarves, but the Dwarves became so enamoured of their work that they slew Thingol in his own treasury.
It is usually assumed that Thingol awoke at Cuiviénen, being one of the first generation of Elves, and this seems likely, especially given his own description of himself:
The Silmarillion, 22 Of the Ruin of Doriath
This is difficult to reconcile, though, with the fact that he had brothers, Olwë and Elmo, and it may be that he was simply born there before the great migration to the West. The date of Thingol's death, too, is a matter of some uncertainty.
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