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


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  • Updated 1 April 2011
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Three Kindreds

The three branches of the Eldar

The Vanyar, the Noldor and the Teleri; the three hosts of Elves who followed the summons of the Valar and began the Great Journey to Aman.

Vanyar Also called the Fair Elves and the Light-elves, the golden-haired Vanyar were the most dedicated of the Elves to the Valar. They followed Ingwë - considered to be the High King of all the Elves - into the West. They dwelt for a time in the city of Tirion alongside the Noldor, but later removed to dwell on the slopes of Taniquetil at the feet of Manwë.
Noldor The dark-haired Noldor followed their leader Finwë to Valinor, and dwelt there in peace with the Vanyar for many long years. They were skilled at the making of things, and none more so that the great Fëanor, son of Finwë, who was the creator of the Silmarils and many other marvellous things. Spurred by the lies of Melkor, after the Darkening of Valinor and the theft of the Silmarils the Noldor rebelled against the Valar, and most of them followed Fëanor on his quest for revenge. Thus the greater part of the Noldor returned to Middle-earth, and fought the Wars of Beleriand against the first Dark Lord.
Teleri The Teleri were by far the most populous of the Three Kindreds, said to have been more than five times as numerous as the Vanyar. Many of the Teleri fell away from the Great Journey into the West and remained in Middle-earth, giving rise to peoples such as the Nandor and the Sindar. Those that finally reached Aman dwelt by the western shores of the Great Sea, and became expert ship-builders and sailors.

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