After Melkor's defeat in the Battle of the Powers, Oromë came to the newly awakened Elves and offered to take them into the West to dwell with the Valar. At that time their only knowledge of the Valar was of the destruction they had seen in the Battle, and so they were deeply afraid. Seeing this, Oromë took three ambassadors of the Elves across the Sea: Ingwë, Finwë and Elwë. When these ambassadors returned to their people, they convinced many of them to make a Great Journey into the West, and many of the Elves set out from Cuiviénen.
Though many of the followers of Ingwë, Finwë and Elwë set out, many others refused the summons, preferring to remain in starlit Middle-earth than make the long journey westward. These Elves became known as the Avari, a name that is translated 'the Unwilling'.
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