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Largely unknown, but certainly predated the first rising of the Moon and Sun1
El- is probably 'star'. Like much else relating to Elmo, the -mo ending in his name is obscure, but it just possibly comes from a root meaning 'dear' or 'beloved'


About this entry:

  • Updated 9 July 2011
  • This entry is complete


The younger brother of Thingol and Olwë

The younger brother of Elwë (Elu Thingol) and Olwë of the Teleri. When Olwë and his followers departed into the West, Elmo remained behind with those searching for his elder brother.2 Elwë finally returned to his people with Melian the Maia, and Elmo afterwards remained with him in his dwelling of Menegroth in Doriath.

Elmo's main contribution to history was due to his son Galadhon, through whom he was the grandfather of Celeborn (who would later wed Galadriel and rule in Lórien). He was also the great-grandfather3 of Nimloth, and through her an ancestor of Elrond.

Elmo's fate remains unknown, but it seems that he perished in the Ruin of Doriath at the hands of the Sons of Fëanor. At least, we're explicitly told that his grandson Celeborn escaped that catastrophe, which seems to imply that the other members of his family, including his grandfather Elmo, were not so fortunate.

The evidence for Elmo's existence consists of a very few indirect references, and he never appears in any fully developed narrative. It is quite possible, then, that this character is apocryphal. Since he appears relatively late in Tolkien's work, though, it is equally possible that his character would have been developed into the fuller stories of the First Age, if Tolkien had had the opportunity to do so.



Elmo is a mysterious figure about whom we have little detail, and certainly nothing so precise as dates of birth or death. To be the brother of Elwë and Olwë, though, it seems to follow that he must have dated back to near the time of their births, which would place his origins far back in the Years of the Trees. In the timeline shown above, we have assumed that he perished in the Ruin of Doriath, which would explain his absence from later histories (though given his vanishingly small presence in any histories, this is admittedly very slim evidence).


Given his close relationship to the lords of the Teleri, Elmo would presumably have been the leader of the searching Elves in Beleriand until his elder brother Elwë returned.


One alternative source has Nimloth as the sister of Celeborn, which would make her Elmo's granddaughter rather than his great-granddaughter.

See also...

Elu Thingol, Galadhon, Galathil


About this entry:

  • Updated 9 July 2011
  • This entry is complete

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