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"I shan't call it the end, till we've cleared up the mess." — Sam
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General Information
MembersPossibly Morwë, Nurwë
Physical Description
DistinctionsRefused the Great Journey
GalleryImages of Avari

The Avari (Q: unwilling) were a branch of Elves that refused to make the Great Journey.

When Oromë found the Elves that awakened in Cuiviénen, he summoned them to come with him to Valinor. All the Minyar and most of the Tatyar were persuaded, along with some of the Nelyar, and followed Oromë into the west on the Great Journey.

The rest, remained suspicious, or simply refused to depart from their own lands, and spread gradually throughout the wide lands of Middle-earth. They were after known by the name "the Unwilling", because they refused the summons.

Initially the Avari stayed in Cuiviénen but many of them started to wander westwards.

The Edain who traveled to the West met the Avari first of all the Elves, and were taught from them music and language, which influenced theirs. They probably taught them many of the basic crafts of civilization, though the craft of the Eldar surpassed that of the Avari even more than that of the Avari surpassed primitive Men.

According to the legends Orcs may be descended by Avarin elves captured and corrupted by Melkor. The Barrow-wights may also be spirits of Avari.[source?]



Their population was composed of 1/2 of the Tatyar and 1/3 of the Nelyar, who maybe were called Lindai. According to a tradition their leaders were Morwë of the Tatyar and Nurwë of the Nelyar.

The Avari who finally went westwards, were mingled with the Nandor of the Vales of Anduin, Eriador and some reached Beleriand, mingling with the Laiquendi. But very few settled in Doriath. The Avari who came from the Tatyar were unfriendly and jealous to the Noldor, their exalted kin, and accused them for arrogance.

The Avari after the end of the First Age started to mingle with the remnants of the Sindar producing the Silvan Elves

Six tribes of Avari are mentioned in the Third Age, and their names are all cognates of the Primitive Quendian word Kwendî (the Speakers): Kindi, Cuind, Hwenti, Windan, Kinn-lai, Penni[1].


The names above are the only certain Avarin words ever mentioned in the published Middle-earth material. It is speculated however that Dorwinion was an Avarin land, with Winion carrying the meaning of "Wine".[2]

It is also possible that the name Eöl is an Avarin one.


The Avari were called Abari in Telerin; they were also called Moripendi (an equivalent of Quenya Moriquendi which referred to the Sindar as well)[3]

In Sindarin they were called Evair.

Other versions of the legendarium

In older versions of the legendarium, the name Avari was originally that of the later Eldar, then meaning "those that departed".

In other, relatively late writings, a brief idea was that the Avari did not come from the three clans, but from two other clans, led by Nurwë and Morwë. This idea was later dropped. In the final conception, the Elves were divided into three tribes.


  1. The War of the Jewels
  3. The History of Middle-earth, The War of the Jewels Quendi and Eldar, p. 362,371

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