|Birth||First Age 503 |
|Heritage||Half-elven father, Elf mother|
|Parentage||Dior + Nimloth|
|Children||Elrond and Elros|
When Elwing was very young, her father inherited the throne of Doriath, along with the Silmaril reclaimed by Beren, and she moved with her parents to the caves of Menegroth. In First Age 506, three of the sons of Fëanor, driven by their terrible Oath, attacked Menegroth and slew her parents and two brothers. She escaped the Sack of Doriath with the Silmaril and fled to the Havens of Sirion. There she met and married Eärendil the Mariner and gave birth to twins Elrond and Elros.
In First Age 538 the remaining sons of Fëanor attacked the Havens of Sirion to take the Silmaril. They captured Elwing's sons but as they came for her she cast herself into the Great Sea. Through the power of the Vala Ulmo, she took the form of a white bird and came to her husband in his ship Vingilótë with the Silmaril upon her breast.
Elwing sailed with her husband on his great voyage to the West and, unlike the crew of his ship, refused to be separated from him when he sought the Valar in Valinor. While he spoke to them, she went to Alqualondë and told the Teleri there about the tumultuous history of Beleriand. When the Valar allowed Eärendil and Elwing, both being Half-elven, to choose which of the races they would be members of, Eärendil let her make the choice for them. Because of what had happened to her grandmother Lúthien, Elwing decided to be counted among the Elves, as did her husband for her sake. Elwing was given a tower to live in by the shores of Eldamar, and there she fed seabirds that came to her windows. Eventually she learned their language, and was able to transform into a swan. They still dwell in Aman and she flies out in her swan form to meet Eärendil when he returns from his voyages through the sky.
Elwing means "Star-spray" in Sindarin (from êl = "star" and gwing = "foam, spray"). Her name comes from the waterfall of Lanthir Lamath, which lay near the home of her parents when she was born. Elenwinga is the alternate Quenya form of her name; she is not a Noldo, but Quenya was the native language of her husband Eärendil from Gondolin.