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Biographical Information
TitlesHigh King of the Noldor
BirthEarly Y.T., Cuiviénen
Deathc. Y.T. 1492, Formenos
SpouseMíriel Serindë, Indis
ChildrenFëanor, Irimë, Fingolfin, Finarfin, Findis
Physical Description
Hair colorBlack
GalleryImages of Finwë

Finwë was the first High King of the Noldor (as such he is sometimes surnamed Noldóran) who led his Elven people on the journey from Middle-earth to Valinor in the blessed realm of Aman. He was a great friend of Elu Thingol, the King of Doriath.


Life in Middle Earth

The first Elves awoke in Middle-earth, near the Lake Cuiviénen, sometime during the early Years of the Trees. Though it is not clearly stated in the Silmarillion, Finwë was probably among the first Children of Ilúvatar. Oromë, The Huntsman of the Valar, while traveling in the Orocarni mountains, discovered the Elves and bonded friendship with their kin.

Later, as the Valar decided to call the first Children of Ilúvatar in Valinor, because they regarded this call with suspicion, he selected three Elves to follwo him into Aman and report back what they have seen. The three elves were Finwë, Ingwë and Elwë, who would later become kings of the three fractions into which the elven race was split.

Impressed by the wonders of Valinor, Finwë and his other two companions returned towards the Middle-earth and attempted to convince their race to follow them back into Aman. Those who agreed to follow Oromë received the name of Eldar. Among them were Finwë's people, the Noldor. They later became students of Aulë the Smith. Finwë's eldest son, Fëanor, would become the greatest craftsman among the Elves of Valinor.

Life in Valinor

During Melkor's attempt to corrupt the Noldor, Finwë attempted to moderate his people and lead them back to the Valar. When Fëanor was exiled from Tirion, Finwë went with him to Formenos. There he was the first to be killed in Valinor when Melkor slew him at the doors of Formenos seeking the Silmarils. This act was the catalyst that led to the Revolt of the Ñoldor.


Finwë had two wives. His first was Míriel, who passed away soon after bearing their only child, Fëanor. His second wife was Indis, of the Vanyar, who bore him two sons: Fingolfin and Finarfin, and two daughters: Findis and Irimë.


Finwë's name is not clearly translated. The Appendix in The Silmarillion, part called "Elements in Quenya and Sindarin Names", translates fin as "hair". In the The Lost Road and Other Writings, chapter The Etymologies, phin it is translated as "nimbleness" or "skill". To either of these two, the suffix -wë is added. Used generaly for male names it is derived from the stem weg, meaning "manly vigour".

Noldóran, as Finwë was also called, means "King of the Noldor". It is formed by the union of Noldor and aran, a Sindarin noun which means "king".

Other Versions of the Legendarium

In the first drafts of the genealogy, Finwë had four sons: the youngest was named Finrun, but he was dropped after that, thus Finrod (later Finarfin) was Finwë's youngest son from then on.

In a later version Finwë had three daughters added by Indis, Findis (as their first child) Faniel (as their third), and Finvain (as their youngest). In yet later versions, Faniel was apparently dropped, while Findis and Finvain were kept. Finvain (renamed Irimë) was moved to after Fingolfin, thus Finarfin was once again the youngest child of Finwë.




Preceded by:
1st High King of the Noldor
c. YT 1102 – 1495
Followed by:
Fëanor (in Middle-earth)
Finarfin (in Valinor)