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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 follow him into Aman and report back what they have seen, in the hopes that they could decimate the fears which were seeded into the hearts of the elves by Melkor's own doing. 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

Upon arriving in the blessed realm of Aman, Finwë was troubled only by the separation from his friend Elwë who chose to remain in Beleriand. The Noldor settled on the Túna hill, raised for them by the Valar and, led by Finwë, they lived in the city of Tirion, whom they shared with the Vanyar. It was during the building of Finwë's house that the masons found the earth-gems from which they crafted countless jewels to be given freely for the enrichment of Valinor. Later, Ingwë and his people left the city of Tirion and Finwë remained the only king to rule upon the Tuna hill.

Finwë's first wife was Míriel Serindë, skilled in all things that required fineness. From their love a son was born, Curufinwë, whom would later be known as Fëanor. As he was brought into the world, he depleted Míriel's strength and zest for life and she requested to be allowed to rest in the gardens of Lórien. Finwë was deeply saddened by this event. He did not wish to leave the young child without a mother, nor did he want him to be their last. But as his wife explained that what would have nourished many children, was all invested in Fëanor, he had no other choice but to accept her request. And thus Míriel, with Manwë's counsel, was placed asleep in Irmo's gardens. Her fëa eventually departed from her body and she never returned to life.

This was a shocking event for all those present in Valinor, as never one of their own had died of free will. For some time, Finwë lived in sorrow and he often visited Míriel's body, but as his loneliness and lack of joy increased, he stopped seeing her altogether. His entire love now rested with his son, Fëanor, who grew up to be mighty and skilled in all things of hands and mind. He married Nerdanel and gave Finwë seven grandchildren.

But Finwë was not content in living alone and he sought to marry for the second time. His wife was Indis the Fair, a golden haired Vanya, which he loved and whom brought him joy again. She gave him two sons, Fingolfin and Finarfin, and two daughters, Findis and Irimë. And though he was now blissful again, the shadow of Míriel never left the House, especially since Fëanor opposed his father's second marriage. The sons of Finwë never lived together and never shared close bounds. And after the later events surrounding the Silmarils many blamed Finwë and his desire to have a second wife, for the dreadful courses of all those in the House. Most of these accusation had no ground, as Finwë has always loved his eldest son above all others, and the events surrounding his death would prove it.


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'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 generally 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.


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.



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