Tolkien Gateway


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Revision as of 17:39, 21 June 2011

Biographical Information
TitlesHigh King of all the Elves;
King of the Vanyar
BirthY.T. 1050[source?]
ParentageUnknown; possibly Firstborn
Physical Description
GalleryImages of Ingwë
Ingwë (Q, pron. [ˈiŋʷɡʷe]) was one of the Minyar born or awoke near Cuiviénen. When Orome found the Quendi and invited them to Aman, Ingwe with Finwe and Elwe followed him as ambassadors and traveled to the Blessed Realms. When they returned, they told their peoples about its beuty and bliss and became their leaders during the Great March. Ingwe was the leader of the Vanyar, the foremost of the clans to follow Orome. In Aman, Ingwe became is the leader of the Vanyar. He is also the uncle of Indis, wife of Finwë.

His name was loaned to the Vanyar, who also called themselves Ingwer.

He was reckoned as High King of all the Elves and his proper title was Ingwë Ingweron, "Chief of the chieftains". He lives in Tirion, in the tower called Mindon Eldaliéva.


Ingwe (pl. ingwi[1] or ingwer) means "First One" or "chief" in Quenya. It contains the ending -we meaning "man". See also inga.

His actual name during the Great March should be *Iñwego (cf. -wego) from Root ING[2]

Other Versions of the Legendarium

In early versions of Tolkien's legendarium (see The History of Middle-earth) Ingwë's name was Inwë.

In that early writing Inwë (or Ing) was instead the name of a mortal man, the "King of Lúthien" (also spelled "Leithian" or "Luthany"), who was driven east over the sea by Ossë and became ruler of the ancestors of the Angles, Saxons, Jutes, and Frisians. Eventually the Angles, Saxon, and Jutes returned to Lúthien, now long renamed as Britain.


Tolkien was here adapting traditions about a Germanic ancestral figure named Yngvi (also spelled "Ing", "Ingio", and "Ingui"). He is seen as an eponymous ancestor of the Ingaevones, a people mentioned by Tacitus in his Germania as one of the three divisions of the Germanic tribes. In Scandinavian mythology, Yngvi was the mythological ancestor of the Swedish House of Ynglings and a name for the god Freyr. Like Ingwë, Freyr was the lord of the Elves in Álfheim.

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