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Alice Falto - Ingwe.jpg
Biographical Information
TitlesHigh King of all the Elves;
King of the Vanyar
LocationTaniquetil, Valinor
BirthY.T. 1050
ParentageUnknown; possibly Firstborn
Physical Description
GalleryImages of Ingwë
Ingwë ([ˈiŋʷɡʷe]) was one of the Minyar born or awoke near Cuiviénen. When Oromë found the Quendi and invited them to Aman, Ingwë with Finwë and Elwë followed him as ambassadors and traveled to the Blessed Realms. When they returned, they told their peoples about its beauty and bliss and became their leaders during the Great March. Ingwë was the leader of the Vanyar, the foremost of the clans to follow Oromë. In Aman, Ingwë became the leader of the Vanyar. He was 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 lived in Tirion, in the tower called Mindon Eldaliéva. After the Great March, Ingwë never returned or set eyes upon Middle-earth again. [2]



In the Etymologies, Ingwe is said to be a compound of ing ("first") + the ending -we (Quenya "man").[3]

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.[4]


  1. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The War of the Jewels, "The Grey Annals": §3
  2. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Quenta Silmarillion: Of the Coming of the Elves and the Captivity of Melkor"
  3. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Lost Road and Other Writings, "Part Three: The Etymologies", pp. 361, 398 (roots ING and WEG)
  4. Grímnismál 5: "And Álfheim the gods/to Frey once gave"