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Marya Filatova - Sinda.jpg
General Information
MembersElu Thingol, Lúthien, Daeron, Mablung, Círdan, Beleg, Oropher, Legolas, Thranduil, Celeborn.
Physical Description
DistinctionsGood singers, woodsmen, and shipbuilders.
Average heightTall.
GalleryImages of Sindar

Sindar (meaning "Grey People", singular Sinda[note 1]) or Grey Elves were Elves of Telerin descent who inhabited Beleriand. They were united under the Kings of Doriath, Elu Thingol and his grandson Dior Eluchíl.

They belonged to the Teleri who did accept the invitation and set out on the Great Journey and were Eldar, but never having actually set foot in Valinor, they were not counted among the Elves of the Light. They are therefore sometimes referred to as "Elves of the Twilight". Although Moriquendi, they became the fairest and most wise and skillful of the elves of Middle-earth under the rule of Thingol and Melian in Doriath.

The Teleri were the largest of the three hosts of the Eldar. They had two kings, the brothers Elwë (known as Elu Thingol in the Sindarin tongue) and Olwë. When the Teleri reached Beleriand during the Great Journey from Cuiviénen, Thingol went wandering in the forests as was his wont. In the forest of Nan Elmoth he encountered Melian, one of the Maiar. They fell in love, and with Melian, Thingol stood spellbound in Nan Elmoth for several years.

In the meantime, Olwë and many of the Teleri could not delay longer, and departed for Aman without Elwë and his following. Elwë's followers stayed in Beleriand, to search for their king. They later became known as the Eglath (the "Forsaken"). At long last he awoke from the spell and set up a kingdom in the midst of Beleriand: Eglador ("Land of the Forsaken" or "Land of the Elves", the etymology is not clear). The Dwarves of Nogrod and Belegost in the Blue Mountains were contracted to aid in the building of the city of Menegroth.

Other Teleri also stayed behind: these were the friends of Ossë the Maia, who had fallen in love with the shores of Middle-earth, and did not wish to depart. Their leader was Círdan, and they established cities at Eglarest and Brithombar. They were known as the Falathrim, or "Elves of the Falas". They were not part of the realm of Eglador, but still took Thingol as their High King.

Yet other stray bands of Teleri settled in Nevrast and Hithlum to the north of Eglador, although these did not form any realms.

The Teleri of Eglador, the northlands, and the Falas were collectively known as the Sindar in later days, because they developed a civilisation all its own, which almost equalled that of the Calaquendi or Light Elves of Valinor.

A last group of Teleri in Beleriand were the Laiquendi or "Green Elves". They were descended from the Nandor, which had split from the Great Journey before the Misty Mountains, and gone south along the Great River. A part of them, under Denethor son of Lenwë, crossed the Blue Mountains eventually, and settled in Ossiriand, or as it was later known Lindon ("Land of the Singers"). They remained a people apart for long, although many of them removed to Thingol's realm after Denethor was killed.

Just before the arrival of the Noldorin exiles, the Dark Lord Morgoth returned to his old stronghold of Angband, and his activities increased. Thingol had Melian use her magic to create a girdle of bewilderment around Eglador, so that nobody could enter without the king's permission. Ever after it was known as Doriath ("Land of the Fence"). Thingol remained High King of the Sindar and nominal Overlord of Beleriand, although especially the Noldor following of the sons of Fëanor usually ignored his commands.

In the early Second Age, after the War of Wrath, some of the Sindar who had no desire to leave Middle-earth (or to be merged with the other Sindar dominated by the Noldorin Exiles) came to the forest realm east of Misty Mountains[1]. They became the rulers of the Silvan Elves living there and established the Wooldland Realms of Greenwood the Great (S "Eryn Galen") and Lórinand (or Laurelindórenan). Sindar soon merged with the Silvan Elves and adopted their culture.[1]

A Sindarin lady by Tuuliky



The language of the Sindar diverged from common Telerin over the long ages they were sundered from their kin, and became known as Sindarin. By the time the Noldor arrived in Beleriand, the languages had become mutually unintelligible, but the Noldor were quick to learn it. In the Second and Third Age, Sindarin became known as the "Noble Tongue", and became the Elvish tongue used in daily speech throughout Middle-earth (helped by the decree of Thingol, who forbade the use of Quenya in his realm). It was also adopted for daily use by the Númenóreans, and remained somewhat in use in the realms-in-exile of Gondor and Arnor.

Sindarin eventually replaced Quenya as the language used by the Noldor in Beleriand, even in predominantly Noldorin settlements such as Gondolin, although Quenya survived as a language of knowledge.

When the Sindar came to rule over the Silvan Elves, their language Sindarin was adopted by the Silvan Elves who spoke a language of Nandorin origin. Sindarin soon influenced by Silvan language and this new dialect became known as Silvan Elvish (or "woodland tongue"). Names such as Lothlórien, Caras Galadhon, Amroth, Nimrodel are possibly of Silvan origin, adapted to Sindarin.[2]


The term Sindar ("the Grey" or "the Grey-elves") is not Sindarin in origin: it is the Quenya name devised by the Noldorin exiles, derived from PQ thindi. A less common Quenya name for this people was Sindeldi (sing. Sindel).[3][4]

The name that the Sindar used for themselves was simply Edhil ("Elves", singular Edhel).

Why the Sindar had been called the "grey" yielded a discussion among the loremasters. One theory suggested that it referred to Elu Thingol's, and those near akin to him, hair of silver hue (although most Sindar were dark-haired). Another theory suggested that the name was derived from the meaning of Thingol (Q. Sindikollo), "Grey-cloak" (the Northern Sindar were also said to have been clad much in grey).[4]


  1. The singular term was not generally used by Tolkien


  1. 1.0 1.1 J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), Unfinished Tales, "The History of Galadriel and Celeborn", "Appendix B: The Sindarin Princes of the Silvan Elves"
  2. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix F, "The Languages and Peoples of the Third Age", "Of the Elves"
  3. J.R.R. Tolkien, "Words, Phrases and Passages in Various Tongues in The Lord of the Rings", in Parma Eldalamberon XVII (edited by Christopher Gilson), p. 117
  4. 4.0 4.1 J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The War of the Jewels, "Part Four. Quendi and Eldar": Sindar" [also, Author's Note 11]
(Quendi · People of the Stars · Firstborn · Elder Kindred)
Three Kindreds:
(Eldar · Eldalië · Edhil)
 Vanyar (Fair-elves · Minyar) · Noldor (Deep-elves · Tatyar) · Teleri (Lindar · Nelyar)
(High-elves · Amanyar)
 Vanyar · Noldor · Falmari
Úmanyar:  Sindar (Grey-elves · Eglath) · Nandor (Green-elves · Silvan Elves)
 Moriquendi:  Úmanyar · Avari (Dark Elves · The Unwilling)
See Also:  Awakening of the Elves · Sundering of the Elves · Great Journey