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Revision as of 17:54, 13 February 2011

"...It is a long tale..." — Aragorn
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"Who told you, and who sent you?" — Gandalf
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Jenny Dolfen - Fields of Gold.jpg
General Information
MembersImin, Iminyë, Ingwë, Indis, Elemmírë, Amarië, and others.
Physical Description
DistinctionsMost revered of the Elven kindreds, loved by Manwë.
Average heightTall
GalleryImages of Vanyar.

The Vanyar (Q, pron. N [ˈvaɲar], V [ˈβaɲar]) are one of the three groups of High Elves, along with the Noldor, and some of the Teleri. They comprise most of those who did not leave Aman.



The Vanyar are the highest of the High Elves. According to legend, the clan was founded by Imin, the first Elf to awake in Cuiviénen, his wife Iminyë, and their twelve companions. At this time, they were called the Minyar (Q: "first ones", pron. [ˈmiɲar]). However it was Ingwë, the first Vanya to travel with Oromë to Valinor, who became their king. They were the fist to reach Beleriand after the Great Journey.

Ingwë is called High King of the Elves. He lives on Mount Taniquetil beneath the halls of Manwë. All of the Vanyar journeyed to Valinor before the beginning of the First Age, and remained there. They are said to have the greatest skill in poetry of all the Elves, and Manwë loves them for it.

Another notable Vanya was Indis, the second wife of Finwë and grandmother of Galadriel. It is from her Vanyarin blood that Galadriel gained the golden part of her famous silver-gold hair.


The Vanyar were the first and smallest clan of the Elves. They typically had blonde hair. Few of them were ever seen in Middle-earth, as they only returned for the War of Wrath.

Their smiths were renowned in the crafting of spears. The skill was on par with the sword-smiths of the Noldor and the bowmakers of the Teleri[source?]


The name Vanyar means "the Fair" in Quenya, referring to their golden hair. It seems to be from a primitive Elvish form bányâ[1][2] (stem BAN) but also from wanjâ (stem WAN)[3]. The Teleri called them Baniai.

The Vanyar called themselves Minyar, "the Firsts", their ancient name. Another name was Ingar or Ingwer which means "Chieftains" (etymologically related to the name Ingwë).

In Sindarin they were called Minil.

Other Versions of the Legendarium

In the earliest versions of Tolkien's legendarium (see: The Book of Lost Tales Part 1), they were called Teleri, while the Elves known as Teleri in the published version of The Silmarillion were called Solosimpi.


(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


  1. Etymologies p.351
  2. The Peoples of Middle-earth p. 402
  3. The War of the Jewels p.383