Tolkien Gateway

Teleri

This article is about the Third Clan in general. For the the Teleri of Aman, see Falmari.
Marya Filatova - One of the Teleri.jpg
Teleri
Race
DominionsAlqualondë, Isle of Balar, Ossiriand, Doriath, Tol Eressëa, Edhellond, Mithlond, Lothlórien, Mirkwood
LanguagesCommon Telerin, Telerin, Sindarin, Nandorin
Average heightTall
Skin colorWhite
Hair colorDark, silver
DistinctionsAdoration for the sea/forest
LifespanImmortal
MembersElwë, Olwë, Celeborn, Círdan, Lenwë

The Teleri (Q, pron. [ˈteleri]) were the third of the Elf clans who took the Great Journey. To them belonged the Valinorean Teleri (known as the Falmari), and the Sindar, Laiquendi, and Nandor of Middle-earth.

At first they were known as Nelyar ("The Third"), and were the largest of the three houses of the Firstborn. According to legend, they were descended from Enel, the third Elf to awake in Cuiviénen, his spouse Enelyë and their seventy-two companions; most of the Avari originally belonged to this clan. But it was Olwë, the first of the Teleri to come to Valinor.

In ancient times they named themselves Lindar, or "Singers", because they were known for their fair voice.

Contents

[edit] History

[edit] During the Great Journey

When the Valar decided to bring the Quendi to Aman, they chose three ambassadors. Ingwë, Finwë and Elwë travelled there and tried to convince their people to make the journey. Many of them, particularly of the Nelyar clan, refused, and were named Avari, "The Unwilling".

The Teleri clan was so numerous that it was led both by Elwë and his brother Olwë. They were the last clan to depart, and the only ones who were unwilling to leave the wild lands of Middle-earth and were usually the hindmost of the Great Journey. After travelling for many years, the Teleri stopped near river Anduin being frightened by the Hithaeglir (Misty Mountains). Then a group led by Lenwë departed from the journey and headed south. They were called the Nandor ("Those who turn back"). Eventually, the other Teleri passed the Misty Mountains and reached Eastern Beleriand near the river Gelion.

That was the time when Elwë fell in love with Melian the Maia and became separated from the Teleri, standing in the forest of Nan Elmoth for a long time only staring at her. Olwë became their leader, but some Teleri, especially Elwë's friends and close relatives were searching for him for a long time and refused to continue their journey without him. Those in Sindarin were known as the Eglath as they forsook the Great Journey.

Being the hindmost, the Teleri were still near Gelion and failed to hear Ulmo's call when the Vanyar and the Noldor travelled into the West. When they learned that the others had already departed, they headed to the shores of Beleriand near the mouth of the river Sirion waiting for Ulmo. The Maia Ossë kept them company while they waited, and became their friend. When they first beheld the sea, the Teleri became enamoured with it, and ever after desired to live close to the shore, being named 'Sea-elves' in Aman. [1]

Later, when Ulmo arrived again with the island ferry, most of the Teleri agreed to travel. Again, there were some who wanted to stay with Ossë, and they became known as Falathrim in Sindarin, with Nowë as their leader.

[edit] After the Great Journey

The island was stabilized by Ulmo near the Bay of Eldamar, and it was named Tol Eressëa, The Lonely Island. The Teleri lived there for many years until they felt that they should see the other Eldar who lived in Aman proper. With the help of Ossë they built ships and travelled to the coasts of Aman, where they dwelt. There Olwë built Alqualondë, the greatest city of Teleri, and its people were united with the people of Tirion and Finwë.

In Beleriand, Elwë and Melian recovered from their enchantment. He united the Eglath who stayed back, and the Falathrim who accepted him as King of Beleriand. The folk of both Elwë and Nowë became collectively known as the Sindar. Later they were joined by the Laegil, the Nandor who resumed their journey to the west under Denethor and came to Ossiriand.

Later, when Melkor stole the Silmarils, the Noldor led by Fëanor demanded that the Teleri let them use their ships. When the Teleri refused, they took the ships by force, committing the First Kinslaying. For this reason few or none of the Teleri joined the host of the Valar which at the end of the First Age set out to capture Morgoth for good. It is recounted that the Teleri eventually forgave the Noldor for the Kinslayings, and the two kindreds were at peace again.

[edit] Sundering of Teleri

  • Falmari. Led by Olwë, they (along with Elwë and his direct descendants) were the only Calaquendi of the Teleri clan. They lived in Tol Eressëa and along the east shores of Aman.
  • Sindar All Teleri who remained in Beleriand. The Sindar of Beleriand called themselves simply Edhil, which means Elves, and is related to the Quenya word Eldar of the same meaning. Elwë was their King. These were further divided into:
    • Iathrim[2], those who lived in Doriath, the realm directly ruled by King Thingol, that is Elwë.
    • Falathrim, those who lived in the Falas ruled by Círdan.
    • Mithrim[2], or Sindar of the North, those who lived in Northern Beleriand: in Hithlum, especially in the area called after them Mithrim, in Dorthonion or in Nevrast. They suffered most from Morgoth's attacks before the first rising of the Sun, and their remnants were largely absorbed by the Noldor who afterwards occupied those lands.

[edit] Language

The Teleri spoke the Common Telerin language during the Journey, from which Sindarin (with its dialects of Doriathrin, Falathrin and North Sindarin) and Nandorin were derived, as well as the Telerin of Aman, often considered a dialect of Quenya (if only by virtue that it preserved more of the archaic Common Eldarin features than any other language and remained mutually intelligible with Quenya).

[edit] Etymology

Teleri is the plural of Teler which means "last", root TEL.

In The Silmarillion the word Teleri refers both to the Third Clan in general, and that branch that made it to Aman, taken from the Vanyar and Noldor point of view; particularly the Teleri of Aman were called Falmari.

[edit] Names

Equivalent names of the Teleri were Nelyar and Lindar. Lindar (Quenya "singers", pron. [ˈlindar]) was the name by which the Teleri called themselves.

Another name was Sindarin Glinnil (sing Glinnel), a name which appears to have been used only by the loremasters among the Eldar.[3]

The Teleri were also known by many other names: the Foam-riders, the Singers of the Shore, the Free, the Swift, the Arrow-elves (for their love of bow and arrow), the Elves of the Sea, the Ship-wrights, the Swanherds, the Gatherers of Pearl, the Blue Elves, and the people of Olwë.[4]

[edit] Other versions of the legendarium

In the early versions of Tolkien's mythology (see: The History of Middle-earth), they were known as Solosimpi ("Pipers of the Shores"), while the name Teleri was given to the clan of Elves known in the published version of The Silmarillion as Vanyar.

[edit] See also

Elves
(Quendi · People of the Stars · Firstborn · Elder Kindred)
Three Kindreds:
(Eldar · Eldalië · Edhil)
 Vanyar (Fair-elves · Minyar) · Noldor (Deep-elves · Tatyar) · Teleri (Lindar · Nelyar)
Calaquendi:
(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

[edit] References

  1. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Quenta Silmarillion: Of the Coming of the Elves and the Captivity of Melkor"
  2. 2.0 2.1 J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The War of the Jewels, "Part Four. Quendi and Eldar: B. Meanings and use of the various terms applied to the Elves and their varieties in Quenya, Telerin, and Sindarin", 3
  3. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The War of the Jewels, "Part Four. Quendi and Eldar", pp. 378, 385
  4. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), Morgoth's Ring, "Part Three. The Later Quenta Silmarillion: (I) The First Phase: 3. Of the Coming of the Elves", p. 164