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Avari

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Avari
People
Jenny Dolfen - Avari.jpg
"Avari" by Jenny Dolfen
General Information
Other namesDark-elves, The Unwilling, Wild Elves
OriginsElves who refused to make the Great Journey
LocationsEriador, Rhûn, Taur-im-Duinath, Vales of Anduin
RivalriesEldar[1][2]
LanguagesVarious Avarin languages
MembersMorwë, Nurwë
Physical Description
LifespanImmortal
GalleryImages of Avari

The Avari (Q: "unwilling"; or "the Refusers"[3]) were a branch of Elves that refused to embark on the Great Journey.

Contents

[edit] Origins

The original Elves that awakened in Cuiviénen numbered 144, in 72 pairs, and they were divided into three clans: the Minyar, which had 14 members; the Tatyar, which had 56 members; and the Nelyar (or Lindar), which had 74 members. These remained the rough proportions of the Elvish population up to the time of the Vala Oromë's invitation to the Elves to come to Valinor. The Elves entered into a great debate on whether to follow Oromë into the west. Most of the Elves were persuaded to undertake this Great Journey, including all of the Minyar, half of the Tatyar, and a little less than two-thirds[note 1] of the Nelyar. These Elves became known collectively as the Eldar, and their clans became known by new names: the Minyar became the Vanyar, the Tatyar became the Noldor, and the Nelyar became the Teleri.[4]

Those Elves who refused to take the Great Journey were called the Avari and they were not counted among the Eldar.[5] Their initial population included a little more than one-third of all Quendi and was evenly divided between Tatyar and Nelyar.[note 2][4] Some of them, especially those who dwelt furthest from the waters of Cuiviénen and wandered in the hills, had not seen Oromë at his first coming, and knew only vague, fearful rumours of the Valar; lies of Melkor concerning Oromë and Nahar perhaps had a role.[6] Many thus refused to depart from their own lands, and spread gradually throughout the wide lands of Middle-earth. According to a tradition, their leaders were Morwë of the Tatyar and Nurwë of the Nelyar. They were after known by the name "the Unwilling" because they refused the summons. It is not known to what extent the Tatyar and Nelyar among the Avari retained their original clan names after the First Sundering, but they did retain a memory of the old clans' existence and their relationship to their Eldar cousins.[4]

At the outset of the Great Journey, the Eldar outnumbered the Avari by a considerable margin. By the time the Great Journey was ended and Tol Eressëa was permanently anchored in the Bay of Eldamar the proportions had reversed, with Moriquendi (including the Úmanyar) outnumbering Amanyar by nearly as much as the Eldar had originally outnumbered the Avari.[note 3][4]

[edit] History

It is believed that some of the Avari were corrupted by Melkor (or had become evil and savage in the wild) in ancient days to become the progenitors of the race of Orcs.[7][8]

Over time, many Avari wandered westwards. Some mingled with the Nandor of the Vales of Anduin, and others entered Eriador.[1] Some time after the Laiquendi settled in Beleriand, some Avari "crept in small and secret groups into Beleriand from the South." Most of these Avari remained secretive and isolated from the other Elves, living in caves and deep in the forests, but rarely an Avar would be accepted into Sindarin society.[2] A few Avari wandered the dark and gloomy forest of Taur-im-Duinath.[9][10]

In the First Age, the Avari are said to have viewed the Eldar with jealousy and disdain and treated them with hostility, even treachery, owing to their deep and inherited bitterness.[1] However, this seems to have varied among different groups of Eldar and Avari – the Tatyarin Avari are said to have especially disliked the Noldor who returned from Aman, believing them to be deserters, but the Nelyarin Avari established close and friendly relations with their Nandor and Sindar kin, particularly in Eriador and the Vales of Anduin, to the point that they "often became merged together" (cf. the Galadhrim).[4]

The Edain who travelled to the West first met the Avari of all the Elves, and were taught from their language, which influenced theirs.[11] They taught them many of the basic crafts of civilization, though the craft of the Eldar surpassed that of the Avari, even more than that of the Avari surpassed primitive Men.[12]

It is told that no Avari were to be found west of the Misty Mountains during the late Third Age.[13]

[edit] Culture

"Avari Elf" by Peter Xavier Price

[edit] Tribes

Six tribes of Avari are mentioned in the Third Age, and their names are all cognates of the Primitive Quendian word Kwendî (the Speakers): Kindi, Cuind, Hwenti, Windan, Kinn-lai, Penni.[14]

[edit] Languages

Main article: Avarin

The Avari had many tribes and greatly varied languages, widely sundered from one another.[15] The names above are the only certain Avarin words ever mentioned by the Loremasters.

[edit] Other names

The Avari were called Abari in Telerin;[16] they were also called Moripendi (an equivalent of Quenya Moriquendi which referred to the Sindar as well)[17].

In Sindarin, they were called Evair, Morben or Mornedhel.[16]

The term Dark Elves usually referred to the Avari. In the period of the Exile of the Noldor, "Dark Elves" referred to the Elves of Middle-earth other than the Noldor and the Sindar, thus being equivalent to the Avari and the Nandor.[10]

[edit] Other versions of the legendarium

In older versions of the legendarium, the name Avari was originally that of the later Eldar, then meaning "those that departed".

In other, relatively late writings, a brief idea was that the Avari did not come from the three clans, but from two other clans, led by Nurwë and Morwë. This idea was later dropped. In the final conception, the Elves were divided into three tribes.

[edit] External links

Notes

  1. Specifically 28 of 56 Tatyarin and 46 of 74 Nelyarin Elves. Note that these are proportions of the number 144 that represents the Quendi as a whole, not exact counts of individuals.
  2. Specifically 28 of the 56 Tatyar and 28 of the 74 Nelyar. Again, these values are proportions of 144, not headcounts.
  3. Initially the proportion was 88 Eldar to 56 Avari (61% to 39%); at journey's end it was 62 Amanyar to 82 Moriquendi and Úmanyar (43% to 57%).

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The War of the Jewels, "Part Four. Quendi and Eldar: Author's Notes to Quendi and Eldar", pp. 409-410
  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", p. 377
  3. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Peoples of Middle-earth, "X. Of Dwarves and Men", "The Atani and their Languages", p. 312
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The War of the Jewels, "Part Four. Quendi and Eldar: C. The Clan-names, with notes on other names for divisions of the Eldar", pp. 380-83
  5. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Quenta Silmarillion: Of the Coming of the Elves and the Captivity of Melkor", p. 41
  6. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), Morgoth's Ring, "Part Two. The Annals of Aman"
  7. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Quenta Silmarillion: Of the Coming of the Elves and the Captivity of Melkor"
  8. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Quenta Silmarillion: Of the Sindar"
  9. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Quenta Silmarillion: Of Beleriand and its Realms"
  10. 10.0 10.1 J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Index of Names"
  11. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Quenta Silmarillion: Of the Coming of Men into the West"
  12. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Quenta Silmarillion: Of Men"
  13. 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. 53
  14. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The War of the Jewels, "Part Four. Quendi and Eldar: Author's Notes to Quendi and Eldar", Note 9
  15. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The War of the Jewels, "Part Four. Quendi and Eldar", p.410
  16. 16.0 16.1 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"
  17. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The War of the Jewels, "Part Four. Quendi and Eldar: A. The principal linguistic elements concerned"
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 · Falathrim) · Nandor (Green-elves · Silvan Elves)
 Moriquendi:  Úmanyar · Avari (Dark Elves · The Unwilling)
See also:  Awakening of the Elves · Sundering of the Elves · Great Journey