From Tolkien Gateway

Úmanyar (Q: "those not of Aman")[1] is the word that the Noldorin Exiles generally used to describe those Eldar who set out on the Great Journey but ultimately remained in Middle-earth. The term particularly applied to the Sindar but also encompassed the Laiquendi and, used broadly, all the Nandor.[2]

The Eldar of Aman described all Elves who did not complete the Great Journey as Moriquendi, but the Exiles found that this term was offensive to the Sindar. To keep peace with their neighbours, the Exiles ceased to use the term Calaquendi (except in written lore) and altered their usage of Moriquendi to refer only to the Avari and other Elven peoples who "had not long dwelt in Beleriand and were not subjects of Elwë." In such circumstances as the "old distinction" had to be spoken of, the polite terms Amanyar and Úmanyar came to be preferred.[1]

On one occasion, Caranthir of the Noldor openly referred to King Thingol of the Sindar as a "Dark Elf" (Q. "Moriquende").[3] This was meant as an insult;[4] it was especially malicious considering that Thingol alone among the Úmanyar was reckoned as one of the Calaquendi, having been one of the original three Elven ambassadors to Valinor.[5]

Other versions of the legendarium[edit | edit source]

According to the definition given in The Silmarillion, the Úmanyar included all the Elves who started but did not complete the Great Journey:

But others of the Eldar there were who set out indeed upon the westward march, but became lost upon the long road, or turned aside, or lingered on the shores of Middle-earth [...] Those Elves the Calaquendi call the Úmanyar, since they came never to the land of Aman and the Blessed Realm
J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Quenta Silmarillion: Of the Coming of the Elves and the Captivity of Melkor"

However, the definition given in The History of Middle-earth includes only subjects of Thingol:

Moriquendi was now applied to all other Elves, except the Ñoldor and Sindar, that is to Avari or to any kind of Elves that at the time of the coming of the Ñoldor had not long dwelt in Beleriand and were not subjects of Elwë. [...] The old distinction, when made, was represented by the new terms Amanyar 'those of Aman', and Úamanyar or Úmanyar 'those not of Aman'
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"

In the First Age, this was for the most part a distinction without a difference, as there was little contact between populations of Eldar dwelling on opposite sides of the Ered Luin. After the end of the First Age there was neither an Elwë to whom to be subjected nor a Beleriand in which to dwell, so the distinction becomes even less clear. The term may well have fallen out of use, as it is not attested in later Ages.


(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 · Falathrim) · Nandor (Green-elves · Silvan Elves)
 Moriquendi:  Úmanyar · Avari (Cuind · Hwenti · Kindi · Kinn-lai · Penni · Windan)
See also:  Awakening of the Elves · Sundering of the Elves · Great Journey