Elves of Mithrim

From Tolkien Gateway
The name Mithrim refers to more than one character, item or concept. For a list of other meanings, see Mithrim (disambiguation).

Elves of Mithrim
General Information
OriginsSindar who settled in Mithrim before the Return of the Noldor
LanguagesNorth Sindarin
Physical Description

The Elves of Mithrim were the Sindarin inhabitants of the land of Mithrim.

The Elves of Mithrim crossed into Hithlum from Beleriand at some time before the rising of the Sun, settling in the regions around Lake Mithrim.[1]

These Elves seldom went abroad and rarely passed the Ered Wethrin. While they must have been mainly Teleri in origin, a tradition lingered that some were in fact Noldor who failed to embark because they had either explored too far or had struck up friendships with the Teleri who came up behind.[2]

They were the first Elves of Middle-earth encountered by the Noldor when they returned from Aman.[3]

Fingolfin took up lordship in Hithlum, with most of his own people dwelling around the shores of Lake Mithrim,[4] and there was a degree of intermingling between the two peoples. It is not stated to what extent the Grey-elves of Mithrim participated in the Wars of Beleriand under Fingolfin and Fingon.

Thingol had small love for the Northern Sindar who had in regions near to Angband come under the dominion of Morgoth, and were accused of sometimes entering his service and providing him with spies. The Sindarin used by the Sons of Fëanor also was of the Northern dialect; and they were hated in Doriath.[5]

After the Nirnaeth Arnoediad, they sheltered Rían;[6] when she departed Hithlum, one of the Elves, Annael, fostered her son Tuor.[7]


Main article: North Sindarin

The Elves of Mithrim spoke a marked dialect of Sindarin.[8]


Mithrim has two alternate etymologies. In the earlier version, Mithrim was Noldorin in origin, including the roots mith- "fog, misty, grey" and -rhim(b) "cold" or "cold lake".[9]

A later version is that Mithrim "grey folk" was applied by the Sindar of Beleriand to their kindred who had gone north into Hithlum. The climate north of Ered Wethrin was cool, misty, and grey, but the Elves also wove a grey cloth that aided in their concealment. It is also suggested that the Noldor first used the term Sindar (or Sindeldi) to refer to the Elves of Mithrim, later applying it to all the Sindarin-speaking Elves of Beleriand.[8]