From Tolkien Gateway
"Friend of Secret Things" by Ron Chironna

Kelvar was a name used by the Valie Yavanna to refer to that part of her natural realm capable of moving or escaping, as opposed to the olvar which were rooted in place.[1]

The kelvar, as all creatures, live within Ambarmenië the ways created and fixed by Ilúvatar.[2]

It is said that during the Spring of Arda, when Yavanna planted her seeds, "beasts came forth and dwelt in the grassy plains, or in the rivers and the lakes, or walked in the shadows of the woods." However singing birds didn't appear yet "for these things waited still their time in the bosom of Yavanna; but wealth there was of her imagining."

However when the Two Lamps where destroyed and there was no light in the Outer Lands, the Valie put them to sleep and they stopped growing during the Sleep of Yavanna, until there would be light again.[3] Only Melkor's beasts roamed the earth in the shadows, that were kept at bay by Oromë the hunter.[1]

After the awakening of the Elves, some of the kelvar were said to have been inhabited by powerful spirits. Most famous among these were the great Eagles that overlooked events in Middle-earth from their mountainous eyries.[1]

Etymology[edit | edit source]

Kelvar is an Elvish word meaning "animals, living things that move",[4] probably derived from the stem KEL-, meaning "go" or "run".[5] It has been suggested that kelvar is a Quenya word, and that the (unattested) singular form would likely be kelva.[6] The terms kelvar and olvar, then, refer respectively to animal and plant life, and are essentially equivalent in meaning to fauna and flora.

Other words for "animal" (names which in general only referred to "four-footed beasts, and never to reptiles or birds") were Quenya laman (pl. lamni or lamani), and Sindarin lavan (pl. levain).[7]

In Gnomish, one of Tolkien's early conceptions of an Elven language, the word for "living creature, animal" is cuid. The word meg is glossed as "any small animal, especially mole".[8]

See also[edit | edit source]