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"Elven Cloak" by Rob Alexander
General Information
PronunciationQ, [ˈnandor]
OriginsTeleri who turned aside from the Great Journey east of the Misty Mountains
LocationsOssiriand, Lindon, Eriador, Lothlórien, Greenwood the Great, Belfalas, Ithilien, Mouths of Anduin
LanguagesNandorin, Silvan Elvish, Sindarin, Westron
MembersLenwë, Denethor, Nimrodel, Haldir
Physical Description
DistinctionsSecretive, lovers of the forests and animals
Average heightTall
Hair colorUsually dark
Skin colorWhite
GalleryImages of Nandor
"They became a people apart, unlike their kin, save that they loved water, and dwelt most beside falls and running streams. Greater knowledge they had of living things, tree and herb, bird and beast, than all other Elves."
Quenta Silmarillion, "Of the Coming of the Elves and the Captivity of Melkor"

The Nandor (sg. Nando), who included the Silvan Elves and Green-elves, were one group of the Teleri. Like the Sindar, they were Úmanyar, Teleri who began the Great Journey but did not complete it. Some later came into Beleriand and dwelt in Ossiriand, while those that remained founded realms of their own in the Vales of Anduin. The Elves of Lórien were of this kind, as were the Wood-elves of Mirkwood.

As other Teleri, they loved water and dwelt most beside falls and running streams. But living wild in nature, they had greater knowledge of trees, plants, animals and birds, than all other Elves.[1]

History[edit | edit source]

Origins[edit | edit source]

Those who would become the Nandor were in the hosts of the Teleri under Elwë and Olwë. They stayed long in Atyamar at the Vales of Anduin upon the east bank of the river while they waited for Oromë, but while the Vanyar and the Noldor crossed the Hithaeglir, some of the Teleri were afraid looking at their shadowy peaks. Then Lenwë, from the host of Olwë, decided to forsake the march as he was content to remain in the wide forested lands of the Vales of Anduin; others broke from the host and followed him southwards along the Great River. These Teleri became the Nandor.[2]

Gradually, the Nandor spread out. While some remained in the woodlands of the Vales of Anduin, others travelled to and dwelt at the Mouths of Anduin, and many also passed by the White Mountains into the wilderness of Eriador.[3]

Laiquendi[edit | edit source]

Main article: Green-elves

After they had spread out, the evils of the North started to harass the Nandor for they were a simple woodland folk, with no weapons of steel. Hearing about King Thingol and the might of the Sindar, Denethor, Lenwë's son, gathered as much of his scattered people as he could and crossed over the Ered Luin into Beleriand, the western lands of Middle-earth. There, they settled in the green and many-rivered Ossiriand, welcomed by Thingol as long-lost kin. They were called the Laegrim.[3]

The Laegrim took little part in the Wars of Beleriand; in the First Battle against Morgoth, they took heavy losses including their king Denethor. Afterwards, they became reclusive, pulling away from the many troubles of Beleriand, and fighting no longer against Morgoth.[3]

Even after the Elder Days passed, after they were joined by other Elves of Beleriand, the Laiquendi remained west of the Blue Mountains; some of them removed to Eriador (where many of their kin still wandered)[4] and others went east to live among the Silvan Elves.[5]

Silvan Elves[edit | edit source]

Main article: Silvan Elves

The Silvan Elves were descendants of the Nandor who had lingered in the Vales of Anduin during the Great Journey of the Eldar in the Elder Days. They hid themselves in the woodlands beyond the Misty Mountains and became a scattered folk hardly distinguishable from Avari.[6]

In the early Second Age, many Teleri, survivors of Doriath and Ossiriand, left Lindon to establish realms among these Silvan Elves.[5] Among them was Oropher and Thranduil of Doriath who established the Woodland Realm in S.A. 750.[7][8]

Etymology[edit | edit source]

Nandor is a Quenya name, meaning "Those who go back",[9] apparently containing the element nan-.

In early Qenya, nandor meant "farmer"[10] containing the Elvish element nan "field, valley".

Other names[edit | edit source]

The Nandor were also known by many other names: the Host of Dân, the Wood-elves, the Wanderers, the Axe-elves, the Green Elves, the Brown Elves, the Hidden People.[11]

(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


  1. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Quenta Silmarillion: Of the Coming of the Elves and the Captivity of Melkor"
  2. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Quenta Silmarillion: Of the Ruin of Doriath"
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Quenta Silmarillion: Of the Sindar"
  4. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), Unfinished Tales, "The History of Galadriel and Celeborn", "Concerning Galadriel and Celeborn"
  5. 5.0 5.1 J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Of the Rings of Power and the Third Age"
  6. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), Unfinished Tales, "The History of Galadriel and Celeborn", "Appendix A: The Silvan Elves and their Speech"
  7. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Peoples of Middle-earth, "VI. The Tale of Years of the Second Age", p. 174
  8. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), Unfinished Tales, "The History of Galadriel and Celeborn", "Appendix B: The Sindarin Princes of the Silvan Elves"
  9. 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", p. 384
  10. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Book of Lost Tales Part One, Appendix: Names in the Lost Tales – Part I, p. 261
  11. 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