– the Firstborn Children of Ilúvatar; awoke under starlight on the shores of an inland sea in Middle-earth; invited by the Valar to dwell with them in Valinor, which most have accepted and set out on the Great Journey to Valinor. Their kindreds were: Vanyar, Noldor and Teleri, led by respectively Ingwë, Finwë and the brothers Elwë (Thingol) and Olwë. The Noldor and some of the Teleri play major parts in The Silmarillion.

Vanyar

Vanyar [vah-nyahr] (singular Vanya) – the fairest, noblest, and least numerous of the Elven kindreds; they have golden hair; all of them accepted the invitation of the Valar to dwell in their land and left Middle-earth for Valinor; lived mostly with Manwë and Varda on the Holy Mountain. They never returned to Middle-earth except to fight with the other armies of Valinor in the War of Wrath.

Only four Vanyar are named in The Silmarillion- Ingwë their king, Indis who joined the people of the Noldor, Amárië who was the beloved of Finrod Felagund, and Elemmírë who composed a lament about the day that Morgoth destroyed the Two Trees of Valinor.

Ingwë [‘ing-weh] – the High King of the Vanyar and of all Elves; led his people to Valinor; dwelt in the vicinity of Manwë and Varda on the Holy Mountain; led the Vanyarin armies in the War of Wrath when Morgoth was overthrown.
Also called: Ingwë Ingweron (“chieftain of chieftains”) **

Indis [‘in-dis] – a relative of Ingwë (either sister or niece **); a golden-haired, tall Vanya; married Finwë the king of the Noldor after the death of his first wife, and joined the people of the Noldor; resented by her step-son Fëanor, as were her sons Fingolfin and Finarfin; remained in Valinor after the rebellion and exile of most of the Noldor.
The golden-haired members of the House of Finwë inherited their hair colour from Indis (such as Galadriel and her brothers).

Noldor

Noldor (singular Noldo) [‘noll-dor] – the second clan of Elves to come to Valinor; fond of lore, languages, smithying and crafts. After the stealing of the Silmarils the majority of the Noldor returned to Middle-earth and it is these Elves The Silmarillion mostly tells of. The Noldor were in general dark-haired and grey-eyed although there are exceptions.
Also called: Deep Elves; Golodhrim (‘Noldor’ in Sindarin); (‘Gnomes’ in the early publications of The Hobbit )

Exiles – the large part of the Noldor that left Valinor against the will of the Valar and were forbidden to return; The Silmarillion is primarily concerned with their history; some of them survived into the Third Age, residing mostly in Rivendell.
You know them from: the term is used also in LotR; Galadriel and Gildor Inglorion and his company are Exiles.

HOUSE OF FINWË

– the royal line of the Noldor; further divided into three houses of Finwë’s sons- House of Fëanor, House of Fingolfin, House of Finarfin.

Finwë [‘fin-weh] – the first High King of the Noldor; the only known Elf to have re-married after the death of his first wife; father of Fëanor (the only child from his first marriage to Míriel) and of Fingolfin and Finarfin (from his second marriage to Indis of the Vanyar). Led the Noldor to Valinor; slain by Morgoth.

Míriel [‘mee-ree-ell] – first wife of Finwë and mother of Fëanor; died in her son’s early childhood.

Indis [‘in-diss] – see Vanyar.

HOUSE OF FËANOR

– called The Dispossessed as the kingship over the Noldor passed to Fëanor’s half-brothers’ houses; known mostly for their oath to reclaim the Silmarils for their house, and for the evil deeds that their oath caused, including the Kinslayings. The only members of this house to survive the First Age are Nerdanel, Celebrimbor and Maglor.

Fëanor [‘feh-ah-nor] – the only son of Finwë and Míriel; the greatest craftsman and smith of all time; maker of the Silmarils, the Palantíri, and the Tengwar script; led a part of the Noldor back to Middle-earth and started the First Kinslaying; killed by balrogs in the Battle Under the Stars; father of seven sons (see above and below).
Also called: Curufinwë, Fëanáro (his name in Quenya)
You know him from: he’s mentioned by Gandalf as the maker of the palantíri on the way to Minas Tirith (TTT)

Nerdanel [‘nehr-dah-nel] – wife of Fëanor; an outstanding sculptor; did not follow Fëanor to Middle-earth; some of her sons inherited her rare red-brown hair and calm temper**.

Maedhros the Tall [‘my-thross (* ‘th’ as in ‘then’, not as in ‘thin’)] – eldest son of Fëanor; inherited his mother’s reddish hair**; taken prisoner by Morgoth but rescued, losing a hand in the process; his most famous residence is the hill of Himring; took part in both Second and Third Kinslaying; regained a Silmaril after the War of Wrath, but committed suicide after it burnt his hand.

Maglor [‘mahg-lore] – second son of Fëanor; one of the greatest musicians and singers ever; raised young Elrond and Elros; regained a Silmaril after the War of Wrath, but after it burnt his hand he cast it into the sea and wandered on the shores; his further fate is unknown.

Celegorm the Fair [‘keh-leh-gorm] – third son of Fëanor; named for his unusual fair hair**; great hunter who knew the tongues of all animals; master of Huan the Hound; in Middle-earth stayed always with his brother Curufin; fled to Nargothrond after the Battle of Sudden Flame; fell in love with Lúthien; along with Curufin ill-famous for his role in the story of Beren and Lúthien; slain in Doriath in the Second Kinslaying.

Caranthir the Dark [kah-‘rahn-thir] – fourth son of Fëanor; known for his harsh temper, insulting Thingol and some of his half-cousins, but also for saving the House of Haleth from Orcs and making an alliance with Dwarves; slain in Doriath in the Second Kinslaying.

Curufin the Crafty [‘coo-roo-fin] – fifth son of Fëanor; father of Celebrimbor; great smith and most like his father both in character and appearance; in Middle-earth always resided with his brother Celegorm; fled to Nargothrond after the Battle of Sudden Flame; along with Celegorm ill-famous for their role in the story of Beren and Lúthien; slain in Doriath in the Second Kinslaying.

– Celebrimbor [keh-leh-‘brihm-bore] – son of Curufin; rejected his father after learning of his evil deeds; great smith and maker of the Rings of Power in Eregion (Hollin) in the Second Age; slain by Sauron in the War of Eregion.
You know him from: the passages in LotR concerning the making of the Rings and the War on Eregion.

Amrod [‘ahm-rod] and Amras [‘ahm-russ] – the youngest of the Sons of Fëanor; twins; inherited the reddish hair of their mother **; great hunters who lived in the wilderness in southern Beleriand; both slain in the Third Kinslaying.

HOUSE OF FINGOLFIN

– House of the High Kings of the Noldor in Middle-earth; their realms in Middle-earth were the North-western regions (Mithrim, Hithlum, Dor-Lómin and Gondolin in the First Age, Lindon in the Second Age); they had close dealings with Men; the members of this house and their followers generally excelled in valour. The members of this House who survived the First Age are Gil-galad and all of Turgon’s descendants.

Fingolfin [fin-‘gol-fin] (“Wise Finwë”**) – the High King of the Noldor in Middle-earth; son of Finwë and his second wife Indis; his realm was in the North-West of Beleriand; famous for crossing the Grinding Ice with his host to get to Middle-earth from Valinor, and for his heroic death when he challenged Morgoth himself to combat; father of Fingon, Turgon and Aredhel.

Fingon the Valiant [‘fin-gon] – High King of the Noldor in Middle-earth after his father Fingolfin’s death; known for his daring and bravery; among his most famous deeds are saving his half-cousin Maedhros from Morgoth’s abode, and leading his hosts to the battle of Unnumbered Tears where he died. His only son is Gil-galad.

– Gil-galad [‘gihl-‘gah-lahd] (“star of radiance”) – the last High King of the Noldor in Middle-earth; son of Fingon; his first and only realm was Lindon near the Grey Havens in the Second Age; slain by Sauron in the final combat of the War of the Last Alliance. His original name is Ereinion (“descendant of kings”).
You know him from: he’s mentioned several times in LotR; the Last Alliance is talked about at the Council, and Sam sings a song of him on Weathertop.

Turgon [‘toor-gon] – the King of Gondolin; original owner of the sword Glamdring; brother of Fingon and Aredhel; father of Idril; died in the Fall of Gondolin.
You know him from: he’s mentioned as ‘king of Gondolin’ when Gandalf learns the history of his sword (The Hobbit)
Among his subjects are:
Glorfindel [glor-‘fihn-dell] – a golden-haired Elf of Gondolin; famous for destroying a balrog in the Fall of Gondolin; died in the combat and re-embodied after some time; the only known Elf to have travelled back to Middle-earth after rebirth; served Elrond of Rivendell afterwards, and appears in LotR.
Ecthelion [eck-‘theh-lee-on ( * ‘th’ as in ‘thin’, not as in ‘then’ ) ] – famous for slaying Gothmog the Lord of Balrogs in the Fall of Gondolin; died in the combat.
Voronwë [vor-‘on-weh] – an Elf of Gondolin who led the Man Tuor to the city with Ulmo’s warning to the King.

– Idril [‘ih-drill] – daughter of Turgon; golden-haired and exceptionally wise; had a secret passage out of Gondolin built; escaped through it with her family and a host of survivors in the Fall of Gondolin; married the mortal Man Tuor with whom she sailed to Valinor; mother of Eärendil.

– – Eärendil [eh-ah-‘ren-dihl] – a half-elf: son of Idril of Gondolin and the mortal man Tuor; born in Gondolin, grew up in the Havens of Sirion, where he married Elwing the Lady of the refugees of Doriath; a great mariner; reached Valinor with his wife and persuaded the Valar to assist the free peoples and overthrow Morgoth; has traversed the sky in his white ship with a Silmaril ever since; father of Elrond and Elros.
You know him from: he’s named several times in LotR; Elrond mentions him as his father at the Council; the captured light of his Silmaril is given by Galadriel to Frodo as a gift; Bilbo sings of Eärendil’s life and voyage in great detail in his song in Rivendell.

– – – Elrond, Elros [‘el-rond, ‘el-ross] – twin sons of Eärendil; born in the Havens of Sirion before the end of the First Age; Elros chose mortal life and became the first King of Númenor and thus a distant ancestor of Aragorn; Elrond chose Elven life and became a great loremaster and healer in the later ages; he and his children are the last living Elven descendants of the House of Fingolfin in Middle-earth.

Aredhel [‘ah-reh-thel ( * ‘th’ as in ‘then’, not as in ‘thin’) ] – daughter of Fingolfin and sister of Fingon and Turgon; known for her restless nature; in Middle-earth she lived with her brother Turgon, except for her temporary sojourn in the forest of Nan Elmoth where she got married; mother of Maeglin, with whom she returned to Gondolin; killed shortly after.
Also called: The White Lady of the Noldor (as she only dressed in white).

– Maeglin [‘my-gleen] – son of Aredhel and Eöl the Dark Elf; a great smith; betrayed the location of Gondolin to Morgoth; killed in the Fall of Gondolin.

HOUSE OF FINARFIN

– the members of this house are golden-haired, and some of them meeker in temperament than the other two Houses; they are the only House guiltless of the Kinslaying; the most important realms of this house in Middle-earth are Nargothrond (First Age) and Lothlórien (Third Age). The only members who survived into the Second Age are Finarfin and Galadriel (and her daughter Celebrían).

Finarfin [fih-‘nahr-fin] (“Noble Finwë”**) – son of Finwë and his second wife Indis; inherited golden hair from his mother, as did his children; High King of the Noldor in Valinor after the death of Finwë and departure of his brother and half-brother; married to Eärwen of the Sea Elves; father of four sons (Finrod, Orodreth, Angrod, Aegnor) and Galadriel.

Finrod Felagund [‘fin-rod ‘feh-lah-goond] – the eldest of Finarfin’s children; King of Nargothrond; generally popular and beloved, even among Dwarves; found the first Men in Beleriand and befriended them; appears mainly in the story of Beren and Lúthien as he assists Beren on his quest and perishes in Sauron’s dungeons along the way, sacrificing himself and saving Beren; unmarried and childless.
You know him from: In FotR, Gildor Inglorion tells the hobbits he’s a member of Finrod’s house.
Among his subjects are:
Gwindor [‘gwin-dor] – an Elf of Nargothrond who appears in the story of Túrin Turambar; escaped from Morgoth’s slavery; met Túrin on his way home and led him to Nargothrond; killed in the battle that started the Fall of Nargothrond.

Orodreth [or-‘odd-reth] – the second and last King of Nargothrond; appears to have the meekest temper in the entire House of Finwë; appears mainly in the story of Túrin Turambar who stayed in his realm at one point; slain in the battle that started the Fall of Nargothrond; father of Finduilas.

– Finduilas [fin-‘dooee-lass] – daughter of Orodreth; loved the Man Túrin Turambar; killed by Orcs after the Fall of Nargothrond.

Angrod [‘ahn-grodd] – son of Finarfin; along with his brother Aegnor lived in the North of Beleriand, the closest to Angband of all Elven realms; slain in the Battle of the Sudden Flame.

Aegnor [‘eye-gnorr] – son of Finarfin; lived close to Angband along with his brother Angrod; possibly the only male Elf to have loved a mortal woman **; slain in the Battle of the Sudden Flame.

Galadriel [gah-‘lah-dree-el] – one of the greatest Noldor of all times; the youngest of the children of Finarfin; famous for her radiant golden hair after which she got her name; after arriving in Middle-earth, she stayed in her kinsman Thingol’s realm of Doriath where she met Celeborn; her most famous residence in the later times is Lothlórien.
You know her from: The entire LotR series.

– Celebrían [keh-leh-‘bree-ahn] – daughter of Galadriel and Celeborn; born in the Second Age; married Elrond; mother of Elladan, Elrohir and Arwen.


Teleri

Teleri [‘teh-leh-rih] (singular Teler) – The third and largest host of Elves who set out to Valinor; due to the size of their clan they had two leaders, Olwë and Elwë (Thingol); they loved the lands or seas of Middle-earth, which was why most of them turned aside from the journey and remained in Middle-earth; renowned for their fair voices, love for twilight, and knowledge of the lands and nature of Middle-earth.

Based on how far they made it on the journey to Valinor, they are differentiated into several kindreds:

– Nandor (Wood-elves) – stayed in the parts of Middle-earth that remained into the Third Age (Lórien, Mirkwood, etc.)
– Laiquendi (Green Elves) – Nandor who eventually made it to Beleriand and settled there
– Sindar (Grey Elves) – remained in Beleriand with their king Thingol. They play a key role in The Silmarillion.
– Falathrim (Sea Elves) – made it to the shores of Beleriand where they remained with their lord Círdan
– Falmari (Sea Elves of Valinor) – made it to Valinor where they lived in the haven of Alqualondë

You know them from: the wood elves of Mirkwood and Lórien are Teleri, as are Celeborn and Círdan; almost all other named Elves in LotR and The Hobbit, such as Galadriel and Elrond, have partly Telerin blood.

~ TELERI OF VALINOR (FALMARI) [‘fahl-mah-rih]

– lived in the haven of Alqualondë; their king is Olwë; renowned for their white swan-shaped ships, and as mariners; victims of the First Kinslaying.
Also called: People of the Waves (translation of ‘Falmari’), Sea-elves; when talking of Elves of Valinor only, the general term ‘Teleri’ is sometimes used.

Olwë [‘all-weh] – king of the Sea-elves of Alqualondë in Valinor; brother of Elwë (Thingol); grandfather of Galadriel and her brothers.

Eärwen [eh-‘ahr-when] – daughter of Olwë; married Finarfin and thereby joined the royal line of the Noldor; mother of Galadriel and her brothers.

~ TELERI OF MIDDLE-EARTH (ÚMANYAR) [‘oo-mah-nyar]

– those who set out on the journey to Valinor but eventually stayed in Middle-earth.

FALATHRIM [fah-‘lah-threem] – [b]Sea Elves of Middle-earth[/b]; great mariners and shipwrights; their lord is Círdan; lived on the coasts (“falas” in Sindarin, hence their name) of Beleriand in the First Age; in the later ages, the last Falathrim live in the Grey Havens. They don’t play a major role in the key events of the Silmarillion except in the story of Eärendil’s voyage.
You know them from: Círdan’s people in the Grey Havens are presumably remnants of the Falathrim.

Círdan the Shipwright [‘keer-dahn] – lord of the Sea-elves of Middle-earth; his people lived on the coasts of Beleriand in the First Age; since the Second Age, he and his people lived in the Grey Havens, from which Elves sailed to Valinor; possibly the oldest Elf in Middle-earth by the Third Age, and one of the few Elves to have a beard.
You know him from: LotR, mostly for assisting the Ring-bearers in sailing to Valinor and giving Gandalf the Ring of Fire.

SINDAR (GREY ELVES) [‘sin-dahr] – (singular Sinda); lived all over Beleriand but their most famous residence is the realm of Doriath where their king Thingol lived; out of all the kindreds of the Teleri, they play the largest role in The Silmarillion: they appear in the stories of Beren and Lúthien and of Túrin, and they were the victims of the Second and Third Kinslayings.
You know them from: the kings of Mirkwood elves are Sindarin in origin, as is Celeborn; Elrond is partly descended from the royal Sindarin line; some of the famous Sindar are mentioned in LotR.

Thingol (Elwë / Elu) [‘thin-gol ‘ell-weh] – king of the Sindar and husband to the Maia Melian; his realm was Doriath and he seldom left it; father of Lúthien; related to both Galadriel and Celeborn; killed by Dwarves; the tallest Elf ever, and silver-haired like his kinsman Celeborn. He plays a crucial role in the story of Beren and Lúthien, and appears also in the story of Túrin.
You know him from: Aragorn mentions him when telling the hobbits the story of Lúthien. (FotR)
Among his subjects are: Beleg Strongbow, Mablung, Daeron and others.

Lúthien [‘loo-thih-en] – daughter of Thingol and Melian; said to be the fairest Elf-maid to have ever lived; inherited powers in spells and songs of enchantment from her mother; fell in love with the mortal man Beren, with whom she succeeded in recovering a Silmaril from the crown of Morgoth; along with him died but both were granted a return from death at the cost of her receiving a mortal life; her only child is Dior; great-grandmother of Elrond.
Also called: Tinúviel (“nightingale”)
You know her from: Arwen is repeatedly likened to her ancestor Lúthien in appearance and fate; Aragorn sings the lay of Lúthien on the journey to Rivendell. (FotR)

Dior [‘dee-or] – the only son of Beren and Lúthien; became king of Doriath after Thingol was slain; inherited the Silmaril that Beren and Lúthien recovered; slain for the jewel by the Sons of Fëanor in the Fall of Doriath; husband of Nimloth, father of Elwing and grandfather of Elrond.
Also called: Eluchíl (“heir of Elu Thingol”)

Elwing [‘ehl-wing] – daughter of Dior; wife of Eärendil with whom she ruled the remnants of the people from Doriath and Gondolin in the Havens of Sirion; mother of Elrond and Elros; inherited the Silmaril from Dior; escaped the attack on the Havens with the Silmaril and joined Eärendil in his voyage to Valinor; stays in Valinor while her husband traverses the sky with the Silmaril as a star; sometimes assumes the shape of a white gull.
You know her from: Elrond mentions her when talking about his ancestry at the Council; Bilbo’s song in Rivendell speaks of her in greater detail. (FotR)

Thingol’s subjects:

Celeborn – [‘keh-leh-born] Thingol’s kinsman (probably great-nephew*); lived in Doriath where Galadriel met him; stayed in Middle-earth with his wife Galadriel after the end of the First Age.
You know him from: the entire LotR series.

-Beleg Strongbow [‘beh-leg] – chief of the marchwardens of Doriath; great archer; along with Mablung sometimes acted as king Thingol’s ambassador; friend of Túrin by whom he was slain by mistake.

Mablung [‘mah-bloong] – captain of Doriath; along with Beleg sometimes acted as king Thingol’s ambassador; slain by Dwarves in the Fall of Doriath.

Daeron [‘daye-ron] – loremaster and minstrel of king Thingol; the greatest Elven minstrel of all times and inventor of the runes (particularly popular among Dwarves); in love with Lúthien; wandered off and never returned after she left with Beren for the quest of the Silmaril.

-Eöl the Dark Elf [‘eh-all] – great craftsman and sword-smith; preferred darkness to sunlight (hence his epithet) and lived in the dark forest of Nan Elmoth; one of the few Elves to befriend Dwarves; maker of the black sword Anglachel that Túrin later carried; husband of Aredhel of Gondolin, and father of Maeglin; both left him for the city of Gondolin; executed in Gondolin to where he pursued his family.

Also around was Thranduil, the future king of the wood-elves of Mirkwood and father of Legolas; Thranduil and his father were Sindarin Elves though their later subjects were wood-elves.

NANDOR [‘nahn-dor] – (singular Nando); wood elves; left the Great Journey near the Misty Mountains and settled near the River Anduin; a part of them later continued to Beleriand and became known as Green Elves. They don’t play any role in the main events of The Silmarillion.

LAIQUENDI (GREEN ELVES) [lie-‘quehn-dee] – (singular Laiquendë); settled in the land of Ossiriand near the Blue Mountains; lived a secluded woodland life and hardly come into the events of the Silmarillion.