The Teleri were the largest of the three hosts of Elves who set out on the Great Journey to answer the summons of the Valar to Aman. Their name means ‘Lastcomers’ or 'Hindmost', because they were the most reluctant to leave Middle-earth. They were often delayed along the way and they fell behind the other two hosts of Elves.

The Teleri were led by the brothers, Olwë and Elwë (Thingol). They were delayed on the Great Journey in East Beleriand, and they missed the first voyage of Elves to Aman.

At that time, Elwë was lost in Nan Elmoth, and a major split in the Teleri occurred when a large number stayed in Beleriand to search for him.

The Nandor and the Sindar Elves are descended from the Teleri.

When he realized that they had been left behind by the other Elves, Olwë led his people to the Mouth of Sirion where they were instructed in the arts of the sea by Ossë and Uinen. That was where the Teleri developed their love of the sea which would later lead them to become great shipwrights.

Many of the Teleri went to Aman on the second journey west - pulled on an island from the Bay of Balar by Ulmo. They were anchored for a time in the Bay of Eldamar at the request of Ossë, where they could live within sight of Aman within the light of the trees, but still be surrounded by the sea that they loved.

However, some of the Teleri remained on the western shores of Middle-earth and became the Falathrim under the leadership of Círdan the Shipwright.

During the revolt of the Noldor, many Teleri were killed in the Kinslaying at Alqualondë, when they refused to give up their swan ships to the Noldorin exiles.

The Teleri were instructed in the art of music by Ulmo, and were the fairest singers among the Eldar. Because of this, they were also called the Lindar (the singers).
Encyclopedia entry originally written by Nanelleth