@tolkienofcolourweek day six | multicultural identities ● migration ● time | the sundering of the teleri
The Nelyar were the third clan of the elves, the largest and most fractured. A third refused the Journey west to Aman, and along with half the Tatyar became known as the Avari. The remaining two-thirds of the Nelyar were the last and slowest host of the Eldar (those who embarked upon the Journey), and were named by the others the Teleri, the Last, though they called themselves the Lindar or Lindai, the Singers.
Though all the Minyar-Vanyar and Tatyar-Noldor who took the Journey arrived in Aman, the Lindar were greatly sundered along the way. In the fertile vales of the river Anduin, many Lindar abandoned the Journey and remained there under the leadership of Lenwë, known also as Dan or Denweg. These were named by the other hosts the Nandor, those who went back, but they saw themselves as closer kindred to the Avari, and in time would merge with the Penni tribe into one people, the Tawarwaith or Silvan elves, dwelling mostly in the forests of Eryn Galen and Lórinand.
The Lindar who marched onward were sundered again upon crossing the Blue Mountains into Beleriand. There a group of them forsook the Journey and traveled northward to the grey lands of Hithlum, and became known as the Mithrim, the grey folk. The rest of the Lindar lingered in Beleriand, some waiting by the shores of the sea to be taken to Aman and others exploring the vast forests. It was at this time that their king, Elwë, was lost in the wood of Nan Elmoth, and could not be found. Many of his folk searched for him, and when it came time for the Lindar to leave, they would not go for love of him.
Thus Olwë brother of Elwë took kingship of his people and took those who would across the sea to the Blessed Lands. These were the shore-dwellers, who boarded Tol Eressëa the Lonely Isle and sailed across the waters; but Ossë, Maia of Ulmo, loved them jealously, and broke off a small piece of the island near Beleriand’s shores, leaving many of them stranded from their kin. These Ossë taught to build and sail ships, and they returned to Beleriand under the leadership of Círdan the shipwright, though they mourned their separation from their departed kin. Tol Eressëa did not return again, and thus those Lindar who remained called themselves the Egladhrim, the Forsaken, for the Valar and their kindred had abandoned them to the wilds of Middle-earth. Those who made it at last to Valinor became known as the Falmari, the people of the waves, for they dwelt ever by the shores of the sea.
The Egladhrim were further divided into two groups: the Falathrim, the folk of the waves, who like their kin the Falmari made their home along the coast, though on the opposite shore; and those who remained faithful to Elwë, who at last emerged from Nan Elmoth and took the name Elu Thingol. Slowly the language of the Lindar of Beleriand changed, and they called themselves the Edhil, people of the stars, whether they were Mithrim or Falathrim or Elurim. In this time also Denethor son of Lenwë who had stayed by the Anduin took a group of his father’s people into Beleriand, calling themselves the Laikwendi or Laegrim, and settled in Ossiriand in the shadows of the Blue Mountains.
When the Dark Rider returned and attacked the Edhil, Denethor was slain in battle upon the lonely hill of Amon Ereb, and his people fled back to Ossiriand, taking no other king and fighting no other wars. He was avenged by Thingol, and a small portion of the Laikwendi chose to follow him back to Menegroth, his city of caverns; ever after they were known as the Guest-elves, for they were yet a people apart from the Elurim. At this time Melian, wife of Elu and a Maia of great power, brought up a Girdle about the forests of central Beleriand, and the realm within it was called Doriath, the Land of the Fence, and its people were named the Iathrim, the folk of the fence.
Later, when the Noldor would return to Middle-earth in exile, the Lindar of Beleriand would be called in their tongue the Sindar, the Grey-elves, which in their own tongue was Thinnedhil. But to themselves they were always the Edhil, divided into Mithrim and Falathrim and Iathrim and Laegrim; and Elu Thingol claimed kingship over them all, though many found greater friendship in the Noldor than with him.
[transcript of image text & graphic flowchart of the Sundering beneath the cut]
A full image description is available in alt text. Below is a transcript of the text in each image.
Falmari: Folk of the Waves. Those of the Teleri who followed Olwë, brother of Elwë, and came to the shores of Beleriand and traveled upon the Tol Eressëa across the Great Sea. The Falmari settled upon the shores of Aman, where they founded Alqualondë, the Swan-haven.
Sindar: the Grey-elves. Those of the Teleri who reached Beleriand under the leadership of Elwë, but did not reach Aman. For love of Middle-earth, or for their King, they remained in the East. In their tongue they called themselves the Edhil, but the exiled Noldor called them the Sindar.
Mithrim: the Grey Folk. Those of the Sindar who moved northward and settled in Hithlum around the Lake Mithrim. They were closest to the Noldorin exiles and unfriends of the Iathrim, who spoke a different dialect of their language, Edhellen.
Egladhrim: the Forsaken. Those of the Sindar who remained in Beleriand for love of Elwë their vanished King, rather than following his brother Olwë to Aman. This group also included those Sindar who came to the travelling island, but were left behind when the Isle of Balar broke off, and were not returned for.
Falathrim: Folk of the Waves. Those of the Egladhrim who would have gone to Aman had not their part of Tol Eressëa broken off and become the Isle of Balar, leaving them stranded near Beleriand. The Falathrim were led by Círdan the Shipwright, and were beloved of Ossë.
Iathrim: Folk of the Fence. Those of the Egladhrim who remained in Beleriand for the sake of their King, Elwë Singollo, who vanished before the Teleri were able to cross to Aman. When Elwë finally re-emerged with his Maia wife, Melian, he took the name Elu Thingol and established the Hidden Kingdom of Doriath, Land of the Fence.
Nandor: Those Who Went Back. Those of the Teleri who, upon reaching the fair vales of the river Anduin, forsook the Great Journey. Their first leader was Lenwë, known also as Dan or Denweg, but as their numbers grew they spread out and took other lords and kings.
Silvans: Folk of the Forest. Those of the Nandor who remained in the Vales of Anduin and the surrounding territory. The SIlvan elves mainly dwelt in Lórinand and the Greenwood, and were close in kinship to the Penni Avari.
Laikwendi: the Green-elves. Those of the Nandor who, under the leadership of Denethor son of Denweg, came to Beleriand later than the rest of their Telerin kindred. After Denethor's death in the First Battle of Beleriand, they took no other King, though some small portion of their people moved to Doriath and became known to the Iathrim as the Guest-elves.
SUNDERING OF THE ELVES: A GRAPHIC FLOWCHART