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Thread: Elven Heratige

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You know the different types of Elf - Noldor, Sindar, etc... Did the lines interbreed so no trace of the original heratige was left? Or do the lines still exist, mainly unchanged? If so, which elves in LOTR (Glorfindel, Arwen etc...) are of which types?
Elven lines did interbreed, but not so that they became one. Because elves are long lived, there are not many generations in which to dilute the bloodlines, and some examples of the original bloodlines are still around by the time of the War of the Ring. For a few examples...

Vanyar - This was the smallest group of Elves, and the first to go to the Undying Lands. Apart from returning for a brief war at the end of the First Age, they remained in the Undying Lands. Ingwe was and still is their king. Finwe's second wife, Indis, was Vanyar even though he was King of the Noldor. This is why some of the Noldor, such as Fingolfin, Finarfin, Finrod and Galadriel have golden hair (a Vanyar trait) rather than the more usual black hair.

Noldor - This was the second group to reach the Undying Lands, and many returned to Middle Earth after Melkor stole the Silmarils. Finwe, Feanor, and Feanor's sons were pure blooded Noldor. As I mentioned above, however, many of the famous Noldor such as Fingolfin, Finarfin, Turgon, Finrod, Gil Galad and Galadriel etc all had Vanyar blood. It is likely Glorfindel also had Vanyar blood.

Sindar - The Sindar were part of the largest group of Elves, the Teleri. This group benefited from the teachings of Melian, and so were wiser than the other elves who did not go to the Undying Lands. Thingol, Celeborn, Cirdan the Shipwright, and Legolas's father Thranduil were all examples of Sindarin elves.

Nandor - Like the Sindar, the Nandor were part of the Teleri, but they did not have the benefit of Melian's teachings. Galadriel eventually came to rule over this group, however, and her knowledge made them wiser than some of the other Wood Elves. Haldir is most likely Nandor.

Avari - These are elves who refused to partake the Great Journey west, and are also known as Dark elves and Wood Elves. They tend to be less wise and more retiring than other elves, so few of them are known. Most of the Elves of Mirkwood are of this type, although their Lords are Sindarin. Legolas might be half Sindarin-half Avari, although it is more likely he is pure blooded Sindarin.

As for the likes of Elrond and Arwen.... they have a bit of everything. Elrond for example has Maian, Sindarin and the First House of the Edain (Human) blood from his mother, and Noldor, Vanyar, and the Second and Third Houses of the Edain (Human) from his father's side. Arwen is similar, except her mother had Noldor, Sindarin and Vanyar blood.
So the children of Aragorn and Arwen combined all traits in one. Interesting.
I think that was why Elrond's father, Earendil, was the person the Valar had been waiting for. At the time he was the one person who could represent all of the major families, and show they were united.
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Avari - These are elves who refused to partake the Great Journey west, and are also known as Dark elves and Wood Elves. They tend to be less wise and more retiring than other elves, so few of them are known. Most of the Elves of Mirkwood are of this type, although their Lords are Sindarin. Legolas might be half Sindarin-half Avari, although it is more likely he is pure blooded Sindarin.

That's not correct, is it? The elves of Mirkwood were once part of the Eldar (Teleri, to be exact), who took part on the great trip lead by Orom to Valinor, but they just stopped along the road. The Avari didn't even take part in this trip, they were no Eldar, but stayed behind in Cuivienen. The Avari appear to live in the far east of Middle-Earth.

Anyway, the Elves of Mirkwood are Sindar, as i see it - they are Eldar, although that term was only used later on to depict Elves from Valinor.

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So the children of Aragorn and Arwen combined all traits in one.

No, not all : no Avari traits. And also no traits of Santa's Elves.
Thanks for the information. I didn't realise there were so many types of elf! One question though. The Edain were the race of men and that name was given to them by the elves. Who named the Elven races - are they named after people, or Elvish words, or what?
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That's not correct, is it? The elves of Mirkwood were once part of the Eldar (Teleri, to be exact), who took part on the great trip lead by Orom to Valinor, but they just stopped along the road. The Avari didn't even take part in this trip, they were no Eldar, but stayed behind in Cuivienen. The Avari appear to live in the far east of Middle-Earth.

Anyway, the Elves of Mirkwood are Sindar, as i see it - they are Eldar, although that term was only used later on to depict Elves from Valinor.


I should perhaps have said Silvan Elves rather than Avari. Silvan Elves is a term applied to Elves who are not Eldar, and is usually identified as being Avari. The Avari were those who refused the summons to travel west from Cuivienen, but wandering bands did eventually migrate to such places as Mirkwood and Lorien. I agree, the Sindar and Nandor were Teleri, and thus Eldar, but many of the Elves of Mirkwood were Silvan. Because of their greater wisdom, Sindarin and Noldorin exiles eventually became the leaders of these groups.

From UT, History of Galadriel and Celeborn

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The people of Lorien were even then (ie. at the time of the loss of Amroth) much as they were at the end of the Third Age: Silvan in origin, but ruled by princes of Sindarin descent (as was the realm of Thranduil in the northern parts of Mirkwood; though whether Thranduil and Amroth were akin is not now known).
Grist for the mill:

Yes, Arwen and Aragorns children combined all elements, but it would be more fair to say they were recombined since Arwen and Aragorn were distant cousins through Aragorns ancestor Elros, twin brother of Elrond and first King of Numenor. The principal use I find for the family trees at back of the Silmarillion is tracing the descent of Elrond and Elros from all three noble houses of both the Edain and the Eldar (mere sibling relationships can be revealed with the text alone.)

The Elves of Doriath, who were ultimately the Elves of Mirkwood, were in the absence of information of which I'm unaware, all Avari. Thingol (and of course, Melian) alone beheld the Two Trees of Valinor, but Thingol, because of his desire to remain in Middle-Earth with Melian (which is odd, given her origins) remained there and gathered many of the Avari in Doriath as a kingdom of his own. Thus, in terms of the parlance, Thingol was one of the Eldar, his subjects Avari.
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The Elves of Doriath, who were ultimately the Elves of Mirkwood, were in the absence of information of which I'm unaware, all Avari.

They were NO Avari. The Avari were the group of Elves who awoke at Cuivinen who didn't even join on the journey into the West, led by Orom, but stayed in the East. All Elves in Beleriand were of the second group of Elves which journeyed into the West : the Eldar.

The Elves of Doriath were of the Teleri, the biggest group of Eldar, who stopped on their journey when they reached Beleriand. They were called Sindar because Thingol was their Lord, and he had seen the light of Valinor.

The Elves of Mirkwood are mostly Nandor : those are Teleri who already stopped their journey when they reached Mirkwood; but later on they were joined by Sindar who journeyed into the East after the War of Wrath : Thranduil was their Lord.

And really, all of this has already been explained by Val earlier. Get your info right, my friend.
The best way to get your mind around all these interlocking names of the different elven groups is to study the chart "The Sundering of the Elves and some of the names given to their divisions" found at the end of The Silmarillion. Teacher Smilie
Apologies, I said Avari when I should have said Moriquendi (a distinction I tend to gloss over anyway, being far more interested in the Noldor.) Add to that I neglected to consider the Silmarillions statement that ALL the Elves of Beleriand (at least until the Noldor returned) were subjects of Thingol. I confess I tend to think of him as a Teleri who "takes in" the Avari while assigning all the Umanyar to Lenwe and Denethor (oversimplistic to say the least.) I wanna say at least some of the Teleri who searched for Thingol never resumed the March, but I can't find this anywhere in the Silmarillion, so it may be LT bleed through or some feverish imagining of my own; were this the case they also, of course, would be Umanyar and not Avari.

The issue is further complicated by three different distinction in meaning for the term "Moriquendi" in the Silmarillion Index, but it does seem a substantial number of Thingols subjects, even before his realm shrank to Doriath itself (after he "gave" the Exiles lands he couldn't control,) were Avari; whether they were a majority when the Nandor (at least those who Denethor did not return to the March, and what happened to them?) were added is impossible to determine. The Nandor were Teleri, the most numerous branch, but the Avari do seem to be separate from all three Elven kindreds in taxonomy, and we have no mention of their relative numbers (unless I embarrassingly missed something again.)

What can I say? It's been a long time since I met anyone who knew Middle-Earth as well, let alone better, than me (this is more a comment on society in general than myself in particular.)
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I wanna say at least some of the Teleri who searched for Thingol never resumed the March, but I can't find this anywhere in the Silmarillion, so it may be LT bleed through or some feverish imagining of my own; were this the case they also, of course, would be Umanyar and not Avari.

I think it's mentioned in the Sil some of the Teleri stayed behind to wait for Thingol's return : those became the Sindar who lived under Thingol in Doriath.

The rest of the Teleri went into the west and took Olw as King.
I can't find anything in Thingol and Melian indicating that, despite searching for him for a long time (and what that means coming from the Eldar I can only imagine,) some remained after the rest gave up and resumed the journey. I'm not saying it's not there, just that I can't find it; something like that could easily be buried in an intro to Doriath or something and snuck by me.
Quote from the beginning of Chapter 5 :

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But the Teleri remained still in Middle-earth, for they dwelt in East Beleriand far from the sea, and they heard not the summons of Ulmo until too late; and many searched still for Elw their lord, and without him they were unwilling to depart. But when they learned that Ingw and Finw and their peoples were gone, then many of the Teleri pressed on to the shores of Beleriand, and dwelt thereafter near the Mouths of Sirion, in longing for their friends that had departed; and they took Olw, Elw's brother, to be their king. Long they remained by the coasts of the western sea, and Oss and Uinen came to them and befriended them; and Oss instructed them, sitting upon a rock near to the margin of the land, and of him they learned all manner of sea-lore and sea-music. Thus it came to be that the Teleri, who were from the beginning lovers of water, and the fairest singers of all the Elves, were after enamoured of the seas, and their songs were filled with the sound of waves upon the shore.

So it seems that a part of the Teleri, although not the majority, stayed behind and later became the Sindar of Doriath. The other part of the Teleri that stayed behind, became the Falmari with Crdan as their lord.