The Encyclopedia of Arda - an interactive guide to the world of J.R.R. Tolkien
Dates
The Noldor returned to Middle-earth immediately before the first rising of the Sun and Moon; many had returned into the West by the end of the Third Age
Origins
Eldar who travelled to Middle-earth in the following of Fëanor, or their descendants
Race
Division
Settlements
Found especially in Lindon and Rivendell, and in Eregion while that realm stood
Meaning
The 'wise' here appears to be derived from Noldor, which can be translated 'wise ones' or 'those with knowledge'
Other names
The Noldor as a people1 were also known as Deep Elves, Golodhrim, Loremasters and Nómin

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About this entry:

  • Updated 3 February 2019
  • Updates planned: 1
"And here in Rivendell there live still some of his chief foes: the Elven-wise, lords of the Eldar from beyond the furthest seas."
Words of Gandalf
The Fellowship of the Ring II 1
Many Meetings

Those among the Elves in Middle-earth who were highest in knowledge and power, having dwelt in the bliss of the Blessed Realm of Valinor and returned to Middle-earth. These High Elves were, for the most part, of the Noldor, of whom a great number followed Fëanor out of Aman in his quest for revenge against Morgoth and fought the long Wars of Beleriand before the end of the First Age. By the end of the Third Age, many of these had departed back across the Great Sea, but some few remained in refuges such as Rivendell or Lórien.

Though almost all the Elven-wise were of the exiled Noldor, there are hints that not all may have been followers of Fëanor. Gandalf's comment quoted above was in particular reference to Glorfindel, and late notes of Tolkien's suggest that Glorfindel may have been sent back to Middle-earth independently, perhaps as a companion of the Istari in the Third Age. For more on this possibility, see 'The Problem of the Two Glorfindels' in the entry for Glorfindel of Gondolin.


Notes

1

Not all of the Noldor abandoned Aman in the great exodus led by Fëanor. About a tenth of these people remained in the West under the leadership of Finarfin, and so did not strictly belong to the Elven-wise in Middle-earth.

Indexes:

About this entry:

  • Updated 3 February 2019
  • Updates planned: 1

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