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Silmarillion Project Part 4: The Free Peoples of the First Age


The Free Peoples of Middle-Earth consist of Men, Elves and Dwarves. Elves were the first to arise, and are virtually immortal. When they awoke, they were called to reside with the Valar in their continent of Aman, though the journey from their birthplace in Middle-Earth was far. Many Elves never completed the journey, but those who did were known as High Elves, and are considered the most powerful of their race.

There are three houses of High Elves:

  1. Teleri - The largest of the houses, Teleri are a diverse group that has often found its home in the sea. They are among the most skilled shipbuilders and navigators of their time. The Teleri usually had brown hair and eyes, though those of royal lineage had silver hair.
  2. Vanyar - The ruling house of Elves, the Vanyar comprise the wisest and most powerful of their race, including the high king of all Elves, Ingwë. The most distinctive element of the Vanyar is that once arriving in Aman, they would virtually never leave it again. As such, their influence in the history of Middle-Earth is brief. Vanyar are exceptionally fair, with bright golden hair.
  3. Noldor - Easily the most famous of the High Elves, the Noldor are the most ambitious and industrious of their kind. They are above all legendary craftsmen; it was the Noldor Fëanor who crafted the Silmarils, for which the Silmarillion is named. As one might expect, the Noldor are extremely proud, becoming the source of much tragedy in Middle-Earth. Noldor have a strong, muscular build, usually bearing very dark hair and grey eyes.

Of the Elves who chose to stay in Middle-Earth, the most notable are the Sindar. They, along with the Dwarves, comprise the rest of the non-human allies during the First Age of the Silmarillion.

  1. Sindar- A large population of Teleri never completed the journey to Aman and stayed in Middle-Earth. These became known as the Sindar, and comprise the Elves most familiar to the human history of MIddle-Earth. They largely prefer natural surroundings, creating cities in harmony with the forests. 
  2. Dwarves - Created by Aluë as a crude imitation/homage to the true Children of Illuvatar (Elves & Men), Dwarves were given true life, though their nature and appearance is notably different from the other races. Dwarves are stubborn, hardy, and resistant to both evil and harsh elements. They prefer mining and crafting, surpassing all others in the skill of smithing. Their relationship with Elves is complicated, though they found good friends amongst the Noldor.

In the First Age, the humans who participated in the wars against Morgoth were known as the Edain, who were divided into three houses: 

  1. Hador - The House of Hador was large and fond of warfare. Many of the greatest warriors of the First Age came from these people, and above all the Edain gained the most renown. They were very tall and usually had blonde or goldenhair.
  2. Haleth - The House of Haleth were the most peaceful and reclusive of the Edain, largely keeping out of the conflicts of the First Age. They were dark-haired, short, and survived well into later times.
  3. Bëor - The smallest house of the Edain, Bëor consisted of patient, steadfast people who were quick to resist the evil temptations of Morgoth. They endured significant menace and tragedy from the Dark Lord and his armies throughout the First Age.

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