3 posts tagged sindar
“Silmarillion Chapter 4: Of Thingol and Melian”
“Then an enchantment fell on him, and he stood still still; and afar off beyond the voices of the lómelindi he heard the voice of Melian, and it filled all his heart with wonder and desire. He forgot utterly all his people and the purposes of his mind, and following the birds under the shadow of the trees he passed deep into Nan Elmoth and was lost. But he came at last to a glade open to the stars, and there Melian stood; and out of the darkness he looked at her, and the light of Aman was in her face.”
Thingol and Melian are the High King and Queen of Beleriand, and functionally all of Middle-Earth in their day. Melian is a Maia, the race of spirits that include Sauron. Tolkien gives very little description of her, so I decided to keep a slightly otherworldly appearance, with horns like a faun or forest spirit. She’s actually much wiser than her husband and much more joyful, so I wanted to make sure that imagery held.
Thingol is the King of the Sindar, the “Grey Elves” who stayed in Middle-Earth (though Thingol himself made the journey to Aman once). As the tallest of the Men and Elves and one of the mightiest in battle, I wanted to keep his form larger and imposing. Older Elves can grow beards, and I’ve decided that any male Elf who was among the first to awaken (this includes Thingol) will be sporting a beard.
Previous Silmarillion entries:
- Ainulindalë - The Music of the Ainur
- Valaquenta - Account of the Valar and Maiar in according to the lore of the Eldar
- The Monsters of Middle-Earth
- The Free Peoples of the First Age
- Silmarillion Chapter 1 - Of the Beginning of Days
- Silmarillion Chapter 2 - Of Aulë and Yavanna
- Silmarillion Chapter 3 - Of the Coming of the Elves and the Captivity of Melkor
I sketched some Elf soliders from the Silmarillion in the Livestream today! These are the three armies/peoples to first fight Morgoth around the beginning of the First Age.
- The one on the left is a soldier from Doriath, a Middle-Earth Sindar Kingdom that’s largely hidden within a great forest, its capital consisting of a massive cave system. While Doriath Elves aren’t “High Elves” who have travelled to the West before, they’re a force to be reckoned with during the war against Morgoth. They’re of Teleri descent, so they are very tall and thin, and those of Doriath are adept at fighting in dense woods.
- The second is an Elf soldier of the Noldor, who comprise many of the most famous Elves in the Silmarillion. They are proud and daring, and above all else are master craftspeople and blacksmiths, which their armor reflects. Noldor are shorter than their Teleri cousins, but notably more muscular. This soldier here is wearing dark paint across her eyes to mark her dedication toward defeating Morgoth and recovering the Silmarils, which the Noldor Fëanor had crafted.
- The third is a member of the Laiquendi, or Green-Elves. They were a woods-dwelling people who allied themselves with the Elves of Doriath when Morgoth first returned to Middle-Earth. Unlike more familiar Elves, the Laiquendi were not technologically advanced, using no metal and clothing themselves in leaves and grass. They were highly secretive, and only participated in a handful of conflicts during the First Age before disappearing from history.
For more info, here’s my previous post on Elves in the Silmarillion.
Silmarillion Project Part 4: The Free Peoples of the First Age
- Part 1: “Ainulindalë - The Music of the Ainur”
- Part 2: “Valaquenta - Account of the Valar and Maiar in according to the lore of the Eldar”
- Part 3: “The Monsters of Middle-Earth”
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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.