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Silvan Elves

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Long before the beginning of the [[First Age]], the [[Elves]] of the [[Great Journey]] travelled westward through the lands of [[Middle-earth]]. Coming to the Great River [[Anduin]] and the high peaks of the [[Misty Mountains]], some of the Elves of the clan of the [[Teleri]] fell away from the journey, and settled in the woodlands east of the Mountains. These were the original [[Silvan Elves]], who lived on either side of the River. At this time in their history, all of this people still lived close together, with some dwelling in the land that would later be called [[Lórien]], and the others settling around the hill of [[Amon Lanc]] in the far south of [[Greenwood the Great]].  
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{{people infobox
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| name=Silvan Elves
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| image=[[File:Rob Alexander - Elven Cloak.jpg|250px]]
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| caption="Elven Cloak" by Rob Alexander
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| pronun=
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| othernames=Wood-elves, Tawarwaith
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| origin=[[Nandor]] who remained in the woodlands of the [[Vales of Anduin]]
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| location=[[Lothlórien]], [[Greenwood the Great]], [[Ithilien]], [[Edhellond]], [[Belfalas]]
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| affiliation=[[Last Alliance of Elves and Men]]
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| rivalry=[[Dwarves]]
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| language=[[Silvan Elvish]], [[Sindarin]], [[Westron]]
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| members=[[Nimrodel]], [[Mithrellas]], [[Galion]], [[Haldir]], [[Rúmil (Elf of Lórien)|Rúmil]], [[Orophin]]
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| lifespan=Immortal
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| distinctions=Secretive, lovers of the forests and animals, less wise and more dangerous than other [[Eldar]]
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| height=
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| hair=
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| skin=
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| clothing=
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| weapons=
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}}
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The '''Silvan Elves''' ([[Sindarin|S.]] '''''Tawarwaith'''''), or the '''Wood-elves''', were the reclusive, forest-dwelling [[Elves]] of [[Middle-earth]]. In the late [[Third Age]], the Silvan Elves mostly belonged either to the [[Galadhrim]] or to the [[Elves of Mirkwood]].<ref name="SE-UTa"/>
  
It must have been in the time these Elves were living closely together that the Silvan Elvish language appeared. As history passed, the Elves would move away from one another, and mingle with other Elvish peoples, so that the Silvan branch of [[Elvish]] would eventually become extinct. Nonetheless, relics of that ancient tongue survived in some well-known place-names and personal names, such as [[Caras Galadhon]], [[Amroth]] and even [[Lórien]] itself.
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==Background==
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{{main|Nandor}}
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The Silvan Elves were descendants of the [[Nandor]] - and thus in origin part of the [[Teleri]] - who had lingered in the [[Vales of Anduin]] during the [[Great Journey]] of the [[Eldar]] in the [[Elder Days]]. The Silvan Elves hid themselves in their woodland realms beyond the [[Misty Mountains]] and became a scattered folk hardly distinguishable from [[Avari]], the Dark Elves.<ref name="SE-UTa">{{UT|6a}}</ref> While some of the Nandor continued to [[Eriador]] and later entered [[Beleriand]], they remained in the Vales of Anduin, and from these latter originated the Silvan Elves.<ref name="SE-UTa"/>
  
The Silvan Elves dwelt in their twin woodland realms for many centuries, but in the [[Second Age]] the emerging power of [[Sauron]] began to drive them apart. Oropher was the ruler of the Elves who dwelt in the Greenwood, and he began to seek safety by moving his people northwards, away from [[Amon Lanc]] and away from the Silvan Elves who lived to the west of the [[Great River]].  
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It is also told that the some of the western [[Avari]], dwelling in Eriador and the Vales of Anduin, were friendly to the [[Eldar]], and came to merge with the Wood-elves. These were [[Nelyar|Nelyarin]] Avari ([[Penni]]), and therefore remotely akin to the Nandor and Sindar.<ref group=note>It is not known if this merge occurred during the [[Elder Days]], or during the [[Second Age|Second]] or [[Third Age|Third Ages]].</ref><ref>{{WJ|C}}, pp. 381, 410</ref>
  
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In the early [[Second Age]], many [[Teleri]], survivors of [[Doriath]] and [[Ossiriand]], left [[Lindon]] to establish woodland realms among the Silvan Elves.<ref name=rings>{{S|Rings}}</ref> It was before the building of the [[Dark Tower]] in c. {{SA|1000}} that the [[Sindar]] made this migration.<ref name=SA>{{App|SA}}</ref>
==West of Anduin: the Silvan Elves of Lórien==
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Unlike their cousins in the east, the Silvan Elves of Lórien remained settled in their land throughout their known history. We know little of their existence well into the Second Age, where we find them ruled by a Sindarin Elf named [[Amdír]]. After the destruction of [[Eregion]] in the middle Second Age, many of its exiles had escaped through [[Khazad-dûm]] into the east, and had joined the Silvan Elves of Lórien and ultimately mingled with them.  
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Amdír was lost in the wars at the end of the Second Age. In the time of his son [[Amroth]], [[Durin's Bane]] was unleashed in Khazad-dûm. After this time, especially with the power of Sauron growing in [[Dol Guldur]] to the east, many of Lórien's people fled into the south. Amroth himself was among them, and he was drowned in the Bay of Belfalas far from his kingdom. It was at this time, a little more than a thousand years before the [[War of the Ring]], that [[Galadriel]] and [[Celeborn, Lord of Lórien|Celeborn]] became the Lord and Lady of Lórien.
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==In Greenwood the Great==
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{{main|Elves of Mirkwood}}
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In the early [[Second Age]], [[Oropher]] of [[Doriath]] (father of [[Thranduil]] and grandfather of [[Legolas]]) along with few other [[Sindar]] came to [[Greenwood the Great]], east of the [[Misty Mountains]]. There, he became the King of the Silvan Elves east of Anduin and established the [[Woodland Realm]] in {{SA|750}}.<ref>{{PM|Second}}, p. 174</ref> The culture of the Silvan folk was rude and rustic in comparison to the [[Beleriand|Beleriandic]] culture of the Sindar but soon enough, the Sindar had merged with the Silvan Elves and adopted their language, taking names of Silvan form and style.<ref name="Sindarin Princes">{{UT|6b}}</ref>
  
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Although the Silvan Elves initially dwelt in the south of the Wood,<ref name="Sindarin Princes"/> centred around [[Amon Lanc]],<ref name="Note 14"/> they constantly retreated northwards (thrice in the [[Second Age]])<ref name="Note 14">{{UT|Gladden}}, note 14</ref> and after the [[Shadow]] had fallen upon [[Mirkwood]] by the mid-[[Third Age]], the Silvan Elves dwelt in the far north-east of the forest. Their king, [[Thranduil]] (the son of [[Oropher]], who was slain in the [[War of the Last Alliance]]), built an [[Elvenking's Halls|underground fortress]] for himself and his people inspired by [[Thingol]]'s [[Menegroth]] in the far [[Elder Days]].<ref name="Sindarin Princes"/>
==East of Anduin: the Silvan Elves of Mirkwood==
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The Elves of Greenwood the Great, soon to become known as [[Mirkwood]], had a much less settled existence than their fellow Silvan Elves in the west. Their original dwellings were in the far south of the great Wood, but as Sauron's power grew, they gradually withdrew farther and farther northward. Eventually Sauron chose to settle within the Forest itself, and in fact built his fortress of Dol Guldur on the hill of Amon Lanc, where the Silvan Elves had originally dwelt. Though his identity remained secret during this time (he was known simply as the '[[Necromancer]]') he brought darkness and shadow to Greenwood the Great, and the Elves retreated farther still.
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In the later years of the [[Third Age]], their King Thranduil (the son of [[Oropher]], who was slain in the [[War of the Last Alliance]]) dwelt with his people in the far northeast of Mirkwood, in underground dwellings protected by magic. Their history of fleeing from Sauron's darkness had made them a suspicious and unwelcoming people, as [[Thorin]] and his companions discovered during the [[Quest of Erebor]]. It was from [[Thranduil]]'s underground halls that his son [[Legolas]] journeyed at the end of the Third Age, to play a great part in the War of the Ring.
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==In Lothlórien==
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{{main|Galadhrim}}
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Little is known of their early history save that in the [[Second Age]], they were ruled by a [[Sindar|Sindarin]] prince named [[Amdír]]. After the destruction of [[Eregion]] in {{SA|1697}}, many of its exiles, both [[Noldor]] and [[Sindar]], escaped through [[Khazad-dûm]] into the east, and had joined the Silvan Elves of Lórien and mingled with them.<ref name="Galadriel">{{UT|Concerning}}</ref>
  
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[[Amdír]] was lost in the [[War of the Last Alliance]] so his son, [[Amroth]], succeeded to his kingship. During his reign, [[Durin's Bane]] was unleashed in [[Khazad-dûm]] and many of Lórien's people fled south to [[Edhellond]]. [[Amroth]] himself was among them, and he was drowned in the [[Bay of Belfalas]]. It was at this time that [[Galadriel]] and [[Celeborn]] became the [[Lord and Lady of Lórien]].<ref name=ta>{{App|TA}}</ref>
==The War of the Ring and beyond==
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In the War of the Ring, Sauron's forces attacked both Silvan realms. By the power of Galadriel and her Ring, Lórien was protected against three waves of assault from Dol Guldur. Thranduil had no Ring to protect his realm - it was invaded and the trees of the northern forest set alight, though he was at last able to drive back the enemy.
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With the fall of Sauron, Dol Guldur was destroyed, and Mirkwood renamed again: [[Eryn Lasgalen]], the [[Wood of Greenleaves]]. Now the Silvan Elves once again dwelt in the south of the Wood, but these were not Thranduil's people, but Elves of Lórien, who crossed the Great River to live in a new land named East Lórien. Though the original land of Lórien faded after the passing of Galadriel and Celeborn, the Silvan Elves of the Wood lived peacefully under their trees for many long years.  
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==Later history==
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Although both Silvan realms were invaded in the [[War of the Ring]], the fall of [[Sauron]] ushered in a long peace whence the Silvan Elves in the now-cleansed [[Eryn Lasgalen]] long remained untroubled. Now the Silvan Elves once again dwelt in the south of the Wood, but these were [[Elves of Lórien]] who crossed the [[Anduin]] to live in a new realm named [[East Lórien]]. Though the original land of [[Lothlórien]] faded after the passing of [[Galadriel]] and [[Celeborn]], the Silvan Elves of the Wood lived peacefully under their trees for many long years.<ref group=note>It is not clear if most [[Galadhrim]] either followed [[Galadriel]] and later [[Celeborn]] or just migrated to [[East Lórien]]; however, it is said that "[[Celeborn]] took the southern wood below the [[Narrows]], and named it [[East Lórien]]."</ref><ref>{{App|Great}}</ref>
  
[[Category:Elves]]
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==Etymology==
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The English adjective ''[[Wiktionary:silvan|silvan]]'' means "of, characteristic of, or consisting of woods or forests" or "living or located in woods or forests".<ref>"[http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/silvansilvan]" at [http://dictionary.reference.com Dictionary.reference.com](Collins English Dictionary; accessed 17 July 2011)</ref>
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==Other names==
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An [[Elvish]] name for the Silvan Elves was '''''Tawarwaith'''''. It has been suggested that ''Tawarwaith'' is a [[Sindarin]] name, consisting of ''tawar'' (wood, forest) + ''[[gwaith]]''(people).<ref>[http://www.tolkiendil.com/langues/english/i-lam_arth/compound_sindarin_namesCompound Sindarin Names in Middle-earth] at [http://www.tolkiendil.comTolkiendil.com] (accessed 17 July 2011)</ref><ref>[[DidierWillis]], [http://www.jrrvf.com/hisweloke/sindar/online/english.htmlHiswelókë's Sindarin Dictionary] at [http://www.jrrvf.com/haut.shtml Jrrvf.com](accessed 17 July 2011)</ref>
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==Portrayal in adaptations==
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[[File:The Lord of the Rings - The Fellowship of the Ring - Elves leaving Middle-earth.jpg|thumb|Elves leaving Middle-earth in {{fotree}}]]
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'''2001: ''[[The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring]]'':'''
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:In the scene known as "[[The Passing of the Elves]]", [[Frodo]] and [[Sam]] have a meal when Frodo hears Elves in the distance, which, according to Frodo are "Wood-elves", who travel to the [[Grey Havens]] and leave Middle-earth.
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{{elves}}
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{{references|note}}
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[[Category:Elven peoples]]
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[[Category:Silvan Elves| ]]
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[[de:Waldelben]]
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[[fr:encyclo/peuples/elfes/teleri/tawarwaith]]
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[[fi:Tawarwaith]]

Latest revision as of 15:18, 31 December 2020

Silvan Elves
People
Rob Alexander - Elven Cloak.jpg
"Elven Cloak" by Rob Alexander
General Information
Other namesWood-elves, Tawarwaith
OriginsNandor who remained in the woodlands of the Vales of Anduin
LocationsLothlórien, Greenwood the Great, Ithilien, Edhellond, Belfalas
AffiliationLast Alliance of Elves and Men
RivalriesDwarves
LanguagesSilvan Elvish, Sindarin, Westron
MembersNimrodel, Mithrellas, Galion, Haldir, Rúmil, Orophin
Physical Description
LifespanImmortal
DistinctionsSecretive, lovers of the forests and animals, less wise and more dangerous than other Eldar
GalleryImages of Silvan Elves

The Silvan Elves (S. Tawarwaith), or the Wood-elves, were the reclusive, forest-dwelling Elves of Middle-earth. In the late Third Age, the Silvan Elves mostly belonged either to the Galadhrim or to the Elves of Mirkwood.[1]

Contents

[edit] Background

Main article: Nandor

The Silvan Elves were descendants of the Nandor - and thus in origin part of the Teleri - who had lingered in the Vales of Anduin during the Great Journey of the Eldar in the Elder Days. The Silvan Elves hid themselves in their woodland realms beyond the Misty Mountains and became a scattered folk hardly distinguishable from Avari, the Dark Elves.[1] While some of the Nandor continued to Eriador and later entered Beleriand, they remained in the Vales of Anduin, and from these latter originated the Silvan Elves.[1]

It is also told that the some of the western Avari, dwelling in Eriador and the Vales of Anduin, were friendly to the Eldar, and came to merge with the Wood-elves. These were Nelyarin Avari (Penni), and therefore remotely akin to the Nandor and Sindar.[note 1][2]

In the early Second Age, many Teleri, survivors of Doriath and Ossiriand, left Lindon to establish woodland realms among the Silvan Elves.[3] It was before the building of the Dark Tower in c. S.A. 1000 that the Sindar made this migration.[4]

[edit] In Greenwood the Great

Main article: Elves of Mirkwood

In the early Second Age, Oropher of Doriath (father of Thranduil and grandfather of Legolas) along with few other Sindar came to Greenwood the Great, east of the Misty Mountains. There, he became the King of the Silvan Elves east of Anduin and established the Woodland Realm in S.A. 750.[5] The culture of the Silvan folk was rude and rustic in comparison to the Beleriandic culture of the Sindar but soon enough, the Sindar had merged with the Silvan Elves and adopted their language, taking names of Silvan form and style.[6]

Although the Silvan Elves initially dwelt in the south of the Wood,[6] centred around Amon Lanc,[7] they constantly retreated northwards (thrice in the Second Age)[7] and after the Shadow had fallen upon Mirkwood by the mid-Third Age, the Silvan Elves dwelt in the far north-east of the forest. Their king, Thranduil (the son of Oropher, who was slain in the War of the Last Alliance), built an underground fortress for himself and his people inspired by Thingol's Menegroth in the far Elder Days.[6]

[edit] In Lothlórien

Main article: Galadhrim

Little is known of their early history save that in the Second Age, they were ruled by a Sindarin prince named Amdír. After the destruction of Eregion in S.A. 1697, many of its exiles, both Noldor and Sindar, escaped through Khazad-dûm into the east, and had joined the Silvan Elves of Lórien and mingled with them.[8]

Amdír was lost in the War of the Last Alliance so his son, Amroth, succeeded to his kingship. During his reign, Durin's Bane was unleashed in Khazad-dûm and many of Lórien's people fled south to Edhellond. Amroth himself was among them, and he was drowned in the Bay of Belfalas. It was at this time that Galadriel and Celeborn became the Lord and Lady of Lórien.[9]

[edit] Later history

Although both Silvan realms were invaded in the War of the Ring, the fall of Sauron ushered in a long peace whence the Silvan Elves in the now-cleansed Eryn Lasgalen long remained untroubled. Now the Silvan Elves once again dwelt in the south of the Wood, but these were Elves of Lórien who crossed the Anduin to live in a new realm named East Lórien. Though the original land of Lothlórien faded after the passing of Galadriel and Celeborn, the Silvan Elves of the Wood lived peacefully under their trees for many long years.[note 2][10]

[edit] Etymology

The English adjective silvan means "of, characteristic of, or consisting of woods or forests" or "living or located in woods or forests".[11]

[edit] Other names

An Elvish name for the Silvan Elves was Tawarwaith. It has been suggested that Tawarwaith is a Sindarin name, consisting of tawar (wood, forest) + gwaith(people).[12][13]

[edit] Portrayal in adaptations

2001: The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring:

In the scene known as "The Passing of the Elves", Frodo and Sam have a meal when Frodo hears Elves in the distance, which, according to Frodo are "Wood-elves", who travel to the Grey Havens and leave Middle-earth.
Elves
(Quendi · People of the Stars · Firstborn · Elder Kindred)
Three Kindreds:
(Eldar · Eldalië · Edhil)
 Vanyar (Fair-elves · Minyar) · Noldor (Deep-elves · Tatyar) · Teleri (Lindar · Nelyar)
Calaquendi:
(High-elves · Amanyar)
 Vanyar · Noldor · Falmari
Úmanyar:  Sindar (Grey-elves · Eglath · Falathrim) · Nandor (Green-elves · Silvan Elves)
 Moriquendi:  Úmanyar · Avari (Dark Elves · The Unwilling)
See also:  Awakening of the Elves · Sundering of the Elves · Great Journey

Notes

  1. It is not known if this merge occurred during the Elder Days, or during the Second or Third Ages.
  2. It is not clear if most Galadhrim either followed Galadriel and later Celeborn or just migrated to East Lórien; however, it is said that "Celeborn took the southern wood below the Narrows, and named it East Lórien."

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), Unfinished Tales, "The History of Galadriel and Celeborn", "Appendix A: The Silvan Elves and their Speech"
  2. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The War of the Jewels, "Part Four. Quendi and Eldar: C. The Clan-names, with notes on other names for divisions of the Eldar", pp. 381, 410
  3. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Of the Rings of Power and the Third Age"
  4. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix B, "The Second Age"
  5. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Peoples of Middle-earth, "VI. The Tale of Years of the Second Age", p. 174
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), Unfinished Tales, "The History of Galadriel and Celeborn", "Appendix B: The Sindarin Princes of the Silvan Elves"
  7. 7.0 7.1 J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), Unfinished Tales, "The Disaster of the Gladden Fields", note 14
  8. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), Unfinished Tales, "The History of Galadriel and Celeborn", "Concerning Galadriel and Celeborn"
  9. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix B, "The Third Age"
  10. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix B, "The Great Years"
  11. "[1]" at Dictionary.reference.com(Collins English Dictionary; accessed 17 July 2011)
  12. Sindarin Names in Middle-earth at [2] (accessed 17 July 2011)
  13. DidierWillis, Sindarin Dictionary at Jrrvf.com(accessed 17 July 2011)