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This article is about the Third Clan in general. For the the Teleri of Aman, see Falmari.
General Information
MembersElwë, Enel, Olwë, Celeborn, Círdan
Physical Description
DistinctionsAdoration for the sea/forest
Average heightTall
GalleryImages of Teleri

The Teleri (Q, pron. [ˈteleri]) were the third of the Elf clans who took the Great Journey. They were the ancestors of the Valinorean Teleri (became known as the Falmari), and the Sindar, Laiquendi, and Nandor of Middle-earth.

The Nelyar ("The Third") was the largest of the three houses of the Elves. According to legend, the Teleri were descended from Enel, the third Elf to awake in Cuiviénen, his spouse Enelyë and their seventy-two companions; most of the Avari originally belonged to this clan. But it was Elwë, the first of the Teleri to come to Valinor, who became their king.

In ancient times they named themselves Lindar, or "Singers", because they were known for their fair voice.



During the Great Journey

When the Valar decided to bring the Quenti to Valinor, they choose three ambassadors. Ingwe, Finwe and Elwe traveled there and tried to convice their people to make the journey. Many of them, particularly of the Nelyar clan, refused, and were named Avari, "The Unwilling".

The Teleri clan, led by Elwe and his brother Olwe was the last clan to depart, and they were the only ones who were unwilling to leave the wild lands of Middle-Earth. After traveling for many years, the Teleri stopped near river Anduin being frightened by the Hithaeglir (Misty Mountains). Then a group led by Lenwe departed from the journey and headed south. They were called the Nandor. Eventually, the other Teleri passed the Misty Mountains and dwelled in eastern beleriad near river Gelion.

That was the time when Elwe fell in love with Melian and disunited from Teleri, standing in the forest of Nan Elmoth for a long time only staring at her. Some Teleri, especially his friends and relatives were searching him for a long time.

When Vanyar and Noldor tavelled into the West, the Teleri were living in Gelion and did not hear Ulmo's call. When they learned that the others had traveled, they headed to the shores of Beleriad near the mouth of river Cirion waiting for Ulmo.The Maia Osse kept them company while they waited, and became their friend. After seeing that Elwe disappeared, they made Olwe their only King.

Later, when Ulmo arrived again with the island ferry, most of the Teleri agreed to travel. Again, there were some who wanted to stay with Osse, and they were known as Falathrim, led by Cirdan.

After the Great Journey

The island was stabilized by Ulmo near the Bay of Eldamar, and it was named Tol Eressea, The Lonely Island. Teleri lived there for many years until they felt that they should see other Eldar who lived in Valinor. With the help of Osse they built ships and traveled to the coasts of Valinor, where they dwelt. There Olwe built Alqualonde, the greatest city of Teleri, and its people were united with the people of Tirion and Finwe.

Later, when Melkor stole the Sillmarilli, The Noldor led by Feanor demanded that the Teleri let them use their ships. When the Teleri refused, they took the ships by force, committing the first kinslaying. For this reason few or none of the Teleri joined the host of the Valar which set out to capture Morgoth for good. It is recounted that the Teleri eventually forgave the Noldor for the Kinslaying, and the two kindreds were at peace again.

Sundering of Teleri

  • Falmari. Led by Olwe, they were the only Calaquendi of the Teleri clan. They lived in Tol Eressea and in along the east shores of Valinor
  • Nandor Teleri who abandoned the Great Journey near river Anduin.
  • Sindar All Teleri who remained in Beleriad. The Sindar of Beleriand called themselves simply Edhil, which means Elves, and is related to the Quenya word Eldar of the same meaning.
  • Laiquendi The Elves of Ossiriand, who were themselves Nandor.


The Teleri spoke the Common Telerin language during the Journey, from which Sindarin and Nandorin were derived, as well as the Telerin of Valinor, considered a dialect of Quenya.


Teleri is the plural of Teler which means "last", root TEL.

Equivalent names were Nelyar, Lindar or Glinnil

In The Silmarillion the word Teleri refers both to the Third Clan in general, and that branch that made it to Aman, taken from the Vanyar and Noldor point of view; particularly the Teleri of Aman were called Falmari.

Other versions of the legendarium

In the early versions of Tolkien's mythology (see: The History of Middle-earth), they were known as Solosimpi ("Pipers of the Shores"), while the name Teleri was given to the clan of Elves known in the published version of The Silmarillion as Vanyar.