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This article is about the Third Clan in general. For the the Teleri of Aman, see Falmari.
General Information
MembersElwë, Olwë, Celeborn, Círdan, Lenwë
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 Quendi to Aman, they choose three ambassadors. Ingwë, Finwë and Elwë 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 Elwë and his brother Olwë 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 Lenwë departed from the journey and headed south. They were called the Nandor. Eventually, the other Teleri passed the Misty Mountains and dwelt in eastern Beleriand near river Gelion.

That was the time when Elwë fell in love with Melian the Maia 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 Beleriand near the mouth of river Sirion waiting for Ulmo. The Maia Ossë kept them company while they waited, and became their friend. After seeing that Elwë disappeared, they made Olwë their only High 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 Ossë, and they were known as Falathrim, led by Círdan. After Elwë was found again and Círdan accepted him as King of Beleriand, the folk of both Elwë and Círdan became collectively known as the Sindar.

After the Great Journey

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

Later, when Melkor stole the Silmarils, The Noldor led by Fëanor 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 Kinslayings, and the two kindreds were at peace again.

Sundering of Teleri

  • Falmari. Led by Olwë, they (along with Elwë and his direct descendants) were the only Calaquendi of the Teleri clan. They lived in Tol Eressëa and in along the east shores of Aman.
  • Sindar All Teleri who remained in Beleriand. The Sindar of Beleriand called themselves simply Edhil, which means Elves, and is related to the Quenya word Eldar of the same meaning. Elwë was their King.


The Teleri spoke the Common Telerin language during the Journey, from which Sindarin and Nandorin were derived, as well as the Telerin of Aman, often considered a dialect of Quenya (if only by virtue that it preserved the more archaic Common Eldarin features than any other language and remained intelligible with 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.