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Tinfang Warble

Tinfang Warble
Half Elf, half Fay
Physical Description
RaceHalf Elf, half Fay

Tinfang, whom the children call Tinfang Warble, is a creature mentioned in The Book of Lost Tales and in the poem Tinfang Warble.

Vairë tells to Eriol about Tinfang Warble, a spirit who is half fay of Palúrien and half Elf (Gnome or Solosimpi). He was a flautist whose fluting had an enchantment, and the stars twinkled according to his notes. Not even the Solosimpi could rival his fluting.

He led the Elves forth with his piping, and could be heard in the Great Lands and sometimes also in Alalminórë. Eriol also heard him.[1]


[edit] Other versions of the legendarium

Tinfang Gelion is mentioned in the Lay of Leithian as being one of the greatest of the minstrels of the Elves, beside Maglor and next to Daeron.[2]

"Tinfang Gelion who still the moon
enchants on summer nights of June
and kindles the pale firstling star...
Lay of Leithian Canto III

[edit] Etymology

The name is probably Gnomish, and Christopher Tolkien gives the meaning of "fluter", a cognate of Qenya timpinen.[3]

Later the meaning of Tinfang is given as "star-beard" (from tinu "spark, little star" + fang "beard").[4]

Gelion can also be found in several other compounds.

[edit] Inspiration

His name probably comes from an earlier poem Tolkien penned named Tinfang Warble (poem), about a fairy-bird.[source?]


  1. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Book of Lost Tales Part One, "IV. The Chaining of Melko", p. 94 ff
  2. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Lays of Beleriand, "III. The Lay of Leithian: Canto III (Beren's meeting with Lúthien)", p. 174
  3. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), Beren and Lúthien, "List of Names [in the original text]"
  4. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Lost Road and Other Writings, "Part Three: The Etymologies", entry SPANAG