The main part of this article relates to the last versions of Middle-earth's history, and as such may controvert parts of The Silmarillion. See Middle-earth canon for a discussion. This subject's portrayal in earlier or alternative versions is discussed in the other versions of the legendarium section.
HistoryEditWhen Oromë found the elves that awakened in Cuivienen (see: Awakening of the Elves), he summoned them to come with him to Valinor. All the Minyar and most of the Tatyar and Nelyar were persuaded and followed Oromë into the west on the Great Journey. The remainder of the Tatyar and Nelyar remained suspicious of the Lords of the west, seeing them only in their wrath, or they simply refused to depart from their own lands, and spread gradually throughout the wide lands of Middle-earth. They were after known in Quenya the language of the Eldar that eventually reached Valinor by the name Avari, meaning "the Unwilling", because they refused the summons.
Having never come to Valinor, the Avari remained wild folk, dwellers of forests. Little is known of them, as they do not appear in any of the tales, save some references to Avari creeping in the south of Beleriand in the First Age. Some of them merged with the Nandor and Sindar in Eriador and the Vale of Anduin. Also, it is speculated that the Dark Elves were the first other sentient race encountered by the race of Men during their infancy. The Dark Elves probably taught them many of the basic crafts of civilization, though the craft of the Eldar surpassed that of the Avari even more than that of the Avari surpassed primitive Men.
In The War of the Jewels, names of six tribes of Avari in their own languages are given, all being cognates of the Quenya word Quendi (the Speakers): Kindi, Cuind, Hwenti, Windan, Kinn-lai, Penni. They are the only certain Avarin words ever mentioned in the published Middle-earth material. It is speculated however that Dorwinion was an Avarin land, with Winion carrying the meaning of "Wine".
Eöl was called the 'Dark Elf' for he shuns the daylight, preferring to stay within the dark woods of Nan Elmoth and walk under the moon and starlights but he is not of Avari origin for he is a kin of Thingol. His roots lies with the Teleri, who did not go to Aman, later called the Sindarin under the rule of Thingol and Melian the Maia.
Other versions of the legendariumEdit
In older versions of the legendarium, the name Avari was originally that of the later Eldar, then meaning "those that departed".
In other, relatively late writings, a brief idea was that the Avari did not come from the three clans, but from two other clans, led by Nurwë and Morwë. This idea was later dropped. In the final conception, the elves were divided into three tribes.
The People of Middle-earth