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Cuiviénen (Quenya IPA: [kuɪviˈeːnen] [kuɪviˈjeːnen]) was the land where the Quendi or the Elves awoke.


Before and After the Great JourneyEdit

Cuiviénen was said to have been on the shore of a large gulf in the inland Sea of Helcar in the far east of Middle-earth. The Awakening of the Elves took place in very ancient times, during the Years of the Trees and the Sleep of Yavanna. The Elves dwelt here for a long time in bliss under the starlight and were content. Here the elves were divided into their three basic groups: the Minyar (Vanyar), Tatyar (Ñoldor), and Nelyar (Teleri), and learned and developed the basic skills of survival, culture, and language.

Unfortunately, Melkor discovered this land first before the other Valar. Many elves feared him and they were forced to hide, and those unfortunate enough to be left behind or overwhelmed by fear and unhappiness were taken or slain. Then, years later, Oromë discovered Cuiviénen on his travels throughout Middle-earth. The first Sundering of the Elves then took place when the Eldar departed from Cuiviénen to Valinor, leaving behind the Avari, who refused to leave, and those who turned back to Cuiviénen after a few hundred miles, before even completing the journey.[1]

It is unknown how long the tribes of the Avari remained at Cuiviénen during the First Age, but they were still there when Men awoke at the first rising of the Sun in the nearby land of Hildórien, and its elven residents befriended early Men and apparently taught them the basic skills of survival.[2]

Later DaysEdit

According to The Atlas of Middle-earth, Cuiviénen still lies in the far east, beyond the land of Rhûn and its Sea.[3]

Other mentionsEdit

In his attempt to sway the Ñoldor to join him in pursuit of Melkor to Middle-earth, Fëanor spoke of the "sweet waters" of Cuiviénen that they had left in vain to travel to Aman.[4]


Cuiviénen was a Quenya word that meant 'Water of Awakening'[5]

Elven Realms of Middle-earth throughout the Ages
Years of the Trees Cuiviénen | Eglador | Havens of the Falas
First Age Doriath | Dorthonion | Gondolin | Havens of Sirion | Havens of the Falas | Himlad & Pass of Aglon | Hithlum | Maglor's Gap | March of Maedhros | Nargothrond | Nevrast | Ossiriand | Pass of Sirion | Thargelion
Second Age Eregion | Greenwood the Great | Lindon | Rivendell
Third Age Lindon | Lothlórien | Northern Mirkwood | Rivendell
Fourth Age Lindon | Lothlórien & East Lórien | Rivendell | Wood of Greenleaves


  1. The Silmarillion, Quenta Silmarillion, Chapter III: "Of the Coming of the Elves and the Captivity of Melkor"
  2. The Silmarillion, Quenta Silmarillion, Chapter XII: "Of Men"
  3. The Atlas of Middle-earth, The First Age, The Elder Days, "The Great March"
  4. The Silmarillion, Quenta Silmarillion, Chapter IX: "Of the Flight of the Noldor"
  5. The Silmarillion, Index of Names

External linkEdit

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