Finwë was the first High King of the Ñoldor (as such he is sometimes surnamed Ñoldóran) who led his elven people on the journey from Middle-earth to Valinor in the blessed realm of Aman. He was a great friend of Elu Thingol, the King of Doriath.
Finwë awoke in Middle-earth in the far eastern land of Cuiviénen during the Years of the Trees. When the Vala Oromë found the elves during his travels in Middle-earth, he loved them and urged them to travel with him to Valinor to see its wondrous beauty. The elves however, were suspicious of this call and were afraid so they chose ambassadors from the three kindreds to go in their place and to return and report what they had saw. One of them was Finwë who along with Ingwë and Elwë went to the Blessed Realm with Oromë. When they returned they were able to convince the elves to go on the Great Journey into the West. Finwë became leader of the Ñoldor and eventually arrived in Valinor directly behind the Vanyar. There he and his people settled and Finwë became king of his people.
Finwë started a family first marrying Míriel Serindë, a broideress who worked with Vairë. They had a son called Fëanor but her labors in giving birth to him drained her of most of her life, and she died shortly after bearing him. After a period of mourning he married again. His second wife was Indis of the Vanyar. Indis bore him four children: Fingolfin, Finarfin, Findis, and Irimë.
When Melkor, now free from the Halls of Mandos began spreading lies amongst the Ñoldor attempting to corrupt them, Finwë attempted to moderate his people and lead them back to the Valar. But it was too late, the Ñoldor had already begun to envision for themselves plans and new dominions they could have ruled back in Middle-earth and were proud. However, Fëanor mistrusted the Valar and believed the lies and began to horde his treasures and would only allow his beloved father or his sons to see the Silmarils. He also begun to suspect his half-brother was trying to usurp him as the favored son, and made trouble in Tirion drawing his sword on Fingolfin. For this he was banished from the city, but Finwë loved his elder son greatly and shared his exile and went with him northward and built the city/fortress of Formenos.
There Finwë lived with his son and his grandchildren and some of the rest of his house. Later, when Fëanor was summoned to Valmar to make peace with his brother, Finwë did not go out of bitterness over the exile of his son nor did he wish to meet the rest of his people because he no longer felt like their king. There he was the first to be killed in Valinor when Melkor slew him at the doors of Formenos seeking the Silmarils. This act was the catalyst that led to the Revolt of the Ñoldor.
Finwë's name is not fully translated. The glossary in the Silmarillion translates Fin as "hair"; other sources say it means "skill".
Earlier versions of the legendariumEdit
In the first drafts of the genealogy, Finwë had four sons: the youngest was named Finrun, but he was dropped after that, thus Finrod (later Finarfin) was Finwë's youngest son from then on.
In a later version Finwë had three daughters added by Indis, Findis (as their first child) Faniel (as their third), and Finvain (as their youngest). In yet later versions, Faniel was apparently dropped, while Findis and Finvain were kept. Finvain (renamed Irimë) was moved to after Fingolfin, thus Finarfin was once again the youngest child of Finwë.
|High King of the Ñoldor|
YT ? - YT ?
Fëanor (in Middle-earth)
Finarfin (in Valinor)
The House of Finwë family treeEdit
(1) (2) Míriel ========= Finwë ========= Indis | | | ------------------------------------------ Fëanor = Nerdanel | | | | | Findis Fingolfin = Anairë Irimë Finarfin = Eärwen Maedhros | | Maglor Fingon Finrod Celegorm Turgon Angrod** Caranthir Ereinion (Gil-Galad) Aegnor Curufin* Aredhel Galadriel Amrod Argon Amras (* Father of Celebrimbor) (** Father of Orodreth)
|Elves of Arda|
Aegnor | Amarië | Angrod | Aredhel | Arminas | Beleg Cúthalion | Caranthir | Celeborn | Celebrimbor | Celebrían | Celegorm | Círdan | Curufin | Daeron | Denethor | Eärwen | Ecthelion | Elemmakil | Elemmírë | Elenwë | Elmo | Elwë (Thingol) | Elwing | Enel | Enerdhil | Eöl | Erestor | Fëanor | Finarfin | Findis | Finduilas | Fingolfin | Fingon | Finrod Felagund | Finwë | Galadriel | Galion | Galdor of the Havens | Gelmir | Gildor Inglorion | Gil-galad | Glorfindel | Gwindor | Idril | Imin | Indis | Ingwë | Ingwion | Irimë | Legolas | Lúthien | Mablung | Maedhros | Maeglin | Maglor | Mahtan | Míriel Serindë | Nerdanel | Nimloth | Olwë | Orodreth | Oropher | Rúmil | Tata | Thranduil | Turgon | Voronwë
- The Silmarillion: Quenta Silmarillion, "Of the Coming of the Elves and the Captivity of Melkor" & "Of Eldamar and the Princes of the Eldalië"