Sindar was the name given by the Noldorin exiles to those of the Teleri who lived in Beleriand and did not complete the Great Journey. The original Sindar were the friends of Elwë Singollo, who remained waiting for him while he was lost in Nan Elmoth, and the Falathrim, persuaded to remain on the Hither Shores by Ossë. Later the Laiquendi and the other Nandor who entered Beleriand were often counted among the Sindar.
Although they were only Moriquendi, the Sindar achieved great wisdom during the Sleep of Yavanna, for they were guided by Cirdan, Melian the Maia, and Elwë, who as Elu Thingol was their overlord. Many Sindar lived in Mithrim and the Falas, and some wandered in the forests, but the center of Sindarin power and culture was Thingol and Melian's kingdom of Doriath.
Somewhat scorned by the Noldor, the Sindar did not play a very active offensive role in the The Battles of Beleriand in the War of the Great Jewels, although of course they suffered heavily from the forces of Morgoth. At the end of the First Age many Sindar went over sea, and throughout succeeding ages, there was a steady migration of Sindar to the West. Those of the Sindar who remained in Middle-earth dwelt in Lindon or in Elven-realms such as the Woodland Realm. In later ages the Sindar were counted fully among the Eldar.
The Sindar were happy in Middle-earth, but once the desire for the Sea was aroused in them, they could not be content until they sailed to Eldamar. The Sindar spoke Sindarin; they invented the Cirth. Although less learned and powerful than the Calaquendi and less interested in crafts than the Noldor, they were extremely gifted in music, and their voices were very fair.
The Sindar are called "grey" perhaps because they were not Elves of the Light, never having actually set foot in Valinor, but neither were they Avari, since they did accept the invitation and set out on the journey (and therefore were technically counted among the Eldar). They are sometimes referred to as Elves of the Twilight. The term grey may also refer to Elu Thingol's grey cloak. It may also be related to Lindar, the Telerin name for themselves. The name that the Sindar used for themselves was simply Edhil ("Elves", singular Edhel).
The Teleri were the greatest host of the Eldar. They had two kings, the brothers Elwë Singollo (or Elu Thingol as he was later known in the Sindarin tongue) and Olwë. When the Teleri reached Beleriand during the Great Journey from Cuivienen, Thingol went wandering in the forests as was his want. In the forest of Nan Elmoth he met Melian, one of the Maiar. They fell in love, and with Melian, Thingol stood spellbound in Nan Elmoth for several years.
In the meantime, Olwë and many of the Teleri could not delay longer, and went to Aman without Elwë and his following. Elwë's followers stayed in Beleriand, to search for their king. At long last, he awoke from the spell and set up a kingdom in the midst of Beleriand: Eglador (Land of the Forsaken, or Land of the Elves; the etymology is not clear). The Dwarves of Nogrod and Belegost in the Ered Luin (Blue Mountains) were contracted to aid in the building of the city of Menegroth (the Thousand Caves).
Other Teleri also stayed behind: these were the friends of Ossë the Maia, who had fallen in love with the shores of Middle-earth, and did not wish to depart. Their leader was Círdan, and they established cities at Eglarest and Brithombar. They were known as the Falathrim, or Elves of the Falas (Shore). They were not part of the realm of Eglador, but still took Thingol as their High King.
The Teleri of Eglador, the northlands, and the Falas were collectively known as the Sindar, or Grey Elves, in later days, because they developed a civilisation all their own, which almost equalled that of the Calaquendi or Light Elves of Valinor.
A last group of Teleri in Beleriand was the Laiquendi, or Green Elves: they were descended from the Nandor, who had split from the Great Journey before the Hithaeglir (Misty Mountains), and gone south along the Great River (Anduin). A part of them, under Denethor, son of Dan, crossed the Blue Mountains, and eventually settled in Ossiriand, or as it was later known: Lindon (Land of the Singers). They remained a people apart for long, although many of them removed to Thingol's realm after Denethor was killed.
Just before the arrival of the Ñoldorin exiles, the Dark Lord Morgoth returned to his old stronghold of Angband, and his activities increased. Thingol had Melian use her magic to create a girdle of bewilderment around Eglador, so that nobody could enter without the king's permission. Ever after it was known as Doriath (Land of the Fence). Thingol remained High King of the Sindar and nominal Overlord of Beleriand, although the Ñoldor following, especially of that of the sons of Fëanor, usually ignored his commands.
The language of the Sindar diverged from common Telerin Elvish over the long ages they were sundered from their kin, and became known as Sindarin. By the time the Ñoldor arrived in Beleriand, the languages had become mutually unintelligible, but the Ñoldor were quick to learn it. In the Second and Third Age, Sindarin became known as the Noble Tongue, and became the Elvish tongue used in daily speech throughout Middle-earth (helped by the decree of Thingol, who forbade the use of the Ñoldorin language in his realm). It was also adopted for daily use by the Númenóreans, and remained somewhat in use in the Realms in Exile of Gondor and Arnor.
Sindarin eventually replaced Ñoldorin Quenya as the language used by the Ñoldor in Beleriand, even in predominantly Ñoldorin settlements such as Gondolin, although Quenya survived as a language of universal knowledge and ancient lore.
High Kings of the Sindar Edit
The Half-Elven of Sindarin descent Edit
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The People of Middle-earth