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Fellowship of Fans > Books  > A Second Age Onomasticon – Part II: People

A Second Age Onomasticon – Part II: People

A little more than half a year after the deal between the Tolkien Estate and Amazon Studios was announced, Amazon Studios head Jennifer Salke gave a little bit of information on what to expect from the new series in an interview with Deadline. In a response to a question regarding whether the series would have the same characters as the movies, she responded:

I think you can know that we’re not remaking the movies, but we’re also not starting from scratch. So, it’ll be characters you love.

Although few people knew it, by this point in time Amazon Studios and the Tolkien Estate had turned their focus to the Second Age as the setting for the new series, setting aside other ideas, notably including a series focusing on the adventures of Aragorn long before he met four Hobbits at the Prancing Pony in Bree. Months later, when the official Twitter account posted a series of maps ending with a map of what was clearly the middle of the Second Age, Tolkien fans began to get a pretty good idea of what “characters they love” would be in the new series.

Given that the Second Age ends more than three thousand years before Frodo’s quest to destroy the One Ring, very few characters from either The Hobbit or The Lord of the Rings would be alive at that time. The most notable exceptions would be the Dark Lord Sauron himself, his Ringwraiths, and various Elves, notably Galadriel and Elrond. No Hobbits, Dwarves, Men, or Orcs would have survived that long. However, the Prologue to New Line Cinema’s The Fellowship of the Ring contains several characters who weren’t alive during Frodo’s day, but who have become familiar to fans of the films. Notably, these include the Men of Númenor, Elendil and Isildur.

The week before last I posted Part I of my Second Age Onomasticon, on place names. This week is Part II, which covers personal names. I arranged the place names geographically, and here I have decided to arrange the personal names by “race”. That is, Men, Dwarves, Elves, and so on. As Part I only covered places Tolkien created, Part II only covers characters Tolkien created. Thus, you will not find Elanor Brandyfoot, Halbrand, Arondir, Bronwyn, Theo, or Princess Disa on this list (that is, assuming none of them turn out to be Ringwraiths!). After Season 1 airs I may create a list specifically for original characters created by Amazon Studios. As with the place names, I have tried to avoid spoilers. No death dates or causes are given, except for Númenórean rulers who preceded Tar-Palantir and characters who died in the First Age. Marriages are a bit trickier. It’s difficult to describe who Celeborn is, for example, without noting that Galadriel is his wife. That shouldn’t be a spoiler for anyone who is familiar with The Lord of the Rings, nor is it even a spoiler in Tolkien’s writings, because by all accounts the two were married in the First Age, or at least at the beginning of the Second. Whether that is the case in Amazon Studios’ The Rings of Power, however, is not yet certain. In such cases I have decided to exercise my own discretion.


From The Lord of the Rings we have reason to believe that the creatures known as “Hobbits” or “Halflings” existed during the Second Age, but we have no history of their doings in that time. They first appear a third of the way into the Third Age, crossing from the Vales of Anduin into Eriador. At that time they were divided into three groups, called Harfoots, Stoors, and Fallohides, but whether these tribal names existed as far back as the Second Age is not known. The name “Hobbit” did not, however. It was created in the Third Age and originally applied to the Harfoots by the other two groups. No named halflings are known from the Second Age.


The Drúedain, also known as Woses, or Wild Men of the Woods, are known to have existed during the Second Age on the Isle of Númenor, and in Middle-earth in the vicinity of the White Mountains. However, over time those who lived in Númenor left for Middle-earth, until they were all gone from the island. The Drúedain are unknown to those who have only seen the films. Those who have read The Lord of the Rings will probably remember Ghân-buri-Ghân, who helped the Riders of Rohan avoid an Orc ambush on their way to Minas Tirith. No named Drúedain are known from the Second Age.


The Dwarves did play a role in the events of the Second Age. After the destruction of the War of Wrath, many of the Firebeard and Broadbeam Dwarves left their homes in the Blue Mountains to join with the Longbeard Dwarves in Khazad-dûm (or Moria). They eventually attracted the attention of some of the Ñoldor Elves, who left Lindon to found the land of Eregion near Khazad-dûm, beginning an unusual era of friendship between Dwarves and Elves. A few named Dwarves are known from the Second Age:

Durin II was a King of Khazad-dûm in the early Second Age. He was believed by the Dwarves to be a reincarnation of Durin I “the Deathless”. Not much is known about him, but he may be the Durin after whom the “Doors of Durin” (at the West-gate of Moria) were named.

Durin III was a King of Khazad-dûm in the middle of the Second Age. He was believed to be another reincarnation of Durin. He received one of the Seven Rings of the Dwarves. According to the Dwarves’ tradition, he received the ring from the great Elven-smith Celebrimbor, rather than from Sauron. It is also possible that the Doors of Durin were named after him, rather than Durin II.

Durin IV was a King of Khazad-dûm in the late Second Age and/or early Third Age. He was also believed to be a reincarnation of Durin. Very little is known about him, except that he inherited the Ring of Power that had been given to Durin III.

Durin V was a King of Khazad-dûm, possibly in the late Second Age, but more likely in the early Third Age. Also believed to be a reincarnation of Durin, he too received the Ring of Power given to Durin III.

Narvi was a great craftsman (craftsdwarf?) who made the Doors of Durin, and was thus contemporary with either Durin II or Durin III. He was also a good friend of the Elven-smith Celebrimbor, who made the inscription on the doors (and, incidentally, who also made most of the Rings of Power, apart from the One Ring).


The First Age was an age of Elves. The Third Age was more an age of Men. In the Second Age both Elves and Men flourished, though Men flourished nowhere so much as in the island Kingdom of Númenor. It is perhaps not surprising, then, that of the named Men of the Second Age, the vast majority are Númenóreans. Apart from them, the only named Men of the Second Age are a handful of characters in the story of Tal-Elmar, and one of the Nazgûl, or Ringwraiths


During the First Age several groups of Men found their way to the land of Beleriand, where they lived together with the Elves. These were the House of Bëor, the House of Hador, and the House of Haleth, the Three Houses of the Edain. Due to their friendship with the Elves and their valor in fighting the forces of Morgoth, the Valar (divine beings similar to angels) raised up an island paradise for them to live in, the Isle of Elenna, on which was founded the Kingdom of Númenor. The Edain began settling the island in the year S.A. 32. Due to its western location in the Great Sea, the Edain became known as the “Dúnedain” (Sindarin: “West-men”). During the Second Age they were also known as Númenóreans, after the Kingdom in which they lived. The Númenóreans were taller than other Men, and also longer-lived, generally living some 300 to 500 years. Although these gifts were given as a blessing and a reward, they had the effect of creating a sense of separation from (and superiority to) other Men. They also ended up increasing their envy of the Elves, who typically lived far longer than 500 years. Despite their long lives, the Second Age was far longer still, and numerous generations of Númenóreans passed away during the course of the Second Age. Listing them should not be too much of a spoiler for Amazon’s show, however, because it seems that the Númenóreans in their show are those who lived near the end of the Second Age. The vast majority of named Men of the Second Age are Númenóreans, including twenty-five (or more, depending on who you count) Ruling Kings and Queens. For now I will only name the most notable.

Elros (Sindarin: “Star Foam”) Tar-Minyatur (Quenya: “High First-ruler”) was the son of Eärendil and Elwing, and the twin brother of Elrond. After the War of Wrath, due to the valor of their parents and their half-Elven heritage, Elrond and Elros were allowed to choose the fate of the Elves or mortal Men. Unlike his brother Elrond, who chose to be an Elf, Elros chose to live the life of a mortal Man. He became the leader of the Edain, and upon their arrival on the Isle of Elenna, he became the first Ruling King of Númenor. Elros lived a full 500 years, 410 of those ruling as King.

Vëantur (Quenya: “Sea Master”) was the Captain of the King’s Ships during the reign of Tar-Elendil (not the same as Elendil the Tall), the fourth Ruling King of Númenor. He commanded the ship Entulessë (Quenya: “The Return”), and with it returned to Middle-earth for the first time since the Edain arrived in Númenor. He arrived in Lindon and met High King Gil-galad. His grandson Aldarion inherited his love for the sea.

Tar-Meneldur (Quenya: “High Servant of the Heavens”) was the son of Tar-Elendil and the fifth Ruling King of Númenor. He loved to observe the Heavens. He married the daughter of Vëantur, and his son, Aldarion, loved the sea. Although he disapproved of his son going on long voyages away from Númenor, when Tar-Meneldur received a letter from Gil-galad informing him of a new Shadow arising in the East, he felt that this new threat was outside of his experience, and he abdicated in favor of Aldarion.

Silmariën was the elder sister of Tar-Meneldur. She wedded Elatan of Andúnië. Because Númenor had not yet adopted strict primogeniture, her younger brother was given the Sceptre, but her father Tar-Elendil gave her the Ring of Barahir and a mithril fillet, and her husband was also given the title Lord of Andúnië.

Tar-Aldarion (Quenya: “High Son of Trees”) was the sixth Ruling King of Númenor. He was the son of Tar-Meneldur and Almarian, the grandson of Tar-Elendil on his father’s side and Vëantur on his mother’s side. He had golden hair and blue eyes. In the year S.A. 725 his grandfather Vëantur took him on a voyage to Middle-earth, where he met Gil-galad and Círdan, with whom he became friends. Aldarion loved to sail the seas, and was often away on long voyages from Númenor, which met with his father’s disapproval. Aldarion founded the Guild of Venturers. He traveled far, exploring around the coasts of Middle-earth. During his travels he became aware of a tyrannical power arising in the East, and informed Gil-galad about it. Although Aldarion assumed it was just a mortal tyrant, Gil-galad perceived that a servant of Morgoth was at work. Aldarion fell in love with a woman named Erendis, but she loved the forests and fields of Númenor and had no love for the sea. Nevertheless, they married and had a daughter, Ancalimë. For her sake the law of succession was changed to one of strict primogeniture: that is, the eldest child succeeded to the throne, whether a son or a daughter.

Erendis (Quenya: “Lonely Bride”?) was the daughter of Beregar (of the House of Bëor) and Núneth, and the wife of Tar-Aldarion. She had dark hair and gray eyes. She was from Emerië, a pastoral land of rolling green hills in Mittalmar (central Númenor). She loved the land of Númenor, with all its varied plant life, but disliked the sea. She fell in love with Aldarion, and he in turn with her, but his love for the sea and her distaste for it often kept them apart. Upon his return from one of his voyages, Aldarion gave Erendis a white diamond he had obtained, which was set in a silver fillet. After this it became tradition among the Kings and Queens of Númenor to wear a white jewel in a fillet instead of a crown. Aldarion and Erendis were married and had one daughter, Ancalimë.

Tar-Ancalimë (Quenya: “High Brightest”?) was the daughter of Aldarion and Erendis. She was the seventh ruler of Númenor, and the first Ruling Queen of Númenor. She was raised by her mother and other women in Emerië, and unfamiliar with boys and men in her youth. She married reluctantly and produced an heir. Tar-Ancalimë did not continue her father’s policy of giving aid to Gil-galad.

Tar-Telperiën (Quenya: “High Silver-daughter”?) was the daughter and eldest child of Tar-Súrion. She was the tenth ruler of Númenor, and the second Ruling Queen of Númenor. The Rings of Power were largely forged during her reign, and her reign also saw the War of the Elves and Sauron. Nevertheless, Tar-Telperiën was an isolationist. She hesitated to send aid to Gil-galad, but either relented eventually or died, allowing her successor to send aid. Tolkien’s timeline is somewhat contradictory on this point, as the date given for Tar-Telperiën’s death is S.A. 1731, thirty years after the end of the War of the Elves and Sauron, yet it is said that it was her successor who sent aid to Gil-galad. Tar-Telperiën died unmarried and childless. Unlike previous rulers of Númenor, who gave up the Sceptre several years before they died, Tar-Telperiën clung to it until shortly before her death. She died unmarried and childless, and was succeeded by her nephew, Tar-Minastir.

Tar-Minastir (Quenya: “High Watchtower”?) was the son of Isilmo and the eleventh ruler of Númenor. He built a tower near Andúnië and spent much time gazing westwards. He loved the Elves, but also envied them. He sent a great fleet and army to aid Gil-galad against Sauron in the War of the Elves and Sauron, in the year S.A. 1700, either as the ruling King or presumably with the consent of his aunt, Tar-Telperiën, if she was still living. His son, Tar-Ciryatan, persuaded him to give up the Sceptre earlier than he would have done.

Ciryatur (Quenya: “Ship Master”) was the commander of the Númenórean fleet, sent by Tar-Minastir to aid Gil-galad against the forces of Sauron. Ciryatur engaged Sauron’s forces in multiple battles in Lindon, at the Gwathló River, and in Calenardhon.

Tar-Ciryatan (Quenya: “High Shipwright”?) was the son of Tar-Minastir, and the twelfth ruler of Númenor. He traveled extensively around Middle-earth in his youth. As King he was greedy, and greatly increased the size of Númenor’s fleet, sending it to various parts of Middle-earth in search of treasures, and establishing permanent settlements on its coast.

Tar-Atanamir (Quenya: “Man Jewel”?) was the son of Tar-Ciryatan, and the thirteenth ruler of Númenor. He was much like his father. In his time many Númenóreans began to speak out against the Elves and the Valar, beginning a rift between two factions that came to be called the King’s Men and the Faithful. The King’s Men were those who spoke out against the Elves and the Valar, and the Faithful were those who maintained friendship with the Elves, as their forefathers had done in the First Age, and earlier in the Second Age. Tar-Atanamir was the first ruler of Númenor to refuse to give up the Sceptre before senility and death took him.

Tar-Ancalimon (Quenya: “High Brightest”?) was the son of Tar-Atanamir, and the fourteenth ruler of Númenor. In his time many Númenóreans stopped using and teaching the Elven tongues. Nevertheless, the royal titles were still given in Quenya out of superstition, in case abandoning Quenya might bring bad fortune. During his reign the King’s Men turned the haven of Umbar in Middle-earth into a fortress, and the Faithful founded the haven of Pelargir. Also during his reign the Ringwraiths first appeared.

Ar-Belzagar, or Tar-Calmacil (Quenya: “High Sword of Light”?) was the son of Tar-Alcarin, and the eighteenth ruler of Númenor (the nineteenth if Tar-Anducal the usurper, the widower of Tar-Vanimeldë, is counted). Tar-Calmacil was a great warrior, and as a youth he conquered many lands of Middle-earth. Although he continued the tradition of taking a Quenya royal title, the King’s Men began calling him by an Adûnaic translation of his title, Ar-Belzagar.

Ar-Adûnakhôr (Adûnaic: “King Lord of the West”) was the son of Tar-Ardamin, and the twentieth ruler of Númenor. He was the first to take upon himself an Adûnaic royal title, although a Quenya translation of his title was still recorded in the Scroll of Kings out of superstition. Nevertheless, Ar-Adûnakhôr prohibited the teaching or speaking of the Elven tongues, although the Faithful continued to do so in secret. His title was seen by the Faithful as blasphemous, because “Lords of the West” was a title applied to the Valar, and to the Vala Manwë in particular.

Tar-Palantir (Quenya: “High Far-sighted”) was the twenty-fourth ruler of Númenor. He was the son of Ar-Gimilzôr and the Faithful woman Inzilbêth, who was the brother of the fifteenth Lord of Andúnië. His mother raised him secretly in the ways of the Faithful, and when he became King, he sought to return Númenor to the ways of the Faithful. He took a Quenya royal title, and during his reign the Faithful were permitted to live in peace.

Míriel (Quenya: “Jewel Daughter”?) was the daughter and only child of Tar-Palantir.

Pharazôn (Adûnaic: “Golden”) was the son of Gimilkhâd and the nephew of Tar-Palantir. In his youth he was a great warrior and commander in the Númenórean army, and he was generous with his wealth. He was good friends with Amandil, Lord of Andúnië, even though Amandil was one of the Faithful.

Amandil (Quenya: “Lover of the Blessed Realm”) was the son of Númendil and the eighteenth Lord of Andúnië. In his youth he was good friends with Pharazôn, even though Pharazôn was one of the King’s Men. Amandil was a notable captain of the sea. His son was Elendil the Tall.

Elendil (Quenya: “Lover of the Stars”, or “Elf-friend”), also known as Elendil the Tall, was the son of Amandil, the eighteenth Lord of Andúnië. Elendil was at least seven feet tall, with brown hair.

Isildur (Quenya: “Servant of the Moon”) was the eldest son of Elendil the Tall. He was seven feet tall, with black hair and gray eyes.

Anárion (Quenya: “Son of the Sun”?) was the second son of Elendil the Tall.

Men of Middle-earth

Many Men inhabited Middle-earth. Some, such as the Men of Eriador and Rhovanion, were fairly closely related to the Númenóreans. Others were less closely related to them. At the beginning of the Second Age, the Men of Middle-earth were in a fairly primitive state. They increased in knowledge and skill due to their interactions with the Dwarves, the Númenóreans, and Sauron. Unlike the Númenóreans, the Men of Middle-earth were afraid of and largely avoided the Elves. As the Second Age progressed, the Men of Middle-earth generally became divided into two camps, with one camp favoring the Númenóreans and the other camp favoring Sauron. Tolkien named very few Men of Middle-earth from the Second Age. Apart from the Easterling Khamûl, all his named non-Númenórean Men come from a short narrative, “Tal Elmar”, which takes place somewhere on the coast of Middle-earth, probably in the vicinity of what would become Gondor, The story is told from the perspective of the Men of Middle-earth, with the Númenóreans being seen, at least initially, as antagonists. The story also contains several place names, which I have added to Part I of the Second Age Onomasticon: Agar, the Hills of Agar, Udul, and Ishmalog.

Tal-Elmar, the seventeenth child of Hazad Longbeard, was a young man who lived in the town of Agar sometime during the Second Age. He was slender and tall, with fair skin and light hair, which made him stand out from the other folk of Agar.

Hazad Longbeard was the son of Buldar and Elmar, and the father of Tal-Elmar and sixteen other children. He was broad, short, and swarthy.

Buldar was the father of Hazad and the grandfather of Tal-Elmar. In his youth he had fought against the “Fell Folk” of the east and obtained a female captive, Elmar, whom he married.

Elmar was the wife of Buldar (or, in another version, the wife of Hazad) and the grandmother (or mother, in the other version) of Tal-Elmar. She was a woman of the “Fell Folk” of the East, presumably a Númenórean.

Mogru was the Master of Agar. He was a “fat man with eyes like a lizard” who disliked Tal-Elmar.


The Nazgûl, or Ringwraiths, were all Men. They were not necessarily all kings, as is stated in the New Line films, but they were all prominent in some way: kings, warriors, or sorcerors. (Whether they were so prominent before they came by their rings is not as clear, but the rings certainly increased their prominence.) They became wraiths around S.A. 2251, presumably roughly 550 years after obtaining their rings. Not much is known about them personally. Of the Nine Ringwraiths, three were said to be Númenórean lords. The Witch-king is usually presumed to be one of them. Only one of the Ringwraiths is known to have a name, though.

Khamûl was an Easterling who became one of the Ringwraiths. He was the second-in-command of the Nazgûl, after the Witch-king. He was also often at Dol Guldur in Mirkwood during the Third Age, ruling it when Sauron was not there personally.


The Elves were immortal, and some lived through all of the First, Second, and Third Ages. However, more Elves are known from the events of either the First or Third Ages than from the events of the Second Age. The Elves included here are those who are specifically mentioned with regard to events of the Second Age. There are numerous other Elves who lived during the Third Age, who could conceivably have lived during some part of the Second Age, including Galion, Gildor Inglorion, Erestor, Lindir, Galdor, Haldir, Rúmil (of Lórien), Orophin, Mithrellas, and even Legolas. Legolas, however, is widely believed to have been born in the Third Age. Because of the relatively small number of Elves who flourished during the Second Age, I have listed them all together, rather than splitting them into Ñoldor, Sindar, Nandor, and so on.

Gil-galad (Sindarin: “Star of Radiance”) was the High King of the Ñoldor Elves, and ruler of Lindon during the Second Age. His exact birth date is not known, but he came to the High Kingship near the end of the First Age, before the War of Wrath in which he undoubtedly fought. After the destruction of Beleriand, Gil-galad continued to rule the Ñoldor, Sindar, and Laiquendi Elves in Lindon. His home was in the port city of Forlond, which may also have been his capital, unless it was at nearby Mithlond (the Grey Havens). Gil-galad hosted the Númenóreans Vëantur and Aldarion when they visited Lindon. After being informed by Aldarion of rumors of a great power rising in the East, Gil-galad perceived that a servant of Morgoth had arisen, and sought an alliance with Númenor to defend against him. Gil-galad received two of the Three Elven Rings of Power, one of which he gave to Círdan.

Tolkien gave several different versions of Gil-galad’s parentage and given name. Originally he considered him a son of Finrod Felagund, until he decided that Finrod was childless. “Gil-galad” was either a nickname or a name given to him by his mother. The name given by his father was either Ereinion (in a version in which his father was Fingon), Rodnor (Artanáro in Quenya, in a version in which his father was Orodreth, of the House of Finarfin), or various names beginning in “Fin-“, such as Finellach or Finwain, also in versions in which he is from the House of Finarfin. In The Silmarillion as published, Gil-galad is made the son of Fingon. Also, in Unfinished Tales of Númenor and Middle-earth, Christopher Tolkien changed a line mentioning he was of the House of Finarfin to instead make him the son of Fingon, in order to make it consistent with The Silmarillion as published. Christopher later regretted making the change and felt he should have instead left Gil-galad’s parentage ambiguous. His appearance is likewise ambiguous. As a son of Fingon he is widely assumed to have dark hair, as he appears (briefly) in New Line Cinema’s The Fellowship of the Ring, as well as in Amazon Studio’s The Rings of Power. As a member of the House of Finarfin, either as the son of Finrod, or of Orodreth, he was assumed to have blond hair. In the only known physical description of Gil-galad by J.R.R. Tolkien, however, he has silver hair, as the nephew of Galadriel, and thus of the House of Finarfin. However, this description is only known from The Nature of Middle-earth, which was not published until after Season 1 of The Rings of Power had already been filmed. It also arguably does not apply to the version in which Gil-galad is the son of Fingon, and thus likely has dark hair.

Círdan (Sindarin: “Shipwright”) was an elder of the Teleri/Sindar Elves and a skilled ship-builder. His given name was Nówë, and he was closely related, though not a brother, to Elwë, or Elu Thingol, King of the Sindar of Doriath. Unlike Thingol, Círdan preferred to live by the sea, among the group of Sindar Elves known as the Falathrim. During the First Age Círdan was Lord of the Havens of the Falas. After the destruction of Beleriand, however, he became Lord of the Grey Havens, or Mithlond, in Lindon. Círdan was possibly the oldest Elf living in Middle-earth during the Second Age. He was also wise and had foresight. During the Second Age he instructed the Númenóreans in the art of shipbuilding, received one of the Three Elven Rings of Power, and even fought in battle under Gil-galad.

Celebrimbor (Sindarin: “Silver Fist”) was a great Elven-smith who was the Lord of Eregion (also known as “Hollin” in The Lord of the Rings). He was also the leader of a guild of Elven jewel-smiths called the Gwaith-i-Mírdain. In addition, he was a great friend of the Dwarf Narvi, and with him created the Doors of Durin. Celebrimbor is most noted, however, for his role in creating the Rings of Power. Tolkien gave several different backgrounds to Celebrimbor. In one version he was a Ñoldo from Gondolin. In another he was a Sinda descended from Daeron of Doriath. In yet another he was a Telerin silver-smith who was a friend of Celeborn’s. However, in the most well-known version of Celebrimbor’s ancestry, he was the son of Curufin, and the grandson of the famed Elven craftsman Fëanor, who created the Silmarils. In this version he was born in Valinor in the Years of the Trees and came to Middle-earth with the Ñoldor who followed Fëanor. Tolkien is not known to have given a physical description of him, but he is typically depicted with dark hair like his famous grandfather, Fëanor.

Celeborn (Sindarin: “Silver + Tall”) “the Wise” was the husband of Galadriel and Lord of the Galadhrim, that is, of the Elves of Lórien. He was tall, with long, silver hair. At the beginning of the Second Age, for a time he was Lord of Harlindon, where he ruled mostly Sindar. In some versions he lived near Lake Nenuial in Eriador during the early Second Age. At any rate, most accounts have him moving to Eregion around S.A. 750. He fought Sauron’s forces during the War of the Elves and Sauron, beginning in S.A. 1695. Initially Tolkien conceived of Celeborn as a Teleri Elf, probably specifically a Nandorin, or Silvan Elf, who stayed in Lórien and never lived west of the Misty Mountains. Later he decided that Celeborn was a Sinda of Doriath, related to the King Elu Thingol. This is the most well-known version of his story. In a later version, however, he was a Telerin Elf of Valinor, who sailed back to Middle-earth with Galadriel.

Galadriel (Sindarin: “Maiden Crowned with Radiance”) was the daughter of Finarfin and Eärwen. She was unusually tall, even for a woman of the Ñoldor, and had silver-gold hair. In her youth she was noted for her athletic talents. She was born in the Years of the Trees at Tirion in Valinor, and came to Middle-earth with the Ñoldor, despite her mistrust of Fëanor. She met Celeborn in Doriath (or in some versions, at Alqualondë in Valinor), and they were wed. By the end of the First Age, all of Galadriel’s brothers had died. Galadriel herself apparently did not take part in the wars of the Ñoldor against Morgoth. However, she escaped the sack of Doriath with Celeborn, and they may also have taken part in the War of Wrath, which had the sanction of the Valar. After the War of Wrath Galadriel chose to remain in Middle-earth, dwelling first in Harlindon, and/or near Lake Nenuial, but eventually moving to Eregion in S.A. 750. Although others of the Ñoldor appreciated the Dwarves for their craftsmanship and the rich treasures they mined from the earth, Galadriel appreciated their hardiness, and saw them as warriors and potential allies against the evil forces that still remained in Middle-earth. Galadriel herself learned at least a few Khuzdul words, and traveled through Khazad-dûm on her way to Lórien, just across the Misty Mountains from Eregion, where she spent some time before (or after, in some accounts) the War of the Elves and Sauron. She may have been responsible for marshaling the forces of the Dwarves and the Elves of Lórien in defense of Eregion. Whether she personally fought in the war is uncertain, but her husband Celeborn did. In some accounts, Galadriel and Celeborn also lived for a time in Belfalas, in what would become Gondor. Celebrimbor entrusted Galadriel with one of the Three Elven Rings of Power.

Celebrían (Sindarin: “Silver Queen”) was the daughter of Celeborn and Galadriel. Tolkien gave various birth dates for her, the most likely of which is about S.A. 300. In most accounts she went with her parents to Eregion in S.A. 750, and later to Lórien. No description of her is known, but she likely had silver or gold hair, similar to that of her parents.

Elrond (Sindarin: “Vault of Stars”) was the son of Eärendil and Elwing, and the twin brother of Elros. After the War of Wrath, due to the valor of their parents and their half-Elven heritage, Elrond and Elros were allowed to choose the fate of the Elves or mortal Men. Elrond chose to be an Elf, while Elros chose to be a mortal Man, becoming the leader of the Edain and the first King of Númenor. In the Second Age Elrond lived in Lindon for a time, and later at Imladris (Rivendell). He fought in the War of the Elves and Sauron, beginning in S.A. 1695, and also in the War of the Last Alliance, beginning in S.A. 3429. He served as vice-regent of Gil-galad, as well as Gil-galad’s herald during the War of the Last Alliance. Elrond had dark hair and gray eyes.

Amdír was an Elf of Sindarin descent and King of Lórien. Early in the Second Age he departed from Lindon and was accepted by the Nandorin (Silvan) Elves of Lórien as their king. He was also apparently known as Malgalad (Sindarin: “Golden Radiance”, or possibly “Golden Tree”). Little is known about him except for his kingship of Lórien, and the fact that he fought in the War of the Last Alliance.

Amroth (Nandorin: “Up-climber”) was the Prince of Lórien. In early versions he was the son of Celeborn and Galadriel, or the son of Celeborn and stepson of Galadriel in one version. Later on, however, Tolkien decided to make him the son of Amdír. He was born sometime before S.A. 730, when Aldarion of Númenor visited his land. Amroth led the forces of Lórien against Sauron in the War of the Elves and Sauron. Amroth is said to have been the first to live in a “flet”, a platform built around a tree, hence his name “Amroth”. (His given name must have been something different.) He loved the Elf-maid Nimrodel.

Nimrodel (Silvan: “Lady of the White Grotto”) was a Nandorin (Silvan) Elf of Lórien. She loved peace and nature, and disliked the Ñoldor and Sindar, fearing they brought turmoil with them when they arrived in Eregion and Lórien in the Second Age. Nevertheless, she loved the Sindarin Elf Amroth.

Oropher was an Elf of the Sindar of Doriath. Like Amdír, he too left Lindon to found his own kingdom among the Silvan Elves. Oropher was accepted by the Elves of Greenwood the Great as their king in S.A. 750 and founded the Woodland Realm, with its capital at Amon Lanc. However, he moved his capital northward several times due both to Sauron’s growing presence and his dislike of the Dwarves of Khazad-dûm, and of Galadriel and Celeborn. Nevertheless, he did fight in the War of the Last Alliance.

Thranduil (Sindarin or Silvan: “Vigorous Spring”) was the son of Oropher. He was likely born either in Doriath or Lindon, and went with his father to the Woodland Realm in S.A. 750. Thranduil fought alongside his father in the War of the Last Alliance. In The Hobbit he is described as having golden hair.

Pengolodh was a Lore-master of the Ñoldor. Born in Nevrast, in Beleriand, during the First Age, he followed Turgon to Gondolin, where he resided until the city fell. He managed to escape the Fall of Gondolin, and settled in the Mouths of Sirion near the end of the First Age, where he wrote The Annals of Beleriand and edited The Annals of Valinor. In the Second Age, following the War of Wrath, Pengolodh lived for a time in Lindon, but eventually made his way to Eregion, and visited Khazad-dûm, possibly even learning Khuzdul.

Glorfindel (Sindarin: “Golden Hair”) was one of the Ñoldor. Born in Valinor during the Years of the Trees, he went with the other Ñoldor back to Middle-earth. Glorfindel lived in the hidden Kingdom of Gondolin until it was attacked by the forces of Morgoth. Glorfindel died fighting a Balrog, allowing other refugees of Gondolin to escape. Later, in the Second Age, Glorfindel was reembodied and sent back to Middle-earth around the year S.A. 1600. Glorfindel was tall, with long golden hair.


The Maiar were divine spirit beings similar to angels. They were lesser than the Valar, who ruled from Valinor. Most Maiar lived in Valinor, but some took upon themselves physical forms and dwelt in Middle-earth.

Sauron (Quenya: “The Abhorred”) had many names and various guises. He was initially a Maia called Mairon (Quenya: “The Admirable”), who was a student of the Vala Aulë and became skilled at planning and crafting things. He loved order and was impatient with inefficiencies and obstacles to achieving his plans. Early on he came to admire the Vala Melkor (Morgoth) for his seeming ability to achieve his purposes quickly, and followed him, becoming his lieutenant. During the wars in Beleriand the Ñoldor gave Mairon the name “Sauron”, and the Sindar likewise named him “Gorthaur”.  After the War of Wrath, Morgoth was defeated and cast into the Void. Fearing a similar fate, Sauron renounced the evil he had done before the herald of the Valar. He was told to go to Valinor to submit to the judgment of the Valar. However, fearing what that judgment might be, and not willing to submit to the Valar, he instead fled to somewhere in the East of Middle-earth. There he laid low for about 500 years, but eventually he was convinced that the Valar had abandoned Middle-earth, and he began to gather power, influencing the Men around him to follow him. As his power and influence grew among mortal Men, he decided to try to influence even the Elves to follow him, a plan which led to the creation of the Rings of Power.

Eönwë was the herald of Manwë, the chief of the Valar, but was himself a Maia. It was Eönwë who led the host of the Valar (consisting mostly of the Vanyar Elves) in the War of Wrath, overthrowing Morgoth. It was to Eönwë that Sauron begged forgiveness. As Eönwë had the power neither to pardon nor to judge Sauron, he commanded him to go to Manwë to receive judgment. Eönwë also taught and blessed the Edain before their departure to Númenor. Little more is known of him after the beginning of the Second Age.

Durin’s Bane was a Balrog who escaped the War of Wrath, hid deep beneath the Misty Mountains, and slept there for thousands of years. He was alive during the Second Age, but not active. Other Balrogs may also have escaped the War of Wrath, but no other Balrogs are known after the First Age.

The Istari (Quenya: “Wizards”) were Maiar sent by the Valar to Middle-earth to give aid against Sauron. They appeared as old men, and were forbidden to fight Sauron directly, but instead to give courage to the free peoples of Middle-earth and persuade them to resist Sauron. In the appendices to The Lord of the Rings it is stated that the Istari arrived in Middle-earth in the Third Age, in T.A. 1000. However, in Tolkien’s late writings he decided that the two Wizards not named in The Lord of the Rings, the “Blue Wizards”, had actually been sent earlier to Middle-earth, at the same time as Glorfindel. In the year S.A. 1600, in other words. These two Wizards Tolkien named Alatar and Pallando in some accounts, but in his latest writings he named them Morinehtar (Quenya: “Darkness-slayer”) and Rómestámo (Quenya: “East-helper”). These two Wizards were sent to the East and South, where Sauron’s influence was strongest, to help counteract that influence among the peoples who lived in those regions.

Other Beings

Tom Bombadil was a jolly fellow who lived amid the Old Forest in Eriador. His exact nature is much debated, but he was apparently immortal, and had lived in Middle-earth from the beginning. He belonged to the Old Forest, which during the Second Age was larger and wilder than during the Third Age.

Goldberry was the River-daughter, and Tom Bombadil’s wife. Her nature is also mysterious.

Ents were the “Shepherds of the Trees”, large, tree-like beings who could walk and talk. They were immortal, similar to the Elves. Fangorn (Sindarin: “Treebeard”) was the eldest of the Ents, and older even than all of the Elves. Not much is known of the Ents during the Second Age, and what they did, but the Entwives had gardens near the Anduin River, and these were burned and became the “Brown Lands” late in the Second Age. What became of the Entwives is unknown. Also, at the beginning of the Second Age there were large forests from Eriador south through Minhiriath and Enedhwaith, and through Calenardhon to Fangorn Forest. In the course of the Second Age many of these areas became deforested.

Shelob (English: “Female Spider”) was the daughter of the great spider Ungoliant and an unnamed male spider of Ered Gorgoroth in Beleriand, where she was born in the First Age. At some point, likely after the War of Wrath, Shelob fled Ered Gorgoroth and eventually found a new home in the Ephel Dúath range on the west of Mordor. She was there hundreds of years before Sauron chose to establish himself in Mordor.

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Wesaþ ġé hále! I have long appreciated Tolkien's works, both directly and through the interpretation of other artists. Perhaps my first introduction to Tolkien's works was the calendar artwork of the Brothers Hildebrandt, which fired my youthful imagination even before I had read LOTR. As I grew old enough to read Tolkien on my own, I was impressed by the amount of world-building information available in the Appendices to LOTR, which eventually helped steer me to study linguistics. I enjoy learning more about the interplay between Tolkien's scholarship and his writing, which were not two separate worlds, but continually informed each other, and may help us as fans to be better informed about what Tolkien really thought.

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