The Sindar (meaning 'Grey People'; singular Sinda) were Elves of Telerin descent, known also as the Grey Elves. They were a sub-group of the Teleri who chose to stay in Beleriand and not complete the Great Journey to Aman.
Named Sindar by Ñoldorin Exiles, these Elves were likely considered "grey" because they were neither Elves of the Light, having never set foot in Valinor, nor Avari, setting out on the journey (and therefore counted among the Eldar). They may be considered Moriquendi, along with the Avari and Nandor, some of which became the Laiquendi. Sindar are sometimes referred to as Elves of the Twilight. They referred to themselves simply as 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 Cuiviénen, Thingol went wandering in the forests. 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.
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 Dwarves of Nogrod and Belegost in the Blue Mountains were contracted to aid in the building of the city of Menegroth.
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 the Shipwright, 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.
Yet other stray bands of Teleri settled in Nevrast and Hithlum to the north of Eglador, although these did not form any realms. The Teleri of Eglador, the northlands, and the Falas were also known as Sindar, in later days, because they developed a civilisation all their own, which almost equalled that of the Calaquendi.
A last group of Teleri in Beleriand was the Laiquendi: they were descended from the Nandor, who had split from the Great Journey before the Hithaeglir, and gone south along the Great River Anduin. A part of them, under Denethor, son of Lenwë, crossed the Blue Mountains, and eventually settled in Ossiriand, or as it was later known: Lindon. They remained a people apart for long, although many of them removed to Thingol's realm after Denethor was killed.
Thus the friends of Elwë Singollo, who remained waiting for him while he was lost in Nan Elmoth, the Falathrim, and the Laiquendi and the other Nandor who entered Beleriand were counted among the Sindar. Although they were Moriquendi Elves and thus never went to Aman, the Sindar achieved great wisdom during the Sleep of Yavanna, for they were guided by Círdan, Melian the Maia, and Elwë, who as Elu Thingol who had returned as a great overlord of Elves. Thingol's kingdom was to become the center of Sindarin power and culture. Many Sindar lived in Mithrim and the Falas, and some still wandered in the forests.
The Sindar were somewhat scorned but respected by the Ñoldorin exiles who returned to Middle-earth to found great realms and wage war against the Dark Lord Morgoth. The Sindar did not play a very active offensive role in the Battles of Beleriand in the War of the Jewels, although they did suffer heavily from the forces of Morgoth. Their overall relationship with the Ñoldor was a somewhat contentious one; the Ñoldor, for their part, held themselves in overall higher esteem than the Sindar, and were a bit contemptuous of the Sindar's relative lack of will to fight Morgoth. The Sindar often saw their cousins as arrogant trespassers, and many also at least somewhat blamed them for the return of Morgoth and all the misery it entailed. Although Thingol continued to claim overlordship over all Beleriand in practice most Sindar withdrew into Doriath behind the Girdle of Melian to escape Morgoth's power. With the ruin of Doriath and fall of the Falas, Sindar refugees escaped to the Isle of Balar or east into Eriador. At the end of the First Age and again at the end of the Second Age, many Sindar went over the Great 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 dwelling in Middle-earth, but once the desire for the Sea was aroused in them, they could not be content until they sailed to Eldamar in the Far West. Although less learned and powerful than the Calaquendi and less interested in crafts than the Ñoldor, they were extremely gifted in music, and their voices were very fair.
The Sindar spoke Sindarin; they invented the Cirth. 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
|Foreign Language||Translated name|
|Chinese (Hong Kong)||辛達|
|Serbian||Синдар (Cyrillic) Sindar (Latin)|
The People of Middle-earth