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The Teleri (Quenya: IPA: [ˈteleri]; meaning Those who come last; singular Teler; IPA: [ˈteler]; adjectival Telerin; [ˈtelerin]) were the third of the Elf clans who came to Aman. Those who came to Aman became known as the Falmari. They were the ancestors of the Valinorean Teleri, and the Sindar, Laiquendi, and Nandor of Middle-earth.

Elven clans

The third clan was the largest of the three houses of the Elves, and most of the Avari originally belonged to them. In ancient times they named themselves Lindar (Q. IPA: [ˈlindar]; singular Linda; adjectival Lindarin; [ˈlindarin]), or "Singers", because they were known for their fair voices. They were also called Nelyar (Q. IPA: [ˈneʎar]; "The Third"; singular Nelya; adjectival Nelyarin; [ˈneʎarin]). The Sindar of Beleriand called themselves simply Edhil, which means Elves, and is related to the Quenya word Eldar of the same meaning. According to legend, the Teleri were descended from Enel, the third Elf to awake in Cuiviénen , his spouse Enelyë and their 72 companions, but it was Olwë, younger brother of the Telerin emissary Elwë, who became their king.


The Teleri were sundered from the first two clans, the Vanyar and the Ñoldor, because they tarried behind searching for their lost king Elwë (later known as Thingol), and the first two clans were ferried across to Valinor on a huge island before. The Maia Ossë kept them company while they waited, and became their friend. Later when Ulmo returned with the island ferry, the Teleri had grown to love the sea. Ossë convinced Ulmo to anchor the island in the Bay of Eldamar, off the shores of Aman, and persuaded many of the Teleri to remain in Middle-earth. The Teleri long remained on Tol Eressëa, and their language changed in different ways from that of the Vanyar and Ñoldor. Much later the Teleri learned to build ships, and finally made it to Aman.

The Teleri refused to join the Ñoldor in leaving Valinor, and many of them were justly slain in the Kinslaying at their chief city of Alqualondë, or Swan Harbour, when they refused to supply the exiles with their swan ships, and started attacking the Ñoldor. For this reason few or none of the Teleri joined the host of the Valar which set out to capture Morgoth for good. It is recounted that the Teleri eventually forgave the Ñoldor for the Kinslaying, and the two kindreds were at peace again.

Their tongue, known as Telerin or Lindalambë (tongue of the Lindar), was considered by some to be a dialect of Quenya, but the Teleri themselves considered it to be an independent language. It was much more conservative than Quenya, and was the closest to Common Telerin (from which Sindarin and Nandorin were also derived), and even to Common Eldarin of the later Elvish languages.[citation needed]

Other versions of the legendarium

In the early versions of J.R.R. Tolkien's mythology (see The History of Middle-earth), they were known as Solosimpi ("Pipers of the Shores"), while the name Teleri was given to the clan of Elves known in the published version of The Silmarillion as Vanyar.

Nelyar and Lindar, the earlier versions of the term Teleri, were used in writings compiled in The War of the Jewels.


Foreign Language Translated name
Amharic ጠለሪ
Arabic تيليري
Armenian Տելերի
Belarusian Cyrillic Тэлэри
Bengali টেলেরই
Bulgarian Cyrillic Телери
Chinese 帖勒瑞族
Georgian ტელერნი
Greek Τελερι
Gujarati ટેલેરી
Hebrew טלרי
Hindi टेलेरी
Japanese テレリ
Kannada ತೆಲೆರಿ
Kazakh Телері (Cyrillic) Teleri (Latin)
Korean 텔레리
Kyrgyz Cyrillic Тэлэри
Macedonian Cyrillic Телери
Malayalam ടെലിറി
Marathi टेलिरी
Mongolian Cyrillic Тэлэри
Nepalese टेलेरि
Persian تله ری
Punjabi ਟੈਲੀਰੀ
Sanskrit टेलेरि
Serbian Телери (Cyrillic) Teleri (Latin)
Sinhalese ටෙලරි
Tajik Cyrillic Телери
Tamil டெலெரி
Telugu తేలేరి
Thai เทเลริ
Russian Тэлери
Ukrainian Cyrillic Телері
Urdu ٹیلیری
Uzbek Телери (Cyrillic) Teleri (Latin)
Yiddish תּעלערי
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