Three Rings for the Elven Kings
Ella kom ye la! I cried unto these ones, I’ve wandered through the dark so long! I’ve waited through the night for the rising sun!

3 Rings for the Elven Kings

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Welcome to the Website of the Elendili – the Elf-friends

The Elendili are the Elf-friends – those who are true to the Valar, the gods and goddesses of Middle-earth that dwell in the Undying Lands of Aman. If you sincerely wish to become an Elf-friend, and to follow the path of the Ancient Ones, please read on. To contact us, use the form under Meetings and Contact Details, or join our Facebook discussion group, Elven Myth & Magic.
 

Grey Havens

 
The world described by Tolkien is real! And all of us shall one day reach the Undying Lands…


Gods and Goddesses

The gods and goddesses of Middle-earth are the Valar, the Ancient Ones who dwell in Aman, the Undying Lands in the True West. They are fourteen in number, according to the classic version of The Silmarillion, though The Book of Lost Tales includes two more, Makar and Meássë, as a war-god and war-goddess respectively. In his later formulation Tolkien preferred to describe the Valar as Powers, or angelic beings, rather than gods, though a fair amount of the earlier, Pagan terminology survived into later times.
 

The Valar

Aulë • Irmo • Ulmo • Oromë • Tulkas • Mandos (Námo)
Varda • Manwë
Yavanna • Estë • Vairë • Vána • Nessa • Nienna
 
The male Valar (sing. Vala) are known as the Lords of the Valar:
 
Manwë Súlimo, King of the Valar
Ulmo, King of the Sea
Aulë, the Smith
Oromë Aldaron, the Great Rider
Mandos (Námo), Judge of the Dead
Irmo (Lórien), Master of Dreams and Desires
Tulkas Astaldo, Champion of Valinor
The female Valar, or Valier (sing. Valië) are known as the Queens of the Valar:
 
Varda Elentári, Queen of the Stars, wife of Manwë
Yavanna Kementári (Palùrien), Giver of Fruits, wife of Aulë
Nienna, Lady of Mercy
Estë the Gentle, wife of Irmo
Vairë the Weaver, wife of Mandos
Vána the Ever-young, wife of Oromë
Nessa the Dancer, wife of Tulkas


Who is Tom Bombadil?

Few characters in Tolkien’s works have generated as much controversy as Tom Bombadil, and it is perhaps no surprise that he is omitted from most adaptations (with the notable exception of ‘Tim Benzedrine’ in the Harvard Lampoon’s Bored of the Rings). In a 1954 draft letter in reply to Peter Hastings, manager of the Newman Bookshop in Oxford (which, however, he never actually sent), Tolkien said that if Tom Bombadil did not have an important role, he would not have been included:
 
“I don’t think Tom needs philosophizing about, and is not improved by it. But many have found him an odd or indeed discordant ingredient. In historical fact I put him in because I had already ‘invented’ him independently (he first appeared in the Oxford Magazine) and wanted an ‘adventure’ on the way. But I kept him in, and as he was, because he represents certain things otherwise left out.” (Letters, #153)
 
Just who, or what, is Tom Bombadil? Is he a nature spirit, a Vala gone native, or what? An early theory – first articulated, it would appear, by the above mentioned Peter Hastings (in order to criticise it), that has remained popular since – was that Tom was none other than the creator-god, Eru Ilúvatar, himself. Tolkien, however, tried to squash this idea. In a 1956 draft reply to Michael Straight, editor of New Republic, he wrote:
 
There is no embodimentof the Creator anywhere in this story or mythology (Letters, #181)
 
And again, in a 1958 letter to Rhona Beare, a student at the University of Exeter, Tolkien said:
 
“The One does not physically inhabit any part of Ea.” (Letters, #211)
 
But if Tolkien was merely the conduit (or, as he put it, ‘translator’) of this material, then he may not have fully understood all of its ramifications – or, perhaps, was reluctant to do so because of his Catholic beliefs. On the other hand, maybe he was simply unwilling to reveal all he knew, because it is clear that Tom Bombadil is, indeed, Eru Ilúvatar. Tom Bombadil – a somewhat frivolous name given to him by Hobbits – was the oldest being in the world, and had been in it since before even the Valar. Among his many names and titles, all of which referred to his primaeval status, was one given to him by the Men of Rohan – Orald an Old English word meaning ‘most ancient’ and cognate with German Uralt and Frisian Wr-alda – this latter, in turn, being the name given to the creator-god in the 19th century Frisian chronicle known as the Oera Linda Book (it is also cognate with the modern English ‘world’). Furthermore, one of the titles the Oera Linda Book gives to Wr-alda is All-father, which is the exact translation of Ilúvatar, and also a title of Odin (Woden) in the Prose Edda, Snorri Sturluson’s famous 13th century collection of Norse myths and legends.


Worship of the Ancient Ones

Elf-friends usually develop an affinity for one particular Vala, whom they may call upon for guidance and help at any time. To call on the Ancient Ones, or any of their number individually, we say out loud the following short phrase, Ella kom ye la! (‘Behold, gather golden-light!’ – or, in standard Quenya spelling, Ela comyalaurë!), as used by Sally Oldfield in her Songs of the Quendi.
 

Candle Lantern

Ella kom ye la!

 
When calling on the Ancient Ones, we kneel three times – right knee touching the ground, left knee pointing west – to show our respect to the Flame Imperishable, the Spirit of Eru Ilúvatar that sustains all life on earth and we retain this posture to ask for guidance or help, should we need any. In this fashion we call on the Ancient Ones once a day, or more often if we wish, from our homes or wherever we happen to be, facing towards the True West and the Undying Lands of Aman. A staff, or stick, of some sort is useful for balance while we are calling, and since it is disrespectful to cover the knees while doing so, it is important to dress appropriately too.
Group worship, on the other hand, always takes place outdoors, in a suitably numinous location such as a clearing in a wood or a stone circle, in front of a covered flame (a candle in a lantern) to represent the Secret Fire – the Flame Imperishable. Such gatherings may also include singing (the Songs of the Quendi being suitable choices), dancing and offerings of fruit to the Ancient Ones. Gatherings may take place weekly, fortnightly or monthly – or as often as practicable – but even if this is the case, there are six special festivals in the year to be observed, based on the Reckoning of Rivendell as devised by the Elves. The Coranar, or wheel of the year, is represented by a circle with six spokes.
 
Tuilë ‘Spring’ (around 29 March)
Lairë ‘Summer’ (around 22 May)
Yávië ‘Autumn’ (around 2 August)
Quellë ‘Fading’ (around 28 September)
Hrívë ‘Winter’ (around 21 November)
Coirë ‘Stirring’ (around 1 February)
 
The names of the first humans are not recorded by Tolkien in his Legendarium. The Oera Linda Book, however, tells us that they comprised three sisters named Lyda, Finda and Frya. The youngest of these, Frya, after seeing her descendants reach the seventh generation, gave them a set of laws, known as Frya’s Tex. It is from these, and subsequent writings, that we know how to call on the Ancient Ones.
 
     Prosperity awaits the free. At last they shall see me again. Though him only can I recognise as free who is neither a slave to another nor to himself. This is my counsel:—

     1. When in dire distress, and when mental and physical energy avail nothing, then have recourse to the spirit of Wr-alda; but do not appeal to him before you have tried all other means, for I tell you beforehand, and time will prove its truth, that those who give way to discouragement sink under their burdens.

     2. To Wr-alda’s spirit only shall you bend the knee in gratitude—thricefold—for what you have received, for what you do receive, and for the hope of aid in time of need.

     3. You have seen how speedily I have come to your assistance. Do likewise to your neighbour, but wait not for his entreaties. The suffering would curse you, my maidens would erase your name from the book, and I would regard you as a stranger.

     4. Let not your neighbour express his thanks to you on bended knee, which is only due to Wr-alda’s spirit. Envy would assail you, Wisdom would ridicule you, and my maidens would accuse you of irreverence.

     5. Four things are given for your enjoyment—air, water, land, and fire—but Wr-alda is the sole possessor of them. Therefore ... choose upright men who will fairly divide the labour and the fruits, so that no man shall be exempt from work or from the duty of defence.

(Oera Linda Book – The Book of Adela’s Followers, Ch. 5: Frya’s Tex)
 


The Legendarium of J.R.R. Tolkien

The list below is by no means exhaustive, and one of the great joys of Tolkien scholarship is that it is always possible to discover new information. Rather, the works listed here should be regarded as an essential, central corpus. It must always be born in mind, however, that the term ‘canon’ – sometimes used of Tolkien’s works – does not imply that the works in question do not contradict each other, because they most assuredly do. The important point is the underlying message, not the exact detail of any given text.
 
 
1. The Fellowship of the Ring
2. The Two Towers
3. The Return of the King
 
 
1. The Book of Lost Tales Part One
2. The Book of Lost Tales Part Two
3. The Lays of Beleriand
4. The Shaping of Middle-earth
5. The Lost Road and Other Writings
6. The Return of the Shadow (The History of The Lord of the Rings v.1)
7. The Treason of Isengard (The History of The Lord of the Rings v.2)
8. The War of the Ring (The History of The Lord of the Rings v.3)
9. Sauron Defeated (The History of The Lord of the Rings v.4)
10. Morgoth’s Ring (The Later Silmarillion v.1)
11. The War of the Jewels (The Later Silmarillion v.2)
12. The Peoples of Middle-earth
13. The History of Middle-earth Index
 
 
1. Mr. Baggins
2. Return to Bag End


Other Source Texts

The works in the list below – which, again, is not exhaustive, and probably could never be – have apparently had access to the same sources of information as Tolkien did, so should be regarded as both authentic and useful. The Prose Edda is a compilation of the myths and legends of the Norse peoples. The Oera Linda Book is a Frisian chronicle covering a period from the 22nd to the 1st century BC. The ‘Abalocseries of novels tells of the medieval migrations of Elves to North America. The Songs of the Quendi also tell us more about the Elves.
 
Prose Edda, Snorri Sturluson
 
 
1. Prologue
2. Gylfaginning
3. Skáldskaparmál
4. Háttatal
 
Oera Linda Book, Cornelis Over de Linden
 
 
1. Letters
2. The Book of Adela’s Followers
3. The Writings of Adelbrost And Apollonia
4. The Writings of Frêthorik And Wiljow
5. The Writing of Konerêd
6. Fragments
 
The ‘Abaloc’ series, Jane Louise Curry
 
 
1. Beneath the Hill
2. The Daybreakers
3. Over the Sea’s Edge
4. The Watchers
5. The Birdstones
6. The Wolves of Aam
7. Shadow Dancers
 
Songs of the Quendi, Sally Oldfield
 
 
1. Night Theme
2. Wampum Song
3. Nenya
4. Land of the Sun


Meetings and Contact Details

Meetings of Elf-friends are known as ‘moots’ and can take place in pubs, restaurants, homes, or anywhere we find congenial – Tolkien liked to smoke, drink and chat with his friends in a relaxed, convivial atmosphere, and we maintain this tradition today. Moots are to be distinguished from group worship, however, which always takes place outdoors.
 

Moseley Bog

 
If you would like to set up a moot in your own area, please let us know. If you can, you are welcome to attend our Friday afternoon gatherings at Moseley Bog, Sarehole, B’ham (near Tolkien’s childhood home) – which is our most sacred place of worship – or the Birmingham Central Moot at Scruffy Murphy’s, Dale End, B’ham, which meets every other Monday. To contact us, please use the form on the right, or join our discussion group on Facebook, Elven Myth & Magic.
Of all the Tolkien-related websites online, we would heartily recommend the Tolkien Gateway as the biggest and best repository of information on the life and Legendarium of J.R.R. Tolkien, while Ardalambion is the best resource for the study of Elven languages.
Thank you for contacting the Elendili. We shall respond as soon as possible.
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We who of the earth are born will lead you through the healing storm,
I
t’s time to follow the path of the ancient ones!

© 2003 / 2014 Ash Branch