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Finwë, father of Fëanor, Fingolfin and Finarfin, and first High King of the Noldor - did he have parents, or was he the first of the Noldor?

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  • I think he was one of the first elves, and simply woke up after being created by Eru Iluvatar
    – user54256
    Nov 11, 2015 at 8:15

4 Answers 4

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Finwë was one of the elves that "awoke" in Cuiviénen during the Years of the Trees. He led the Noldor into Valinor.

So he did not have parents.

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  • An Elven "Adam" if you will.
    – Lexible
    Nov 11, 2015 at 19:19
  • It only seems obvious - Tolkien never said that
    – Mithoron
    Nov 13, 2015 at 12:32
  • He didn't say he wasn't. You can only speculate he wasn't, whereas I believe it's implied he is one of the Unbegotten since Orome discovered them, told the other Valar of his discovery, and then returned to invite them to Valinor, choosing three of them (four) to herald them.
    – John Bell
    Nov 13, 2015 at 12:48
  • Also the timeline doesn't really make sense as to why Ingwe, Finwe and Elwe would be chosen as ambassadors if they were children. Orome first found the Elves in YTT1085 and it takes him a full 17 years in YTT1102 to choose the ambassadors, he stayed with them in this time. The elves awoke in YTT1050. As we know, Elves take a long time to reproduce and don't do it lightly, so the likelihood is that they were from the original 144.
    – John Bell
    Nov 13, 2015 at 12:54
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    Years of the Two Trees, though, were probably about 10 years of the Sun. That's plenty of time, even for Elves, to breed a new generation or two before sending any ambassadors.
    – chepner
    Sep 11, 2019 at 19:59
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Yes

Finwë was a direct descendent (through eldest sons) of Tata, one of the first generation of Elves.

Tolkien wavered a bit about exactly which generation Finwë was from (3rd, 6th or 25th), as he wanted him to be old enough to be chosen as an ambassador to Aman, but yet young enough to still be of marriageable age when they reached Aman.

It seems that Tolkien's final word on the matter was that Finwë was a 25th generation elf.

Oromë and Tulkas return to Valinor, bringing ambassadors or representatives of the Three Companies (young Quendi: Ingwë, Finwë, Elwë, grandsons of Imin, Tata, and Enel).
The Nature of Middle-earth - "Key Dates" c. Feb 1959 - draft

Oromë returns to Cuiviénen, with more mayar. (Melkor becomes suspicious, and guesses war is purposed against him, because of the Quendi. During Oromë’s absence his emissaries were busy, and many lies circulate. The “heresy” awakes in new form: the Valar clearly do exist; but they have abandoned Endor: rightly as the appointed realm of the Quendi. Now they are becoming jealous, and wish to control the Quendi as vassals, and so re-possess themselves of Endor. Finwë, a gallant and adventurous young quende, direct descendant of Tata (therefore 25th gen.), is much taken by these ideas; less so his friend Elwë, descendant of Enel.)
The Nature of Middle-earth - "Key Dates" c. Feb 1959

Let Ingwë, Finwë, Elwë all be young 6th gen. Elves, but each a direct descendant (by eldest son) of Imin, Tata, and Enel [respectively]. (Divergence in dates of birth is due to intrusion of earlier-born daughters.) ... Finwë must have been a later 6th-generation birth. Let Finwë be born in FA 772: 92 at the Finding, 298 at the March. He would have married about FA 1084. He already loved Míriel and postponed marriage till the end of the March.
The Nature of Middle-earth - "Generational Schemes" c. Aug 1959 - Scheme 2

Finwë and Elwë were friends, very adventurous. Olwë, born 2185, was 27 at the Embassy, 47 at the March (Elmo was born on the March). All three were direct descendants or heirs of the Three First Elves and regarded as chieftains.
Ingwë was 24th gen., his children therefore 25th. Finwë was gen. 25, Elwë gen. 25.
The Nature of Middle-earth - "Generational Schemes" c. Aug 1959 - Scheme 7

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nobody knows.

Ingwë, king of the Vanyar and high king of all elves, had a kinswoman Indis, and so was at least a second generation elf.

Elwë (king Thingol Greycloak) had a brother Olwë and so was at least a second generation elf.

So two of the three leaders fo the Great journey were at least second generation elves and had parents.

Nobody knows about Finwë, although there are probably several online discussions about that.

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    Eru could have created them as brothers and sisters, like he did some of the Valar.
    – Shamshiel
    Nov 13, 2015 at 10:45
  • Also the first three elves that awoke had assigned spouses by Eru. He arranged their marriages :S
    – John Bell
    Nov 13, 2015 at 11:43
  • @Shamshiel: were some of the Valar brothers and sisters? Who specifically? Do you have a reference?
    – b_jonas
    Nov 14, 2015 at 12:46
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    @b_jonas: Melkor and Manwe are described as such, as are Namo, Irmo, and Nienna. Nessa and Orome are also siblings. It's in the Valaquenta.
    – Shamshiel
    Nov 14, 2015 at 13:28
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    My brain can process created siblings - maybe they woke in a shared bed or/and shared a lot of physical traits, but a created kin seems beyond my comprehension. Is it just a less close "created sibling"? Círdan is said to be a kin of Thingol. So who was older. Was Círdan Thingol's lost created sibling's son or vice versa.
    – Eugene
    Jul 5, 2021 at 1:49
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While it's not ever explicitly confirmed, it's unlikely that Finwë was Unbegotten. His first wife was Míriel Serindë. Given that she had a mother-name, it would seem likely that she had a mother. All those who awoke at Cuiviénen awoke with their destined 'soulmates' by order of Eru. If Finwë married a woman who was not Unbegotten, it seems impossible that he himself was one of the First.

In older drafts it seems Finwë and his brothers were intended to be First, but this changed as the Tolkien corpus expanded.

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    Can you provide a source for Míriel's mother-name? I can't recall having seen it and have only ever seen the interpretation that Finwë was indeed First.
    – Edlothiad
    Sep 13, 2018 at 8:05
  • The name Míriel means "Jewel-daughter" in Quenya, from mír ("jewel") and -iel ("daughter"). Her epessë Þerindë, or Serindë in the Quenya of Tirion, means "the Broideress", referring to her great skill in embroidery for 'her chief talent was a marvelous dexterity of hand' (reference to The Peoples of Middle Earth; The Shibboleth of Feanor, Page 333) tolkiengateway.net/wiki/Míriel . Note that amilessë = "mother name"' Sep 14, 2018 at 6:20
  • In case it isn't obvious in my other (cut-and-paste) comment, The Shibboleth of Feanor contradicts the assertion that Serindë is Míriel's mother-name. I don't know of another source that claims it is. Sep 17, 2018 at 8:09

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