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Tolkien was big on family trees, we know the names of the kings of Numenor all the way down through Gondor and Arnor up to Aragorn. But what was the longest tree we have of elves?

I'm trying to find out the maximum number of generations we know from the original awakening.

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House of Finwë

We have the House of Finwë, which is comprised of 6 generations of Elves after him.

Finwë > Fingolfin > Turgon > Idril > Eärendil > Elrond > Elladan/Elrohir

Family tree of Finwë

Other than the House of Finwë (Noldor Elves), there doesn't seem to be enough information on the other Elven family trees, most notably the "pure" Vanyar and Teleri.


House of Thingol

The 2nd longest Elven family tree would be: the House of Thingol. It comprises of 5 generations of Elves after Thingol (a Sindarin Elf).

Thingol > Luthien > Dior > Elwing > Elrond > Elladan/Elrohir

Family tree of Thingol

As a side note, both Finwë and Thingol were the "Elven-ambassadors" responsible for leading their people in(to) Valinor. None of the Elves who first awoke were ever named, save Imin, Tata and Enel, and presumably Cirdan. However, we don't even know if Imin, Tata, and Enel exist!1 Cirdan is noted to be the longest-lived Elf by the time of the Third Age, but he doesn't have any descendants. So it would seem that Finwë and Thingol have the oldest named family trees.


Notes:

1 See the third bullet point in Jason Baker's excellent answer: 'They never existed in the first place.'

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    Small correction not worth the edit queue: 'comprises' shouldn't be followed by 'of'. The House of Finwe comprises 6 generations, etc. If you want to use 'of', say 'is comprised of', instead. – TylerH Jul 5 '17 at 16:04
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    Needs freehand circles. – ibid Jul 6 '17 at 0:10
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The house of Finwe comprises 6 generations from Finwe down to Elrond and Elros, and a further 2 if we add in Arwen and Eldarion (by which time it's no longer an Elven family tree). I am intentionally omitting Elladan and Elrohir since Tolkien left their final fates ambiguous.

However Finwe was not one of the first awakened Elves. We know this for a fact because his first wife, Miriel, had a mother-name, therefore she cannot have been one of the first awakened, yet the first all awoke beside their spouses.

So what this means is that there is at least one generation, possibly more, before Finwe.

Of the 3 Elven kings who went to Valinor as ambassadors the only one who might have been one of the first was Ingwe, but we have no family tree for the Vanyar.

  • I don't see any consistent reason to count Arwen and Eldarion but not all the descendants of Elros. I think the best you can do is seven named generations (Finwe -> Fingolfin -> Turgon -> Idril -> Earendil -> Elrond -> Elladan/Elrohir) – Micah Jul 5 '17 at 6:01

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