|'The Unwilling', The Refusers, Wild Elves|
Avari (singular Avar) is a Quenya word meaning 'Refusers' or 'Recusants'. When the Vala Oromë found the Elves who had awakened in Cuiviénen (see: Awakening of the Elves), he asked them to come with him to Valinor. All the Elves of the First Clan (Vanyar) and many of the Elves of the Second and Third Clans (Noldor and Teleri) were persuaded to follow Oromë into the West on a Great Journey. The remainder of the Elves of the Second and Third Clans remained suspicious of the Lords of the West, seeing them only in their wrath, or they simply refused to depart from their own lands. They were after known in Quenya by the name Avari because they refused the summons. Later, they spread throughout the wide lands of Middle-earth.
Having never come to Valinor, the Avari remained a "wild folk", often dwellers of forests and caves. Little is known of them, as they do not appear often in the tales. Some of them merged with the Nandor and Sindar in Eriador and the Vale of Anduin and became known as Silvan Elves. The Avari were the first other sapient race encountered by Men. The Avari taught them many of the basic crafts of civilization, though the craft of the Eldar surpassed that of the Avari even more than that of the Avari surpassed primitive Men.
Since the Avari, unlike the Eldar, refused the invitation to the Undying Lands and preferred to stay in Middle-earth to the end of Time, it is assumed they did fade away.
In "Quendi and Eldar", the Elf Eöl is said to be an Avar of the Second Clan. He is notorious for luring an elf lady, Aredhel, into his home and making her his wife. Although in the Silmarillion, he is described as a Teleri.
Avarin, the language of the Avari
According to the Comparative Tables of the Elvish languages, there were three groups of Avarin languages, not connected.
- The West Avarin group was nearest to the Eldarin languages (Sindarin, Telerin, Quenya).
- The North Avarin group was very peculiar, with no initial groups of consonants.
- The East Avarin group.
In "Quendi and Eldar", names of six tribes of Avari in their own languages are given, all being cognates of the Quenya word Quendi (the Elves): Kindi, Cuind, Hwenti, Windan, Kinn-lai, and Penni. The last one is the word used by the Silvan Elves of Mirkwood and Lórien.
- Elvish languages (Middle-earth)
- Languages constructed by J. R. R. Tolkien
- Sundering of the Elves
- Tolkien, J.R.R. (1977). "Of the Coming of the Elves and the Captivity of Melkor". The Silmarillion (1st ed.).
- J.R.R. Tolkien, "DLN", Parma Eldalamberon 17, p. 143
- JRR Tolkien, "Comparative Tables", Parma Eldalamberon 19, pp. 18-28.