Daughters of Finwë
Much is said of the three sons of Finwë, and their deeds are indeed well renowned. From Fëanáro the son of Míriel Þerinde, to Nolofinwë and Arafinwë, the sons of Indis, much is told of them in Aman and Middle-earth alike.
But little to none is said of the daughters of Finwë and Indis. Even some of their names and just how many there were, exactly, is not fully known.(1)
Here there shall be an attempt to tell what little is known of these elf-women and what their fates were.
The eldest daughter and child of Finwë and Indis is perhaps the easiest to decipher. In all writings featuring the daughters of Finwë, she is always present and is always the eldest and always bears the same name, unlike others.
Her name is the simple combining of the names of her parents and there are no other names listed.
There is indeed little known of Findis, save that she appears to have been close to her mother. When Melkor slew Finwë at Formenos, she departed with Indis to live with the Vanyar until Finwë was permitted to return.(2)
The second daughter of Finwë and Indis and their third child is infinitely more complex than her elder sister. She has many names, but Finvain seems to be the final one settled upon for her.
In The Shibboleth of Fëanor
as in other places, other names for her are listed.(3) Also, her mother name was Lalwendë, which was later shortened to Lalwen.
Finvain is not mentioned in the published Silmarillion
, but it is said in The Shibboleth of Fëanor
that she chose to accompany her older brother Nolofinwë into exile, as he was, of all their family, the dearest to her. Beyond this, nothing is known of her fate, if she died at some point, or if she survived to return to Aman after the War of Wrath.
The third and final daughter of Finwë and Indis is, in many ways, even more mysterious than her other sisters. She does not appear in The Shibboleth of Fëanor
,(4) and little is said of her in Morgoth’s Ring
. We truly only know that she was the youngest of all their children, the fifth.
In some earlier versions, she had the name Finvain, but that was obviously switched to the second sister.
Because of this lack of information about Faniel, one can assume she was dropped from the line of Finwë, thus the reason for her lack of appearance in The Shibboleth
. But because she does appear throughout Morgoth’s Ring, I felt she deserved at least a mention in this article.
As it has been stated throughout this small article, little is known of these mysterious ladies. Perhaps Tolkien one-day intended to flesh out their characters a little more, but that will never be known. All we know now is what little has been recovered by Christopher Tolkien from his father’s many papers.
(1) In Morgoth’s Ring
, it is stated in many places that Finwë and Indis had five children, three daughters in two sons. However, in The Shibboleth of Fëanor
(HoME XII 343), it says, ‘Finwë had four children by Indis…’
(2) By some accounts, Finwë will never be permitted to return from the Halls of Mandos. There is a tale that, after the majority of the Noldor left Aman, Finwë offered to trade places with his first wife, Míriel, and permit her to return to Aman. So, if this is meant to be truth, then Finwë will remain permanently in the Halls of Mandos. Thus, it can be speculated that Findis and Indis would remain with the latter’s kin indefinitely.
(3) Some of the names given to Finvain include Írien and Írimë, as well as Faniel.
(4) See footnote 1.
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