Army List Notes: Sindar

While the term Sindar technically does not cover the Avari or Silvan-Elves, those realms after the first age comprised mostly of Avari, such as Lorien or Mirkwood, had Sindarin ruling classes, so the term suffices for all, and Doriath held the overlordship of the Nandor of Ossiriand.

The realms covered in this list are in the 1A the Falas - technically part of Doriath, but here counted as separate for organisational reasons; the Nandor or Laiquendi (Green-Elves) of Ossiriand, as well as Doriath itself; and in the 3A, Lorien and Mirkwood. Other communities, such as the outpost in what came to be Gondor, were too small to provide DBM-sized forces. In the 2A, the Sindar of Eriador were under Noldor suzerainity, and so are covered by the Noldor list, whilst those outside Eriador are poorly documented. For Orophor's (later his son Thranduil's) kingdom in Greenwood the Great (later Mirkwood), use the Mirkwood list; for the Nandorin realm of Lorinand, use the Lorien list.

Ossiriand quickly fell to the Orcs of Morgoth in the first age; the Falas was destroyed by Morgoth's forces the year after the great battle of Nirnaeth Arnoediad, and subsequently Doriath was successfully attacked by the Dwarves of Nogrod and finally destroyed by the Noldor under the surviving sons of Feanor. In the second age, the Kingdom of Greenwood was established well before 2A1000. At sometime around 3A1050, it was renamed Mirkwood, gradually losing its southern possessions to Sauron's servants in Dol Guldur. Lorinand was progressivley 'Sindarised' into Lorien (UT, p236), especially after Galadrield and Celeborn moved there sometime around 2A1350 (UT, p237). They later moved back to Eriador, but returned ther Lorien in 3A1981 (UT, p245). Both Mirkwood and Lorien survived to the end of 3A.

I have rated all Sindar as aggression 1 since none of the realms are recorded as partaking in any expansionistic activities (other than as allied contingents) with one exception - the Elves of Mirkwood marching to Smaug's treasure (hence not Ag. 0).

I used to classify Lorien as Warm for climate, and the others Cold, but since Aragorn states that even the regions around the Anduin to the south of Lorien could expect snow over winter (TFotR, p495), Cold seems better for Lorien as well. A WW is allowed, as the Falathrim had several towns by the sea. (The Anduin is not big enough to classify as a waterway, as it was small enough for Orcs to shoot arrows across around the Falls of Rauros, FotR, p502 - and the same falls would stop invaders bringing ships).

A river is compulsory as all the realms' main centres were situated by one - the only possible exception being the tower of Barad Nimrais in the Falas - but both it's main population centres, Brithombar and Eglarest, were by rivers (the Brithon and Nenning respectively). Doriath's Menegroth was by the Esgalduin, Ossiriand was crossed by its eponymous seven rivers, Lorien's Caras Galadhon was between the Celebrant and Anduin, and the Forest River flowed past the Wood-Elven King's door in Mirkwood.

Woods are likewise compulsory; even though no forests are shown in Ossiriand and the Falas in the published map of Beleriand, we are told that the Green Elves of Ossiriand would blend in with the plentiful vegetation there so well that one might travel from one end of the country to the other without ever having seen one, so there must have been plenty of woods about. Other realms were of course almost entirely wooded.

Orchards and vinyards are allowed because of their abilities in these areas, save that Mirkwood had no vines (Hob, p 171); marshes of the non-river restricted variety are allowed because of the Fens of Sirion in Doriath, the Gladden Fields to the north of Lorien, and the marshes around the edge of the Old Forest Road in Mirkwood.

The Falas is mentioned (Sil, p114) as having walled towns by the sea; Caras Galadhon was likewise surrounded by a green wall. BUAs may have adjacent Wd since Menegroth, Caras Galadhon and the Wood-Elven King's halls in Mirkwood were all so situated.

Generals may be Bd (as in the case of Beleg Strongbow of Doriath leading axemen, Sil, p189), or Sp (the Elven King's guards were spearmen in front of Erebor, Hob, p258, even though th King himself rode to and from the battle) or Bw (Beleg Strongbow again, and the mailed guards mentioned under the Lord and Lady's tree in Caras Galadhon were presumably bowmen, since Galadriel refers to Lorien being guarded by not only slender arrows). These can be upgraded to Bw (S) as armoured longbowmen.

In the first age, axes were the typical weapon of the Sindar (Sil, p189; UT, p18) along with bows, hence the compulsory Bd. Spears seemed to have been used too, if less frequently, they were certainly much used by later Sindar (Hob, p265) as well as by those of Doriath (Sil, p111). I have graded them as (O) rather than (I) since they could be well armoured (Sil, p111), and were always willing to charge (Hob, p265; UT, p258).

I have allowed a very few mounted archers, graded as LH since Legolas rode in the elven fashion, without bridle and rein (TT, p45), but numbers are strictly limited as they are not actually directly attested. Slightly more are allowed after the First Age, when the Elves had moved into the wider plains of Eriador to the east of drowned Beleriand. Foot archers were the predominate troop type. Those of Ossiriand were especially light-armed (Sil, p113) and accordingly they have more Ps (O) than the other realms, and indeed appeared to have no troops capable of standing up to even Orcs in melee, and hence may not use Bd or Sp. Many later moved to Doriath (Sil, p114). Those of Lorien are graded as mostly Bw (O) since they used longbows unlike the shorter bows of Mirkwood (FotR, p488).

Doriath may have one element of Kn (F) - mailed riders (UT, p113), few in number (UT, p114), and may have regular troops, as they were accustomed to war, a numerous people, and equipped from well-stocked central armouries. Those in the Falas used ships in war to disembark troops, hence their allowed naval contingent (Sil, p193). The ships of the Teleri, their relatives, were oarless (Sil, p315), and I assume Cirdan's to be similar. Celegorm's Noldor helped Cirdan resist the Orcs of Morgoth (Sil, p126).

Dwarven allies are not allowed to Doriath, since although the Dwarves had many commercial contacts with the Sindar, they are never noted as fighting together. In any event, relations between te two were quite cool. Thingol mistrusted the Noldor, and formed no alliances with them either.

Haladin allies (Sil, p189), men granted leave to live in Brethil near Doriath and defend it from Orcs, excelled in forest warfare (Sil, p177; UT, p377) and are therefore graded as Ax; guards existed, some even female (UT, p377), and because of this, and that some used axes (Sil, p228), some may be upgraded to Ax (S). They included some Druedain scouts (UT, p130) and/or trackers (UT, p378), but they were not numerous (UT, p377). They could use poisoned darts (UT, p383), hence the Ps (X) classification.

Ents joined Beren's army in attacking the Dwarves returning from the sack of Menegroth (Sil, p284); since his army was comprised of local levies from Ossiriand, only a very few regular elements are permitted - they still had some organisation, as they still had lords (Sil, p285). Thingol's forces rescued the remnants of the Nandor on Ammon Ereb and so they are allowed a Doriath allied contingent (Sil, p114).

Boats were used both by the elves of Mirkwood (Hob, p240) and Lorien (RotK p472) to transport men over rivers - they are graded as (I) since they seem to have been quite small. The elves of Mirkwood or Lorien are not mentioned as using axes, Mirkwood had many spearmen (Hob, p240); Lorien had a preponderence of archers (UT, p258).

Some men settled in Mirkwood (UT, p259) and are assumed to be available as auxiliaries as they were in regular contact with Thranduil (UT, p276); larger contingents of men, such as those from Laketown, are classified as allied contingents (it is clear from the Hobbit narrative (p246ff) that the Elves were the senior army). At the Battle of the Five Armies, Dain's Iron Hills dwarves assisted - their contingent is limited in size, since it included not many more than 500 dwarves (Hob, p255). Beorn is is possibly best classified as a double-based Kn (I) rather than an El given his effect on goblins mostly classified as Ax (Hob, p271-2).

The banner of the King of Mirkwood was green (Hob, p248).

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This page last modified April 22, 2000