Quenya 



Olwë noun masc. name (PM:340), difficult to interpret (PM:341)


masculine name. Olwë

Younger brother of Elwë (Thingol), who became the leader of the Teleri after Elwë was lost (S/58). The name is ancient and of unclear meaning. Its final element is the suffix -wë common in ancient names, and the initial element is generally assumed to be the root √OL associated with plants and dreams (PM/340).

Conceptual Development: In the earliest Lost Tales, the leader of the third tribe of Elves was named Sol. Ellu or Ellu Melemno (LT1/155). At this early stage the character was distinct from the contemporanerous character that would develop into Thingol (G. Tinwelint). The name Ellu changed to (Telerin?) Elu with one l in very early Silmarillion drafts (SM/13, 85), with a Qenya cognate of ᴱQ. Elwe.

In the Annals of Beleriand from the 1930s, this ᴹQ. Elwe was identified as the brother of Thingol (SM/264) and so remained in Silmarillion drafts of that period (LR/217). It was not until Silmarillion revisions from the 1950s-60s that the name Q. Elwë was assigned to Thingol and his brother was became Solwë >> Olwë (MR/82, 169).


  • SolwëOlwë ✧ MR/169


  • T. Olue “Olwe” ✧ WJ/369

Element in


OLgrow, [ᴹ√] grow [into]; become”
-wë“ancient name suffix (usually but not always masculine)”


  • Solwë ✧ MR/169; MRI/Solwë
  • Olwe ✧ WJ/369
Quenya [LRI/Olwë; LT1I/Ellu; LT1I/Olwë; LT2I/Olwë; MR/169; MRI/Olwë; MRI/Solwë; PM/340; PM/357; PMI/Olwë; SI/Olwë; SMI/Elwë; SMI/Olwë; UTI/Olwë; WJ/369; WJI/Olwë] Group: Eldamo. Published by


noun. stink

holwë noun "stink" (or *"stench"), *holwëa adj. "stinking". PE13:162 gives holwë "stink", derived from 3olwē; PM13:145 however gives the Q word as olwë and the adj. "stinking" as olwëa, though primitive forms with initial ʒ- (the spirant gh) are presupposed also there. Tolkien later used a system where primitive words in ʒ- yield Quenya forms in h-, as demonstrated by relevant entries in the Etymologies, so we prefer holwë to olwë (which would also clash with the later personal name Olwë, unlikely to mean "stink"), and we similarly read *holwëa rather than olwëa as the adj. "stinking". In Etym, the root ÑOL seems to represent a later experiment with similar words having to do with smell, and once again we observe shifting conceptions as to whether the Quenya words should show initial h- or not; in this conception the initial consonant in Primitive Elvish was ñ- rather than ʒ-.

köarya olwe

the house of him, Olwe