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The first stanza of "Namárië" written in Tengwar script.

"Namárië" (pronounced [ˈnam.aːr.i.ɛ]) is a poem by J. R. R. Tolkien written in Quenya, a constructed language, and published for the first time in The Lord of the Rings (The Fellowship of the Ring, Book 2, Chapter "Farewell to Lórien"). It is subtitled "Galadriel's Lament in Lórien", which in Quenya is Altariello nainië Lóriendessë. The poem appears in only one other book by Tolkien, The Road Goes Ever On.

The Quenya word namárië is a reduced form of á na márië, meaning literally "be well", an Elvish formula used for greeting and for farewell.[1]

"Namárië" is the longest Quenya text in The Lord of the Rings and also one of the longest continuous texts in Quenya that Tolkien ever wrote.[2] He rewrote it many times before it reached the form that was published (see Early versions below), and he wrote many Tengwar versions. An English translation is provided in the book.

Early versionsEdit

The first version of "Namárië" was published in The Treason of Isengard pp. 284–285. The text is in Quenya, but Tolkien did not provide a translation and some of the words are unlike those used in the final poem. Many words can be found in the Etymologies.

Although there are words that can be recognized by consulting the appendices of The Silmarillion, Unfinished Tales and The Lost Road, the sentence structure and spellings mark this version as different from the Quenya Tolkien decided on. For example, there are many parts ending in the consonant n, while the Quenya in The Lord of the Rings and later works lack this ending, and there are many parts that are composed of several compound words, while the Quenya in later works tends toward more separate words.


Namárië was set to music by Donald Swann with the help of Tolkien. The sheet music and an audio recording are part of the book The Road Goes Ever On. In a recording, Tolkien sings it in a Gregorian manner.[3]

In 2008, the Spanish neoclassical dark wave band Narsilion published a studio album called Namárië. Among other Tolkien-inspired songs it features a track "Namárië: El Llanto de Galadriel [Namárië: Galadriel's Lament]".[4]

From 1997 to 2005 the Danish Tolkien Ensemble published four CDs featuring every poem from The Lord of the Rings, amongst them two versions of "Namárië", both composed by the ensemble leader Caspar Reiff: The first, sung by Signe Asmussen, sets the original Quenya text to music; the second version features the English translation spoken by actor Christopher Lee (who played Saruman in the movies).[5]

The band Led Zeppelin may have used the first line of "Namárië" for the opening of their song "Ramble On". Other references to Tolkien's writing appear in the lyrics.


  1. ^ J.R.R. Tolkien, "Parma Eldalamberon", 17, p. 162.
  2. ^ Pesch, Helmut W. (2003). Elbisch (in German). Bastei Lübbe. p. 25. ISBN 3-404-20476-X.
  3. ^ Music in Middle-Earth, Essay by Gene Hargrove, January 1995
  4. ^ "Narsilion – Namárië". Discogs. Retrieved 16 July 2012.
  5. ^ "List of tracks by the Tolkien Ensemble". Retrieved 7 December 2013.

External linksEdit