The immortal and nobel elves were the first creations of the gods, the Valar. Originally they lived in the Undying Countries, but many elven people (like the Noldor and the Sindar) came to Middle-Earth to found glorious empires. With the coming of man and the evil of Sauron their influence declined strongly. Rivendel is the last elven stronghold, and elvenqueen Galadriel is a direct descendant of the Noldor.
The Elves are the most beautiful and oldest of all the races of Middle-Earth and they posssess great magic. They have the ability to make objects of great beauty, ingenuity and enchantment - among whom the rings of power, weapons, music, language and knowledge. Elves are ageless and immortal and they've lived in Middle-Earth since the earliest time. They were the first speaking people of the world. But now, in the Third Age, a great sadness has come over them, because their time on the world is coming to an end. The Elves are now rarely ever seen in Middle-Earth. Many of them have already passed the Sea to the Undying Countries, where they'll forever live in peace, far away from the worries and ordeals of a world that's torn apart by war.
Still, there are small elvencommunities in the world; in the Northern Demsterforest, the great green forest; in Rivendel, their old haven of refuge, and in Lothlórien, the Golden forest that is the dominion of Lady Galadriel and Lord Celeborn. Tall and slender, keen eyed and melodious by voice the elves walk the earth lightfooted. Their songs re-echo through all the eras.
According to Elven legend the name Eldar 'People of te Stars' was given to all elves by the Vala Oromë. The name however became more and more used to signify the Elves of the Three Lineages (Vanyar, Noldor and Teleri), who started the great journey to the West from Cuiviénen (and did or didn't complete this journey to the end), to distinguish them from the Avari. The Elves of Aman, and all elves who ever lived in Aman, were called the High Elves (Tareldar) and Elves of the Light (Calaquendi).
The first army of the Eldar on the journey from Cuiviénen to the West, led by Ingwë. The name (singular Vanya) means 'the Blondes', because of the gold-coloured hair of the Vanyar.
Leader of the Vanyar, the first of the three armies of the Eldar on their journey west from Cuiviénen. In Aman he lived on the Taniquetil and was seen as the High King of all Elves.
The Deep Elves, the second army of the Eldar on the journey to the West from Cuiviénen, lead by Finwë. The name (Quenyan: Noldo, Sindarin: Golodhi) means 'the Wise' (but wise in the sense of possessing knowledge, not in the sense of wisdome, possessing a good judgement).
Leader of the Noldor on the journey to the west from Cuiviénen; King of the Noldor in Aman; father of Fëanor, Fingolfin and Finarfin; killed by Morgoth at Formenos.
The third and largest of the three armies of the Eldar on the journey from Cuiviénen to the West, lead by Elwë (Thingel) and Olwë. They called themselves the Lindar, the Singers; the name Teleri, Those Lagging Behind, the Last, was given to them by those who went before them on the journey. Many of the Teleri didn't leave Middle-Earth; the Sindar and the Nandor were originally Telerian Elves.
The nickname is Singollo, 'Greycloack'; with his brother Olwë leader of the armies of the Teleri on the journey to the West from Cuiviénen, until he was lost in Nan Elmoth; later Lord of te Sindar, who ruled with Melian in Doriath; received the Silmaril from Beren; was killed by the Dwarves in Menegroth. In Sindarin called (Elu) Thingol.
'The Abandoned People', name that the Telerian Elves gave themselves. They stayed in Beleriand to search for Elwë (Thingol) when the headarmy of the Teleri left for Aman.
Probably means 'They who return'; the Nandor were those of the army of the Teleri that refused to cross the Misty Mountains on the journey west from Cuiviénen, but of which a part, led by Denethor, long afterwards passed the Blue Mountains and lived in Ossiriand (the Grean Elves).
The leader of the Elves of the army of the Teleri that refused to cross the Misty Mountains on the journey west from Cuiviénen; father of Denethor.
Green Elves (Laiquendi)
Translation of Laiquendi; the Nandorian Elves of Ossiriand.
The Grey Elves. The name was used for all Elves of Telerian origin that the returning Noldor found in Belerian, with the exception of the Grean Elves of Ossiriand. The Noldor might have thought of this name because the first Elves of this origion they found, were found in the North, under the grey skies and nebulae around the lake Mithrim; or maybe because the Grey Elves weren't from the Light (from Valinor) and weren't yet from the Darkness (Avari), but were Elves of the Gloaming. But it was thought of to be connected with Elwës name Thingol (Quenyan Sindacollo, Singollo 'Greycloack') because he was the acknowledged High King of the entire country and his people. The Sindar called themselves Edhil, plural Edhel.
Dark Elves (Moriquendi)
In the language of the Aman all Elves that didn't cross the Great Sea were called Dark Elves (Moriquendi), and in this sense the term is used several times. When Caranthir called Thingol a Dark Elf, this was meant as an insult, for Thingol had been in Aman and 'wasn't counted as one of the Moriquendi'. During the excile of the Noldor the term was often used for the Elves of Middle-Earth that didn't belonged to the Noldor or the Sindar, and so it actually means Avari. Different again was the titel 'Dark Elf' for the Sindarian Elf Eöl.
'Elves of the Light' , the Elves that lived or had lived in Aman (the High Elves).