Elves are the first and oldest of the Children of Eru Ilúvatar. They are considered to be the fairest and wisest race.
According to Tolkien mythology, the elves were the first children of Eru, the One, whom they called Ilúvatar. It was He who gave them sapience. The Elves could not fall prey to disease nor could they age physically. However, they could be killed by an act of violence or by wasting away and losing the will to live. They were otherwise essentially immortal.
Some of the Elves were brought by the Valar from Middle-earth across the Sea to Valinor and were known afterward as the Eldar (People of the Stars). There they were taught by the Ainur. However, some returned to Middle-earth after the Silmarils were stolen by Melkor (later known as Morgoth). They remained there until the end of the Third Age.
Elves have two languages; Quenya, and Sindarin. Tengwar is the Elven script commonly used for writing in Quneya and Sindarin.
According to the earliest account, the first Elves were awakened by Eru Ilúvatar near the bay of Cuivienen during the Years of the Trees in the First Age. They awoke under the starlit sky, as the sun and Moon have yet to be created. The first Elves to awake are three pairs: Imin ("First") and his wife Iminye, Tata ("Second") and Tatie, and Enel ("Third") and Enelye.
Imin, Tata, and Enel and their wives joined up and walk through the forests. They came across six, nine, and twelve pairs of Elves, and each "Patriarch" claimed the pairs as his folk in order. The now sixty Elves dwelled by the rivers, and they
invented poetry and music in Middle-earth. Journeying further, they came across eighteen pairs of Elves watching the stars, whom Tata claimed as his. These are tall and dark-haired, the fathers of most of the Noldor. The ninety-six Elves now invented many new words. Continuing their journey, they found twenty-four pairs of Elves, singing without language, and Enel added them to his people. These are the ancestors of most of the Lindar or "singers", later called Teleri. They find no more Elves; Imin's people, the smallest group, are the ancestors of the Vanyar. All in all there were 114 Elves. Because all Elves had been found in groups of twelve, twelve becomes their base number and 144 their highest number (for a long time), and none of the later Elvish languages have common name for a greater number.
They were discovered by the Vala Orome, who brought the tidings of their awakening to Valinor.
- It can be assumed the the appearance of an Elf during the events of the story is through Celebrimbor, however, due to his status as being undead, this could be referencing another elf.