"But many refused the summons, preferring the starlight and the wide spaces of Middle-earth to the rumor of the Trees; and these are the Avari, the Unwilling, and they were sundered in that time from the Eldar, and met never again until many ages were past."
—The Silmarillion, The Coming of the Elves and the Chaining of Melkor
You think the only people who are people,
Are the people who look and think like you,
But if you walk the footsteps of a stranger,
You'll learn things you never knew you never knew.
— Colours of the Wind
The Umanyar, you call us, those not of Aman; Moriquendi, Dark-Elves; Avari, the Unwilling.
But I ask you, do you know us?
Yes, we are not of Aman. But Aman has its own glories, Ennor has others. Being Umanyar does not make us inferior to you.
You call us Dark. But we are not servants of the Dreadful One. We have never followed his ways, desiring only to live in peace in the land that is ours. Whereas you…you, if the rumours are true, have killed many, many of your own kin—our own kin—and fled the land to which you travelled the land we were told was a place of undying bliss and joy. If you flee from joy, are you not indeed of the Dark?
And is it not you who are unwilling, unwilling to let go off your rage and desire for vengeance, your pride, your customs? Do you not strut around the land like you were born to it, unwilling to accept us, the ones you call Unwilling, as the people who dwelt here first and have bonded with the earth? (Oh no, we do not own the land. It does not belong to us, or anyone else except maybe Eru. It is its own master.) It is not we who are unwilling.
And you look down on us, you laugh at our so-called 'simple' lives?
For you have not heard the echo of the earth.
You do not listen, do not understand the lie of the land, the way the streams carve their paths and the mountains delve into the soil. There are no words to describe it, that awe-inspiring stillness, and then the Song, and the mysteries of the land revealing themselves to us under our gentle words. The wind sings to us, the rain dances with us, and the Sea gives us its Song. And we follow, and we find trails, and are never lost.
You cannot talk with those who fly, those who run on four legs, those who slither and swim. They are dumb beasts to you, to be hunted or used. But to us they are so much more than that! They are friends, friends who will stay with you when all people, all those whom you once held dear have abandoned you, for the Unspeaking trust and love with their whole heart and nothing less. Their trust and love must be earned, true, but so must the trust of the Speaking Peoples. And the trust of the Unspeaking stays, unlike that of those who move on their ungainly two legs.
The trees whisper to us, tell us of the coming of anything, whether Orc or Elf, and we listen, standing as if statues, imitating them. For then do they listen when they are close to us, when our mind is still and calm, a mirror-pool that reflects everything and nothing.
Oh! You laugh at us. But what do you know of Ennor, pampered children that you are?
Do you sense the seasons of the earth, the way the melody, the Song, rises and falls, the terrible struggle between Dark and Light? Do you understand the fear, the anger that shakes the trees, that is present in the roaring wind, that growls in the snowflakes that fall from the storm-darkened skies when the fires in the belly of the earth awake at the coming of creatures of the Dark?
And do you know that the land screams at your coming, shying from the hands that seek to change it instead of shaping it? Do you know of the terror you bring to the very soil you walk on?
In Aman, the land must be mellow and soft, for you lived there in peace, and it has probably grown into whatever you create, or it would have rebelled against you long ago. And that may be well for those who have the luxury of peace, and maybe mellow lands add to the beauty of that land. But this is not Aman, and if the lands mellow and bend to your will, they will be lost beneath your works. And we are wild, wild, for in Ennor, one must be wild to survive, and wildness does not brook attempts to train it. The fight in it will never be lost, and it will destroy you if you destroy it.
Heed our words! The land is not your plaything. It lives, and it fights. If you try to subdue it, Morgoth will not be your worst enemy.
The living lands will.