Before the Elves could be convinced to make the journey, the Valar had Oromë bring three of them to Valinor. He chose Ingwë, Finwë. and Elwë and led them to Valinor to show them the beauty of the Undying Lands. When they returned, they convinced their people to make the journey and they also acted as leaders of their respective peoples on the trip.
The people of Ingwë were the least in number but the most eager to make the journey. They set out first and through the years-long march never tarried or lost their desire to see Valinor. They arrived at the western shores of Middle Earth before the others.
These people, whose Lord was Ingwë, were known as the Vanyar ("the fair people") because they tended to be golden haired and blue eyed. They were the beloved of the most powerful Valar, Manwë and Varda, and ultimately came to live in the Valar's city of Valmar and some, including their lord, Ingwë, dwell on Taniquetil with Manwë himself.
None of the Vanyar ever came back to Middle Earth, save as soldiers of the Valar during the War of Wrath at the end of the First Age. They all returned to Valinor at the conclusion of the war.
- Ingwë, the Lord of the Vanyar, is known as the High King of the Eldar.
- Galadriel got her golden hair from her Vanyarin grandmother, Indis, who was the second wife of Finwë. Glorfindel is also thought to have had some Vanyar in his ancestry, mostly because of his golden hair.