Silmarillion Blues : Quenta Silmarillion : XVII. Of the Coming of Men into the West

And behold, Elves discover Men. 

Or more specifically, an Eldar discovers Men, because they already associated with the Dark Elves.  We've covered a basic summary of Men in this story in Chapter 13, but it lacks depth or a clear sense of timeline.

An elf playing a harp by a campfire and many waking men
Felagund among Bëor's Men by Ted Nasmith
Finrod Felagund, lord of Nargothrond stumbles across a camp of Men under the leadership of one Bëor (really named Balan, but I guess the Elven name wins out) by chance and becomes rather fascinated by them. After they fall asleep he steals into the camp, and they awake to the sound of an elf singing and playing with such skill that they had yet to encounter.  They at first take him for one of the Valar, but he stays among them and imparts knowledge, forging a bond between these Men and his line.

Thanks to some Elven mojo, and some pre-exisiting familiarity with Elven speech, the bypassed linguistic barriers without much difficulty.  Bëor shares little of their origins and their journey, just that a "darkness" lay behind them.  Bëor also shares that (unsurprisingly) there are many other Men out in the world, also journeying westward.  The Green-elves are less than happy about these intruders, something unsurprising considering their attitudes in The Hobbit, and so Felagund takes Bëor and his people onwards (and later groups of Men travel around the Ossiriand and its unwelcoming residents).  Thingol also objects to the presence of Men, troubled by dreams and tidings of doom, and disallows any, even those of Bëor into his realm.  Melian knows this is doomed to failure, but saves her comments for Galadriel.  Maybe she's gotten tired of being ignored?

Of course, we aren't in paradise, so discontent rises (encouraged, of course, by Morgoth's influence).  Some left these lands, to leave the Eldar to face Morgoth alone, while others stayed in alliance.  Admittedly, those that left probably had better life expectancy for the time being.  Some Men, led by Lady Haleth, settle within Thingol's lands, but outside the Girdle of Melian, through the influence of Felagund.

Together, Men and Elves accomplish great things, but they are also all tied together within the Doom of Noldor.  The Eldar teach much to Men, together they hold off Morgoth's forces for some time, and Men teach Elves about mortality.


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