The Second Age
Círdan appears very old save for his eyes which “are keen as stars”, and he has a long beard — rare for an Elf.
Círdan was a Sinda, and Lord of the Falathrim during the First Age. He was one of the wisest and most foresighted of the Elves, and by the Second Age the oldest known elf in Middle-Earth. Despite Nowë’s (Círdan’s original name) great eagerness to see the light of Valinor (his “greatest desire”), he loyally searched for Elwë upon his disappearance. Because of this, the Teleri missed the first trip on Tol Eressëa to Valinor, on which went their close friends the Noldor and the Vanyar. They took for their king Olwë, and while waiting for Ulmo to return for them, Nowë headed the art of making and sailing ships, growing impatient. From this profession he took the name Círdan which means “shipwright” in Sindarin. The Teleri also developed a great friendship with Ossë. At the same time, although most of the Teleri had given up, Círdan sought Elwë longer and harder than most of his kin, partly because of his love for him and his allegiance. Because of this, Círdan came to the shores too late during the second embarking of Eressëa.
Círdan therefore remained with those Teleri who had chosen to stay east of the Sea for love of Ossë, and became their lord. The folk became known as the Falathrim, “people of the foaming shore”, and dwelt in the Falas by the sea. There they built many ships, and the cities Eglarest and Brithombar, and found pearls which they sent to their overlord, King Thingol of Doriath.
In the Second Age, the continents were shifted, but Círdan still took up his abode by the sea, in Harlindon. Harlindon was located south of the Gulf of Lune, to the north of which was Forlindon, where Gil-galad and Elrond dwelt. There he welcomed the friendly and then-unfallen Númenóreans, making friends with Vëantur, chief of the mariners of Tar-Elendil, and later teaching Aldarion his grandson of ships (both management and construction) and seaside architecture, doubtless being the foremost authority on both. At some point he moved to Mithlond.