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Lothlórien Print this article

"There lie the woods of Lothlórien! That is the fairest of all the dwellings of my people. There are no trees like the trees of that land." - Legolas in 'Lothlórien', LR II, 6.

Lothlórien is the woodland realm between the rivers Celebrant and Anduin. It has for ages been inhabited by the Galadhrim, the Silvan Elves, and in the Second Age Galadriel and Celeborn settled there with their retinue of Noldor and Sindar.

The name Lórien was picked by Galadriel as a reminescence of the Gardens of Irmo in Valinor; the older name the silvan elves used was Lórinand; among the Noldor the wood was called Laurelindórenan, 'valley of the singing gold', later also Lothlórien, 'blossoming dream-garden'. All of these names are inspired by the golden-yellow blossoms of the Mallorn trees, which Galadriel is said to have planted there, and which always remained the joy of all who saw them.

The terrain slowly rose from the Anduin into the wood, and near the north-eastern border of the land lay the hill of Cerin Amroth, where Amroth and Nimrodel had dwelt, and where Aragorn and Arwen became engaged.

Near the area where the Celebrant joined the Anduin lay Caras Galadhon, the city of the Galadhrim, on a hill which was clad with tall Mallorn trees. The elves did not live on the ground, but rather on flets, talan, high among the tree-tops.

The city was guarded by a trench, and a green wall which had gates to the south-west. Placed in the top of the highest tree was the flet where Galadriel and Celeborn met their guests in hall with a high roof, richly adorned and as wide as a hall of Kings.

Lothlórien was guarded against all evil by Galadriel and the power of the elven ring Nenya she possessed. However, Lórien was also cut off from the outside, and soon people in Gondor and Rohan saw it as a strange place, which the Rohirrim called the Golden Wood as well as Dwimordene, 'valley of ghosts'. They accused the Lady of the Golden Wood of witch-craft (not without reason, of course), and avoided to come near her land.

When the Fellowship came to Lothlórien, they could well feel the effects of the 'magic' of Galadriel. To strangers like the hobbits it seemed as a land of ancient times, which is still preserved into the present, and where time has a different meaning then on the outside. To the weary travellers the fair and unmarred land of Lórien provided much-needed rest, and the hearts were lifted after the shadows of Moria. No one of the Fellowship was able to restrain the tears in their eyes when they had to say farewell again.

Often in its history did Dol Guldur cast its shadow on Lothlórien. In the War of the Ring its forces assailed the forest again and again, but could not overcome the Silvan elves led by Celeborn, and were eventually driven back. After the War, Lórien was expanded to the north and north-east with reconquered territory, but nevertheless did the end of the war mark the slow and steady end of the elvish population of Lothlórien, starting with the departure of Galadriel into the west.

(c.f. Silmarillion, Of the Rings of Power....; LR, II, 6, 7; UT, II iv)

Written by Sharkû


Abbreviations:
b. = born     d. = died     F.A = Fourth Age     fl. = flourished
T.A. = Third Age     WoR = War of the Ring     S. = Sindarin     C.S. = Common Speech



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