The TOLKIEN GALLERY
page SIX

Discovery of The Vale of Rivendell
 
 

RIVENDELL

In Elvish: Imladris [AM²- 'up', im- 'steep slope' +
LAD- 'valley' + RIS- 'cleft']

Deep Valley Cleft

Here we see the deep ravine as Elrond discovered
it in the middle of the Second Age. With the
destruction of Eregion he established his hidden
kingdom here at about the same time that
Galadriel founded Lórien [Lothlórien] and Círdan
reinforced Mithlond [the Grey Havens].
Elrond hid one of the Three Rings fashioned for
the Elves by the Gwaith-i-Mírdain; it brought
enchantment to the settlement, and the light
seemed brighter on all things.
Rivendell is emblematic of Tolkien's vision of
blending lifestyle with natural surroundings.

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The 'Narrows' of Lhűn
 

The 'Narrows' of the Gulf of Lhûn

All ships sailing from or to Mithlond [MITH- 'fog, grey' + LOD-, lond 'strait, entrance to harbour' = Grey Havens] passed through this restricted channel.
The shading to the left of the frame is representational of the 'Shadowy Seas' that helped isolate the Uttermost West.
The Elvish Swan Ships departed these shores forever as late as the Fourth Age.

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The Grey HavensMithlond [the Grey Havens]

The Lord of Mithlond was Círdan [KIR- 'ship'; TAN-, dan 'smith' = Ship-wright]
Círdan may be the oldest Elf at the time of War of the Ring - save perhaps Galadriel. He is mentioned early in the First Age, at the arrival of the exiled Noldor on the Hither Shore of Middle-earth. After the fall of Sauron, thousands of years later and into the Fourth Age, the Swan Ships still departed the Grey Havens for the eternal West. One of the Three Elvish rings was guarded by Círdan until Gandalf arrived from the Shadowy Seas early in the Third Age, when he relinquished the treasure.

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Luthien in the forest
Lúthien Tinúviel

Considered the most beautiful maiden among all Elves and Men. Her comeliness
was undoubtedly derived from her mother Melian, a Maia. Her father was
Thingol, King of the Sindar of Doriath. Lúthien loved to spend long periods of
time alone in Neldoreth, one of the forests of Doriath, where the Adan Beren
discovered her [much as Thingol discovered her mother ages before].
     She joined herself in love to Beren and accepted his mortality; their
adventures are detailed in The Silmarillion. In their progeny was found the
noblest seeds of Maia, Elf and Man combined.
     This Elvish Princess was not only stunningly beautiful but also could sing so
enchantingly that she even charmed Sauron and Morgoth. Beren added the
name Tinúviel: TIN- 'sparkle' + DOMO- 'dim', dûm 'twilight' + -iel feminine
suffix = Daughter of Twilight, because she sang like the nightingale.
     Tolkien put the names Beren and Lúthien on the tombstone of he and his
wife.
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