An encyclopedia of Middle-earth and Numenor
Hugo Weaving as Elrond in the New Line film
Elrond was one of the wisest and most powerful Elves in Middle-earth during the Second and Third Ages. He fought to oppose Sauron, and it was at a Council held by Elrond that the decision was made to destroy the One Ring and bring about the Dark Lord's downfall. Elrond the Half-elven had chosen to live the immortal life of the Elves and he left Middle-earth at the end of the Third Age, but he left behind his beloved daughter Arwen, who had made her own choice.
Elrond and his twin brother Elros were born 58 years before the end of the First Age. There is no definitive chronology of the First Age, but according to one version of "The Tale of Years" in The History of Middle-earth, vol. XI, The War of the Jewels, Elrond and Elros were born in the year 532 and the First Age ended in 590. Other chronologies differ.
The father of Elrond and Elros was Earendil the Mariner and their mother was Elwing. Earendil was Half-elven: his mother Idril was an Elf and his father Tuor was a Man. Elwing's mother Nimloth was an Elf and her father Dior was the son of Beren – a Man – and Luthien – the daughter of an Elf and a Maia. Thus Elrond and Elros were descended from both Elves and Men and were counted among the Half-elven, or Peredhil.
Elrond and Elros were born in Middle-earth. Their family lived near the mouths of the river Sirion on the southwestern coast of Beleriand. While Earendil was away at Sea, the sons of Feanor attacked the Havens of Sirion seeking the Silmaril that Elwing had in her possession. Elrond and Elros were taken captive. Feanor's son Maglor took pity on them and spared their lives. It is said he cherished the two children and fostered them for a time, though according to another story the twins were left by their captors in a cave behind a waterfall where they were later found safe and sound.
Elwing escaped with the Silmaril and found Earendil's ship. They despaired at the loss of their children, and they did not return to Middle-earth. Together they sailed to the Undying Lands and Earendil sought the help of the Valar in the war against Morgoth. At the end of the First Age, the Host of the Valar defeated Morgoth in the War of Wrath.
The Vala Manwe decreed that Earendil and Elwing, as well as Elrond and Elros and their descendants, should have the choice whether to be counted among Elves or Men. Earendil and Elwing chose to be counted among the Elves, and they remained in the Undying Lands. Earendil sailed the heavens in his ship with the Silmaril bound to his brow, and the light of the Star of High Hope brought comfort to the peoples of Middle-earth.
Elrond and Elros faced the same choice as their parents. Elros chose the fate of Men and was thus mortal. He became the first King of Numenor, and from him were descended the Kings of Numenor and of Gondor and Arnor, including Aragorn, King Elessar. Elros lived 500 years and died in the year 442 of the Second Age.
Elrond chose the fate of the Elves. He was immortal and could choose to sail across the Sea to the Undying Lands, but Elrond decided to remain in Middle-earth with the High King Gil-galad. They dwelled in Lindon, a land west of the Blue Mountains that had once been part of Beleriand before the land was ruined in the War of Wrath.
Morgoth's servant Sauron survived the War of Wrath, and around 1200 of the Second Age he went among the Elves in a fair disguise and tried to win them over. Gil-galad and Elrond did not recognize him, but they did not trust him and they refused him admittance to Lindon.
Despite the warnings of Gil-galad and Elrond, Sauron was accepted among the Elven-smiths of Eregion, and under his instruction they began forging the Rings of Power around 1500. Around the year 1600, Sauron forged the One Ring to rule the others, and Celebrimbor the master smith realized they had been deceived. He hid the Three Rings of the Elves from Sauron, entrusting Vilya, the Ring of Air, to Gil-galad.
Sauron declared war on the Elves and attacked Eregion in 1695. Elrond led a force to stop him, but they arrived too late and Sauron's forces were too great. Eregion was destroyed and Celebrimbor was slain. Elrond gathered the survivors and retreated to the north, where he established the refuge of Rivendell in 1697. Sauron's forces overran Eriador, but he was unable to conquer Rivendell or Lindon. In 1700, a fleet arrived from Numenor and Sauron's forces were driven out of Eriador.
In 1701, the Elves held a Council and decided that Rivendell would be their stronghold in eastern Eriador. Elrond was appointed Gil-galad's vice-regent in Eriador. Gil-galad may have given Vilya to Elrond at this time, or he may have done so later during the War of the Last Alliance.
The Last Alliance of Elves and Men was formed in 3430 of the Second Age to confront the growing threat of Sauron. In 3431, the forces of Gil-galad and Elendil gathered at Rivendell and from there they marched to Mordor. Elrond was Gil-galad's herald and acted as his commander on the battlefield.
Elrond fought in the Battle of Dagorlad in 3434 and throughout the Siege of Barad-dur. He was on the slopes of Mount Doom in 3441 when Sauron was overthrown by Gil-galad and Elendil, who both died in the struggle. Elendil's son Isildur took the One Ring from Sauron, and Elrond and Cirdancounseled him to destroy the Ring in the fires of Mount Doom. But Isildur refused and kept the Ring for himself.
Isildur was slain by Orcs in the Gladden Fields, but his youngest son Valandil had remained in Rivendell. During the Third Age, Elrond continued to give aid and refuge to the Heirs of Isildur, who were related to him by descent from his brother Elros. Elrond knew that one day a descendant of Isildur would play a crucial role in the fate of Middle-earth.
Elrond was a master of wisdom, and at Rivendell he sought to preserve the lore and history of the Elves and of Middle-earth. He wrote a number of books himself, and he welcomed Elves and other visitors into his home for learning and counsel and refuge. Elrond was strong and powerful, and he was also kind. In appearance, he seemed ageless and his face was fair and he had dark hair and grey eyes.
In the year 109 of the Third Age, Elrond married Celebrian, the daughter of Galadriel and Celeborn. Their twin sons Elladan and Elrohir were born in 130, and their daughter Arwen was born in 241. Elrond's children faced the same decision that he had over whether to be counted among Elves or Men, but they were able to delay their choice for a long while.
Around 1300, the Lord of the Nazgul came to Eriador and established the realm of Angmar. At one point, Rivendell was besieged by forces aligned with Angmar. In 1409, the forces of Angmar attacked the three kingdoms of the Dunedain. Elrond brought help from Rivendell and Lothlorien and they joined forces with Cirdan from the Grey Havens to help the Dunedain. The Lord of the Nazgul was finally driven from Eriador after the Battle of Fornost in 1975, to which a force from Rivendell had been led by Glorfindel.
The Dunedain became a scattered, wandering people. Elrond fostered the sons of the Chieftains of the Dunedain at Rivendell in their youth and he kept safe the heirlooms of the House of Isildur: the Sceptre of Annuminas, the Elendilmir, the Ring of Barahir, and the shards of Narsil.
In 2463, the White Council was formed in response to the threat of an evil power that had occupied Dol Guldur in Mirkwood. Elrond was a member of the White Council along with Galadriel, Cirdan, Gandalf the Grey, and Saruman the White – who became the leader of the Council.
In 2509, Elrond's wife Celebrian was captured by Orcs in the Redhorn Gate while she was journeying to Lothlorien. She received a poisoned wound and was tormented by the Orcs before her sons Elladan and Elrohir found her and rescued her. Elrond was able to heal her physical wounds, but Celebrian remained troubled by her memories and fear and she could no longer find joy in Middle-earth. She left Middle-earth in 2510 and sailed over the Sea to the Undying Lands.
The White Council met again in 2851. Gandalf had visited Dol Guldur and discovered that the evil presence was Sauron, and he urged the White Council to attack him. But Saruman told the Council that he believed the One Ring had been washed down to the Sea, where it could not be recovered, and that without it Sauron could not regain his strength. The Council agreed to continue to wait and watch for the time being, but Elrond had misgivings.
"Nonetheless I forebode that the One will yet be found, and then war will arise again, and in that war this Age will be ended. Indeed in a second darkness it will end, unless some strange chance deliver us that my eyes cannot see."In 2933, Elrond took Aragorn into his home after the two-year-old boy's father was killed by Orcs. Aragorn was the sixteenth Chieftain of the Dunedain, but Elrond did not tell him of his heritage at first and called him Estel, meaning "Hope." Elrond came to love Aragorn like his own son.
The Silmarillion: "Of the Rings of Power and the Third Age," p. 301
Elrond was visited by Gandalf and a company of thirteen Dwarves and one Hobbit named Bilbo Baggins in June of 2941. Elrond identified the swords that Gandalf and Thorin had found as Glamdring and Orcrist, and he also discovered secret moon-letters on their map of the Lonely Mountain that told of a way to find the hidden door.
Later that year, the White Council met and decided to attack Dol Guldur. Sauron was driven out, but unbeknownst to the Council, he returned to Mordor the next year. Sauron openly declared himself in 2951. The White Council learned that Sauron was seeking the One Ring, but Saruman lied and assured them that he had determined that the Ring was in fact at the bottom of the Sea where Sauron would never find it.
When Aragorn turned 20, Elrond revealed to him that he was Isildur's heir. He was pleased that Aragorn had grown strong and noble and saw that in time he would become greater still. Elrond gave Aragorn the shards of Narsil and the Ring of Barahir, but he kept the Sceptre of Annuminas, which was the chief mark of royalty of the North-kingdom, because Aragorn was not yet ready to become King.
Elrond's daughter Arwen was visiting her father at the time, and when Aragorn saw her he fell in love with her. Elrond realized this, and he was troubled because he knew that if Arwen married Aragorn she would have to choose the fate of Men and give up her immortality, and thus in the end Elrond would be parted from his daughter forever.
"But there will be no choice before Arwen, my beloved, unless you, Aragorn, Arathorn's son, come between us and bring one of us, you or me, to a bitter parting beyond the end of the world. You do not know yet what you desire of me."Aragorn and Arwen became betrothed in 2980. When Elrond heard the news, he was grieved, and he spoke to Aragorn about the matter for the last time.
Appendix A of The Lord of the Rings: "The Tale of Aragorn and Arwen," p. 340
"My son, years come when hope will fade, and beyond them little is clear to me. And now a shadow lies between us. Maybe, it has been appointed so, that by my loss the kingship of Men may be restored. Therefore, though I love you, I say to you: Arwen Undómiel shall not diminish her life's grace for less cause. She shall not be the bride of any Man less than the King of both Gondor and Arnor. To me then even our victory can bring only sorrow and parting - but to you hope of joy for a while. For a while. Alas, my son! I fear that to Arwen the Doom of Men may seem hard at the ending."Bilbo came to live at Rivendell as a guest of Elrond in 3002, and in 3009 Elrond summoned Arwen to return home from Lothlorien. The dangers east of the Misty Mountains were increasing as Sauron's power grew.
Appendix A of The Lord of the Rings: "The Tale of Aragorn and Arwen," p. 342
On October 8, 3018, word came to Rivendell from Gildor Inglorion that Frodo Baggins was headed there followed by the Nazgul. Glorfindel was sent out to find him the next day. Frodo was pursued to the Ford of Bruinen on October 20, and Elrond caused the waters of the river to rise against the Nazgul and they were swept away by the floodwaters. Their horses were killed and their forms were lost and they returned to Mordor empty and shapeless.
Frodo had been seriously wounded by the Lord of the Nazgul. Elrond tended him day and night until at last on the night of October 23 he found a sliver of the Morgul-knife in Frodo's shoulder, working its way to his heart. Elrond removed it and Frodo awoke the next day. That evening Elrond brought Frodo to see Bilbo in the Hall of Fire.
On October 25, the Council of Elrond was held. Among those in attendance were Frodo and Bilbo, Aragorn, Gandalf, Glorfindel, Elrond's chief counsellor Erestor, Galdor from the Grey Havens, Gloin and Gimli from the Lonely Mountain, Legolas of Mirkwood, and Boromir of Gondor. Elrond said that though he had not summoned them, it was preordained that those gathered at the Council should decide the fate of the One Ring that Frodo bore.
When Boromir suggested that they use the Ring against Sauron, Elrond refused to take it himself because he knew that the Ring would corrupt anyone who tried to wield it. Elrond said it was clear to him that the Ring must be cast into the fires of Mount Doom, even though he believed that when the One Ring was destroyed, the Three Rings of the Elves would lose their power and all that they had wrought would fade. Frodo volunteered to undertake the quest.
Elrond raised his eyes and looked at him, and Frodo felt his heart pierced by the sudden keenness of the glance. "If I understand aright all that I have heard," he said, "I think that this task is appointed for you, Frodo; and that if you do not find a way, no one will. This is the hour of the Shire-folk, when they arise from their quiet fields to shake the towers and counsels of the Great. Who of all the Wise could have foreseen it? Or, if they are wise, why should they expect to know it, until the hour has struck?Elrond chose nine companions to accompany Frodo on his quest. The first he named was Sam Gamgee, Frodo's faithful servant who had snuck into the Council without being invited. He selected others to represent each of the Free Peoples of Middle-earth: Gimli for the Dwarves, Legolas for the Elves, and Aragorn and Boromir for the Men. Gandalf also went, and the Wizard suggested that Merry Brandybuck and Pippin Took be allowed to come as well. Elrond had intended to send the two younger Hobbits back to the Shire, which he feared was in danger, but he agreed with Gandalf in the end. The Fellowship left Rivendell on December 25, 3018.
"But it is a heavy burden. So heavy that none could lay it on another. I do not lay it on you. But if you take it freely, I will say that your choice is right; and though all the mighty elf-friends of old, Hador, and Hurin, and Turin, and Beren himself were assembled together your seat should be among them."
The Fellowship of the Ring: "The Council of Elrond," p. 284
In February of 3019, Elrond's sons Elladan and Elrohir went south to join Aragorn. Elrond sent word to Aragorn reminding him of an ancient prophecy concerning the Paths of the Dead, and Aragorn took that dark road to prevent the Corsairs from attacking Minas Tirith. The sons of Elrond accompanied him and fought at the Battle of the Pelennor Fields.
When Gandalf proposed that they march to the Black Gate to give Frodo time to fulfill his quest, Elrond's sons said that their father had given this same counsel. Elladan and Elrohir went with the Host of the West and fought in the Battle of the Morannon on March 25, 3019, until the Ring was destroyed and the realm of Sauron fell.
Aragorn was crowned King on May 1, and Elrond was thus prepared to allow Arwen to marry him as he had promised. Elrond and Arwen set out that same day from Rivendell and they arrived in Minas Tirith on Mid-year's Eve. Elrond presented Aragorn with the Sceptre of Annuminas signifying the Kingship of Arnor and he gave his daughter's hand to Aragorn. Aragorn and Arwen were married on Mid-year's Day.
After the funeral of King Theoden in Rohan, Elrond and Arwen went up into the hills near Edoras. There they said their final farewells to one another, for they would never see each other again. Elrond would leave Middle-earth with the Elves to live in the Undying Lands, but Arwen had chosen the fate of Men and would remain in Middle-earth until she died. The choice of Elrond's sons Elladan and Elrohir is not known, but they remained in Middle-earth for some time into the Fourth Age.
Elrond returned to Rivendell with Gandalf and the Hobbits. When Frodo set out for home, Elrond blessed him. Elrond perceived that Frodo had been deeply wounded and would not be able to rest in Middle-earth. He told Frodo to look for him in the woods in autumn.
On September 22, 3021, Elrond met Frodo in the Woody End in the Shire and the Last Riding of the Keepers of the Rings set out for the Grey Havens. Elrond had lived in Middle-earth for 6,520 years and the time had come for him depart. On September 29, Elrond set sail across the Sea to the Undying Lands, where he was reunited with his wife Celebrian.
Note that First Age dates are uncertain. The following dates are taken from one version of "The Tale of Years" in HoME XI. Other chronologies differ.
Birth of Elrond and Elros.
Elrond and Elros are taken captive by Maglor, son of Feanor.
The War of Wrath against Morgoth.
Morgoth is banished from the world. End of the First Age.
Gil-galad and Elrond settle in Lindon.
Elrond's brother Elros becomes the first King of Numenor.
Death of Elrond's brother Elros.
Gil-galad and Elrond refuse Sauron admittance to Lindon.
The Elven-smiths of Eregion begin making the Rings of Power with Sauron's help.
The Three Rings of the Elves are completed.
Sauron forges the One Ring.
War of the Elves and Sauron begins. The Three Rings are hidden.
Sauron invades Eriador. Elrond leads a force to confront him.
Sauron's forces destroy Eregion. Elrond retreats and he establishes the refuge of Rivendell.
Sauron overruns Eriador.
Sauron is defeated with the help of Numenor.
Elrond is appointed vice-regent to Gil-galad and Rivendell becomes the stronghold of the Elves in Eriador. Elrond may have received Vilya at this time.
The Last Alliance of Elves and Men is formed.
The Last Alliance gathers at Rivendell.
War of the Last Alliance begins. Sauron is defeated at the Battle of Dagorlad and the Siege of Barad-dur begins.
Sauron is overthrown. Death of Gil-galad and Elendil. Elrond and Cirdan counsel Isildur to destroy the One Ring, but he refuses. End of the Second Age.
Death of Isildur. The One Ring is lost.
The shards of Narsil are brought to Rivendell.
Elrond marries Celebrian
Birth of Elrond's sons Elladan and Elrohir.
Birth of Elrond's daughter Arwen.
The Lord of the Nazgul establishes the realm of Angmar.
Elrond helps the Dunedain drive back the forces of Angmar.
The Lord of the Nazgul is defeated at the Battle of Fornost.
Elrond receives the heirlooms of the House of Isildur for safekeeping.
The White Council is formed. Elrond is a member.
Celebrian is captured by Orcs. Elladan and Elrohir rescue her and Elrond heals her wounds, but she remains troubled.
Celebrian decides to leave Middle-earth and sail to the Undying Lands.
At a White Council meeting, Gandalf urges an attack on Sauron at Dol Guldur but Saruman overrules him. Elrond has misgivings.
Elrond takes Aragorn as his foster son after the death of his father.
June: Elrond is visited by Gandalf and Thorin & Company, including Bilbo Baggins.
Late Summer - Early Autumn:The White Council meets and agrees to attack Dol Guldur. Sauron is driven out.
Sauron returns in secret to Mordor.
May 1: Gandalf and Bilbo visit Rivendell on the way home.
Sauron declares himself openly in Mordor. Elrond reveals to Aragorn that he is the Heir of Isildur. Aragorn falls in love with Elrond's daughter Arwen.
Last meeting of the White Council. Saruman lies and says he has discovered that the Ring was swept downriver to the Sea.
Aragorn and Arwen become betrothed. Elrond tells Aragorn that he must become King of Gondor and Arnor before they can marry.
Bilbo comes to live at Rivendell as Elrond's guest.
As the threat from Mordor increases, Elrond sends for Arwen to come home from Lothlorien.
October 8: Elrond receives
word that Frodo is heading for Rivendell pursued by Nazgul.
October 9: Glorfindel leaves Rivendell seeking Frodo.
October 18: Gandalf arrives at Rivendell.
October 20: Elrond causes the Bruinen to rise against the Nazgul. Frodo is brought wounded to Rivendell and is treated by Elrond.
October 23: Elrond finds a sliver of the Morgul-blade in Frodo's shoulder and removes it.
October 24: Frodo awakens.
October 25: Council of Elrond.
December 18: Elrond names
the members of the Fellowship.
December 25: The Fellowship leaves Rivendell.
February: Elladan and Elrohir ride south with the Dunedain to join Aragorn.
May 1: Aragorn is crowned King. Elrond and Arwen set out from Rivendell.
May 20: Elrond and Arwen come
May 27: Elrond and Arwen leave Lothlorien.
June 14: Elrond and Arwen
are met by Elladan and Elrohir and they travel to Edoras.
June 16: They set out for Gondor.
Midsummer's Eve: Elrond and
Arwen arrive in Minas Tirith. Elrond gives Aragorn the Sceptre of Annuminas.
Midsummer's Day: Arwen weds Aragorn.
July 22: Elrond leaves Minas Tirith with the funeral procession of King Theoden.
August 10: Elrond attends
the funeral of King Theoden.
August 14: Arwen and Elrond say their final farewells and are parted forever.
August 22: Elrond says farewell to Aragorn and sets out for Rivendell.
October 5: Elrond blesses Frodo.
September 22: Elrond and Galadriel
meet Frodo in the Shire.
September 29: Elrond passes over the Sea to the Undying Lands and is reunited with Celebrian.
The name Elrond is said to mean "vault of stars" or "star dome." The word el means "star." The word rond means "vaulted or arched roof," a term that was also applied to the Heavens.
The Silmarillion - Index and "Appendix - Elements in Quenya and Sindarin Names"
Another interpretation of Elrond's
name is "Elf of the Cave," because it was said that he had been found in
a cave after being taken captive by the sons of Feanor. The word el
also denotes "Elf" (the People of the Stars) and rond was also used
to mean "cave."
Elrond was called Half-elven because he was descended from both Elves and Men. As such, he was able to choose whether his fate would be that of the immortal Elves or the mortal Men.
Technically, Elrond was 56.25% Elf, 37.5% Man, and 6.25% Maia.
The Elvish equivalent of the term Half-elvenis Peredhel (singular) or Peredhil (plural). The element per means "half." The word edhel means "Elf"; the plural is edhil.
The Silmarillion - Index (under Half-elven) and "Appendix - Elements in Quenya and Sindarin Names" (under edhel)
Gil-galad appointed Elrond as his vice-regent in Eriador in 1701 of the Second Age. A regent is someone who acts on the King's authority in the King's absence.
Elrond established the realm of Rivendell in 1697 of the Second Age and dwelled there until the end of the Third Age.
Elrond was often addressed as Master Elrond as a sign of respect and because he was a master of wisdom and lore.
Paternal family tree of Elrond:
Maternal family tree of Elrond:
The Silmarillion: "Of the Voyage of Earendil" tells of the capture of Elrond and Elros while "Of the Rings of Power and the Third Age" has further information on Elrond's role in the Third Age.
The History of Middle-earth, vol. XI, The War of the Jewels: "The Tale of Years," p. 348-49 gives varying dates of the birth of Elrond and Elros and also mentions that they were twins.
The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien: Letter #211 tells the story of Elrond and Elros being left in a cave behind a waterfall.
Unfinished Tales: "The History of Galadriel and Celeborn" tells about Elrond leading a force to Eregion to fight Sauron and the Council in 1701 where Elrond was appointed Gil-galad's vice-regent.
Appendix A of The Lord of the Rings: "The Tale of Aragorn and Arwen" discusses Elrond's acceptance of Aragorn as a foster son and his thoughts on the romance between Aragorn and his daughter.
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