Rivendell, or (S) Imladris, had long been a place of refuge in the inhospitable lands of Rhudaur that surrounded the valley. Situated between the north and south forks of the Bruinen (Loudwater) in the Pinefells, the haven's safety derived from the innate power of Elrond Half-elven and his Ring of Power: the mightiest of the Three Elven Rings, Vilya, Ring of Air. Evil things could not pass within the confines of Elrond's realm. The spies of Angmar and even the stronger minions of the Dark Lord, the Nazgûl, dared only sniff round the borders of the enchanted vale.
- Political Organization: Private Household.
- Ruler(s): Elrond Half-elven.
- Administrative Organization: Based upon the rules laid down by Elrond.
- Population: up to 2.300 Elves and Elf-friends.
- Military: 130 Elf Warriors.
- Products: Herbs, healing, information, books, art.
- Symbol: A White Rose on a Blue Field
Hidden in a ravine west of the Misty Mountains, the
vale of Rivendell was a haven to all of the Free Peoples
seeking shelter from the Shadow. The Elf-lord Elrond
Half-elven provided counsel and healing to those who
fought the forces of Darkness. Imladris also acted as a base for
those who wished to make forays into Angmar, Rhudaur,
and the Misty Mountains. It's location was known to but a
few. Casual travellers passed right by the narrow path which
led to the sheltered valley, and evil folk had also to fight
the elements of the region, which were under the command
The Elves of Imladris were, for the most part, refugees from the ruin of Eregion and Ost-in-Edhil. Determined to avoid the mistake of their predecessors, the people and lodgings at Imladris were humble and comfortable, rather than proud and majestic. The House of Elrond was a place of feasting and song. The best poets and artists of the Elves made their homes here. Also, those among Dwarves and Men who were recognized as Elf-friends retreated to this haven when they found the dwellings of the mortal folk too earthly for them.
The few caravans permitted to rest at Imladris did so only with the explicit permission of Elrond. He did not readily permit strangers into his home, unless they had already proven themselves to be allies of the Elves. Those that were granted the Elves' hospitality received welcome in the Last Homely House West of the Wild. While other rest stations provided physical aid for travellers, Elrond supplied spiritual comfort as well. Aiding travellers is a significant role of Imladris, but it was by no means the most significant. As a haven free from the eyes of all forces of Evil, it was a place where the Wise met to take counsel with one another. The White Council, composed of the greatest of the Elf-lords, met at Imladris. The Istari Olorin (Gandalf) and Aiwendil (Radagast) frequently sat on the Council; their associate Curumo (Saruman) also joined the Elf-lords when his wanderings brought him to western Endor.
The First Homely House, The House of Elrond, Imladris, Karningul, The Last Homely House, The Last Homely House East of the Sea
The fells, the western foothills of the Misty Mountains,
were the domain of Giants and Trolls in the Elder Days,
until the Dwarves of Moria began working their way
north along the range seeking mineral wealth. The trail
they cut, the Men Ered (S. "Mountain Road"), eventually
reached the Fords of the River Bruinen; here a track
crossed the river at the last point along its course where
carts could be brought easily down to the banks. The
Dwarves planned to make a small fort, to protect the
crossings; but they met, as they later told King Dwalin, an
ancient Silvan Elf, who claimed to be the guardian of the
fords. He said that the track, the Len Romen, which
crossed over the Misty Mountains, was sacred to the
Elves, and he swore that if the Dwarves left the fords and
the neighboring valleys untouched, he would see that
nothing evil ever troubled wayfarers traveling the vale.
The Dwarves felt compelled to accept this offer.
A century or so later, the Dwarven King sat with Celebrimbor of the Noldor and made agreements that laid the bounderies of the Elvish kingdom of Eregion. The old tale surfaced during the negotiations. Both monarchs agreed that the story was peculiar, particularly since the description of an "ancient Silvan Elf" was a contradiction in terms, and no one had seen or heard of the guardian since that initial meeting. The fords, certainly, had been safe since then, and a reading of the omens suggested that the "Riven Valleys" between the fords and the Misty Passes should be Elvish territory. A few Noldo mystics dwelt in that area ever after, and it was suggested that the "Elf" of the story was a Maia, a servant of Ulmo and the spirit of the Bruinen itself.
Elrond Half-elven, the Herald of Gil-galad, had been one of the Elvish visitors to the Riven Valleys. He came eventually to Eregion, in S.A. 1695, to aid in that realm's defense against the forces of Sauron. When the Noldor were defeated, two years later, Elrond led a large group of survivors north along the Men Ered to the Fords of Bruinen; there he dramatically summoned forth all the powers of the river and the hills to protect the refugees from the army pursuing them. To the shock of the pursuers and the surprise of many of the Noldo refugees, Elrond's spells were effective, scattering Orcs and Trolls over the hills and into the rivers to drown, while the mannish and Undead leaders of the army were blinded and staggered, many wandering for days before being gathered up and questioned by their master. The Dark Lord wasted no more time on the refugees and turned his armies westward into Eriador. Elrond led his followers to build a haven above the Fords of Bruinen, calling it Imladris (S. "Deep Dale of the Cleft" or "Rivendell"). No servant of Darkness dared to approach it. After Sauron was driven out of Eriador three years later, Elrond made Imladris his permanent home, weaving spells about the valley that would literally drive the knowledge of it from the minds of passing travellers while leaving powerful evil creatures shivering in fear at the thought of its existence.
The lands east of the Bruinen changed little over the next three millennia. The Kings of Arnor maintained good relations with Master Elrond and did not push the stone-paved portion of the Menetar Romen, the road they built on the ancient trail, beyond the Fords. The Elves of Rivendell long enjoyed friendships among the King's Rangers, first those of Arnor, then those of Rhudaur. The Hillmen of Rhudaur, however, remained isolated and suspicious of both. When the last Dúnadan King of Rhudaur fell to the Hillman Rhuggha in T.A. 1176, his surviving Rangers of high blood fled in all directions. Some were granted asylum by Elrond; this handful of refugees opened secret contacts with their Arthadan brethren, thus beginning a tradition of friendship that would last beyond the end of the Dúnadan kingdoms.
Rivendell in T.A. 1640-1650
The Last Homely House east of the Sea—as one
caravan legend describes it—stands as it has for centuries,
hidden in a narrow valley scarcely four miles north of the
Great East Road, as the trail climbs up to the high passes
of the Misty Mountains. Most travelers are aware that an
Elvish settlement exists somewhere in these woods. The
Dwarves and common folk who travel the Menatar Romen seldom venture far off the trail; those who do tend
to get lost, and find themselves wandering back onto the
road a goodly distance from their camp, holding a creeping fear in their hearts of tall forms with shining eyes
watching them silently from among the trees. Persistent
intruders experience strange lapses of memory, nightmares, and minor, disabling illnesses that fade away when
they cross over the Fords of Bruinen or the Misty passes.
Orcs, Trolls, and Men who roam the area thinking of
treachery and murder often simply disappear. The rulers
of Angmar and Rhudaur have found that the very name of
Imladris is like a creeping poison to their intellects and
self-confidence. It is said that the Witch-king himself
once sought to search for the Elf-haven with an elite hoerk
of his guard. Confounded and burned in spirit by Elrond's
magic, he slew all those with him. No witnesses survived
his humiliation, and no one in Carn Dum mentions the
names Elrond or Imladris in his presence.
Imladris has never been open to outsiders, even peaceable ones. Since the corruption of Rhudaur several centuries ago, only a few Men, personal friends known to the Elves dwelling in Rivendell, have any access to the valley of the haven. The Great East Road negotiates the foothills of the Misty Mountains through a smaller valley south of Rivendell. At certain campsites along the way, on starlit nights, some of the merchants are visited by Elves. For the most part, the Imladrim barter or use Arthadan coinage; it is rumored, however, that the Half-elven hold the treasures of the ancient Elvish High Kings somewhere in there, and periodically thieves try to enter it. None have ever succeeded.
Elrond has, in this era, only a few dozen Noldo warriors and Silvan rangers to patrol beyond the bounds of his magical defenses; he normally does not permit them to take an aggressive role in the wars against Angmar. Yet he is active in the conflict, sheltering and advising such of the Dúnedain as remain faithful to the old alliance and beliefs.
The White Council, an informal alliance of the Istari and the greatest of the leaders of the Eldar, meets in Rivendell every few decades to consider what counsel may be given to the mannish Kings of Middle-earth and what aid can be spared them from the meager resources of the Elves.
Important individuals living at Rivendell include Elrond, of course, who seldom leaves his home, and also Celebrian, his wife, a noted mystic, and their three children, Elladan, Elrohir, and Arwen Undomiel. Glorfindel is the leader of the Guardians of Rivendell and chief of the remaining Noldo warriors in Eriador.
Following the fall of Arthedain in T.A. 1974, Aranarth, heir to the throne of the destroyed kingdom, came to Rivendell after long trials of war. He stayed in the haven for a time, persuading Elrond to accept the guardianship of the heirlooms of Elendil and establishing the Rangers of the North. Rivendell was their headquarters for the rest of the Third Age, and in the sheltered valley the heirs of the Line of Isildur were born, raised, and educated.
Places of Note
- Auction Faire - a safe plaza enclosed by rock north of Elrond's house. Only foreigners trade here.
- Bell tower - northwestern gardens
- Bridge of Rivendell - west of Elrond's house
- Cascade Walkway - leads to eastern Rivendell Bruinen islet
- Domed Walkway - leads to Elrond's house West Wing
- Entrance Halls - leads to Elrond's house entrance courtyard
- Bruinen Islet - in midst of river Bruinen in the eastern valley
- Cordon of Yavanna - in the forests of the northeastern part of the islet
- Foot bridge - leads to northern gardens
- River Hall - in the central islet
- East tower - on the river hall
- Upper Gazebo
- Cerdyn of Este and Lorien - eastern gardens near the stairs to the East Porch of Elrond's house
- Cerdyn of Nessa and Vána - northeastern gardens
- Clerk of Kinships - Enefan and Gwingloth in a small house north of the Market
- Cordon of Nienna - western gardens
- Eastern Tower of Imladris
- Elrond's Stables - western parts of the dell
- Entrance Courtyard - central vale front of the main house
- Falls of Imladris - west and northeast of Elrond's house
- Ford of Bruinen - to the south of the dell
- Forges of Rivendell - northwestern part of the dell
- Relic-master - Faillanc
- Gaming Fields - northwestern-most dell, here the elves perform athletic feats and games
- Covered Seating - northern dell overlooking the gaming fields
- The Glade - in the southwestern-most dell, beneath the high moors
- The Gardens - surrounding Elrond's house
- Gates of Rivendell - narrow passage through the high moors, southwest of Rivendell
- Guest Houses - southwestern gardens
- Haven of Orladion - ruined and empty gazebo north to Elrond's house
- Hidhuinen - a silent lake in the northern central dell
- High Moor - in the foothills above the dell
- The Hill
- The House by the Water
- Imdolen - gazebos overlooking the north-gate of Rivendell
- Imlad Gelair - a sanctuary in the hills overlooking Elrond's house
- Elrond's Observatory
- The Last Homely House - Southeastern part of the Dell. Elrond's house consists of the great main building, two side wings, and a back building, which enclose a wide Courtyard. North of the complex is an additional building housing workshops, quarters, and storage. The main building has three normal and three additional smaller levels plus a small tower. The lesser northern and southern wings have two levels, the back building three. Additionally there is one underground lower level beneath the main house, and a greater underground complex of forges and extra stores beneath the outer workshop-building.
- The Archives
- Arwen's Chambers - in the back building above the council chambers and portico
- Balcony - north above the great hall
- Baths - on the lower level beneath the main house; contains steam rooms, sauna, a small pool, and bathing rooms.
- The Bell Tower - the highest or sixth level, a small level above the central main building
- Bilbo's Chambers - ground floor, southern wing, second eastern-most room
- Central Courtyard, enclosed by the four main parts of the house, contains a fresh spring of warm water
- Chamber of Audience
- Cordon of Elbereth - in the central Courtyard
- Council Hall - southern and greatest room of the back building, connected to the portico
- Council Porch - northeastern part of the back building adjacent to the gardens
- Court of the Fountain - in the central courts 1st level
- Debater's Chambers
- Drawing rooms - on the third level of the great hall, eastern- and western-most rooms
- Dúnadan Tombs - underground level beneath the wine cellars
- East Porch - first floor eastern part
- Elladan's Chambers
- Elrohir's Chambers
- Elrond's Balcony - southeastern wing
- Elrond's Chambers - in the southern portion of the main house, on the third floor
- Foyer - secret room above the entry
- Study - above the entry and portico, has a view to the west
- Elrond's Library - first and second floor, southern part of the main house
- Enclosed colonnade - surrounds the inner lower courtyard on the first and second level
- Enclosed loggia - on the first, second and third levels, connects the main house with the great hall and the great hall with the back building
- Entry - the paved road from the bridge leads here
- Erestor's Chambers - second room of the main house's northern portions, third level
- Fine Quarters - on the small fourth level of the main house's southern portion; home to nobles from Eregion
- Foyer - central room of the main house level 1,
- Gardeners suite - central room of the south wing
- The Gardens - in the central courtyard and surrounding the entire house
- Gildor's room - second room of the main house's northern portions third level
- Gilraen's Chambers
- Glorfindel's Quarters - on the small 4th level, above the southern portion of the main building
- Great hall - separate building north of the central courtyard, serves as dining hall
- Guest Quarters - in the southern wing on the second and third floor
- Hall of Fire - ground floor, northern part of the main house
- Barber - Fingwen
- Hall of Gathering
- Hall of Music
- Hall of Rest or "Tham Send"
- High observation room - on the small fifth level, above the main house’s southern portion
- The Kitchens - on the lower level in the north beneath the main house
- Kitchen Gardens - northwest of the Main house, connected to the lower level
- Laerdan's Chamber - ground floor, northern wing
- Lindir's Chambers
- Loft suites - on the second level of the northern wing
- Lower courtyard - on the lower level; a path leads to the kitchens
- Meeting Room
- Morning room - western-most room of the southern wing
- Pantry - lower level beneath the main house; all year cold
- Portico - adjacent to the eastern parts of the back building
- Quarters - quarters are in the lower level beneath the main house, in the first, second, and third level in the northern part of the back building, …
- Quarters of Arwen's ladies in waiting, north to her lady’s chambers
- Scholar's guild hall - second floor, southern wing
- Sitting room - western part of the back building
- State guest room - great room on the third level of the back building, connected to it's eastern-most wing
- Traders - 1st floor
- West tower - above the northern portion of the main house
- The Wine-cellars and Crypts - on the lower level beneath the main house
- Workshops/Quarters - in a separate building north to the northern wing
- Storage loft - on the second floor of the workshop building
- Winter sitting room - southern-most room of the great hall's third level
- Writer's Guild
- Lower Gazebo - southwestern gardens
- Market of Rivendell - in the western central part of the dell. Mainly smith-products and Woodcrafts are traded here.
- Bowyers and Fletchers: Calenhen, Sidlinn
- Smiths: Berenin, Daerlaw, Durvenel, Glorielvir, Gruinthir, Gwathdal, Maendan, Orodlin, Rodgam.
- Calbeniel the Notary
- Fileglin the Minstrel
- Hammadelen the Outfitter
- Mines and underground forges - these are largely beneath Elrond's house and lead into the eastern canyon. An elevator connects them with the Workshops/Quarters north of Elrond's house
- Northwestern Tower of Imladris
- Outer Wall
- The Pottery
- Path - leading up to Bruinen Ford
- Path - stone-paved way leading to the fields on the other side of the Ridge.
- Raised Walkway
- Reflecting Pool - north of Elrond's house
- Riven Gate
- Signal Fire
- Training Grounds
- Skirmish-camp - the house-troops and dell-militia train here in the southwestern-most dell
- Spire of Meeting - small tower in the central dell, west to the bridge of Rivendell, between the Markets and Elrond's house
- The Stone-Seat - in the cliff-walls east of Elrond's house
- Summerhouse - northwestern gardens
- Terrace Path - leading around Elrond's house, from it's entry court to the stone seat
- Undomiel's Bridge in the northwestern dell, leading over a smaller tributary to the Bruinen
- The Vineyards
- Western Hall
- Western Terrace
- Waterfall Cave
- Workshops - adjacent to the northwestern parts of Elrond's house
Inhabitants of Rivendell
- Main article: Elves of Rivendell
T.A. 1640-1650: Aitharan Aiwe Andriel Aranto Arwen Undómiel Ascarnil of Rivendell Bellindiel Lomeloth Celebrian Celebring Coibor Dan Earwing Elladan Elrohir Elrond Half-elven Erestor of Rivendell Estelindo Nandeseron Gildor Inglorion Gillindir Glorfindel of the House of the Golden Flower Golradir Hilvanar Hithgol Íracáno Lindir the Benevolent Macar Mastáro-Olvar-Faroth Nardhol Níralissë Saelbeth of Rivendell Sairalóm Vilyasúle Silinde Vilyadhol
before T.A. 2106: Airalin Aitharan Aiwe Andriel Aranarth Aranto Arwen Undómiel Ascarnil of Rivendell Celebrian Celebring Celandur Coibor Dan Earwing Eirien Elladan Elrohir Elrond Half-elven Erestor of Rivendell Estelindo Nandeseron Gallind Galoranna Gildor Inglorion Gillindir Glorfindel of the House of the Golden Flower Golradir Hilvanar Hithgol Íracáno Lauriel Lindir the Benevolent Lothiel Macar Mastáro-Olvar-Faroth Nardhol Níralissë Ohta Rilwen Saelbeth Sairalóm Vilyasúle Silinde Vilyadhol
before T.A. 3007: Airalin Aitharan Aiwe Andriel Aranto Ascarnil of Rivendell Celebring Celandur Cirlos Coibor Dan Elladan Elrohir Elrond Half-elven Erestor of Rivendell Estelindo Nandeseron Gallind Galoranna Gildor Inglorion Gillindir Gilmith of Rhudaur Gilraen the Fair Glorfindel of the House of the Golden Flower Golradir Gondril Hilvanar Hithgol Íracáno Lauriel Lindir Lothiel Macar Nardhol Níralissë Ohtar Orladion Rilwen Saelbeth Sairalóm Vilyasúle Silinde Vilyadhol
T.A. 3018-3019: Aegúrel Aitharan Aiwe Allan Threespot Anárin Andriel Angoleth Anhebir Aragorn Elessar Aranelleth Aranto Arndir Arwen Undómiel Ascarnil of Rivendell Asfaloth Atharovor Athils Bailinn Baradal Barbethnir Bellindiel Dúlothwen Berenin Bilbo Baggins Blossom Brockhouse Cachúnir Calenhen Carandrian Celandur Celeblas Celebring Celia Greenweed Cerebthos Coibor Dan Crisdúr Daerlaw Deneldír Digloriel Dora Thatcher Dorban Dringlinn Dúrvenel Elladan Elladrien Elmo Brown Elrohir Elrond Half-elven Elweleth Elwen Erestor of Rivendell Estelindo Nandeseron Faillanc Failloth Faimir Filegnaneth Finduilas Peredhil Fingwen Forgamthan Galoranna Galuoneth Garathon Gildor Inglorion Gilfiniel Gillindir Gilraen the Fair Glavroliel Glorfindel of the House of the Golden Flower Glorielhen Glorielvir Glorinda Golhador Golradir Grafinn Gwathdal Gruinthír Gwingloth Haldúr Hammadelen Heribert Sandheaver Hilvanar Hithgol Hope Redfern Indis Ingwilendë Íracáno Laegbrannon Laerdan Lauriel Lindir Lothiel Macar Maendan Maladmil Malellam Mallasil Mallenhadh Mastáro-Olvar-Faroth Miluidan Mirdoron Nardhol Nimros Níralissë Norien Ohta Ormbés Orodlin Pellisar Pethelen Raenfer Ringhul Rodgam Rohald Rombrennil Ruineth Saelbeth of Rivendell Sairalóm Vilyasúle Salabdúr Seredhiel Sidlinn Silinde Sogadan Súmë Tad Boffin Taidbes Till Bramble Tordúril Vilyadhol