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Oropher

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Oropher
Sinda
Biographical Information
TitlesKing of the Silvan Elves
AffiliationLast Alliance of Elves and Men
LanguageSindarin and Silvan
BirthBefore S.A.
Ruleunknown - S.A. 3434
DeathS.A. 3434
Battle of Dagorlad
Family
ChildrenThranduil
Physical Description
GenderMale
Oropher was a Sindarin Elf of Doriath who became the King of the Silvan Elves of Greenwood the Great during the Second Age. Father of Thranduil - the Elvenking of The Hobbit - and grandfather of Fellowship of the Ring-member Legolas, he was killed during the Battle of Dagorlad.

Contents

History

Oropher was a Sinda from Doriath who, following the destruction of Beleriand and the War of Wrath, was unwilling to leave Middle-earth for Aman (as were many other Elves).


He was one of the Sindar of Doriath, but after the War of Wrath he declined to depart Middle-earth as many others did, and instead went over the Ered Luin with his house-hold. He eventually ended up in Greenwood the Great, where Silvan Elves of Nandorin descent lived, and he was taken by them as lord. His capital was at Amon Lanc.

Oropher had come among them with only a handful of Sindar, and they were soon merged with the Silvan Elves, adopting their language and taking names of Silvan form and style. This they did deliberately; for they (and other similar adventurers forgotten in the legends or only briefly named) came from Doriath after its ruin and had no desire to leave Middle-earth, nor to be merged with the other Sindar of Beleriand, dominated by the Noldorin Exiles for whom the folk of Doriath had no great love. They wished indeed to become Silvan folk and to return, as they said, to the simple life natural to the Elves before the invitation of the Valar had disturbed it.
J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), Unfinished Tales, "The History of Galadriel and Celeborn"

West of Oropher's realm was the realm of Lórinand across Anduin, where Amdír, another Sindar ruled over Silvan Elves. When Sauron returned to Middle-earth and southern Greenwood became dangerous and was renamed Mirkwood, Oropher's folk retreated north of the old Dwarf Road, and later again north of the Mountains of Mirkwood, where they fortified themselves.

Oropher answered the summons for the Last Alliance of Elves and Men, and joined with Gil-galad's forces as they marched down Anduin to Dagorlad. Oropher's army was lightly armed and he and Amdír refused to accept Gil-galad as the commander-in-chief of the armies. Thus in the battle of Dagorlad, though Oropher's company fought valiantly, he was slain with the greater part of his people when he grew hasty and called an early charge, disobeying Gil-galad's orders to wait with the attack.

After Sauron was defeated, Thranduil, Oropher's son and heir, returned with the remainder of his people north back to Mirkwood. While one third of them survived, their army was still large enough that the Orcs hiding in secret in the Hithaeglir did not dare attack them.

Genealogy

OROPHER
d. S.A. 3434
 
 
 
 
Thranduil
Unknown
 
 
 
 
Legolas
Sailed West Fo.A. 140


Etymology

The Encyclopedia of Arda suggests that the etymology of Oropher is "Uncertain, but likely 'tall beech-tree'".[1] The Thain's Book is similarly unsure: "The name Oropher may mean 'high beech' from oro meaning 'high' and pher meaning 'beech.'"[2] The exact language of the name is difficult to determine as Oropher came from Doriath - indicating that the name could be Sindarin or the Doriathrin dialect - but the following quote makes the situation vague:

Oropher had come among them with only a handful of Sindar, and they were soon merged with the Silvan Elves, adopting their language and taking names of Silvan form and style. This they did deliberately;
J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), Unfinished Tales, "The History of Galadriel and Celeborn"

Oropher is unlisted in Robert Foster's The Complete Guide to Middle-earth, Ruth S. Noel's The Languages of Tolkien's Middle-earth and Jim Allan's An Introduction to Elvish as these works were written before the publication of Unfinished Tales in which Oropher is revealed. As such, etymological information from these books are unavailable for comparison.

See Also

References

  1. The Encyclopedia of Arda, "Oropher", dated 21 April 2003 (accessed January 13, 2011)
  2. The Thain's Book, "Elves of Middle-earth#Oropher" (accessed January 13, 2011)


Oropher
Preceded by:
Unknown
King of the Silvan Elves
unknown - S.A. 3434
Followed by:
Thranduil