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J.R.R. Tolkien - Rivendell.jpg
General Information
Other namesImladris, the Last Homely House
LocationWest of Hithaeglir
DescriptionHidden valley with permanent elven settlement
RegionsElrond's dominion
People and History
EventsQuest of Erebor, Council of Elrond
GalleryImages of Rivendell

Rivendell was an Elven on the Eastern edge of Eriador. It was also called "The Last Homely House East of the Sea", a reference to Valinor, which is west of the sea. It is established by Elrond in the Second Age. Besides Elrond himself, notable Elves who lived there include Arwen and Glorfindel.



Elrond established Imladris in SA 1697[1] during the War of the Elves and Sauron. In Elrond's following at that time were both Elves from Lindon whom he had led in battle to defend Eregion and those Elves who had fled Eregion when it was destroyed. Many more refugees joined Elrond's host as Sauron ravaged Eriador during the course of the war. By SA 1700, Imladris, despite being besieged, was the only part of Eriador not under Sauron's control. It was was liberated after Gil-galad's forces, strengthened by the armament sent by Tar-Minastir, routed Sauron's armies in Eriador. A Council was held at that time, establishing Elrond as Gil-galad's vice-regent in Eriador and that Imladris should be maintained as an Elvish stronghold.[2]

At the end of the Second Age, Elendil and Gil-galad formed the Last Alliance of Elves and Men to challenge Sauron, and their host halted for a while at Imladris before crossing the Misty Mountains.[3] Isildur's wife and his youngest son, Valandil, were in Imladris at that time, and Isildur was journeying back to them after Sauron's defeat when he was ambushed at the Gladden Fields.[4] After receiving the shards of Narsil, Valandil took up his role as King of Arnor and left Imladris for Annúminas.[5]

After the fall of Gil-galad, Elrond remained in Imladris. During the Third Age it was a refuge and sanctuary; many Elves gathered there, and it was the chief dwelling of the High Elves in Eriador. The heirs of Isildur were also harbored there due to their kinship with Elrond, as descendants of his brother Elros.[6]

In TA 1409, Angmar besieged Rivendell to prevent it from aiding Arthedain and Cardolan, which were attacked at the same time.

After the end of the North Kingdom in TA 1975, documents and treasures of the Northern Númenórean kings were placed in Rivendell in the care of Elrond[7], including the shards of Narsil.[8]

In the Quest for Erebor, Bilbo Baggins stopped off at Rivendell with the Dwarves on the way to the Lonely Mountain and also on the way back to the Shire with Gandalf.

Years later, Frodo Baggins and his Hobbit companions journey to Rivendell, where they meet with Bilbo, who had retired there after his 111th birthday, spending his time on his memoir, There and Back Again. Several other Elves, Dwarves and Men also arrive at Rivendell on separate errands; at the Council of Elrond they learn that all of their errands are related to the fate of the One Ring, and they must decide what to do about it. In the end it is the Hobbits who influence the decision.

Rivendell is located at the edge of a narrow gorge of the Bruinen River (one of the main approaches to Rivendell comes from a nearby ford of Bruinen), but well hidden in the moorlands and foothills of the Hithaeglir or the Misty Mountains.


The Sindarin translation of Rivendell is Imladris, meaning "Deep Valley of the Cleft". Rivendell is the translation of Westron Karningul.


A possible inspiration could have been Lauterbrunnen, Switzerland, which Tolkien visited in 1911:

"I am….delighted that you have made the acquaintance of Switzerland, and of the very part that I once knew best and which had the deepest effect on me. The hobbit’s journey from Rivendell to the other side of the Misty Mountains, including the glissade down the slithering stones into the pine woods, is based on my adventures in 1911 (he was 19 and traveled to Lauterbrunnen)……Our wanderings mainly on foot in a party of 12 are not now clear in sequence, but leave many vivid pictures as clear as yesterday." (He talks of similar conditions of the travel of Bilbo camping out, walking mountain paths, carrying packs)."
Letter 306

Portrayal in Adaptations

2007: The Lord of the Rings Online:

Rivendell is one of the major cities in the game, located between Trollshaws and the Misty Mountains. Elves are able to quick travel to the city if they have earned the trait, have it equiped and have one travel ration. Rivendell is also one of the places that players can choose as Elven character's homeland.

See also

External links


  1. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix B, "The Second Age"
  2. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), Unfinished Tales, "The History of Galadriel and Celeborn"
  3. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Of the Rings of Power and the Third Age"
  4. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), Unfinished Tales, "The Disaster of the Gladden Fields"
  5. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Of the Rings of Power and the Third Age"
  6. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Of the Rings of Power and the Third Age"
  7. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), Unfinished Tales, "A Description of the Island of Númenor"
  8. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Of the Rings of Power and the Third Age"