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Rivendell

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Rivendell by J.R.R. Tolkien

Rivendell is an Elven outpost in Middle-earth. It is also referred to as "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 of Middle-earth (four or five thousand years before the events of The Lord of the Rings). Besides Elrond himself, notable Elves who lived there include Arwen and Glorfindel.

During the War of the Elves and Sauron in the Second Age, Rivendell was under siege by the forces of Sauron.

In The Hobbit, 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.

In The Lord of the Rings, 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".

Inspiration

  • Possibly ‘the Dell’ at Sarehole, Warwickshire, England
"But in order to get to the place where we [Ronald and Hilary] used to blackberry (called the Dell) we had to go through the white one’s [the Sarehole miller’s son’s] land..."
J.R.R. Tolkien: A Biography