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Revision as of 14:40, 21 April 2014 by (Talk)
Lourdes Velez - King Thranduil.jpg
Biographical Information
Other names"Elvenking"
TitlesKing of the Woodland Realm
BirthFirst Age[source?]
RuleS.A. 3434 onwards
Physical Description
Hair colorGolden[1]
GalleryImages of Thranduil
"In a great hall with pillars hewn out of the living stone sat the Elvenking on a chair of carven wood. On his head was a crown of berries and red leaves, for the autumn was come again. In the spring he wore a crown of woodland flowers. In his hand he held a carven staff of oak."
The Hobbit, Barrels Out of Bond

Thranduil, the Elvenking, was a Sinda and King of the Silvan Elves of Mirkwood in the Woodland Realm. Thranduil was son of Oropher and father of Legolas.



Early History

At the end of the First Age many Sindar stayed at Lindon, and at the beginning of the Second Age they travelled eastward. Thranduil and his father, Oropher, eventually ended up in Greenwood the Great, where Silvan Elves of Nandor descent lived. Oropher was taken by them as lord and founded the Woodland Realm with the capital at Amon Lanc.

The few Sindar who had come with Oropher and Thranduil were soon merged with the Silvan Elves, adopting their language and taking names of Silvan form and style.

Thranduil and young Legolas by Anna Lee

In S.A. 3434 Thranduil followed his father, and some thirty thousand lightly armed Elves in the War of the Last Alliance. In the Battle of Dagorlad Oropher was slain with the greater part of his people but his son survived. After the Siege of Barad-dûr in S.A. 3441 when Sauron was defeated, Thranduil led the remainder of his people north back to the Woodland Realm, where he was crowned king.

Third Age

With the return of Sauron around T.A. 1050 southern Greenwood became dangerous and was renamed Mirkwood. Creatures like great spiders came to dwell in Mirkwood and Thranduil's folk retreated to the northeastern corner of Mirkwood, where they fortified themselves near the Forest River and established the Elvenking's Halls.

David T. Wenzel - Mirkwood elves.jpg

One day in T.A. 2941 Thranduil and some of his folk were feasting in the woods when they were repeatedly disturbed by a party of Dwarves. After the third disturbance the Elves captured them. Thorin their leader, was brought before Thranduil but did not reveal the reason for their journey through Mirkwood. However Thranduil's prisoners escaped with the help of a Hobbit, Bilbo Baggins, who escaped captivity by using his magic ring.

Battle of Five Armies

After the Dwarves' escape Thranduil sent out messengers, who soon told him about the death of the Dragon Smaug, who had brutalized the Elves for years. He knew about the treasures Smaug had hoarded and set out towards the Lonely Mountain with a company of Elves. On the way they met messengers from Bard in Lake-town who was seeking aid for his destroyed town. Both Thranduil and Bard led their forces towards the Lonely Mountain and were very surprised when they found out that the Dwarves not only survived Smaug's attacks, but had taken possession of the Mountain and its treasures; the King under the Mountain had returned.

The Arkenstone by Ted Nasmith

As Thorin refused to give away parts of the treasure for Dale and Lake-town, Thranduil and Bard sieged the mountain. After a few days, a Dwarvish host led by Dáin II Ironfoot approached to support Thorin. But in the night Bilbo came before Thranduil and Bard bringing the Arkenstone, a great jewel that Thorin valued above all, in order to make Thorin open to negotiations. Thranduil was favourably impressed by Bilbo and urged him to remain in order to avoid Thorin's wrath. The next morning Bard and Thranduil entered into negotiations with an angered Thorin, who agreed to pay 1/14 share of the treasure in exchange for the stone. Thranduil was reluctant to start a war over gold, but the next day the forces of Dain arrived and the dwarves proceeded to attack.

The Battle of Five Armies by Capucine Mazille

At that moment, the Orcs of the Misty Mountains and Grey Mountains under Bolg were using the opportunity to march after the hoard. The three commanders agreed that the Orcs were the enemies of all. So the Battle of Five Armies began. Thranduil's host was positioned on the southern side of the Mountain, and they were the first to charge. Many Elves were slain and things looked grim when the Eagles arrived on the battlefield. They turned the tide and the battle was won.

Thorin died soon after the battle. Thranduil laid Orcrist on Thorin's tomb, where it was said to glow in warning when foes approached.

The victors divided the treasure and Bard gave Thranduil the emeralds of Girion. When Bilbo and Gandalf bid farewell to Thranduil Bilbo gave him a necklace of silver and pearls. Thranduil gave the hobbit the title "Elf-friend" and returned with the remainder of his host to his realm in Mirkwood.

War of the Ring

On March 21, T.A. 3018 Aragorn and Gandalf delivered Gollum as a prisoner to Thranduil but in June he escaped. Thranduil sent his son Legolas to Rivendell to inform Elrond, and in the Council of Elrond Legolas was selected as one of the nine members of the Company of the Ring.[2] Another member of the Company was the Dwarf Gimli, the son of Glóin of Thorin's band who were imprisoned by Thranduil. The unprecedented friendship between Elf and Dwarf helped to reconcile Thranduil's people and the Dwarves.

On March 15, T.A. 3019, an army of Sauron from Dol Guldur attacked Mirkwood. There was a long Battle Under Trees and the woods were set on fire but in the end Thranduil defeated the invaders. On April 6, Thranduil met Celeborn in the midst of Mirkwood. The forces of the Lord and Lady of Lórien stormed Dol Guldur and threw down its walls.

Thranduil had cleared all the orcs and foul beings from North Mirkwood, so that the forest was cleansed and Sauron's forces in the North were destroyed. Because the Shadow over Mirkwood was lifted, Thranduil received the northern part of the Eryn Lasgalen (as Mirkwood was now called) as far as the Mountains.[3]

Fourth Age

Thranduil's ultimate fate is unknown; he probably passed over the Sea to Valinor eventually.


Thranduil by Marya Filatova

Thranduil lived in attunement with nature, wearing a crown of flowers, or autumn berries, according to the season, and his banner was, naturally enough, green in colour. He loved the forest though it was dark and dangerous in many parts and enjoyed hunting and feasting among the trees with his people. He was also distrustful of strangers, being mostly unconcerned with affairs of the world beyond Mirkwood unless a common enemy was shared.

Thranduil had his halls underground, partly in memory (it was said) of the mighty but long-lost Menegroth of Doriath. They lay near the Forest River behind great gates.


The name Thranduil means "Vigorous spring" in Sindarin, from tharan "vigorous" and tuil "spring". Though the name is said to be of Silvan origin, Tolkien's notes on tharan state it was used only in Sindarin.[4]

Portrayal in adaptations

Thranduil in adaptations
The "Elvenking" in The Hobbit (1977 film)  
Thranduil in The Hobbit (film series)  

1968: The Hobbit (1968 radio series):

Leonard Fenton provided the voice of Thranduil.

1977: The Hobbit (1977 film):

Thranduil is voiced by Otto Preminger with a (heavy) German accent. For some reason in the movie the Elves of Mirkwood are portrayed as squat and ugly, as opposed to the noble elves of Rivendell.

2003: The Hobbit (2003 video game):

Thranduil is referred to as "Elvenking Thranduil", using both his title from The Hobbit and his name from The Lord of the Rings, to accommodate players who have only read The Hobbit. Thranduil first appears in the level "Barrels Out of Bond", in which he can be overheard speaking about the White Council and their attack on Dol Guldur. He returns as a conversation partner in the last level, "The Clouds Burst", in which he and Gandalf ask the player, in the persona of Bilbo, to deliver a message to Bard. No voice actor is specified for this part.

2006: The Lord of the Rings: The Battle for Middle-earth II:

Thranduil is a hero for the Elven faction. In the good campaign, he shows up after the Battle of Dale, and participates in the Siege of Dol Guldur.

2012-14: The Hobbit (film series):

Thranduil is played by Lee Pace.[5]

2012: The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey:

Thranduil is seen in the prologue with an army outside of Erebor, seemingly ready to help following the Sack of Erebor. However, he decides not to help and turns away.

See also

External links


  1. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit, "Flies and Spiders"
  2. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Fellowship of the Ring, "The Council of Elrond"
  3. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix B
  4. J.R.R. Tolkien, "Words, Phrases and Passages in Various Tongues in The Lord of the Rings", in Parma Eldalamberon XVII (edited by Christopher Gilson), p. 187
  5. Peter Jackson, "Casting news!" dated 30 April 2011, Facebook (accessed 23 December 2011)