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Trollshaws

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Robert Goldsmith - The Trollshaws.jpg
Trollshaws
Physical Description
TypeForest
LocationEastern Eriador, north of the Rivendell
RealmsArnor
InhabitantsA few Trolls, if any
DescriptionA wild forest on the north side of the East-West Road
General Information
EventsThe Quest of Erebor
ReferencesThe Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, Appendix A

Trollshaws are the upland woods, consisting at least partly of beech trees, that lay to the west of Rivendell between the Rivers Hoarwell and Loudwater. They were the haunt of Trolls, three of which famously waylaid Bilbo and his companions during the Quest of Erebor. Years later, Frodo and his companions found them on the way to Rivendell, but the Trolls, from the distractions of Gandalf, had been turned to stone by the sun. On the hills of the Trollshaws were shallow caves, and on the top of some of the hills there were castles and towers that had been built by the Men of Rhudaur.

It seems there were few if any Trolls that lived in the shaws by the late Third Age. They were probably driven back into the Ettenmoors (which was Troll country) to the north, by the Dúnedain Rangers and the Elves of Rivendell.

Etymology

Shaws is an archaic word meaning "thicket, wood".

The woods geographically belonged to where the ancient realm of Rhudaur used to be, and were perhaps named after it; Rhudaur means "troll-shaws" in Common Speech[1].

References

  1. 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)