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Woodland Realm

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| image = [[File:Alan Lee - ''Well, here is Mirkwood!'' said Gandalf.jpg|250px]]
| name = Woodland Realm<br/>''Eryndor''
| meaning =
| type = Monarchy
| hidep=yes
| headofstate = King of the Silvan Elves
| executive =
| legislative =
| judicial =
| capital = [[Thranduil's halls]]
| language = [[Silvan Elvish]], [[Westron]]
| location = Northern Mirkwood, west of the [[Lake-town|Esgaroth]]
| populace=  Nandor Elves (with a minority of Sindar and Avari ancestry)
| currency =
| religious =
| holiday =
| anthem =
| formed = By part of the migrating Elves heading west toward [[Beleriand]]
| established = Years of the Trees
| reorganized =
| fragmented =
| dissolved =
| restored = Likely the [[Fourth Age]]
The '''Woodland Realm''', or '''''Eryndor''','' was a kingdom of [[Silvan Elves]] (the ''Tawarwaith'') in [[Mirkwood]], from the [[Second Age]] onwards.
== History ==
=== Second Age ===
The Woodland Realm was established by [[Oropher]], a [[Sindar|Sindarin]] lord of [[Doriath]], after the [[War of Wrath]]. Unlike most Sindar, Oropher and his household declined the [[Valar]]'s offer to depart from [[Middle-earth]] for [[Valinor]]. Instead he migrated eastward and became the King of the [[Nandor]] of [[Mirkwood|Greenwood the Great]]. Oropher and his household quickly adopted the language and customs of the Wood-elves, wishing to return to a simple existence natural to the Elves before they had been disturbed by the Valar.<ref name="Sindarin Princes">{{UT|Galadriel}}, "Appendix B: The Sindarin Princes of the Silvan Elves"</ref>
Originally Oropher's realm encompassed the entirety of Greenwood, with its capital at [[Amon Lanc]].  However, during the Second Age he and his people migrated north three times.<ref name="Note 14">{{UT|Gladden}}, note 14</ref>  According to one tradition, the first movement was northward beyond the [[Gladden Fields]], due to Oropher's desire to distance himself from the increasing encroachments of the Dwarves of [[Moria]] and his resentment of the intrusions of [[Celeborn]] and [[Galadriel]] in [[Lórien]].  However his people did maintain constant intercourse with their kin west of the [[Anduin]].<ref name="Sindarin Princes"/>  Oropher was also disturbed by the reports of [[Sauron]]'s rising power and by the end of the Second Age he dwelt in the western glens of the [[Emyn Duir]] or Dark Mountains and his people lived north of the [[Men-i-Naugrim]] or Dwarf-road.<ref name="Note 14"/>
In {{SA|3430}},<ref>{{App|SA}}</ref> Oropher and Amdír led their combined forces against [[Sauron]] as part of the [[Last Alliance of Elves and Men]]. During the [[Battle of Dagorlad]] the Silvan contingent refused to obey the orders of the [[Noldor]]in king [[Gil-galad]], instead charging the enemy alone. They fought valiantly, but being ill-equipped and outnumbered most were slain, among them Oropher.<ref name="Sindarin Princes"/>
=== Third Age ===
[[File:Anke Eißmann - Thranduil.jpg|thumb|200px|''Thranduil'' by [[Anke Eißmann]]|right]]
Oropher's son, [[Thranduil]], succeeded him as king of the Woodland Realm<ref name="Sindarin Princes"/> and ruled for the duration of the [[Third Age]].
Around {{TA|1050}} an evil entity known as the [[Necromancer]] (later identified as Sauron) inhabited the abandoned halls of [[Amon Lanc]], and Greenwood grew infested with [[Orcs]] and giant [[Spiders]].<ref name="TA">{{App|TA}}</ref> The Wood-elves retreated yet further north<ref name="Sindarin Princes"/> and many landmarks were renamed: Greenwood became [[Mirkwood]], the Emyn Duir the Mountains of Mirkwood or ''[[Emyn-nu-Fuin]]'', and Amon Lanc was known as [[Dol Guldur]], the Hill of Sorcery.
By the middle of the Third Age the Silvan Elves of Mirkwood were much reduced in number and confined to the lands north of the [[Forest River]], living mainly in [[Thranduil's halls]]. They also become increasingly withdrawn and wary of strangers, though they did trade with the neighbouring realms of [[Lonely Mountain|Erebor]] and [[Dale]], and imported wine from [[Dorwinion]] via the [[River Running]]. The former traffic came to an end upon with the destruction of Erebor by the [[Dragons|dragon]] [[Smaug]] in {{TA|2770}},<ref name="TA"/> who also attacked the Woodland Realm itself, putting further pressure on the beleaguered elves.
==== Quest for Erebor ====
In {{TA|2941}}<ref name="TA"/> Thranduil's people were disturbed by a band of [[Dwarves]] while feasting in the forest. Perhaps still resentful over the Dwarves' role in attracting Smaug to their borders, or simply cautious, they imprisoned them for trespassing onto their lands. The Dwarves' leader, [[Thorin]], refused to reveal the purpose of their journey from their halls far to the west in [[Eriador]].<ref>{{H|Flies}}</ref> After many days of imprisonment the dwarves escaped with the help of their companion, the [[Hobbits|hobbit]] [[Bilbo Baggins]] who had avoided capture using a [[The One Ring|magic ring]].<ref>{{H|Barrels}}</ref>
Sometime later the elves heard that Smaug, provoked by the escaped Dwarves, had left Erebor to attack [[Lake-town]] where he was slain by [[Bard|Bard the Bowman]]. Thranduil immediately assembled an army to claim part of the dragon's hoard in compensation for the destruction it had caused to the Woodland Realm. On the way they met messengers from Bard seeking aid for the people of destroyed Lake-town. Thranduil accepted, bring food and helping the people erect shelters for the winter. He and Bard then joined forces and marched north to claim the dragon's hoard and divide it between Bard, the people of Lake-town, and the Wood-elves.<ref>{{H|Fire}}</ref>
[[File:Capucine Mazille - The Battle of Five Armies.jpg|thumb|200px|''The Battle of Five Armies'' by [[Capucine Mazille]]]]
On arriving however they found Thorin and his company alive, and he refused to relinquish his claim on any of the treasure and had secured Erebor against an assault. Thranduil and Bard then lay siege to the Dwarves, who awaited aid from their relatives in the [[Iron Hills]] to the east.<ref>{{H|Gathering}}</ref> Hoping to avert battle, the hobbit Bilbo Baggins earned the respect of Thranduil and was named '[[Elf-friend]]' by delivering the [[Arkenstone]] to the Wood-elves and Men so they could use it to bargain with Thorin.<ref>{{H|Thief}}</ref> Negotiations were cut short however by the arrival of a host of Orcs and [[Wargs]] from the [[Misty Mountains]]. In the ensuing [[Battle of Five Armies]] many Wood-elves were slain, <ref>{{H|Burst}}</ref> as was Thorin Oakenshield, but afterwards an agreement was reached as to the division of the dragon hoard.<ref>{{H|Return}}</ref>
In the same year the [[White Council]], including [[Gandalf]], drove the Necromancer from Dol Guldur.<ref>{{H|Stage}}</ref>
==== War of the Ring ====
[[File:Michael Kaluta - Legolas Draws the Bow of Galadriel.jpg|thumb|200px|''Legolas Draws the Bow of Galadriel'' by [[Michael Kaluta]]|left]]
Sauron, now revealed as the evil presence which had abandoned (not, as it had been thought at the time, driven out of) Dol Guldur, from his rebuilt stronghold in [[Mordor]] sent three [[Nazgûl]] to reoccupy Dol Guldur in {{TA|2951|n}}.<ref name="TA"/>  On [[20 June]] {{TA|3018|n}} a force of [[Orcs]] attacked the Woodland Realm from this base, the purpose of this raid being to provide a distraction and facilitate the escape of [[Gollum]]<ref name="Great">{{App|Great}}</ref> who had been entrusted to Thranduil's care by the [[Rangers of the North|Ranger]] [[Aragorn]].
In the wake of this Thranduil sent his son, [[Legolas|Legolas Greenleaf]], to deliver news of Gollum's escape to Aragorn and [[Elrond]] in [[Rivendell]]. Upon arriving Legolas participated in the [[Council of Elrond]] where the full details of Sauron's resurgence were revealed. <ref>{{FR|II2}}</ref> Legolas was chosen to represent the Elves in the [[Fellowship of the Ring]], and journeyed with the [[Ringbearer]] [[Frodo Baggins]] towards Mordor. After the [[Breaking of the Fellowship]] Legolas continued to accompany Aragorn, fighting in the [[Battle of the Hornburg]], the [[Battle of the Pelennor Fields]] and the [[Battle of the Morannon]]. Legolas also developed a close friendship with the dwarf [[Gimli]], son of one of Thorin's companions: [[Gloin]]. This friendship did much to improve relations between the two peoples.
Meanwhile, on [[15 March]] {{TA|3019|n}} Sauron attacked the Woodland Realm in force, resulting in the bloody [[Battle Under Trees]].  Thranduil led his forces to victory, however, and then set about a campaign to clear Mirkwood of orcs and other evil beings. On [[Elven New Year]] he met [[Celeborn]], the king of [[Lothlórien]], and the two agreed to rename the forest [[Eryn Lasgalen]]. It was the divided: Thranduil was to rule north of the mountains, the forest south of the [[Narrows]] become [[East Lórien]] and the rest was given to the [[Beornings]].<name="Great"/> 
=== Fourth Age ===
During the Fourth Age the Woodland Realm prospered, free of enemies. A group of Wood-elves led by Legolas helped rebuild [[Minas Tirith]] and settled for a time in [[Ithilien]].
The eventual fate of the Woodland Realm is unknown. In {{FoA|120}} Legolas, having seen the sea during the War of the Ring, eventually sailed west to Valinor, reputedly with Gimli at his side.<ref>{{App|Later}}</ref> Like all Elves the people of the Woodland Realm were destined to either leave [[Middle-earth]] for Valinor or to 'fade' and become rustic woodland spirits. Given Oropher and Thranduil's refusal to leave Middle-earth at the end of the [[First Age]] was rooted in a desire to 'live naturally' as Elves had before being contacted by the Valar it seems likely that the latter was the fate of Thranduil and most of his people.
[[Category:Elven realms]]

Revision as of 12:55, 18 July 2013