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Woodland Realm

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{{location
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{{kingdom
| image=[[Image:Alan_Lee_-_%27%27Well%2C_here_is_Mirkwood%21%27%27_said_Gandalf.jpg|250px]]
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| image = [[File:Alan Lee - ''Well, here is Mirkwood!'' said Gandalf.jpg|250px]]
| name= Woodland Realm
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| name = Woodland Realm
| othernames=
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| meaning =  
| etymology=
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| type = Monarchy
| type= Kingdom.
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| hidep=yes
| location= [[Mirkwood]], north of the [[Forest River]]
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| headofstate = King of the Silvan Elves
| inhabitants=([[Sindar]]in leadership), [[Silvan]].
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| executive =
| realms=
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| legislative =
| description= Golden wood with [[mallorn]] trees.
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| judicial =
| events= [[Battle Under Trees#Attack on Mirkwood|Battle Under Trees]].
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| capital = [[Thranduil's halls]]
| references= ''[[The Hobbit]]'', ''[[The Lord of the Rings]]''.
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| language = [[Silvan Elvish]], [[Westron]]  
|}}
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| location = Northern Mirkwood, west of the [[Lake-town|Esgaroth]]
The '''Woodland Realm''' was kingdom of [[Silvan]] elves of [[Thranduil]] in [[Mirkwood]] from the [[Second Age]] onwards.
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| populace= Nandor Elves
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| currency =
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| religious =
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| holiday =
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| anthem =
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| formed = By part of the migrating Elves heading west toward [[Beleriand]]
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| established = Years of the Trees
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| reorganized =
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| fragmented =  
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| dissolved =
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| restored = Likely the [[Fourth Age]]
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}}
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The '''Woodland Realm''' was a kingdom of [[Silvan Elves]] in [[Mirkwood]], from the [[Second Age]] onwards.
  
 
== History ==
 
== History ==
 
=== Second Age ===
 
=== Second Age ===
The Woodland Realm was established by the [[Sindarin]] Lord [[Oropher]] of [[Doriath]] after the [[War of Wrath]]. Unlike most Sindar Oropher and his household declined the [[Valar|Valar's]] offer to depart [[Middle-earth]] for [[Valinor]], instead migrating eastward to [[Greenwood the Great]]. There he was accepted by the native elves, of [[Nandorin]] descent, as their king.
+
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>
  
Oropher and his household quickly adopted Silvan language and customs, wishing to return to a simple existence natural to the Elves before they had been disturbed by the Valar.
+
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"/>
  
For the duration of the Second Age the Woodland Realm encompassed the entirety of Greenwood, with its capital at [[Amon Lanc]]. It maintained closed contact with the neighbouring Silvan realm of [[Lórinand]] and its king [[Amdír]], who was also a Sindar refugee.
+
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"/>
 
+
Following the destruction of [[Númenor]] Oropher and Amdír led their combined forces against [[Sauron]] as part of the [[Last Alliance of Elves and Men]]. However, they refused to obey the orders of the [[Noldor]]in king [[Gil-galad]] and charged the enemy alone during the [[Battle of Dagorlad]]. They fought valiantly, however being ill-equipped and outnumbered most were slain; including Oropher.
+
  
 
=== Third Age ===
 
=== Third Age ===
[[Image:Anke Eissmann - Thranduil.jpg|thumb|200px|''Thranduil'' by [[Anke Eissmann]]|right]]
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[[File:Anke Eißmann - Thranduil.jpg|thumb|200px|''Thranduil'' by [[Anke Eißmann]]|right]]
Oropher's son, [[Thranduil]], succeeded him as king of the Woodland Realm and ruled throughout the [[Third Age]]. At some point during the first millennium they abandoned the capital at Amon Lanc, perhaps due to depopulation following the Battle of Dagorlad, and much of their territory south of the old Dwarf road running through the centre of the forest; dwelling mainly in the [[Emyn Duir]], or Dark Mountains.
+
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 [[Third Age 1050|T.A. 1050]] an evil entity called the [[Necromancer]] inhabited the abandoned halls of [[Amon Lanc]], renaming it [[Dol Guldur]]. This would later be revealed to be [[Sauron]] himself but at this point the elves did not identify him as such. With the coming of the Necromancer Greenwood darkened and was renamed [[Mirkwood]], and the mountains were renamed [[Emyn-nu-Fuin]], the Mountains of Mirkwood. It was infested by [[Orcs]] and giant [[Spiders]] which pushed the Elves even further north.
+
  
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 or wholly in [[Thranduil's halls]]. They also become increasingly withdrawn and wary of strangers, though they traded with the neighbouring realms of [[Erebor]] and [[Dale]], and purchased wine from the distant inhabitants of [[Dorwinion]] via the [[River Running]].
+
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.
  
Trade with the former stopped upon its destruction by the [[dragon]] [[Smaug]] in [[Third Age 2770|T.A. 2770]], who also attacked the Woodland Realm itself; putting further pressure on the beleaguered elves.
+
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 ===
+
==== Quest for Erebor ====
[[Image:D.W. Luebbert - Into Mirkwood.gif|thumb|200px|''Into Mirkwood'' by [[D.W. Luebbert]]|left]]
+
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>
In [[Third Age|T.A. 2941]] Thranduil's people came across 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 Oakenshield]], however, would not reveal the purpose of their journey from their halls far to the west in [[Eriador]]. And after a few days imprisonment the dwarves escaped with the help of their companion, the [[hobbit]] [[Bilbo Baggins]] who had avoided capture using a [[One Ring|magic ring]].
+
  
Some time later the elves heard that Smaug, provoked by the escaped Dwarves, had left Erebor to attack [[Lake-town]] where he was slain by [[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.
+
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>
  
[[Image:Capucine Mazille - The Battle of Five Armies.jpg|thumb|200px|''The Battle of Five Armies'' by [[Capucine Mazille]]]]
+
[[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. 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. 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, as was Thorin Oakenshield, but afterwards an agreement was reached as to the division of the dragon hoard.
+
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]] led by [[Gandalf]] drove the Necromancer from Dol Guldur. The lifting of this shadow and the death of Smaug gave the Wood-elves the first period of peace they had experienced in two millennia. Though some animosity between them and the Dwarves of Erebor lingered.
+
In the same year the [[White Council]], including [[Gandalf]], drove the Necromancer from Dol Guldur.<ref>{{H|Stage}}</ref>
  
=== War of the Ring ===
+
==== War of the Ring ====
[[Image:Michael Kaluta - Legolas Draws the Bow of Galadriel.jpg|thumb|200px|''Legolas Draws the Bow of Galadriel'' by [[Michael Kaluta]]|left]]
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[[File:Michael Kaluta - Legolas Draws the Bow of Galadriel.jpg|thumb|200px|''Legolas Draws the Bow of Galadriel'' by [[Michael Kaluta]]|left]]
This peace was broken by the outbreak of the [[War of the Ring]] in [[Third Age|T.A. 3018]]. Sauron, now revealed as the evil presence which had abandoned (not, as it had been thought at the time, driven out of) Dol Guldur in 2941, from his rebuilt stronghold in [[Mordor]] sent a [[Nazgul]] to reoccupy Dol Guldur. On [[Third Age 3018#June|20 June]] 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]] who had been entrusted to Thranduil's care by the [[Rangers of the North|Ranger]] [[Aragorn]].
+
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 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. 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.
+
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, 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]].
+
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 ===
 
=== 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]].
 
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. Legolas, having seen the sea during the War of the Ring, eventually sailed west to Valinor, reputedly with Gimli at his side. 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.
+
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:Locations]]
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{{references}}
[[Category:Elven Realms]]
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[[Category:Forests]]
 
[[Category:Forests]]
 
[[Category:Rhovanion]]
 
[[Category:Rhovanion]]
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[[Category:Elven realms]]

Revision as of 22:14, 9 July 2012

Alan Lee - ''Well, here is Mirkwood!'' said Gandalf.jpg
Woodland Realm
GovernmentMonarchy
Head of StateKing of the Silvan Elves
Societal information
CapitalThranduil's halls
LanguageSilvan Elvish, Westron
LocationNorthern Mirkwood, west of the Esgaroth
PopulaceNandor Elves
Historical information
Formed fromBy part of the migrating Elves heading west toward Beleriand
EstablishmentYears of the Trees
RestorationLikely the Fourth Age

The Woodland Realm was a kingdom of Silvan Elves in Mirkwood, from the Second Age onwards.

Contents

History

Second Age

The Woodland Realm was established by Oropher, a 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 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.[1]

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.[2] 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.[1] 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.[2]

In S.A. 3430,[3] 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 Noldorin king Gil-galad, instead charging the enemy alone. They fought valiantly, but being ill-equipped and outnumbered most were slain, among them Oropher.[1]

Third Age

Thranduil by Anke Eißmann

Oropher's son, Thranduil, succeeded him as king of the Woodland Realm[1] and ruled for the duration of the Third Age.

Around T.A. 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.[4] The Wood-elves retreated yet further north[1] 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 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 dragon Smaug in T.A. 2770,[4] who also attacked the Woodland Realm itself, putting further pressure on the beleaguered elves.

Quest for Erebor

In T.A. 2941[4] 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.[5] After many days of imprisonment the dwarves escaped with the help of their companion, the hobbit Bilbo Baggins who had avoided capture using a magic ring.[6]

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 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.[7]

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.[8] 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.[9] 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, [10] as was Thorin Oakenshield, but afterwards an agreement was reached as to the division of the dragon hoard.[11]

In the same year the White Council, including Gandalf, drove the Necromancer from Dol Guldur.[12]

War of the Ring

Legolas Draws the Bow of Galadriel by Michael Kaluta

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 2951.[4] On 20 June 3018 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[13] who had been entrusted to Thranduil's care by the Ranger Aragorn.

In the wake of this Thranduil sent his son, 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. [14] 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 3019 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 Fo.A. 120 Legolas, having seen the sea during the War of the Ring, eventually sailed west to Valinor, reputedly with Gimli at his side.[15] 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.

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), Unfinished Tales, "The History of Galadriel and Celeborn", "Appendix B: The Sindarin Princes of the Silvan Elves"
  2. 2.0 2.1 J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), Unfinished Tales, "The Disaster of the Gladden Fields", note 14
  3. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix B, "The Second Age"
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix B, "The Third Age"
  5. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit, "Flies and Spiders"
  6. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit, "Barrels Out of Bond"
  7. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit, "Fire and Water"
  8. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit, "The Gathering of the Clouds"
  9. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit, "A Thief in the Night"
  10. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit, "The Clouds Burst"
  11. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit, "The Return Journey"
  12. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit, "The Last Stage"
  13. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix B, "The Great Years"
  14. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Fellowship of the Ring, "The Council of Elrond"
  15. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix B, "Later Events Concerning the Members of the Fellowship of the Ring"