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Kimberly - Oropher.jpg
"Oropher" by Kimberly
Biographical Information
TitlesKing of the Silvan Elves
Woodland Realm
AffiliationLast Alliance of Elves and Men
LanguageSindarin and Silvan
BirthFirst Age[1]
Ruleunknown - S.A. 3434
DeathS.A. 3434
Battle of Dagorlad
Physical Description
GalleryImages of Oropher
Oropher was a Sindarin Elf of Doriath[1] who became the King of the Silvan Elves of Greenwood the Great (which would later come to be called Mirkwood) during the Second Age. He was killed during the Battle of Dagorlad and succeeded by his son, the Elvenking Thranduil. He was thus the grandfather of the only Elven member of the Fellowship of the Ring, Legolas.


[edit] History

Oropher was one of the Iathrim who spent his early life in Doriath.[1] Following the destruction of Beleriand and the War of Wrath, most of the Noldorin exiles and remnants of the Sindar retreated to Lindon. The Valar reinvited these Elves to Aman, but Oropher, among many others, was unwilling and remained in Lindon.[1]

[edit] Move to Greenwood the Great

Some of the Sindar of Lindon, not wishing to stay with the dominant Noldor under Gil-galad, chose to go east and live with the Nandor with whom they shared the same Telerin ancestry.[2] Oropher with his people crossed the Misty Mountains and mingled with the Silvan Elves of Greenwood the Great. The Sindar adopted the language and wholly embraced the life of the Silvan Elves.[1]

The Silvan Elves, who originally lived in the south of Greenwood, accepted Oropher as their King, who ruled from his capital on Amon Lanc. Over the course of the Second Age they gradually moved north to live around the Emyn Duir.[1]

[edit] War of the Last Alliance

Despite the Silvan Elves' hostility towards the Dwarves and the Noldor - and their desire to stay away from the affairs of the rest of the world - Oropher could see the danger that Sauron posed, and that his defeat would bring about peace in Middle-earth. He thus joined the Last Alliance of Elves and Men, summoning a large army which joined with Amdír's smaller force of Lórien Elves to create a singular, great host of Silvan Elves.[1]

The Silvan Elves were strong and brave, but despite having poor armour and weapons in comparison with the Noldor, Amdír and Oropher were unwilling to submit to the supreme command of Gil-galad and as such they suffered heavy losses in the War of the Last Alliance. In the very first assault upon Mordor Oropher and other brave and hasty Elves rushed forward before Gil-galad gave the signal to charge. Oropher himself was killed soon afterwards, whilst two-thirds of his army perished throughout the course of the war. Upon Sauron's defeat the remnants of the army returned to Greenwood under the command of his son, Thranduil.[1]

[edit] Genealogy

d. S.A. 3434
Sailed West Fo.A. 120

[edit] Etymology

Oropher came from Doriath - indicating that the name could be Sindarin or Doriathrin dialect - but:

Oropher had come among them with only a handful of Sindar, and they were soon merged with the Silvan Elves, adopting their language and taking names of Silvan form and style. This they did deliberately;
J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), Unfinished Tales, "The History of Galadriel and Celeborn"

The name probably means 'tall beech-tree'[3] from oro meaning 'high' and fêr meaning 'beech'.[4]

[edit] See Also


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 1.8 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. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Quenta Silmarillion: Of the Sindar"
  3. The Encyclopedia of Arda, "Oropher", dated 21 April 2003 (accessed January 13, 2011)
  4. The Thain's Book, "Elves of Middle-earth#Oropher" (accessed January 13, 2011)

All that is known about Oropher is mentioned only in the narrative of Galadriel and Celeborn.

Preceded by:
King of the Silvan Elves
unknown - S.A. 3434
Followed by: