|"Portrait of Elrond" by Tatyafinwe|
|Other names||Elerondo (Q)|
Peredhel (S, "Half-elven")
|Titles||Lord of Rivendell|
|Position||Ring-bearer of Vilya|
Vice-regent of Eriador
Herald to Gil-galad
|Language||Sindarin, Quenya, Westron|
|Birth||F.A. 532 |
Havens of Sirion
|Rule||S.A. 1697 - T.A. 3021 (ruled 4765 years)|
|Sailed west||29 September, T.A. 3021 (aged 6520)|
|House||Descended from all three Houses of the Edain and elven houses of Fingolfin and Thingol|
|Heritage||Half-elven father and mother|
Maglor, foster father
Aragorn, foster son
|Gallery||Images of Elrond|
- "But my memory reaches back even to the Elder Days. Eärendil was my sire, who was born in Gondolin before its fall; and my mother was Elwing, daughter of Dior, son of Lúthien of Doriath. I have seen three ages in the West of the world, and many defeats, and many fruitless victories."
- ― Elrond in The Fellowship of the Ring, "The Council of Elrond"
Elrond was the half-elven son of Eärendil and Elwing, the father of Arwen, and the Lord of Rivendell who consistently fought against Sauron throughout the Second and Third Ages. He was the twin brother of Elros, who later became the first king of Númenor.
Having been born in Beleriand towards the end of the First Age, Elrond ever opposed Sauron and strove against him throughout the Second Age, helping to bring about Sauron's defeat in the War of the Last Alliance as Gil-galad's herald. Elrond inherited Gil-galad's Elven ring Vilya, and during the Third Age he fought against the Witch-king of Angmar and, as a member of the White Council, expelled the Necromancer from Dol Guldur (who was Sauron in another guise). Towards the end of the Third Age, he was the foster-father to Aragorn as he had been to Arathorn before him. Aragorn went on to marry Elrond's daughter Arwen. After the destruction of the One Ring, Elrond sailed west with Gandalf, Bilbo, Frodo, and Galadriel; their passing marked the end of the Third Age and the beginning of the Fourth.
Elrond is one of the most prominent, significant and recognisable characters in J.R.R. Tolkien's legendarium, appearing in The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings, The Silmarillion and Unfinished Tales. He was critical to providing Thorin and Company with the information they needed to enter the Lonely Mountain, and the Council of Elrond brought about the creation of the Fellowship of the Ring, which ultimately resulted in the destruction of the One Ring and the final defeat of Sauron.
Elros and Elrond were born in the Havens of Sirion during the darkest days of the First Age, when the forces of Morgoth controlled most of Beleriand. When the twins were just six years old, the Sons of Fëanor, bound by their Oath, assaulted the Havens in the Third Kinslaying, since they desired the Silmaril on the Nauglamír held by Elwing. Eärendil was at sea, and Elwing escaped with the Nauglamír and jumped into the sea. Maedhros and Maglor, the only Sons of Fëanor to survive the assault upon the Havens, took Elros and Elrond as captives and abandoned them in a cave with a fall of water over the entrance instead of killing them. But Maglor took pity upon Elrond and Elros and rescued them, and a mutual love grew between Maglor and the young twins afterwards. Elrond was given the name "Elf of the cavern" or "star-dome" (see Etymology), because Elrond was found in the cave.
Following the War of Wrath, because of his Half-elven heritage, the Valar gave Elrond and his brother a choice to be counted among the kindred of Elves or Men. Elrond chose to belong to the Firstborn, while Elros chose to become mortal. Elros voyaged over the sea to Númenor following the star of Eärendil; whereas Elrond remained among the Elves and carried on the lineage of King Elwë. Elrond subsequently remained in Lindon with Gil-galad, where he became known as a healer and lore-master.
A fair being calling himself Annatar, emissary of the Valar, came seeking entrance to Lindon during the Second Age. Elrond and Gil-galad sensed that he was not what he seemed, and denied him. They were correct, as proven in the later War of the Elves and Sauron.
In S.A. 1695, Gil-galad sent Elrond to aid Eregion. Elrond's forces came too late and proved too small to defend Eregion. While Sauron sent most of his army west to attack Lindon, he left a strong detachment behind to contain Elrond. In two years, Eregion was laid waste and Elrond, along with the surviving Noldor, ran the risk of being of being overun, when the Durin's folk of Khazad-dûm attack Sauron's rear guard, turning Sauron's attention to these new foes. This allows Elrond and the remaining Noldor to flee far north. There, he established the stronghold of Imladris.
Many more refugees joined Elrond's host as Sauron ravaged Eriador during the course of the war. By S.A. 1700, Imladris, despite being besieged, was the only part of Eriador not under Sauron's control. It was liberated by Gil-galad's and Tar-Minastir's forces. After Sauron's defeat, a Council was held at that time, establishing that Imladris should be maintained as an Elvish stronghold, and appointing Elrond as Gil-galad's vice-regent in Eriador, passing the Ring Vilya to him.
Elrond marched with Gil-galad and Elendil during the War of the Last Alliance, serving as Gil-galad’s herald. He was present during the last battle of that war, witnessing the deaths of Gil-galad and Elendil. When Isildur cut the One Ring from Sauron’s hand at the conclusion of the battle, he and Círdan advised Isildur to destroy the Ring, but Isildur refused their counsel. Elrond subsequently returned to Rivendell, which prospered in the coming years with the aid of the Ring of Air, Vilya, that Elrond had received from Gil-galad.
It has been argued that, following Gil-galad’s death, Elrond had the right to become High King of the Noldor, but he never claimed the title. Indeed, after the Second Age ended, there were very few Noldor left in Middle-earth for there to be a king over.[source?]
Following Isildur's death, Elrond received the shards of Narsil, which he preserved for many years. He began his long tradition of fostering the heirs of Isildur by helping to raise Isildur's son Valandil, who had been left in Rivendell during the War of the Last Alliance.
During the late reign of Arveleg I, Rivendell was besieged by Angmar. After an incursion by Angmar into Eriador in T.A. 1409, the Elvenfolk of Rivendell joined those of Lindon in subduing the power of the Witch-king for many years.
Centuries later, when the Northern Kingdom fell, Elrond took the other heirlooms of Arnor (the Sceptre of Annúminas and the Ring of Barahir) into his keeping, holding them for the one who would eventually be able to reclaim the throne of Arnor.
Elrond, along with others of the Wise, was joined by the Wizard Gandalf, who was sent by the Valar from the West. As they decided, Gandalf invaded Dol Guldur. The Necromancer withdrew and the Watchful Peace began. In T.A. 2463, the Wise formed the White Council with the Wizard Saruman as its head.
In T.A. 2851, the White Council met to decide whether to act on Gandalf's discovery of the identity of the Necromancer as Sauron, but Saruman dissuaded the others from acting upon Gandalf's revelation.
Elrond named Aragorn Estel ("Hope") and concealed his heritage from him until he came of age. When Aragorn became an adult, Elrond gave him the Ring of Barahir and the shards of Narsil, foreseeing that Aragorn might be the one to claim the thrones of Gondor and Arnor. When Aragorn fell in love with Arwen, Elrond revealed to him that Arwen shared the choice of the Half-elven, and that one or the other of them would ultimately be parted from her forever. Elrond insisted that Arwen could not marry Aragorn until he became king of both Gondor and Arnor.
In T.A. 2941, Elrond welcomed Thorin and Company into his home, the Last Homely House before the wild. On Midsummer's Eve - the night before the Dwarves, Bilbo, and Gandalf continued on their journey eastward - Elrond examined the swords which they had found in the trolls' cave. He read the runes and revealed that Thorin's sword was called Orcrist, the "Goblin-cleaver", and that Gandalf's sword was named Glamdring, the "Foe-hammer". He told them that they were Elven swords from the ancient city of Gondolin, destroyed long ago. He then looked at Thrór's Map and found that there were moon-letters. From the moon of that midsummer's eve he could read the words: 'five feet high the door and three may walk abreast' and 'stand by the grey stone when the thrush knocks and the setting sun with the last light of Durin's Day will shine upon the keyhole'. This information proved vital for Bilbo and the Dwarves to enter the Lonely Mountain through its secret entrance.
During that same year, the White Council assailed Dol Guldur and rid Mirkwood of the Necromancer's presence. Upon Bilbo and Gandalf's return to Rivendell, Elrond and the grey wizard discussed this and the events of the Lonely Mountain. They both agreed that it would be better if the Necromancer were banished from the world altogether.
The White Council last met in T.A. 2953, when Gandalf expressed his concerns that the One Ring was Bilbo's ring found in the Goblin-town. Saruman quieted him, insisting that the Ring had been swept out to sea.
War of the Ring
When Frodo first left the Shire with the One Ring, it was always his intention to go to Rivendell to seek the advice of Elrond. Indeed, in his letter left at Bree, Gandalf counselled him to do so. After Elrond healed Frodo of his wound sustained at Weathertop, he then hosted the feast that was held when Frodo recovered.
Elrond presided at the Council of Elrond. During that meeting, he narrated what he knew of the history of Isildur and the Ring. He identified Aragorn as the Heir of Isildur, and when Frodo ultimately volunteered to carry the Ring, Elrond affirmed that decision. Elrond also appeared to have selected the members of the Fellowship other than Frodo and Sam, despite accepting Merry and Pippin only reluctantly.
Later, Elrond sent his sons Elladan and Elrohir to join the Dúnedain Rangers who rode to Rohan to join Aragorn. Through Elrohir, Elrond advised Aragorn to take the Paths of the Dead. During the Last Debate, Elrohir supported Aragorn’s decision to attack Mordor as a diversion to allow Frodo time to reach Mount Doom, saying that this was Elrond’s advice.
After the passing of Sauron, Aragorn was crowned as King of the new Reunited Kingdom on 1 May, and according to his own promise Elrond escorted Arwen to Lothlórien. They arrived on 20 May and Arwen went to Minas Tirith to wed Aragorn. He parted from her in great sorrow.
- "He was as noble and fair as an elf-lord, as strong as a warrior, as wise as a wizard, as venerable as a king of dwarves, and as kind as summer."
- ― The Hobbit, "A Short Rest"
Elrond seemed ageless, resembling neither old nor young. However, one could see in his face the memories and experiences of thousands of years. He looked venerable both like an old king, a wise wizard, and an experienced warrior in his prime.
His parents were Eärendil and Elwing. He was thus Half-elven: Eärendil was the child of the mortal Tuor and the elf Idril, while Elwing was the grandchild of Beren (a Man) and Lúthien (daughter of the Elf-king Thingol and the Maia Melian). Consequently, Elrond was descended from all three tribes of the Elves (Vanyar and Noldor through Idril, Sindar through Lúthien), a Maia, and all three houses of the Edain (Hador, Haleth and Bëor).
In a letter from 1958, J.R.R. Tolkien explained that Elrond is a Sindarin name that he was given because he was found in a cave, and that the name is a compound of eld>ell, the Sindarin term for the High-Elven exiles, and rond based on primitive Elvish rondo meaning "cavern". In an essay that was probably written between 1959 and 1960, J.R.R. Tolkien translated the name as "Star-dome".  The Sindarin elements are el ("star") and rond ("a vaulted or arched roof, the heavens"). In an essay on "The Problem of Ros" that was written in 1969 or later J.R.R. Tolkien translated the name as "star-dome, noting that it was given by Elwing in memory of the Menelrond, the Hall of the Throne of Elwë. Elrond has also been translated as "Vault of Heaven". In a letter from 1972, J.R.R. Tolkien wrote that the name Elrond means "The vault of stars".
Other versions of the legendarium
The name Elrond first appears in a draft for The Fall of Númenor (chapter), written about the same time as The Hobbit (before 1937). There he is mentioned to be the son of Eärendel, heir of the House of Hador, who because of his mortal blood chose to remain in the Great Lands and became the leader of the Elves in the remnant of Beleriand. There he allied with the Faithful Amroth (a precursor of Elendil) against Sûr (Sauron). In a rewrite of the same text, Elrond becomes the first King of Númenor instead, the builder of the city of Númenos, and is a mortal (which means that the text was written before The Hobbit, as he appears alive, presumably immortal, there). It is Gil-galad who fights Sauron. With the conception of Elros, Tolkien added a later note that considered making Elrond stay with Gil-galad or return to Middle-earth.
Elrond was then "borrowed" or imported into the The Hobbit. Subsequently he, along with Gandalf, became one of the only characters to appear in all three of The Silmarillion, The Hobbit, and The Lord of the Rings.
In the chapter "A Short Rest" of The Hobbit, it is said of Elrond that he
...was an elf-friend — one of those people whose fathers came into the strange stories before the beginning of History, the wars of the evil goblins and the elves and the first men in the North. In those days of our tale there were still some people who had both elves and heroes of the North for ancestors, and Elrond the master of the house was their chief.
—The Hobbit, "A Short Rest"
Note that in this description he is not identified as an Elf himself, emphasizing his elf-friend (= Edain) heritage. In the subsequent fleshing out of his background, it is never mentioned that he was ever the "chief" of the people who came from "both elves and heroes of the North" (which would apply to the Half-elven or rather the Dúnedain of Arnor).
Portrayal in adaptations
|Elrond in Adaptations|
1977: The Hobbit (1977 film):
- Elrond appears in Rivendell, crowned with a ring of stars. He feeds the Dwarves, and identifies Orcrist and Glamdring. He needs little time to identify the latter. He is shown with a beard, although Tolkien clearly states Elves do not have beards. His voice was provided by Cyril Ritchard.
- Elrond, voiced by André Morell, appears at the Council of Elrond. He sits on a raised chair, and narrates the scene. Not until the One Ring is brought forward does he take an active part.
- Elrond appears roughly the same as in the first of Rankin/Bass' films. The premise of the film, a minstrel of Gondor who tells the tale of "Frodo of the Nine Fingers, and the Ring of Doom" at Bilbo Baggins' 129th birthday party in Rivendell, allows Elrond to be a member of the audience, and then sails west, with Gandalf and the two allowed Bilbo and Frodo Baggins (his nephew) come because of their service in Middle-earth and being friends. Because Cyril Ritchard had passed away not long after completing his work on The Hobbit, Rankin/Bass regular Paul Frees took over as his voice.
- Elrond, played by Hugo Weaving, first appears in the prologue as a commander of the army of Gil-galad in the War of the Last Alliance. A later flashback scene shows him actually taking Isildur into Mount Doom, trying to persuade him to destroy the Ring. Círdan is omitted.
- As in the book, Elrond heals Frodo's wound from Weathertop. Elrond then has a conversation with Gandalf, discussing the many challenges that face them. Elrond argues that the Ring cannot remain in Rivendell (in the film, Frodo appears to have thought that he would be able to leave the Ring there). He also expresses his doubts about the race of Men, and gives the first hints about Aragorn's real identity. In the Council of Elrond, Elrond himself is the one who argues that the only option is to destroy the Ring. He does not select the Fellowship, but accepts those who volunteer.
- Elrond gains two additional scenes in the Extended Edition of the movie. In the first, he talks with Aragorn beside the grave of Aragorn’s mother. Elrond encourages the reluctant Aragorn to accept his fate of becoming king. In the next scene, Elrond blesses the departing Fellowship.
- Though he had no scenes in the book, Elrond appears mainly in conversations with Arwen, whose role is also greatly expanded. In a flashback, Aragorn remembers Elrond telling him to abandon his love for Arwen, allowing her to sail to Valinor. Aragorn attempts to do this, but Arwen denies him. In another scene, Elrond persuades Arwen that she should sail to Valinor, describing what will happen if she remains and Aragorn dies. Elrond then has a telepathic communication with Galadriel discussing the war that is about to start. He apparently suggests that she send an army to Helm's Deep to aid the Men there, since when Haldir arrives at Helm's Deep he says that he brings "word from Elrond of Rivendell."
- In the final installment of Jackson's film series, Elrond's first scene is with Arwen, who has decided not to sail after all, but to return. Although he senses that she is dying, Elrond acknowledges her choice. At her suggestion, he has the shards of Narsil re-forged, then carries the new sword to Aragorn at Dunharrow. He finally convinces Aragorn to accept his destiny, and advises him to take the Paths of the Dead. Later, Elrond escorts Arwen to Minas Tirith for Aragorn's coronation, and he finally sails to Valinor with the Ring-bearers.
2012-14: The Hobbit (film series):
- Hugo Weaving reprises the role of Elrond. As in the book, he identifies Gandalf's and Thorin's respective swords, as well as translating the runes on Thorin's map in the first film. There is an additional scene where Elrond meets with the White Council. Like Saruman, Elrond is somewhat skeptical of Gandalf's claims, deeming the Quest of Erebor unwise. However, he is clearly alarmed by Gandalf's revealing of the Morgul blade from Dol Guldur. Elrond is seen again in the third of these films where he participates in the battle of Dol Guldur, joining Saruman and Galadriel in fighting off the Nazgûl.
- In this adaptation, Elrond is portrayed by Leif Wager.
- September 1: A Shadow of the Past:
- In this adaptation, Elrond is voiced by John Pullen. Gandalf claims that he is not an Elf, but an Elf-friend.
- Elrond is played by Friedrich W. Bauschulle.
- Hugh Dickson provided the voice of Elrond in this radio series. He first appears in the episode containing the Council of Elrond, and appears unintroduced. Dickson showcases great trouble with pronouncing Elvish, and especially diphthongs. Gimli is the son of "Gloo-in", who fought the dragon "Sma-oog". Legolas is the son of "Thrandoo-uhl". He reappears in the final 2 episodes - first in the return to Rivendell warning Frodo to look out for Bilbo in the Shire one Autumn soon, and finally with Galadriel and Bilbo in the Shire before they all ride to the Grey Havens.
- The voice of Elrond is provided by Matej Landl.
- Elrond appears at Rivendell. The player can give him the curious map to read, and he also provides the player with lunch.
- Like his predecessor Hugh Dickson, Jim Piddock shows incredible difficulty with diphthongs. "Glau-win" and "Thrandool" dislike each other, so too their sons.
2003: The Hobbit (2003 video game):
- In a short cutscene between the levels "Roast Mutton" and "Over Hill and Under Hill", Elrond is briefly mentioned. An artful image on a manuscript can be seen, while the narrator explains Elrond examined the map and the swords.
- In an alternative, northern War of the Ring, Rivendell is the main base of operations for Glóin and Glorfindel. As such, Elrond is the source of missions and advice, and serves as the narrator throughout the game (Hugo Weaving reprises the role). Elrond is a playable character during the assault on Dol Guldur.
2007: The Lord of the Rings Online:
- Elrond is a non-playable character and can be found in the library of the Last Homely House in Rivendell. During the Elven Prologue set hundreds of years before the War of the Ring he participates in a battle in the refuge of Edhellion, in northern Ered Luin. Elrond is heavily involved in the game original storyline and the characters are frequently bidden to return to him after uncovering troubling signs of the Enemy or achieving notable victories.
- Hugo Weaving once again reprises the role, serving as the narrator for both Good and Evil campaign.
- Early in the game Elrond sends his sons, Elladan and Elrohir, to scout Fornost. He later interacts with main characters in Rivendell, guiding them on their path of defeating Argandaur.
- J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), Unfinished Tales, "The History of Galadriel and Celeborn"
- J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The War of the Jewels, "Part Three. The Wanderings of Húrin and Other Writings not forming part of the Quenta Silmarillion: V. The Tale of Years", version C of the manuscript, year changed to [>532], p. 348
- J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Fellowship of the Ring, "Many Meetings"
- J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Return of the King, "The Grey Havens"
- J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Quenta Silmarillion: Of the Voyage of Eärendil and the War of Wrath"
- J.R.R. Tolkien; Humphrey Carpenter, Christopher Tolkien (eds.), The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien, Letter 211, (dated 14 October 1958), answer to Question 4
- J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Akallabêth: The Downfall of Númenor"
- J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Peoples of Middle-earth, "XII. The Problem of Ros"
- J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), Unfinished Tales, "The History of Galadriel and Celeborn", "Concerning Galadriel and Celeborn"
- J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix B, "The Second Age"
- J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), Unfinished Tales, "The History of Galadriel and Celeborn"
- J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix B, "The Third Age"
- J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix A, "The Númenorean Kings", "The Realms in Exile", "The Northern Line: Heirs of Isildur"
- J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit, "A Short Rest"
- J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit, "The Last Stage"
- J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix B, "The Chief Days from the Fall of Barad-dûr to the End of the Third Age"
- J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit, "A Short Rest"
- J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The War of the Jewels, "Part Four. Quendi and Eldar: Author's Notes to Quendi and Eldar", Note 26, second paragraph about Hadhodrond
- J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Index of Names", entry Elrond
- J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Appendix: Elements in Quenya and Sindarin Names", entries êl and rond
- J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Peoples of Middle-earth, "XII. The Problem of Ros"
- J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Lost Road and Other Writings, Part Three: "The Etymologies", p. 384
- J.R.R. Tolkien; Humphrey Carpenter, Christopher Tolkien (eds.), The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien, Letter 345, (dated 30 November 1972)
- Petri Tikka, "Quenya words in Parma Eldalambaron 17"
- J.R.R. Tolkien, "Words, Phrases and Passages in Various Tongues in The Lord of the Rings: Eldarin Roots and Stems", in Parma Eldalamberon XVII (edited by Christopher Gilson), p. 56
- J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Lost Road and Other Writings, "Part One: II. The Fall of Númenor, (ii) The first version of The Fall of Númenor"
- J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Lost Road and Other Writings, "Part One: II. The Fall of Númenor, (iii) The second version of The Fall of Númenor"
- Ian McKellen, "2 Elves and another Wizard" dated 10 May 2011, Ian McKellen's website (accessed 23 December 2011)
- Alice Jones, "Amazon’s Lord of the Rings Series Rises: Inside The Rings of Power" dated 10 February 2022, VanityFair (accessed 11 February 2022)
- Radio Times, Volume 129, No. 1674, December 9, 1955
- The Lord of the Rings: War in the North, Chapter 1: Fornost, Inner Wards
|Lord of Rivendell|
S.A. 1697 - T.A. 3021
|Vice-regent of Eriador|
S.A. 1701 - 3441
|Attendees of the Council of Elrond|
|Aragorn · Bilbo Baggins · Frodo Baggins · Boromir · Elrond · Erestor · Galdor · (Samwise Gamgee) · Gandalf · Gimli · Glóin · Glorfindel · Legolas|