Chief of the guards

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This article describes a concept which is mentioned in J.R.R. Tolkien's works, but was never given a definite name.
Chief of the guards
Silvan Elf
The Hobbit - The Desolation of Smaug - Elros.jpg
The "chief of the guards" from The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
Biographical Information
Other namesChief guard
TitlesCaptain
PositionChief of the guards
LocationElvenking's Halls, Woodland Realm
AffiliationElves of Mirkwood
LanguageSilvan Elvish/Sindarin

The chief of the guards, or just the chief guard, was a Wood-elf who served as the captain of the guards in Thranduil's halls in the Woodland Realm of northeastern Mirkwood.[1]

History[edit | edit source]

The chief of the guards served King Thranduil (and presumably also Thranduil's son Legolas). One evening in T.A. 2941[2] the chief of the guards was coaxed by Galion, the king's butler, to join him in tasting some new wine that had recently arrived to "see if it is fit for the king's table". The heady vintage from Dorwinion soon put the two Elves asleep, which gave Bilbo Baggins his chance to free Thorin and the other Dwarves (who had been imprisoned in Thranduil's dungeons during the Quest of Erebor). Using the chief of the guard's keys and his Magic Ring, Bilbo freed the Dwarves and secreted them into several empty barrels, though he did also return the keys the their proper place. When other Elves arrived to push the barrels in, they found the chief of the guards asleep alongside Galion and woke them both up.[1]

Portrayal in adaptations[edit | edit source]

1968: The Hobbit (1968 radio series):

David Brierly provided the voice of the chief of the guards, who is credited as the Elf Guard.

1980: Der Hobbit (1980 German radio series):

The chief of the guards is referred to as the Elven commander and is portrayed by Rolf Schult.

2013: The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug:

The chief of the guards was given the name Elros and is portrayed by the New Zealand actor Robin Kerr. Unlike in the book, he was given a slightly expanded role as well as the title of Keeper of the Keys. He assists in the capture of Thorin and Company in Mirkwood. He is still briefly seen by Bilbo (while he's wearing the One Ring) in the cellars of the Elvenking's Halls, where he is invited by Galion to drink with him, retaining his role in the book. They both end up passing out, allowing Bilbo and the Dwarves to escape through the cellars. Unlike the book, he is seen afterwards, after Thranduil had given the order to lock all gates to the kingdom, informing Legolas that Tauriel had left the halls armed with her bow and blade.

References