From Tolkien Gateway
Born of Hope - Dírhael.jpg
Ivorwen (right) from Born of Hope
Biographical Information
Birthbefore T.A. 2907[1]
HouseHouse of Isildur[2]
Physical Description
GalleryImages of Ivorwen

Ivorwen was the wife of Dírhael and the mother of Gilraen.[3]

History[edit | edit source]

When Arathorn, the son of the Chieftain of the Dúnedain Arador, wished to wed Gilraen, Gilraen's father Dírhael was against this marriage, because Gilraen was still too young for marriage according to the customs of the Dúnedain and he foresaw that Arathorn would only have a short life. Ivorwen, however, also had the gift of foresight, and persuaded her husband to allow the marriage by saying that the days were darkening before the storm, and that hope might be born for the Dúnedain if Arathorn wedded Gilraen now instead of delaying the marriage. This was a small part to play in the history of Middle-earth, but it had great consequences - the son of Arathorn and Gilraen was Aragorn, who would one day reunite the ancient Kingdoms of the Dúnedain. Arathorn was slain when Aragorn was only two.[3]

Etymology[edit | edit source]

Ivorwen is a Sindarin name. Its meaning is not glossed, but it suggests the suffixal form of gwend ("maiden"). The meaning of the first element is unclear.[4]

Genealogy[edit | edit source]

House of Isildur
Arathorn I
2693 - 2848
House of Isildur
2757 - 2912
b. T.A.
2820 - 2930
b. T.A.
b. T.A.
Arathorn II
2873 - 2933
2907 - 3007
Aragorn II Elessar
T.A. 2931 - Fo.A. 120

Other versions of the legendarium[edit | edit source]

In a manuscript that was a close predecessor of Appendix A, Ivorwen is present at the naming of Aragorn and announces that he will have Kingly Valour (which is the translation of the name Aragorn). She also says that she sees a green stone on his breast that will be the origin of his true name and of what he will primarily be known for, because he will be a healer and a renewer. The other people present did not know what she meant, because Aragorn did not have a green stone yet; he only received it later from Galadriel.[5]

Another manuscript of what would later become Appendix A mentions that Ivorwen was the daughter of Gilbarad and that she and her husband lived in a hidden fastness in the wilds of Eriador. It also mentions that both Ivorwen and Dírhael were descended from Isildur, but not of the direct line of the Heirs of Isildur, and that they both had foresight in many things. Gilraen is said to have been younger than the age at which women of the Dúnedain usually married, and that she did not want to be a wife yet and asked her parents for advice about the proposed marriage. Dírhael is not said to have been against the marriage, but merely said that he foresaw that Arathorn would be the lord of the Dúnedain soon, but would not live long after that. Ivorwen then said that if they wedded, their child would be great and would bring the Dúnedain out of the shadows. Gilraen then agreed to the marriage, because of this advice from her parents.[2]


  1. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix B, "The Third Age", entry for the year 2907, p. 1088, the year of birth of Gilraen
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Peoples of Middle-earth, "IX. The Making of Appendix A": (ii) "The Tale of Aragorn and Arwen"
  3. 3.0 3.1 J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix A, "The Númenorean Kings", "The Tale of Aragorn and Arwen", p. 1057
  4. Paul Strack, "S. Ivorwen f.", Eldamo - An Elvish Lexicon (accessed 5 February 2022)
  5. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Peoples of Middle-earth, "Foreword", Note on the text