From Tolkien Gateway
Latest comment: 2 March by IvarTheBoneless in topic Thranduil's infobox image

Is Thranduil Really a Blond?

The only mention of Thranduil possibly having pale hair is in the Hobbit, a source that is rife with Tolkien’s reconsiderations (Elrond is described as an “elf-friend” rather than the half-elf he actually is), and when Tolkien was rewriting his mythos, Tolkien changed the hair colours of ‘gold haired’ elves to a darker colour, one noteworthy case was Lúthien who was originally golden-haired.

So it’s possible that Tolkien was planning on retconning Thranduil’s hair colour when he began to rewrite the Hobbit but never came to finish it. Moreover Thranduil is a Teleri elf, specifically a Sindar, and therefore shouldn’t have gold hair, as Sindar traditionally have brown hair, and even the close kin of Thingol had silver hair, not golden.

Also it’s entirely possible that the golden colour of his hair may have come from the light of the fires the elves had lit fo their feast.

Side note: there’s a mousy-haired elf four minutes into the movie Fellowship of the Ring who’s believed to be Thranduil, as stated by a fan who’s met the cast of the film.

Excess Information

I am divided about articles such as these. It is very well written and includes a lot of information, however much of it is also (well-written) peripheral information, not directly related to Thranduil. Such information is the Last Alliance, the Necromancer, the Quest of Erebor, how Smaug died, the Hunt of Gollum. All in all, this article is a general history of the Elves of Mirkwood. Yes, Thranduil fought with the Last Alliance but his biography is not a synopsis of the War. Yes, Thranduil did have two encounters with Thorin and Co., but his biography is not a synopsis of their Quest. Yes, Thranduil was alive and ruled the Elves of Mirkwood during all of their recorded history, and perhaps he allowed or participated in the hunt for Gollum, but his life is not tied to the history of his realm.

My normal reaction as a reader/editor would be to trim much of those details, which can be repeated elsewhere (eg. Elves of Mirkwood or even Woodland Realm), but I am sure that another member of our fellowship considered a good thing to put his talent and effort in compiling a complete narrative of the events surrounding Thranduil. From his point of view, my trimming would be butchering this well-writen article.

Thranduil is just one example of such articles with much peripheral information. What is your opinion? Sage 12:39, 14 November 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]

If a piece of information loses its peripheral status when moved to another, specific article, then I'd say it's a good move.--Morgan 12:49, 14 November 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]
+1. --Ederchil (Talk/Contribs/Edits) 13:16, 14 November 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Morgan, you mean that the movements toward the Thranduil article were good moves? Or you suggest the opposite?
Ederchil, I thought your +1 falls under Morgan's comment, but the ident shows it falls under mine; so, you agree that Thranduil article has too much indirect information and has to be trimmed? Sage 11:36, 22 November 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]
You. Keep it as concise and to the point as possible. --Ederchil (Talk/Contribs/Edits) 11:39, 22 November 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Sage: yes, I agree that the Thranduil article should be trimmed.--Morgan 11:40, 22 November 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]
In my newness to editing here, I ended up adding more information, including information about the War of the Last Alliance, which may have only added to the bloat. My view was that of an Elf fan who reads The Hobbit and finds it woefully lacking on Thranduil's backstory, heck, it doesn't even have his name in it. Then there's people who only saw the films, and they know next to nothing aside from Peter Jackson's version of the character. When it's a very popular character, there's a desire to know as much about him as there is to know. For example, the War of the Ring information is terribly interesting. However, if brevity is the order of the day, I know I'm really bad at that. I don't do laconic well. Should I just remove what I added today? I fear I made it worse, not better. Elf-esteem 23:27, 29 November 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Okay, I moved some of the stuff I wrote and some of the war and population stuff to other pages where it made more sense. But, like I wrote last week, Thranduil has a big fandom, hungry for info, and this is a great resource. There is a lot of fanon about him, and this clears up most of it in one spot. Whomever it was that started this article did a good job. I think it's awesome to have pretty much everything he was involved in, with his part in it, clarified on one page. I think it's incorrect to say that his life is not tied to the history of his realm; I think it is inseparable. He is the last Elvenking in Middle-earth. Elves are, literally, tied to their lands and the land remembers them. That's how they are characterized. I can find multiple references that support that notion. But, then again, I fully acknowledge that I am wholly bias for the Elves. :P Elf-esteem 08:17, 6 December 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]

When Thranduil was born?

I cound't find a canon source which says Thranduil was present in the First Age... Haran 20:43, 15 August 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Unfinished Tales states categorically that Oropher was from Doriath, but it is rather ambiguous about Thranduil. I was obviously similarly sceptical about this as it was me who added {{fact}} to the statement. --Mith (Talk/Contribs/Edits) 14:24, 16 August 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
If it is of any consequence, Foster's Guide mentions he was born sometime in FA although his sources aren't specific. The sources [edit: those I can recall right now] don't exclude the possibility that he was born in Lindon after the WoW. We can add "Possibly First Age or early Second Age" with a ref to the Guide, or some footnote. It's not orthodox but it works. Sage 16:21, 16 August 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I made a modification in the box and in the text, look there and please make any necessary corrections. Haran 17:34, 16 August 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I have removed the direct statements about Thranduil's being from Doriath, since there is no clear indication that he was born there, although "a handful of Sindar journeyed west after the ruin of Doriath," of which Thranduil was part according to the quote before that, may suggest he was born there. What are your thoughts? --Quirinius 08:57, 2 March 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I think a "Controversies" section would be useful. Definitely, a matter that requires so much explanation should not be placed in the infobox as a clear statement. --LorenzoCB 15:35, 2 March 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Could you do the honours? :) I am not that familiar with writing such sections. --Quirinius 16:46, 2 March 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Gladly, but it's been a while since the last time I had time to sit and properly write anything in the wiki. --LorenzoCB 19:07, 2 March 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Thranduil was definitely born in Doriath, and the note deleted by the anonymous editor [1] explained exactly how and why this conclusion is not just supported, but logically inevitable from JRRT's explicit statements. Most of the edits since then have stripped out additional factually supported content on the basis that cites were missing, because the citations were removed by a series of anonymous editors. I plan to review the edits made to this article since then and revise accordingly, mostly restoring previous content and improving the citations further to hopefully prevent drive-by randos from doing this again in the future.

To spell it out explicitly:

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; for they (and other similar adventurers forgotten in the legends or only briefly named) came from Doriath after its ruin, and had no desire to leave Middle-earth, nor to be merged with the other Sindar of Beleriand, dominated by the Noldorin Exiles for whom the folk of Doriath had no great love.

All of the Sindar who went to the Greenwood came from Doriath.

In the beginning of [the Second Age] many of the High Elves still remained. Most of these dwelt in Lindon west of the Ered Luin; but before the building of the Barad-dûr many of the Sindar passed eastward, and some established realms in the forests far away, where their people were mostly Silvan Elves. Thranduil, king in the north of Greenwood the Great, was one of these.

Thranduil was a Sindar who went to the Greenwood.

All of the Sindar who went to the Greenwood came from Doriath. Thranduil was a Sindar who went to the Greenwood. Therefore Thranduil came from Doriath. QED. --Mord 06:07, 22 March 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

That is not a "full logical proof". The statement that it is "logically inevitable" that Thranduil was born in Doriath is not true, the claim that Thranduil was born in Doriath is speculation. J.R.R. Tolkien did not say when and where Thranduil was born. The statement in the last passage written by J.R.R. Tolkien in Appendix B of the chapter The History of Galadriel and Celeborn in Unfinished Tales of the Númenor and Middle-earth does not say if Thranduil was one of the "handful of Sindar" that came with Oropher "from Doriath after its ruin" among the "Silvan Elves" of Greenwood the Great. Thranduil could have been born in another place in Beleriand before the ruin of Doriath and then have been brought to Doriath and then moved on to Greenwood the Great. Thranduil could also have been born somewhere on the way from Doriath to Greenwood the Great in Eriador, in the vales of Anduin or even in Greenwood the Great. Since his father (and maybe even his mother) was a Sinda, he would still be a Sinda as the son of a Sinda. The quote from Appendix B of LOTR does not make any statement when or where Thranduil was born. This quote can also be interpreted just to mean that Tranduil was a Sinda who had dwelt in Lindon in the beginning of the Second Age (and thus could have been born in Lindon) and that he had passed eastward (from whatever point of departure) and established a realm in a forest, where the people were mostly Silvan Elves. It can also be interpreted just to mean that he was a Sinda, who was king of a realm whose people was mostly Silvan Elves. It can be interpreted that his realm had been establishd by a Sinda who had travelled east, but that had not been necessarily him, but could have been his father. Thranduil was not "definitely" born in Doriath. It is just speculation. It is just one possibility among other alternative possibilities. In my opinion, the place of birth of Thranduil is not an important piece of information that is particularly relevant for the article about Thranduil and should be left open if it is based on speculation, even if this speculation is based on statements by J.R.R. Tolkien. --Akhorahil 09:04, 22 March 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

The distinction between inference and speculation is important. The various alternative interpretations you have suggested that allow Thranduil to have been born somewhere other than Doriath are either incompatible with the evidence we have or require substantial invention of detail:
  • For Thranduil to have been born in Beleriand outside Doriath, Oropher and his wife must have been Iathrim who moved elsewhere in Beleriand, had Thranduil, then re-entered Doriath after its ruin only to leave for the Greenwood.
  • For Thranduil to have been born enroute to the Greenwood, Oropher must have abandoned his family somewhere along the way, and then they must have reunited with him in the Greenwood at some later time, because certainly all those in Oropher's party who arrived in the Greenwood with him were "from Doriath."
  • Thranduil could not have been born in Greenwood itself, because he is one "of the Sindar [who] passed eastward, and [...] established realms in the forests" per App B.
  • App B does not state that Oropher or Thranduil ever dwelt in Lindon; it states that as of the beginning of the SA there were still many High Elves (including Sindar) in Middle-earth: some of these dwelt in Lindon, while others (such as Thranduil) passed eastward before SA 1000.
  • I don't consider it possible that App B's statement that Thranduil "passed eastward" is actually in reference to his father.
In order for Thranduil to have been born anywhere other than Doriath, both of these two propositions need to be taken as true:
  1. Thranduil was not with his father when Oropher entered the Greenwood. JRRT did not explicitly tell us that he was, so OK, I can grant this for the sake of argument. (Though he must have been born already at this time.)
  2. The passage from UT 259 must be interpreted to mean that "they and other similar adventurers" encompasses only a very specific subset of the Sindar who came to the eastern forests in the SA, not all such, and not Thranduil.
Point 2 is where I really take issue. The passage on UT 259 is about Thranduil and how he fashioned his halls in the image of Menegroth; all other detail in the passage flows from that. I don't find it plausible from an English language standpoint that anyone, least of all JRRT, would write an essay in such a way as to exclude the subject from its own ostensibly-supporting details.
Furthermore, I think it is justified to read the "they" in UT 259 even more broadly as referring to all those Sindar who came among the Silvan Elves in the early SA, whether in the Greenwood or Lórien. So whether or not Thranduil was part of Oropher's party specifically, I believe he still must be understood to be part of "they and other similar adventurers" who are said to have come from Doriath.
All that said, I do recognize that reasonable people can reach differing conclusions when the argument hinges on the interpretation of, effectively, a single pronoun. If you remain unconvinced and are unwilling to accept a decisive statement of Thranduil's birth in Doriath in the First Age, I'm willing to accept a "probably," "possibly," or "see below," as long as the evidence for his birth in Doriath in the First Age is addressed somewhere in the article. "Teach the controversy." --Mord 06:23, 25 March 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Thranduil sailed west?

The text says "he probably passed over the Sea to Valinor eventually". Is it probable indeed? Thranduil is descendant of elves from Beleriand who had the desire of living as avari... They are excellent candidates to not pass over the Sea. Haran 17:34, 16 August 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I think it is possible that he sailed West eventually, like his son. But that part in the article seems unnecessary to me, as it is just a speculation. Amaranth 16:15, 31 August 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
+1. It is, of course, possible. However, there is no stated evidence for it and, therefore, is simply speculation on our part. Thranduil's history should end with "Thranduil's ultimate fate is unknown". --Mith (Talk/Contribs/Edits) 17:08, 31 August 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
+1 I agree just saying his fate is unknown is best. It's true. Elf-esteem 23:27, 29 November 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]

The Resources bullet point list

Are those necessary? It's sort of redundant to have a bullet point list of resources under the list of cited resources. Elf-esteem 23:27, 29 November 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Those bullet points are from about ten years ago before we had the current technical abilities to insert proper inline references. They're mostly kept now in articles that currently lack inline references. They can be removed whenever you encounter them. --Mith (Talk/Contribs/Edits) 17:37, 12 December 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]


I noticed that Thranduil is referred to as a Sinda, is that singular? The Hobbit says that Thranduil was of the Sindar race, does that make him a Sindar?

He wasn't the only Elf-Lord to hold a kingdom without a ring

Círdan held the Havens without a ring - he gave it to Gandalf. Unsigned comment by (talk).

A fair challenge. --Mith (Talk/Contribs/Edits) 10:37, 1 April 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Thranduil's title

Latest revision as of 16:10, 3 May 2020: The title of "King of the Woodland Realm" was never explicitly given to him but he IS reffered to as the "King of the Silvan Elves".

What you said is true but there is also a population of Silvan Elves living in Lothlórien and Thranduil does not rule over them so it is incorrect to say he is the King of the Silvan Elves and it is important to differentiate between the two. To compromise this I will put the title as written in the index of Unfinished Tales for you with a source.--Gaetano 23:30, 3 May 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]

The problem I have with the title in place is that "King of the Silvan Elves in northern Mirkwood" isn't all capitalized. This indicates that it is not an official title within the legendarium. We do know that the titles given to both Oropher and Thranduil include "King of the Silvan Elves", the common element between their titles. That being said, Oropher is said to have precedence over the Elves of Amdir in the Second Age as according to the Unfinished Tales, "he led the host of the Silvan Elves to battle" after joining with Amdir's army.--Tolkienator 13:56, 1 April 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Massive edit glitch

For those that are concerned, the page glitched when i made my edit and all the info was deleted which is why there's such a big edit. I only added the OVOTL. That's all. It was a glitch/accident. Just a heads up for those that are concerned. Thanks for you understanding!--Tolkienator 13:52, 1 April 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Potential Flaw in "Personality" Section, ie. white gems.

Underneath the "Personality" section of Thranduil's page, it says, "He had a particular fondness for white gems and wanted to acquire more: 'if the elf-king had a weakness it was for treasure, especially for silver and white gems; and though his hoard was rich, was eager for more, since he had not yet as great a treasure as other elf-lords of old'" and it attributes this quote to "Flies and Spiders" from The Hobbit. However, this quote from The Hobbit is actually referring to the ancient King Thingol of Doriath, rather than Thranduil, according to Anderson's 2002 annotated edition of the book. As such, I think this citation isn't necessarily good proof of the inclusion of this point in Thranduil's personality description.

(Not sure if this has been talked about already, or if this isn't how to mention a potential error. Apologies. I'm rather new to the whole Wiki page thing.) Roget (talk) 20:37, 19 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I think that the part that refers to Thingol is the “other elf-lords of old” bit. The rest of the quote seems quite applicable to Thranduil. Aeglos (talk) 00:20, 20 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Thranduil's infobox image

I think that Thranduil's infobox image should be changed, to more accurately reflect the appearance of Thranduil as Tolkien described him - this issue has been brought up by myself in the TG Discord.

My own personal pick would be this one by Yulia Alekseeva.

However, the other two that I fancy are the one by Jenny Dolfen, and the one by Marya Filatova.

What do you think? - IvarTheBoneless (talk) 13:21, 2 March 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]

All three are great choices; but my preference is the Jenny Dolfen one. JR Snow (talk) 14:36, 2 March 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
So far in the Discord, 2 users (+ myself) agreed on this one by Yulia Alekseeva. - IvarTheBoneless (talk) 17:50, 2 March 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]