Elrond

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Elrond
Tolkien's legendarium character
Aliases Half-elven
Race Half-elven, later chose to become part of Elf-kind
Book(s) The Hobbit
The Lord of the Rings
The Silmarillion
Unfinished Tales

Elrond Half-elven is a fictional character in J. R. R. Tolkien's Middle-earth legendarium. He is introduced in The Hobbit, and plays a supporting role in The Lord of the Rings and The Silmarillion.

Character overview[edit]

Elrond was Lord of Rivendell, one of the mighty rulers of old that remained in Middle-earth in its Third Age. His name was explained by Tolkien in a letter from 1958 to Rhona Beare[1] as "Elf of the Cave", as he was found as an infant abandoned in a cave. Later notes, reflected in The Silmarillion[2] and The War of the Jewels,[3] interpret the name instead as "Star-dome" or "Vault of Stars" (a vault in the sense of the celestial dome).

He was the son of Eärendil and Elwing, and a great-grandson of Lúthien, born in Beleriand in the First Age, making him well over 6,000 years old by the time of the events described in The Lord of the Rings. Elrond's twin brother[4] was Elros Tar-Minyatur, the first High King of Númenor.

Although Elrond was considered half-elven, that was not meant to be an exact percentage value. Through Lúthien, daughter of Melian the Maia, he and his brother Elros were also descended from the Maiar, angelic beings who had come to Middle-earth thousands of years before. Elrond, along with his parents, his brother, and his children, were granted a choice between Elven or human fates by the Valar. Elrond chose to travel into the West and live as an immortal Elf, while his twin Elros chose mortality.

Biography[edit]

As documented in The Silmarillion, Elrond was born at the refuge of the Mouths of Sirion not long before its destruction by the sons of Fëanor. He and his brother, Elros, were captured alive. Their parents feared that they would be killed, but instead they were taken up by the brothers Maedhros and Maglor.[5]

Elrond went to Lindon with the household of Gil-galad, the last High King of the Noldor, when Beleriand was destroyed at the end of the First Age. He chose (like his parents but unlike his brother) to be counted among the Elves when the choice of kindreds was given to him.[6]

According to the appendices of The Return of the King, Elrond was Gil-galad's herald in the Second Age. During the War of the Elves and Sauron, Elrond was sent to Eregion when it was attacked by Sauron. He united his army with one from Eregion, led by Celeborn. Eregion was destroyed, however, and Elrond was driven back and surrounded by Sauron. Fortunately, an army led by Durin and Amroth assailed Sauron's host in the rear, causing the Dark Lord to turn and drive them back to Moria. Elrond was able to retreat to a valley where he made a settlement at Imladris (Rivendell). In 1700 an army from Númenor arrived in Lindon and Gwathló, and Sauron was trapped between the Númenóreans and Elrond.

The White Council decided that Eregion would be abandoned in favour of Imladris. Upon this occasion, Gil-galad entrusted Elrond with Vilya, the mightiest of the Three Rings of the Elves.

Near the end of the Second Age, the Last Alliance of Elves and Men was formed, and the army departed from Imladris, led by Elendil and Gil-galad, who were both killed in the Siege of Barad-dûr. Elrond and Círdan were the only ones to stand by Gil-galad's side when he fell.

In the early years of the Third Age, Elrond married Celebrían, daughter of Celeborn and Galadriel. The union produced twin brothers Elladan and Elrohir, and a daughter, Arwen Undómiel.

During the Third Age Elrond was the main ally of Arnor. Following its fall, Elrond harboured the Chieftains of the Dúnedain and sheltered the Sceptre of Annúminas, Arnor's symbol of royal authority. After being captured and tortured by Orcs in the Redhorn Gate, Celebrían left Elrond and went over the sea to seek healing. After Aragorn's father Arathorn was killed a few years after Aragorn's birth, Elrond raised Aragorn in his own household and became something of a surrogate father to him.

In The Hobbit, Elrond gave shelter to Bilbo Baggins's party, after which, presumably, the two became friends. He received Bilbo as a permanent guest when the latter left the Shire some 60 years later.

In The Fellowship of the Ring, he headed the Council of Elrond, at which it was decided that the One Ring should be destroyed.

Elrond remained in Rivendell until the destruction of both the Ring and Sauron in The Return of the King. He then travelled to Minas Tirith to see Arwen marry Aragorn, now King of the Reunited Kingdom of Arnor and Gondor. Three years later, at the approximate age of 6,520, Elrond left Middle-earth to go over the Sea with the Ring-bearers, never to return.

Portrayal in adaptations[edit]

Elrond in Ralph Bakshi's animated version of The Lord of the Rings.

Cyril Ritchard voiced the role of Elrond in the 1977 Rankin/Bass animated film of The Hobbit, created for television. In Ralph Bakshi's 1978 animated adaptation of The Lord of the Rings, Elrond was voiced by André Morell. When Rankin/Bass attempted to finish the story (left incomplete by Bakshi and his financial backers) with The Return of the King in 1980, actor Paul Frees voiced Elrond in the same style as Ritchard, who had since died. In the Rankin/Bass version, Elrond was depicted with a pointed beard and a crown of stars floating around his head.

Matthew Locricchio played Elrond in National Public Radio's 1979 radio production of The Lord of the Rings.

Hugh Dickson played Elrond in BBC Radio's 1981 serialisation of The Lord of the Rings.

In the 1993 Finnish television miniseries Hobitit, Elrond is played by Leif Wager.

In the The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey and The Lord of the Rings film trilogy directed by Peter Jackson, Elrond was portrayed by Hugo Weaving. Elrond's personality differs (see below), and after communicating telepathically with Galadriel sends a battalion of Elves, led by Haldir to aid the defenders of Helm's Deep, an action found nowhere in the book. Also, some events concerning Elrond in The Return of the King are altered. Elrond himself met with Aragorn at Dunharrow, gave him Andúril, a sword reforged from the broken pieces of Isildur's sword Narsil, and told him to take the Paths of the Dead. In the book, his sons Elladan and Elrohir, along with a company of Rangers led by Halbarad, met Aragorn on the road from Isengard to Helm's Deep, prior to the Muster of Rohan. Elrohir gave Aragorn a message from Elrond, reminding him of the Paths of the Dead. They also brought a royal banner of Gondor, made by Arwen, which Aragorn subsequently used. Aragorn simply took the reforged sword with him when leaving Rivendell much earlier in the story.

In the 2006 musical adaptation of The Lord of the Rings, Elrond was portrayed by Victor A. Young.

In video game The Lord of the Rings: The Battle for Middle-earth II Elrond, after planning the war in the North and sending the Fellowship to destroy the One Ring, forms an alliance with the Dwarves to repel Sauron's forces, defending Rivendell from goblin assaults. He leads the first strike in the final battle at Dol Guldur, joined by other Elves and Dwarves, enabling him to defeat Sauron's remaining forces. The Evil version of the game portrays Elrond and Arwen being two of the few survivors of Sauron's attacks, with Rivendell the last stronghold; all other powers of Good, including the Fellowship, Galadriel, and Eagles, join with them, but all are slain, and Sauron triumphs over Middle-earth.

Elrond is also one of the major Non-Player Characters (NPCs) in The Lord of the Rings Online. Residing in the Last Homely House in Rivendell, he is frequently consulted by players seeking council in battling threats to the northern lands of Eriador.

Personality[edit]

In the Lord of The Rings novel, Elrond raised Aragorn as a foster-son, after Aragorn's father Arathorn died. In that context, Elrond's condition that Aragorn become King of Gondor and Arnor before marrying his daughter Arwen is a gracious gesture (especially in comparison to the extravagant demands of Thingol, his ancient forefather). Elrond also reluctantly accepted that his personal loss (Arwen's choice of mortality) would be for the greater good of Man, as she would help to renew the declining lineage of the Dúnedain.[7] At his council, Elrond also reasoned that Isildur could not bring himself to destroy the One Ring, since Isildur was the only one that stood by Elendil in the last challenge (while Elrond and Círdan were with Gil-galad) and because the Ring was a weregild for the deaths of his father and brother.[8]

By contrast, in Jackson's film adaptation, Elrond believes that Men are weak, citing Isildur's failure, and he urges Arwen to leave Middle-earth with him.[9] Elrond only changes his mind and helps the cause against Sauron after consulting with Galadriel, and still refuses to allow Arwen to stay, even to the point of deceiving her about the nature of her future. He allows the shards of Narsil to be reforged only after Arwen irrevocably chooses mortality for herself.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Finwë
of the Noldor
 
Indis
of the Vanyar
 
Olwë
of the Teleri
 
House of Hador
 
House of Haleth
 
House of Bëor
 
Thingol
of the Teleri
 
Melian
the Maia
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Fingolfin
 
Finarfin
 
Eärwen
 
Galdor
 
Hareth
 
Barahir
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Turgon
 
Elenwë
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Huor
 
 
 
Beren
 
 
 
Lúthien
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Idril
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Tuor
 
 
Nimloth
 
Dior
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Eärendil
 
 
 
 
 
Elwing
 
Eluréd
 
Elurín
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Galadriel
 
Celeborn
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Elros
 
 
 
Elrond
 
Celebrían
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Kings of Númenor
Lords of Andúnië
High Kings of Arnor
Kings of Arthedain
Chieftains of the Dúnedain
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Aragorn
 
Arwen
 
Elladan
 
Elrohir
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Eldarion
 
A number of
unnamed daughters

Colour key:
     Elves
     Men
     Maiar
     Half-elven
     Half-elven who chose the fate of elves
     Half-elven who chose the fate of mortal men

References[edit]

  1. ^ Letters, no. 211, p. 281–282
  2. ^ The Silmarillion, Entry for "Elrond" in the Index, p. 327; and Entry for "-rond" in the Appendix, p. 363.
  3. ^ The War of the Jewels (History of Middle-earth, Vol XI), "Quendi and Eldar", p. 414.
  4. ^ J. R. R. Tolkien (1994). "The Tale of Years of the First Age". In Christopher Tolkien. The War of the Jewels. Boston & New York: Houghton Mifflin. pp. 342–354. ISBN 0-395-71041-3.  Elrond and Elros are born in the same year, 532 of the Years of the Sun in the First Age.
  5. ^ Tolkien, J.R.R. The Silmarillion (George Allen & Unwin paperback edition, 1983), pp. 296-297.
  6. ^ Tolkien, J.R.R. The Silmarillion (George Allen & Unwin paperback edition, 1983), p. 306, p. 314, and pp. 343-344.
  7. ^ Tolkien, J. R. R. (1955), The Return of the King, The Lord of the Rings, Boston: Houghton Mifflin (published 1987), Appendices, A, (V): Here Follows a Part of The Tale of Aragorn and Arwen, ISBN 0-395-08256-0 
  8. ^ Tolkien, J. R. R. (1954), The Fellowship of the Ring, The Lord of the Rings, Boston: Houghton Mifflin (published 1987), Book II, chapter 2: The Council of Elrond, ISBN 0-395-08254-4 
  9. ^ Quotes at the Internet Movie Database

External links[edit]