Elladan and Elrohir

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Tolkien's legendarium character
Race Half-elven
Book(s) The Lord of the Rings
Tolkien's legendarium character
Race Half-elven
Book(s) The Lord of the Rings

Elladan and Elrohir are fictional characters in J. R. R. Tolkien's Middle-earth, the sons of Elrond Half-elven and Celebrían and older brothers of Arwen.



Born in Third Age, 130, they have one younger sister, Arwen. Though Tolkien never specifically states that Elrohir and Elladan were twins, many clues were given to prove this possibility. First, they are described as being so similar that "few could tell them apart: dark-haired, grey-eyed, and their faces elven-fair, clad alike in bright mail beneath cloaks of silver-grey".[1] Second, one is rarely mentioned without the other and their names are only separated when they are speaking. Third, they were born in the same year, while most Elves wait at least ten years between children.[2] We are not told which brother is older.

The brothers were friends and companions-in-arms of the Rangers of the North, and helped defend the remnants of Arnor from evil after the fracturing and fall of the Northern Kingdom. Five centuries before the War of the Ring, Celebrían was captured by Orcs and tortured. Elladan and Elrohir rescued her and their father healed her wounds, but she lost all joy and departed Middle-earth. Ever since, they held a special grudge against the Orcs because of their mother's suffering at the Orcs' hands. During the War of the Ring, they fought alongside Aragorn in the battle of the Pelennor Fields in Gondor.

Like their sister and father, the brothers were faced with a choice between mortality and immortality, expressed by whether they would follow their father to Valinor at the time of his own departure at the end of the Third Age. As the brothers are explicitly described as remaining in Rivendell for a time with Celeborn after their father's departure, it is believed that they may also have chosen to live life as mortal men. However, Tolkien never wrote what their choices were, but noted that they were allowed to "delay" their choices.[3] Others believe they chose to be immortal, perhaps as they are never described as marrying a mortal, in contrast to their sister Arwen which forced her to choose mortality. In Appendix A of The Lord of The Rings, (Part V: Here Follows a Part of the Tale of Aragorn and Arwen), it is expressly spoken by Aragorn "the hour is indeed hard, yet it was made even in that day when we met under the white birches in the garden of Elrond where none now walk". As Arwen's brothers are not mentioned in her leave-taking from Minas Tirith in this same Tale and clearly were then permanently not in Rivendell, it would suggest that they did indeed follow their father across the sea, perhaps accompanied by their grandfather, Celeborn. However, many other options exist which could still involve either choice, such as a role in supporting the Northern Kingdom of Arnor as regents. But it is the very ambiguity and lack of mention of such details for which Tolkien is well known, and it is this which lends pathos and romance to the bigger picture. Thus the reader's brief contact with these brethren with such little definition and detail about their future life is consistent with Tolkien's intentions. [4]

Internal lineage[edit]


Elladan and Elrohir make an appearance in Peter Jackson's The Lord of the Rings film trilogy, at the very end when Aragorn is crowned and also sitting behind Elrond at the council in Rivendell. They also appear in the related The Lord of the Rings Trading Card. They feature as miniatures in The Lord of the Rings Strategy Battle Game, in which their character profiles maintain that they are twins. Moreover, they appear in the PC-game The Lord of the Rings Online: Shadows of Angmar, standing in the Trollshaws, west of the Ford of Bruinen and they are main characters in The Lord of the Rings: The War in the North released in 2011. They appear also in the 2009 fan film Born of Hope. Finally they appear in the 2011 Warner Bros. PC-game The Lord of the Rings: War in the North as NPCs.

Names and titles[edit]

The names Elladan and Elrohir can be loosely translated as "Elf-Man" and indicate the brothers' dual descent from both Elves and Men.

The element el is often translated as "star" and the Elves were called the Eldar, or "People of the Stars."

Elladan includes the element adan, the singular of Edain (the fathers of Men who became the Númenóreans). "Adan", strictly speaking, is "man", but in usage, it means Númenórean, advanced man, wise man, as in Dúnedain. There is also overlap with the word "dan" meaning "wright or smith". (Examples of this are Círdan [singular name, ship-wright] and Mírdain [plural name, jewel-smiths]). So the highest, most knowing sort of man is what is implied here - a man of lore and craft, significant ideas in the Tolkien universe.

Elrohir contains the word rohir meaning "horse-lord" or "knight." The name Elrohir may be translated as "Elf-knight" or "Elf-rider", alternatively "Star-knight" or "Star-rider", as El- can be translated as both Elf and Star

(This echoes the Dioscuri/Gemini twins of Greek and Roman mythology - among these two, Castor was a great horseman).

See also[edit]


  1. ^ The Return of the King, "The Passing of the Grey Company".
  2. ^ Elves' gestation periods are roughly a year long, so it would be hard to bring two sons into the world in the same year if they were not twins.
  3. ^ The Letters of J. R. R. Tolkien; Letter 153
  4. ^ Appendix A: Part V, The Lord of The Rings

External links[edit]