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Places in Middle-earth

Lothlórien (Forest)

Type: Forests, Fields, Plains

Region: Rhovanion/Misty Mtns

Meaning: Lórien of the Blossom

Other Names
Golden Wood
Quenya: Lórien, Laurenandë, Laurelindorinan 'Valley of Singing Gold'
Sindarin: Glornan, Nan Laur
Nandorin: Lórinand, Lindórinand 'Vale of the Land of Singers'
Westron, by the Rohirrim: Dwimordene 'Phantom-vale'

Location: The forest east of the Misty Mountains and north of Rohan, largely between the Celebrant and the Anduin, known for its mallorn trees; location of Celeborn and Galadriel's realm, Lórien.

Description:

The Forest of Lothlorien in Spring.
The Forest of Lothlorien in Spring, by JRR Tolkien.
'I hope to come to the woods where the Silverlode flows into the Great River — out yonder.' They looked as [Aragorn] pointed, and before them they could see the stream leaping down to the trough of the valley, and then running on and away into the lower lands, until it was lost in a golden haze.

'There lie the woods of Lothlórien!' said Legolas. 'That is the fairest of all the dwellings of my people. There are no trees like the trees of that land. For in the autumn their leaves fall not, but turn to gold. Not till the spring comes and the new green opens do they fall, and then the boughs are laden with yellow flowers; and the floor of the wood is golden, and golden is the roof, and its pillars are of silver, for the bark of the trees is smooth and grey. So still our songs in Mirkwood say.'

The Fellowship of the Ring, LoTR Book 2, Ch 6, Lothlórien

'We have come to the eaves of the Golden Wood. Alas that it is winter!'

Under the night the trees stood tall before them, arched over the road and stream that ran suddenly beneath their spreading boughs. In the dim light of the stars their stems were grey, and their quivering leaves a hint of fallow gold.

'Lothlórien!' said Aragorn. 'Glad I am to hear again the wind in the trees! We are still little more than five leagues 1 from the Gates, but we can go no further.'

The Fellowship of the Ring, LoTR Book 2, Ch 6, Lothlórien

'[Its] folk are seldom seen, and maybe they dwell now deep in the woods and far from the northern border.'

The Fellowship of the Ring, LoTR Book 2, Ch 6, Lothlórien

They had gone little more than a mile into the forest when they came upon another stream flowing down swiftly from the tree-clad slopes that climbed back westward towards the mountains. They heard it splashing over a fall away among the shadows on their right. Its dark hurrying waters ran across the path before them, and joined the Silverlode in a swirl of dim pools among the roots of trees.

'Here is Nimrodel!' said Legolas. 'Of this stream the Silvan Elves made many songs long ago, and still we sing them in the North, remembering the rainbow on its falls, and the golden flowers that floated in its foam.'

The Fellowship of the Ring, LoTR Book 2, Ch 6, Lothlórien

'It is told that [Nimrodel] had a house built in the branches of a tree that grew near the falls; for that was the custom of the Elves of Lórien, to dwell in the trees, and maybe it is so still. Therefore they were called the Galadhrim, the Tree-people. Deep in their forest the trees are very great.'

The Fellowship of the Ring, LoTR Book 2, Ch 6, Lothlórien

The Company now turned aside from the path, and went into the shadow of the deeper woods, westward along the mountain-stream away from Silverlode. Not far from the falls of Nimrodel they found a cluster of trees, some of which overhung the stream. Their great grey trunks were of mighty girth, but their height could not be guessed.

The Fellowship of the Ring, LoTR Book 2, Ch 6, Lothlórien

Day came pale from the East. As the light grew it filtered through the yellow leaves of the mallorn, and it seemed to the hobbits that the early sun of a cool summer's morning was shining. Pale-blue sky peeped among the moving branches. Looking through an opening on the south side of the flet Frodo saw all the valley of the Silverlode lying like a sea of fallow gold tossing gently in the breeze.

The Fellowship of the Ring, LoTR Book 2, Ch 6, Lothlórien

But soon Haldir turned aside into the trees and halted on the bank of the river under their shadows.

'There is one of my people yonder across the stream,' he said.... He gave a call like the low whistle of a bird, and out of a thicket of young trees an Elf stepped, clad in grey.... Haldir skilfully cast over the stream a coil of grey rope, and he caught it and bound the end about a tree near the bank.

'Celebrant is already a strong stream here, as you see,' said Haldir 'and it runs both swift and deep, and is very cold. We do not set foot in it so far north, unless we must. But in these days of watchfulness we do not make bridges. This is how we cross...!' He made his end of the rope fast about another tree, and then ran lightly along it, over the river and back again....

When this slender bridge had been made, the Company passed over....

[At] length all the Company was gathered on the east bank of the Silverlode....

'Now, friends,' said Haldir, 'you have entered the Naith of Lórien or the Gore, as you would say, for it is the land that lies like a spear-head between the arms of Silverlode and Anduin the Great. We allow no strangers to spy out the secrets of the Naith. Few indeed are permitted even to set foot there.'....

'The others may walk free for a while, until we come nearer to our dwellings, down in Egladil, in the Angle between the waters.'

The Fellowship of the Ring, LoTR Book 2, Ch 6, Lothlórien

[Frodo] could smell the trees and the trodden grass. He could hear many different notes in the rustle of the leaves overhead, the river murmuring away on his right, and the thin clear voices of birds in the sky. He felt the sun upon his face and hands when they passed through an open glade.

As soon as he set foot upon the far bank of Silverlode a strange feeling had come upon him, and it deepened as he walked on into the Naith: it seemed to him that he had stepped over a bridge of time into a corner of the Elder Days, and was now walking in a world that was no more. In Rivendell there was memory of ancient things; in Lórien the ancient things still lived on in the waking world. Evil had been seen and heard there, sorrow had been known; the Elves feared and distrusted the world outside: wolves were howling on the wood's borders: but on the land of Lórien no shadow lay.

The Fellowship of the Ring, LoTR Book 2, Ch 6, Lothlórien

Haldir... was now climbing to the high flet [on Cerin Amroth]....

As [Frodo] stepped out at last upon the lofty platform, Haldir... turned him toward the South....

Frodo... saw, still at some distance, a hill of many mighty trees, or a city of green towers: which it was he could not tell. Out of it, it seemed to him that the power and light came that held all the land in sway.... Then he looked eastward and saw all the land of Lórien running down to the pale gleam of Anduin.... Beyond the river the land appeared flat and empty, formless and vague, until far away it rose again like a wall, dark and drear. The sun that lay on Lothlórien had no power to enlighten the shadow of that distant height.

'There lies the fastness of Southern Mirkwood,' said Haldir.... 'In the midst upon a stony height stands Dol Guldur....'

The Fellowship of the Ring, LoTR Book 2, Ch 6, Lothlórien


Notes
1A league is approximately three of our miles.

Unfinished Tales, Part 3, Ch 1, The Disaster of the Gladden Fields: Appendix, Númenórean Linear Measures

Contributors:
Moriel 8May03
Lyllyn 14May03
Elithien 29Aug03
Elena Tiriel 9Oct04, 14Feb10, 1Oct11

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