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Things of Middle-earth

Hírilorn

Type: Plants

Meaning: lady-tree

Other Names: Neldor 'three trees'

Description:

A great beech tree with three trunks in Doriath, in which Thingol tried to imprison his daughter Lúthien:
Not far from the gates of Menegroth stood the greatest of all the trees in the Forest of Neldoreth; and that was a beech-forest and the northern half of the kingdom. This mighty beech was named Hírilorn, and it had three trunks, equal in girth, smooth in rind, and exceeding tall; no branches grew from them for a great height above the ground. Far aloft between the shafts of Hírilorn a wooden house was built, and there Lúthien was made to dwell; and ladders were taken away and guarded, save only when the servants of Thingol brought her such things as she needed.

It is told in the The Lay of Leithian how she escaped from the house in Hírilorn; for she put forth her arts of enchantment, and caused her hair to grow to great length, and of it she wove a dark robe that wrapped her beauty like a shadow, and it was laden with a spell of sleep. Of the strands that remained she twined a rope, and she let it down from her window; and as the end swayed above the guards that sat beneath the house they fell into a deep slumber. Then Lúthien climbed from her prison, and shrouded in her shadowy cloak she escaped from all eyes, and vanished out of Doriath.

The Silmarillion, Quenta Silmarillion, Ch 19, Of Beren and Lúthien

At the feet of Hírilorn the great beech Lúthien met them walking slow, and some bore torches beside the bier. There she set her arms about Beren, and kissed him bidding him await her beyond the Western Sea; and he looked upon her eyes ere the spirit left him.

The Silmarillion, Quenta Silmarillion, Ch 19, Of Beren and Lúthien


Etymology
heru 'lord' in Herumor, Herunúmen; Sindarin hir in Gonnhirrim, Rohirrim, Barahir; híril 'lady' in Hírilorn....

orn 'tree' in Celeborn, Hírilorn; cf. Fangorn 'Treebeard' and mallorn, plural mellyrn, the trees of Lothlórien.

The Silmarillion, Appendix: Elements in Quenya and Sindarin Names

neldor 'beech' in Neldoreth; but it seems that this was properly the name of Hírilorn, the great beech-tree with three trunks (nelde 'three' and orn).

The Silmarillion, Appendix: Elements in Quenya and Sindarin Names

Contributors:
Zimraphel. 8Jul03
Elena Tiriel 10Feb08

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