“But my memory reaches back even to the Elder Days. Earendil was my sire, who was born in Gondolin before its fall; and my mother was Elwing, daughter of Dior, son of Lúthien of Doriath. I have seen three ages in the West of the world, and many defeats, and many fruitless victories.”
Elrond (b. F.A. 532) was the Lord of Rivendell and keeper of the great elven ring Vilya.
Appearance and Traits
“He was as noble and fair as an elf-lord, as strong as a warrior, as wise as a wizard, as venerable as a king of dwarves, and as kind as summer.”
― J.R.R. Tolkien
Elrond is described to seem ageless, resembling neither old nor young, however one could see in his face the memories and experiences of thousands of years. He looked venerable both like an old king, a wise wizard, and an experienced warrior in his prime.
Elrond is described as dark-haired, while his eyes were grey shining like starlight. He could be seen wearing a circlet of silver.
His parents were Eärendil and Elwing. He was thus Half-elven: Eärendil was the child of the mortal Tuor and the elf Idril, while Elwing was the grandchild of Beren (a Man) and Lúthien (daughter of the Elf-king Thingol and the Maia Melian). Consequently, Elrond was descended from all three tribes of the Elves (Vanyar and Noldor through Idril, Sindar through Luthien), a Maia, and all three houses of the Edain (Hador, Haleth and Bëor).
Elrond was born at the Havens of Sirion late in the First Age. His parents were Eärendil and Elwing and had a twin brother, Elros, who later became the first king of Númenor.
When the Sons of Fëanor attacked the Havens of Sirion, Elwing was taken by Ulmo. The twins were carried off, but later found near a waterfall and they were named as such; Elrond was discovered in a cave. Taken captive by Maglor, they were subsequently raised by him.
Following the War of Wrath, because of his Half-elven heritage the Valar gave Elrond and his brother a choice whether to be counted among the kindred of Elves or of Men. Elrond chose to belong to the Firstborn, while Elros chose to become mortal. It was Elros who voyaged over sea to Númenor following the star of Eärendil; whereas Elrond remained among the Elves and carried on the lineage of King Elwë. Elrond subsequently remained in Lindon with Gil-galad, where he became known as a healer and lore-master.
A fair being calling himself Annatar, emmissary of the Valar, came seeking entrance to Lindon during the Second Age. Elrond and Gil-galad sensed that he was not what he seemed, and denied him. They were correct, as proven in the later War of the Elves and Sauron. Elrond led Elves from Lindon in battle to defend Eregion. With them, and other Elves who fled the destruction of Eregion, he established Imladris in S.A. 1697.
Many more refugees joined Elrond's host as Sauron ravaged Eriador during the course of the war. By S.A. 1700, Imladris, despite being besieged, was the only part of Eriador not under Sauron's control. It was liberated by Gil-galad's and Tar-Minastir's forces. After Sauron's defeat, a Council was held at that time, establishing Elrond as Gil-galad's vice-regent in Eriador and that Imladris should be maintained as an Elvish stronghold.
Elrond marched with Gil-galad and Elendil during the War of the Last Alliance, serving as Gil-galad’s herald. He was present during the last battle of that war, witnessing the deaths of Gil-galad and Elendil. When Isildur cut the One Ring from Sauron’s hand at the conclusion of the battle, he and Círdan advised Isildur to destroy the Ring, but Isildur refused their counsel. Elrond subsequently returned to Rivendell, which prospered the coming years with the aid of the Ring of Air, Vilya, that Elrond had received from Gil-galad.
It has been argued that following Gil-galad’s death, Elrond had the right to become High King of the Noldor, but he never claimed the title. Indeed, after the Second Age ended, there were very few Noldor left in Middle-earth for there to be a king over them.
Following Isildur's death, Elrond received the shards of Narsil, which he preserved for many years. He began his long tradition of fostering the heirs of Isildur by helping to raise Isildur's son Valandil, who had been left in Rivendell during the War of the Last Alliance.
In T.A. 109, Elrond married Celebrían, the daughter of Galadriel and Celeborn. Their first children, the twins Elladan and Elrohir, were born in 130, and their daughter Arwen in 241.
During the late reign of Arveleg I, Rivendell was besieged by Angmar. After an incursion by Angmar into Eriador in T.A. 1409, the Elvenfolk of Rivendell joined those of Lindon in subduing the power of the Witch-king for many years.
Centuries later, when the Northern Kingdom fell, Elrond took the other heirlooms of Arnor (the Sceptre of Annúminas and the Ring of Barahir) into his keeping, holding them for the one who would eventually be able to reclaim the throne of Arnor.
Elrond along with others of the Wise were joined by the Wizard Gandalf who was sent by the Valar from the West. As they decided, Gandalf invaded Dol Guldur. The Necromancer withdrew and the Watchful Peace begun. In T.A. 2463 the Wise formed the White Council with the Wizard Saruman as its head.
Elrond was separated from his wife when she was taken by Orcs; their sons rescued her but Elrond was unable to heal her. She had to leave for the West in 2510.
In T.A. 2851 the White Council met to decide on whether to act on Gandalf's discovery of the identity of the Necromancer as Sauron, but Saruman dissuaded the others from acting upon Gandalf's revelation.
In T.A. 2933, Elrond took Aragorn as his foster-son in Rivendell, and had Arwen live in Lothlórien with her Grandmother.
Elrond named Aragorn Estel ('Hope') and concealed his heritage from him until he came of age. When Aragorn became an adult, Elrond gave him the Ring of Barahir and the shards of Narsil, foreseeing that Aragorn might be the one to claim the thrones of Gondor and Arnor. When Aragorn fell in love with Arwen, Elrond revealed to him that Arwen shared the choice of the Half-elven, and that one or the other of them would ultimately be parted from her forever. Elrond insisted that Arwen could not marry Aragorn until he became king of both Gondor and Arnor.
In T.A. 2941 Elrond welcomed Thorin and Company into his home, the Last Homely House before the wild, in Rivendell. On midsummer eve - the night before the Dwarves, Bilbo, and Gandalf continued on their journey eastward - Elrond examined the swords which they had found in the trolls' cave. He read the runes and revealed that Thorin's sword was called Orcrist, the 'Goblin-cleaver', and that Gandalf sword was named Glamdring, the 'Foe-hammer'. He told them that they were Elven swords from the ancient city of Gondolin, long ago destroyed. He then looked at Thrór's Map and found that there were moon-letters. From the moon of that midsummer eve he could read the words, 'five feet high the door and three may walk abreast'; and 'stand by the grey stone when the thrush knocks and the setting sun with the last light of Durin's Day will shine upon the keyhole'. This information proved vital for Bilbo and the Dwarves to enter the Lonely Mountain through its secret entrance.
During that same year, the White Council assailed Dol Guldur and rid Mirkwood of the Necromancer's presence. Upon Bilbo and Gandalf's return to Rivendell, Elrond and the grey wizard discussed this and the events of the Lonely Mountain. They both agreed that it would be better if the Necromancer were banished from the world altogether.
The White Council last met in T.A. 2953, when Gandalf expressed his concerns that the One Ring was Bilbo's ring found in the Goblin-town. Saruman quieted him, insisting that the Ring has been swept out to sea.
The War of the Ring
When Frodo first left the Shire with the One Ring, it was always his intention to go to Rivendell to seek the advice of Elrond. Indeed, in his letter left at Bree, Gandalf counselled him to do so. Elrond healed Frodo of his wound sustained at Weathertop. Elrond then hosted the feast that was held when Frodo recovered.
Elrond presided at the Council of Elrond. During that meeting, he narrated what he knew of the history of Isildur and the Ring. He identified Aragorn as the Heir of Isildur, and when Frodo ultimately volunteered to carry the Ring, Elrond affirmed that decision as correct. Elrond also appeared to have selected the members of the Fellowship other than Frodo and Sam, accepting Merry and Pippin only reluctantly.
Later, Elrond sent his sons Elladan and Elrohir to join the Dúnedain Rangers who rode to Rohan to join Aragorn. Through Elrohir, Elrond advised Aragorn to take the Paths of the Dead. During the Last Debate, Elrohir supported Aragorn’s decision to attack Mordor as a diversion to allow Frodo time to reach Mount Doom, saying that this was Elrond’s advice. Following the War of the Ring, Elrond escorted Arwen to Minas Tirith for her marriage to Aragorn, and parted from her in great sorrow.
Elrond was one of the Elves who took the White Ship to Valinor along with Frodo, Gandalf, and the other Ring-bearers. The Third Age's end is marked by Elrond’s departure.
Elrond was created for The Hobbit. Subsequently he became the only character to appear in all three of The Silmarillion, The Hobbit, and The Lord of the Rings.
In the chapter A Short Rest of The Hobbit, it is said of Elrond that he “was an elf-friend — one of those people whose fathers came into the strange stories before the beginning of History, the wars of the evil goblins and the elves and the first men in the North. In those days of our tale there were still some people who had both elves and heroes of the North for ancestors, and Elrond the master of the house was their chief. He was as noble and as fair in face as an elf-lord, as strong as a warrior, as wise as a wizard, as venerable as a king of dwarves, and as kind as summer.” Note that in this description he is not identified as an elf himself, as Tolkien had not at this stage decided that Elrond of Rivendell was the same person as Elrond the son of Eärendil.
The name Elrond (S, pron. [ˈelrond]) has been translated as 'Star-dome', and 'Vault of Heaven' recalling the glory of Menegroth though at an earlier stage, it was supposed to mean 'Elf of the Cave'. His Quenya name was most likely Elerondo, isolated from the patronymic Elerondiel, 'daughter of Elrond'.