- "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 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."
Lothlórien, also known as Lorien, was a forest and Elven realm near the lower Misty Mountains. It was first settled by Nandorin Elves, but later populated by Ñoldor and Sindar under Celeborn of Doriath and Galadriel, daughter of Finarfin. It was located on the River Celebrant, southeast of Khazad-dûm, and was the only place where the golden Mallorn trees grew.
Galadriel's magic, later revealed as the power of her ring Nenya, enriched the land and made it a magic forest into which evil could not enter without difficulty. The only way that Lothlórien could have been conquered by the armies of Mordor is if Sauron had come there himself.
The first inhabitants of the forested area later known as Lórien were a group of Nandor that refused to cross the Hithaeglir. Lórien was probably one of their scattered settlements in the area. Later, however, as the power of the Longbeards of Moria grew, they relocated to the eastern side of the Anduin, across the Nimrodel. The land in which they dwelt (the forest east of the Hithaeglir, above Fangorn and below Mirkwood) became known in the Silvan tongue as Lórinand, or Laurelindórenan.
By the Second Age, Sindarin Elves had enriched its population, and they were ruled by a Sindarin lord, Amdír. The last Sindarin Lord of Lórien was Amroth, who went to Edhellond near Dol Amroth in south Gondor in search of Nimrodel, and was lost at sea. After his time the Silvan Elves of Lórien long had no lords, until Galadriel and her husband Celeborn travelled there from Eregion (Hollin). They brought with them a gift given to them by Gil-galad, given to him by the seventh High King of Numenor, Tar-Aldarion: seeds of the great Mallorn trees whose boughs were filled with leaves of gold and whose wood was silver. He gave them to Galadriel and Celeborn because the trees wouldn't grow in his own land. The mellyrn grew well in Lindórinand, and it was later famous for its golden trees.
The Golden Wood was relatively close to Mirkwood and Dol Guldur. Around the time Sauron's forces were attacking Minas Tirith, Dol Guldur sent forces to assault Lothlórien as Gondor fought at the Battle of the Black Gate. There were three assaults in total, but though the outer woods were ravaged, the lands inhabited by the Elves were protected thanks to both Elven skill and Galadriel's power (Mordor could not have destroyed Lórien unless Sauron himself had arrived). After the three assaults failed, Lórien eventually sent its own forces to cast down Dol Guldur. This attack proved successful and Galadriel cast the walls down.
After the War
After Galadriel left for Valinor, the Elves of Lórien were ruled by their lord Celeborn alone, and the realm was expanded to include a part of southern Mirkwood, but it appears to have slowly been depopulated during the Fourth Age until all Elves were gone. In "The Tale of Aragorn and Arwen," the timeless Elven kingdom is depicted as being wholly abandoned by the time of King Elessar's passing.[note 1] Even after the assaults on Lórien by Sauron's forces during the War of the Ring, there must have been several thousand Silvan Elves remaining in the land.
Galadriel bore Nenya on a ship from the Grey Havens into the West, accompanied by the other two Elven Rings and their bearers. With the Ring gone, the magic and beauty of Lórien also faded, along with the extraordinary Mallorn trees that had lived for centuries, and it was gradually depopulated. By the time Arwen came there to die in FO 121, Lothlórien was deserted and in ruin.
This forest, originally known by its Silvan names Laurelindórinan (Land of the Valley of Singing Gold) and Lórinand (Golden Valley), was renamed Lothlórien (Lórien of the Blossom) in memory of the Lórien the Ñoldor left behind; but the name was often shortened to Lórien ("Land of Gold", although it carried within it also the meaning of "dream"). Treebeard referred to the word Lothlórien as "Dreamflower". Other names given to the land include the Rohirric name Dwimordene (from dwimor "phantom", an allusion to the perceived magic of the Elves), and the Westron name The Golden Wood.
Portrayal in adaptations
Lord of the Rings film trilogy
Lothlórien is depicted in the video games The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, The Lord of the Rings: The Battle for Middle-earth, The Lord of the Rings: The Battle for Middle-earth II, War of the Ring (video game), and The Lord of the Rings Online.
In the non-canonical evil campaign of The Lord of the Rings: The Battle for Middle-earth II, Lórien is the first Elven land to be ambushed in the Evil Campaign. The Mouth of Sauron and three of the Nazgûl rode to a Orc-base just on the outskirts of Lórien, where they recruited the Goblin builders to create structures from which to muster powerful Orc armies, as well as a few Trolls. After the armies are properly prepared, the four Captains of Mordor lead the Goblins and Trolls out to destroy the land of Lothlórien. Haldir and a few elves bravely attempt to stop them at the outer perimeter, but they are slain and the Elven Tree Houses there all demolished. While the Goblins and Captains of Mordor advance on Lórien, they release Mountain Giants guarded by the Elves to aid them in their Conquest.
When the dark army arrives in Lórien, many Elves, as well as Galadriel and Celeborn, attempt to stop them. Galadriel escapes, but Celeborn is slain.The orcs defeat every elf and burn every Lórien structure in sight, even the mighty Tree Fortress of Galadriel and Celeborn. Galadriel watches in horror from a distance as the orcs celebrate their victory on the ruins of Lórien. The Mouth of Sauron looks into the Mirror of Galadriel, seeing and preparing the next step into conquering northern Middle-earth for Sauron, which is the approach of Umbar's fleets onto Mithlond, the Grey Havens.
|Foreign Language||Translated name|
|Chinese (Hong Kong)||羅洛斯瑞安 "羅瑞安"|
|Kazakh||Лотлоріен (Cyrillic) Лотлоріен (Latin)|
|Serbian||Лотлоријен (Cyrillic) Lotlorijen (Latin)|
|Uzbek||Лотҳлориен (Cyrillic) Lothlorien (Latin)|
- Unfinished Tales, Part Two, chapter IV: "The History of Galadriel and Celeborn", Appendix A: "The Silvan Elves and their Speech"
- The Lord of the Rings, Appendix A: Annals of the Kings and Rulers, I: The Númenórean Kings, (v): Tale of Aragorn and Arwen
- The Atlas of Middle-earth, The Lord of the Rings, "Lothlórien"
- The History of Middle-earth, Vol. 5: The Lost Road and Other Writings, Part Three: "The Etymologies"
- However, it is difficult to reconcile this with other references to the Fate of the Elves of Middle-earth scattered throughout Tolkien's published works.