- "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 Lórien, was a forest and Elven realm near the lower Misty Mountains. It was first settled by Nandorin Elves, but they were later joined by a small number of 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 in Middle-earth 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 lands around 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 king, Amdír. Before the War of the Elves and Sauron, Galadriel and Celeborn travelled over the Misty Mountains to dwell there. Amdír perished in the War of the Last Alliance. His son and the last Sindarin King of Lórien was Amroth.
In the middle of the Third Age Amroth went to Edhellond near Dol Amroth in Gondor in search of Nimrodel, and was lost at sea. After his time the Silvan Elves of Lórien long had no kings and were ruled by Celeborn and Galadriel as lord and lady.
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 attack Lothlórien. 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 attack Dol Guldur. With the fall of the Dark Lord this assault was 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 quickly been de-populated during the Fourth Age. 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. Celeborn himself went to dwell in Rivendell, whilst many of the other Elves likely moved to Thranduil's Woodland Realm.
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. She was buried on the hill of Cerin Amroth, where she and Aragorn had been betrothed.
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
The Hobbit film trilogy
Galadriel continued to reside in Lothlórien until she was summoned by Saruman to the White Council in Rivendell. She went to Gandalf telling him she would come whenever she was needed before disappearing back to Lothlórien. Radagast later arrived to the city with word from Gandalf that he has ascertained the Nine were released by the Necromancer and has entered Dol Guldur himself. Galadriel summons the other members of the White Council to Dol Guldur and banishes Sauron, but is depleted of her power. Elrond takes her back to Lorien where she is to remain.
Shortly after the fall of Gandalf and the Balrog, the Fellowship led by Aragorn and fearing the pursuing Orcs, went to Lorien. While travelling through Lorien, Gimli, overreacting, stated that an evil Elf queen ruled the forest and told the Hobbits to stay nearer to him. Meanwhile, Frodo saw a vision of her warning him that he brings great evil with him.
The Fellowship are caught by Haldir's company and, after some persuasion, are brought to Caras Galadhon, where Galadriel investigates them psychically and later bids them rest. She shows Frodo her mirror, denies the temptation of the Ring, and encourages him on his Quest.
While the Fellowship rest in Lorien, it is attacked by Orcs chasing the Fellowship, but they are slain. Saruman's Uruk Hai spies are also spotted near its borders.
Galadriel later gives the members of the Fellowship gifts, sends them on their journey down the Anduin and tells Aragorn that they will never meet again.
Afterwards, Galadriel convinces Elrond to declare war and send a force of Galadhrim, led by Haldir, to Helm's Deep. They are slain, but help defend the fortress until Gandalf arrives with reinforcements. Later during the War of the Ring, Lorien is attacked yet again by Moria Orcs, but the attacks are repelled.
The eastern border of Lothlórien in the southern Greenwood became East Lórien. It was founded after the War of the Ring, and Celeborn and Galadriel ruled the Galadhrim of Lothlórien. In FA 4, they left for Rivendell and eventually for the Grey Havens. By 124, Lorien was abandoned.
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.