Beleg by Anna Lee

Beleg Cúthalion, the Chief Marchwarden of Doriath

Marchwarden was a position given to highly skilled Elf rangers and warriors who guarded the outer borders of their realms.


First Age

During the First Age, King Thingol of Doriath was served by marchwardens, who guarded the borders of their forest. Two marchwardens, Beleg Cúthalion and Mablung, fought in the Nírnaeth Arnoediad and survived.[1] Turin Turambar briefly served as one of the marchwardens, and was often given tasks with his friend Beleg.[2] At the end of the First Age, Doriath was sacked by the Dwarves of Nogrod and later by the remaining Sons of Fëanor, which resulted in the Second Kinslaying. Doriath was ultimately defeated, and its marchwardens along with it.[3]

Third Age

When the Fellowship of the Ring arrived in Lothlórien, its marchwardens, led by Haldir and his brothers Rúmil and Orophin, encountered the group. These wardens were described to wear grey-hooded cloaks. Haldir led the Fellowship to Caras Galadhon,[4] to meet Lady Galadriel and Lord Celeborn, once a Prince of Doriath.[5]

Named Marchwardens

Behind the Scenes

Tolkien may have based the marchwardens from the real-life Lord Warden of the Marches of England. These wardens had the task to maintain peace and order in the land.

See Also


  1. The Silmarillion, Quenta Silmarillion, Chapter XX: "Of the Fifth Battle: Nirnaeth Arnoediad"
  2. The Silmarillion, Quenta Silmarillion, Chapter XXI: "Of Túrin Turambar"
  3. The Silmarillion, Quenta Silmarillion, Chapter XXII: "Of the Ruin of Doriath"
  4. The Lord of the Rings, The Fellowship of the Ring, Book Two, Chapter VI: "Lothlórien"
  5. Unfinished Tales, Part Two: The Second Age, IV: "The History of Galadriel and Celeborn, and of Amroth King of Lórien"
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