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Rivendell, or Imladris in Sindarin, was the name of an Elven settlement in Eastern Eriador and the valley containing it. Founded by Elrond Half-elven, it was first a stronghold and refuge in the Elves' first war with Sauron in the Second Age, but in the Third Age became a renowned, peaceful haven for wayward Elves, Rangers of the North, and other travelers. From that time, it was called by some the Last Homely House in the east of the civilized lands of Eriador, or the First Homely House west of the wild lands of Rhovanion over the Misty Mountains.


Bridge to Rivendell Robert Zigo

A bridge to Rivendell, by Robert Zigo

The peaceful, sheltered valley of Rivendell was located at the edge of a narrow gorge of the river Bruinen, well hidden amongst the moorlands and foothills of the Misty Mountains. One of the main approaches to Rivendell passed through the nearby Ford of Bruinen.


Second Age

War of the Elves and Sauron

Rivendell was established amid the War of the Elves and Sauron by Elrond, son of Eärendil. In SA 1697, the realm of Eregion was laid waste by Sauron and Elrond was sent from Lindon with an Elven host to aid in the Elves of Eregion in resisting him. However, Elrond arrived too late and was forced, along with the refugees of Eregion, to retreat northward to Rivendell or Imladris, a valley in which they built a stronghold and refuge that assumed the same name. Sauron then found and besieged this valley, but withdrew upon the arrival of the Númenóreans.

Rivendell, RD

Rivendell and its vicinity, by Ralph Damiani

Imladris by bmosig

Imladris, by Billy Mosig

The Last Alliance

After the forming of the Last Alliance of Elves and Men, the armies of Gil-galad and Elendil marched to Imladris and made camp in the valley to prepare for war, and then proceeded over the High Pass southeast to what would become Dagorlad.[1]

Third Age

Following the Disaster of the Gladden Fields, the last surviving son of Isildur, Valandil, was fostered in Elrond's home in Rivendell until he was ready to accede the throne eight years later.

When Angmar rose to power in the fourteenth century of the Third Age, Rivendell was again besieged, from TA 1356 to TA 1409. This siege was broken by reinforcements brought over the mountains from Lothlórien, and Angmar was repelled and subdued for a time.

However, in TA 1974, Arthedain fell to Angmar. Elrond then sent Glorfindel and a host of Elves to meet with the armies of Eärnil II and Círdan, defeating Angmar for good at the Battle of Fornost. After the fall of Angmar the heirs of Isildur were fostered in Rivendell.


A drawing of Rivendell by J.R.R. Tolkien

HallsOfFire Hickman

Frodo with Bilbo in Rivendell's "Hall of Fire", by Stephen Hickman

Quest for Erebor

During the Quest of Erebor, Bilbo Baggins and the Company of Thorin stopped at Rivendell.[2] The cryptic instructions written in moon-letters on Thrór's map, telling how to enter the Lonely Mountain after Smaug seized it, were interpreted for the group by Elrond. After the quest, Bilbo and Gandalf returned there.[3]

War of the Ring

Years later, Frodo Baggins and his Hobbit companions journeyed to Rivendell, where they met with Bilbo, who had retired there after his eleventy-first birthday. Several other Elves, Dwarves, and Men also arrived in the valley on separate errands. The Fellowship of the Ring was formed, at the close of the decisive Council of Elrond.[4]

Fourth Age

Elrond departed the valley of Rivendell in TA 3021, marking the end of the Third Age. Afterward, Rivendell was for a time the dwelling place of his sons Elladan and Elrohir and also of Celeborn. It is untold when the valley was finally abandoned.


Elves of Rivendell

Notable inhabitants


Gandalf Frodo in Rivendell, Giancola

Gandalf with Frodo in Rivendell, after Gandalf's imprisonment in Orthanc - by Donato Giancola

Imladris is a Sindarin term which means "deep valley of the cleft": from imlad ("glen, deep valley") and rist ("cleft") or riss ("ravine").[5] An alternative (or complementary) etymology gives Rivendell as the Anglicised version of the Westron name Karningul (itself a translation of Imladris).[6]


Gardens in Rivendell, by Gabriel Midgley

Behind the scenes

The valley of Imladris (within which the Last Homely House was situated) was based upon the landscape of Lauterbrunnen, Switzerland. J.R.R. Tolkien was said to have journeyed to this region; his original painting of Rivendell is significantly similar to the Lauterbrunnen itself.

In adaptations

Rankin/Bass' The Hobbit

In The Hobbit animated film created by Rankin/Bass, Rivendell is depicted as a large valley with a triangular wooden house within it.

Rankin-Bass Rivendell

Rivendell as depicted in the 1980 film

Rankin/Bass' The Return of the King

In The Return of the King animated film created by Rankin/Bass, Rivendell appears again in the beginning and end of the film, depicted similarly to that in the previous film.

The Lord of the Rings film trilogy

In Peter Jackson's The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, years later, Frodo Baggins and his companions journey to Rivendell, where they meet Bilbo. Several other Elves, Dwarves, and Men are summoned to Rivendell.

Following the destruction of the One Ring at the end of the Third Age, Elrond's ring loses its power, and Elrond, with many of his household, leaves Rivendell to sail for Valinor from the Grey Havens; this marks the start of the Fourth Age.

Rivendell - The Hobbit

Rivendell in TA 2941

The Lord of the Rings Online

In The Lord of the Rings Online, Rivendell is an accessible location in the Trollshaws region. Its appearance somewhat resembles its depiction in Peter Jackson's films.

The Hobbit film trilogy

In The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, on the Quest of Erebor, Gandalf intends to pass through Rivendell and ask Elrond for advice, particularly in deciphering Thrór's Map, and sends word to Elrond in advance. Thorin, having developed a hatred of all Elves following the Elven-king's betrayal, objects to this at least twice, but Gandalf uses the threat of a Warg attack to lead the company towards the Hidden Valley, where Elrond and a company of Riders intercept the Warg-riders.

Rivendell - LOTRO

Rivendell as depicted in The Lord of the Rings Online

With the Dwarves' suspicion and disrespect of the Elves, they nearly come to blows with Elrond's company, bathe naked in their sacred fountains, steal some of Elrond's silverware (which then falls into the hands of the Goblins in Goblin-town) and use his furniture as fuel for campfires. Elrond, for his part, is hospitable but suspicious of the Dwarves' endeavour, as is Saruman who convenes the White Council in Rivendell in response to the Dwarves' quest. Bilbo, unlike the Dwarves, finds Rivendell so enchanting that he almost abandons the quest to remain, and later returns on his way back from the Quest, and again when he leaves the Shire following his 111th birthday.

Unknown to Elrond at the time, Sauron has secretly returned and seeks to destroy Rivendell (as well as Lórien) by re-establishing Angmar. In order to do so, he forges an alliance with Smaug, who will hold the Iron Hills Dwarves and the Men and Elves of Rhovanion at bay to secure Angmar's flank. This is thwarted by the Quest of Erebor, in which Smaug is slain, the subsequent Battle of Five Armies, in which the Orc armies meant to remake Angmar are decimated; and the attack of the White Council, in which Sauron and his Nazgûl are banished into the east.


Foreign Language Translated name
Arabic ريفينديل
Armenian Ռիվենդել
Basque Rivendel
Belarusian Cyrillic Рывендэл (Rivendell)

Імладрыс (Imladris)

Bengali রিভেনডেল
Bosnian Rivendel
Bulgarian Cyrillic Ломидол (Rivendell)

Имладрис (Imladris)

Chinese (Hong Kong) 瑞文戴爾
Czech Roklinka
Danish Kløvedal
Dutch Rivendel
Esperanto Rivendelo
French Fondcombe / Combe Fendue / Fendeval
Galician Valfendido
Georgian რივენდელი (Rivendell)

იმლადრისი (Imladris)

German Bruchtal
Greek (Hellenic) Σχιστό Λαγκάδι
Gujarati રીવેન્ડેલ
Hebrew ריוונדל (Rivendell)

ימלדריס (Imladris)

Hungarian Völgyzugoly
Italian Gran Burrone (in the first Italian translation of Lord of the Rings,the new Italian translation of the Hobbit ) / Forraspaccata (in the first Italian translation of the Hobbit) / Valforra (in the new Italian translation of Lord of the Rings)
Japanese 裂け谷 (Saketani)

イムラドリス (Imladris)

Kannada ರಿವೆಂಡೆಲ್
Korean 깊은골 (리븐델/리벤델)
Kyrgyz Cyrillic Намыспы
Latin Karningul
Macedonian Cyrillic Ривендел
Malayalam റിവെൻഡെൽ
Marathi रिवेन्डेल
Mongolian Cyrillic Ривэндэлл
Norwegian Elverhøy (Werenskiold tr.)
Kløvendal (Bugge Høverstad tr.)
Romanian Vâlceaua Despicată
Persian ریوندل (Rivendell)

ایملادریس (Imladris)

Portuguese (Brazil) Valfenda
Punjabi ਰਿਵੈਂਡਲ
Russian Ривенделл (Rivendell)

Имладрис (Imladris)

Sinhalese රිවෙන්ඩෙල්
Slovak Vododol
Spanish (Spain and Latin America) Rivendel
Swedish (old)

Swedish (new)



Tajik Cyrillic Ривенделл
Tamil ரிவெண்டல்ல
Telugu రివెండెల్
Thai ริเวนเดลล์ (Rivendell)

อิมลาดริส (Imladris)

Turkish Ayrıkvadi
Ukrainian Cyrillic Рівенделл (Rivendell)

Імладріс (Imladris)

Urdu راوانڈیلل
Yiddish ריווענדעלל
Places of Middle-earth and Arda

Middle-earth Locations:


Arnor | Dunland | Ettenmoors | Forochel | Forodwaith | Gondor | Harad | Ithilien | Khand | Lindon | Minhiriath | Mordor | Rhovanion | Rhûn | Rivendell | Rohan | The Shire

Forests & Mountains:

Amon Dîn | Amon Hen | Amon Lhaw | Caradhras | Emyn Muil | Erebor | Fangorn Forest | High Pass | Iron Hills | Lórien | Mirkwood | Mount Doom | Mount Gundabad | Old Forest | Orod-na-Thôn | Tower Hills | Weathertop Hill


Angband | Barad-dûr | Bree | Caras Galadhon | Dol Guldur | Fornost Erain | Hornburg | Isengard | Minas Morgul | Minas Tirith | Last Homely House | Tower of Amon Sûl | Tower of Orthanc | Osgiliath | Umbar | Utumno


Argonath | Astulat | Buckland | Cair Andros | Dagorlad | Dead Marshes | Enedwaith | Fords of Isen | Gap of Rohan | Grey Havens

The rest of Arda:

Aman | Burnt Land of the Sun | Dark Land | Empty Lands | Neldoreth | New lands | Númenor | Tol Eressëa


  1. The Lord of the Rings, Appendix B: The Tale of Years (Chronology of the Westlands), "The Second Age"
  2. The Hobbit, Chapter III: "A Short Rest"
  3. The Hobbit, Chapter XIX: "The Last Stage"
  4. The Lord of the Rings, The Fellowship of the Ring, Book Two, Chapter I: "Many Meetings"
  5. Parma Eldalamberon, Words, Phrases and Passages in Various Tongues in The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien
  6. The Lord of the Rings, Appendix F