Rivendell, also known as Imladris, was an Elven outpost in Middle-earth. It is also referred to as "The Last Homely House East of the Sea", a reference to Valinor, which is west of the Great Sea in Aman.


Rivendell was located at the edge of a narrow gorge of the river Loudwater (one of the main approaches to Rivendell comes from the nearby Ford of Bruinen), but well hidden in the moorlands and foothills of the Misty Mountains.


Second Age

Rivendell - The Hobbit


Rivendell was established by Elrond in the Second Age of Middle-earth in SA 1697. During the War of the Elves and Sauron, Eregion was laid waste and Elrond brought the survivors to Rivendell, soon Sauron laid siege to it but was eventually beaten back. Following the establishment of the Last Alliance of Elves and Men the hosts of Gil-galad and Elendil march to Imladris and laid camp in there to prepare their arms and then proceeded southeast to Dagorlad.[1]

Third Age

When Angmar rose to power and conquered Arthedain , Elrond sent Glorfindel and a host of elves to meet with the armies of Earnil and Cirdan thus honoring the Alliance of elves and men. After the fall of Angmar the heirs of Isildur were fostered in Rivendell and the heirlooms were kept by Elrond.

Quest for Erebor


Elves of Rivendell.

During the Quest for the Lonely Mountain, Bilbo Baggins and the Company of Thorin stopped off at Rivendell. Bilbo described it as "a perfect house, whether you like food or sleep or story-telling or singing, or just sitting and thinking best, or a pleasant mixture of them all."[2] After the quest, Bilbo and Gandalf returned there and were greeted again by Elrond and the elves.[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 at Rivendell on separate errands;[4] at the Council of Elrond they learn that all of their kind are related to the fate of the One Ring, and they must decide what to do about it. In the end, it was the Hobbits who influenced the decision.


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

There was a large hall with a dais and several tables for feasting. Another hall, the Hall of Fire, had a fire in it all year round with carven pillars on either side of the hearth; it was used for singing and story telling on high days but stood empty the rest of the time so people could go there to quietly think. The eastern side of the house had a porch where Frodo Baggins found his friends once he awakened and where the Council of Elrond was held.[5]


Frodo on a balcony of The Last Homely House in Rivendell.

Rivendell was protected from attack (mainly by the River Bruinen, Elrond, and Elven magic), but Elrond himself said that Rivendell is a place of peace and learning, not a stronghold of battle. There were a few assaults on Rivendell in various video games, and they were either failures or successes depending on whether Sauron found the Ring.

After the War and Elrond's departure, his sons Elladan and Elrohir lived in Rivendell. Their grandfather Celeborn lived with them for a while until he finally took ship and sailed West.[6]


Aside from Elrond, several notable elves lived there:


Imladris is a Sindarin term which means "deep valley of the cleft": from imlad ("glen, deep valley") and rist ("cleft") or riss ("ravine").[7] Its Westron term Rivendell comes from the English riven ("to tear apart or split") and dell ("valley").

Behind the Scenes

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

Portrayal in adaptations

The Hobbit film trilogy

In The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey extended edition, scenes in Rivendell were greatly expanded. It makes sense as the company is supposed to have stayed there for 14 days leading up to mid-summer's eve. The scenes include Elrond discussing problems about the kitchens to Lindir, until they discover the Dwarves bathing in a special fountain.

Bilbo narsil

Bilbo discovers the shards of Narsil

The second scene is Bilbo looking around Rivendell and discovering Narsil, and then meeting Elrond. In their conversation the Hobbit amuses the Elf lord with a witty riddle as an answer to his questions. Elrond then tells him that if he ever would like to return to Rivendell after his mission he would be welcome to stay.

Another scene includes the  Dwarves messing about in dinner and Bofur singing a song. Elrond and Gandalf are also discussing important matters under the watch of Thorin Oakenshield and Bilbo.

Translations around the World

Foreign Language Translated name
Portuguese (Brazil) Valfenda
Spanish (Spain and Latin America) Rivendel
Italian Gran Burrone
French Fondcombe
German Bruchtal
Hungarian Völgyzugoly
Chinese (Hong Kong) 瑞文戴爾
Turkish Ayrıkvadi
Small Wikipedia logo This page uses content from Wikipedia. The original article was at Rivendell. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with The One Wiki to Rule Them All, the text of Wikipedia is available under the Commons Attribution-Share Alike license.


  1. 1.0 1.1 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. The Lord of the Rings, The Fellowship of the Ring, Book Two, Chapter II: "The Council of Elrond"
  6. The Lord of the Rings, Prologue, "Note on the Shire Records"
  7. Parma Eldalamberon, Words, Phrases and Passages in Various Tongues in The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien


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