The Woodland Realm was a kingdom of Silvan Elves located deep in Mirkwood, the great forest of Rhovanion, beginning in the Second Age. Following the War of the Last Alliance, Thranduil of the Sindar ruled over the Silvan Elves. Those of the Woodland Realm were known to be less wise and more dangerous than other Elves, but by the late Third Age were the only remaining Elven realm with a king.
During the latter half of the Years of the Trees and the First Age, the Nandorin and Avarin Elves populated the forest between the Misty Mountains and the far eastern lands, eventually intermarrying and becoming Silvan Elves, or Wood-elves as they were more commonly known.
After the War of Wrath and the destruction of Beleriand, Oropher, a Sindarin prince formerly of Doriath who chose to stay in Middle-earth, came to the forest known as Greenwood the Great. He and his company were well received and accepted as they had once lived with King Thingol, whom the Silvan Elves regarded as distant kin. The Sindarin company intended to live like the Wood-elves: natural and undisturbed. This notion was appealing to the Wood-elves and Oropher was soon named their king, adopting their language and way of life.
After being named 'King of the Woodland Realm', Oropher established his capital on Amon Lanc in the southern part of the forest. The Woodland realm flourished in peace with its boundaries unchanged and way of life undisturbed for over a millennium. Sometime after SA 1000, Oropher had his capital moved further north to around the Mountains of Mirkwood. The main reason for this was the growing threat of Sauron in Mordor. Oropher and his people also felt threatened by the Dwarves of Khazad-dûm and by the presence of Celeborn and Galadriel in the forest of Lothlórien. Despite these problems, the Elves of the Woodland Realm still continued to roam the south of the forest freely.
Over one hundred years after the Downfall of Númenor, the threat of Sauron once again grew into a very real threat to Middle-earth. Oropher and the Elves of Lórien under Amdír both agreed that peace could not be expected until Sauron was completely defeated. A large army was created and a combined force of Wood-elves and Galadhrim marched to support the Last Alliance of Elves and Men. Though they were as determined to defeat Sauron as the others, Oropher and Amdír's army was lightly armed and less experienced in open warfare. They also refused to submit to the supreme authority of Gil-galad due to past disputes with the Ñoldor, and so fought independently. They suffered heavy losses in the Battle of Dagorlad and Oropher and Amdír were both killed. Oropher's son Thranduil survived the war and took his father's place as King of the Woodland Realm.
Despite the heavy losses their people had suffered during the War of the Last Alliance, the Elves of the Woodland Realm survived and continued living peacefully in the forest for the next millennium. The peace was broken in TA 1050 when a mysterious being known as the Necromancer began living in the abandoned halls of Amon Lanc. Afterwards, the forest became dark and tainted, infested with Orcs, great spiders, and other mysterious and savage beings. The Elves were then forced to remove themselves to the northernmost part of the forest. All settlements in the Mountains of Mirkwood were withdrawn and the capital and realm's people relocated to a Cave settlement under a wooded hill, in the northeastern region of the forest. From then on, the Woodland Realm remained confined to the north. It was at this time that the Elves renamed the forest Mirkwood, along other with other places they formerly occupied.
The Elves of the Woodland Realm survived but lived more cautiously considering the increased danger. They traded with the neighboring realms of the Lonely Mountain and Dale. This, however, was not to last, as in TA 2770 the dragon Smaug came down from the north and destroyed both the Dwarves of the Lonely Mountain and the city of Dale. Afterwards, the Elves moved about the forest in secret and were very distrustful of any strangers and their only contact with the outside world was trade and occasional visitation with the refugees of Dale living in Lake-town on the Long Lake. It was probably during this time that the Elves made the Forest Path which ran across the northern forest as the only safe passage, as the main road that ran through it was no longer safe.
In TA 2941, Thorin and Company came through the Woodland Realm on their way to the Lonely Mountain on The Quest of Erebor. Thranduil considered them trespassers and had them imprisoned save for Bilbo Baggins, who remained invisible with the use of his Magic Ring, later releasing the Dwarves. After the death of Smaug, Thranduil offered relief to the Men of Lake-town for Bard’s valiant slaying of the dragon and assembled an army to claim part of the treasure, but Thorin II Oakenshield refused to share it and so both parties prepared for war. Bilbo tried to help the situation by delivering the ancient artefact known as the Arkenstone to the Elves and Men.
The situation did not improve, and with arrival of five-hundred Dwarves under Dáin Ironfoot it seemed as if they would be at war with the Elves and Men, but the timely arrival of Gandalf with a warning of an army of Goblins and Wargs coming to do battle for the treasure changed everything. The Elves, Men, and Dwarves were forced to join forces and fight a common enemy. The Wood-elves and their allies, including the late-arriving Eagles, defeated the Orcs and many lay dead, but peace finally returned to the region with the Orcs defeated and news of the White Council having driven the Necromancer out of Dol Guldur.
Peace for the Elves of the Woodland Realm lasted only for a decade, for with the open return of Sauron to Mordor, the Dark Lord sent three Nazgûl to re-occupy Dol Guldur. The Woodland Realm became involved directly in the War of the Ring when the creature Gollum was captured by Aragorn and imprisoned there, but an Orc raid allowed him to escape. Afterwards, Thranduil sent his son Legolas to Rivendell as a representative of the Woodland Realm and to inform the Council of Elrond of Gollum’s escape.
The Woodland Realm was attacked on March 15, 3019 by forces from Dol Guldur, becoming part of the Battles of the North. Thranduil and the Wood-elves were victorious and Galadriel threw down the walls Dol Guldur, ending its threat and permanently removing the Shadow from the forest. On April 6, 3019, Thranduil met with Celeborn and both agreed to rename the forest Eryn Lasgalen. Soon after the war, the forest was divided with Thranduil left to rule most of the northern part.
The Woodland Realm people played an important role during the early years when a group of Elves from the Woodland Realm led by Legolas traveled to Gondor and helped rebuild the city of Minas Tirith and replenished and beautified the war-ravaged lands of Ithilien. It is presumed that the realm prospered but like the other non-mannish realms it slowly began to fade. Those Elves that did not wish to fade likely took ship into the West.
|Foreign Language||Translated name|
|Belarusian Cyrillic||лес Каралеўства|
|Bulgarian Cyrillic||Гори царство|
|Galician||Reino do Bosque|
|Haitian Creole||Forè Domèn|
|Irish Gaelic||Coillearnach Flaitheas|
|Kazakh||Oрман Корольдік (Cyrillic) Orman Koroldik (Latin)|
|Kurdish||Daristan Qiralî (Latin)|
|Kyrgyz Cyrillic||Токой Падышачылык|
|Macedonian Cyrillic||шумски царството|
|Maori||Kingitanga i Hirimi|
|Marathi||झाडीचा प्रदेश रिअल्म|
|Mongolian Cyrillic||Модлог Вант|
|Punjabi||ਰਾਜ ਦੇ ਜੰਗਲਾਤ|
|Romansh||Reginavel Guaud ?|
|Scottish Gaelic||Coille Rìoghachd|
|Serbian||Шумског краљевства (Cyrillic) Šumskog Kraljevstva (Latin)|
|Tajik Cyrillic||ҷангал олами|
|Ukrainian Cyrillic||лісний царство|
|Uzbek||Ўрмон Қироллик (Cyrillic) O'rmon Qirollik (Latin)|
|Vietnamese||Rừng Vương quốc|
|Yoruba||Inu igi ibugbe|
|Zulu||Ehlathini indawo esiyibonayo|
- The History of Middle-earth, Vol. XII: The Peoples of Middle-earth, II: "The Appendix on Languages", Languages at the end of the Third Age
- Unfinished Tales, Part Two: The Second Age, chapter IV: "The History of Galadriel and Celeborn, and of Amroth King of Lórien", Appendices: Appendix A, The Silvan Elves and their Speech
- Unfinished Tales, Part Three: The Third Age, chapter I: "The Disaster of the Gladden Fields"
- The Hobbit, Chapter VIII: "Flies and Spiders"
- The Hobbit, Chapter XIV: "Fire and Water"
- The Hobbit, Chapter XV: "The Gathering of the Clouds"
- The Hobbit, Chapter XVII: "The Clouds Burst"
- Unfinished Tales, Part Two: The Second Age, chapter IV: "The History of Galadriel and Celeborn, and of Amroth King of Lórien"
- The Atlas of Middle-earth, The Lord of the Rings, "The Fourth Age"