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Thread: The Name Of Thranduil's Halls

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Does anyone know if Thranduil's abode have a name. I dont mean the region Greenwood The Great, his actual cave system. Ive looked everywhere... Got me puzzled as it would be the only structure in the Tolkien universe not to have a name.

In Atlas of ME it is referred as Tranduil's Caverns. I do not hold a copy of the Hobbit around now, but I cannot recall some other name of it.

I don't remember a name at the moment anyway... if there's no known name, Bilbo maybe just left it out of his account! 

I still cant find a reference anywhere!!!  Its a mystery....

I have not been able to find a name either. May I suggest the name Thrandolin.

Nice Gildor!  This is very puzzling as Tolkien always without exception named his important dwellings.

Lets start a naming comp.  Name Thranduil's Hall!

Ok. Well I would vote my name in. “Thrandolin.” It is not that unusual, given that there was a great Elven city named Gondolin in the past ages of ME.

 

I am very interested in the North Eastern ME regions. Particularly the Lands stretching from the Anduin eastwards through northern Mirkwood , Thranduil’s Halls, Dale the Lonely Mountain and much more. Not much info is given as to this regions part in the War of the Ring. Given in the appendix.  However  there is room for much speculation and imagination.

The name Gondolin hails from Quenya Ondolinde, but the Sindarin form was probably interpreted as gond-dolen 'Hidden Rock' -- sort of a folk etymology according to JRRT.

*Dolengroth 'Hidden delving' (primary stress dolEngroth) might work -- based on Menegroth, which halls and rooms arguably influenced Thranduil's halls in any case. The sound -g- appears to be retained in compounds after -n-, although I can't recall a certain instance with -gr- myself.

I would prefer the adjective follow the noun in any case. Perhaps (to try a different route) *Tauroth 'Forest-delving' might be better -- or *Tawaroth, considering Tolkien's attested Tawarwaith 'Forest people' (Silvan Elves) in Unfinished Tales (tawar + gwaith).

 

For me *Thrandolin sounds nice enough, but seems a bit arbitrary with respect to meaning.

Anyway welcome Gildor! And sorry to 'disagree' a bit with your suggestion, especially so soon after you arrived. Obviously my suggestions (even if correct enough) aren't written in stone in any case.

 

Pun intended

No not at all..... I agree with you.  You are obviously very knowledgeable about Tolkien"s writing form and attention to linguistic detail. Looking at names and naming I can see Thrandolin being too superficial or Obvious. I wonder if Thranduil was the type of leader who would promote himself that way?  It is strange that the author did not name the Halls.

To continue... I like the sound or feel of Dolengroth but were the Halls actually excavated? In my lofty opinion I believe them to be part of a limestone cave system. So perhaps Tawaroth would be better. I read somewhere that the Elves of Mirkwood were allied quite closely to the Dwarves and Men of Dale and that they had the good fortune of Dwarves actually building or working in their Halls....

Written in stone.... Ha! Ha! If Dwarves were busy there perhaps there is a name chiseled into the rock..

Very kind of you sir! thanks!

I wonder if Tolkien had continued on with the '1960 Hobbit' if he would have added a name for Thranduil's halls -- JRRT only got a little way into the revision when someone gave him advice that seemingly caused him to abandon it -- but with even that much he had added a name for Gandalf's horse, for example.

 

Tolkien loved inventing names, so I'm guessing he 'would have' named Thranduil's abode -- but with emphasis on guessing!

It looks as though we are not going to solve this one.

What if there was a name that would have been used by the Men of Dale, Lake Town and the Dwarves? Thranduils Halls the Halls of Thranduil  Perhaps then Thrandolin might not be so out there... .Would those three races that were quite dependant on one another not have used Westron for common communication? Then again perhaps that is why they have no sort of official Elven name....

I don't recall, at the moment anyway, if anything's noted in The Hobbit concerning the making of the halls, but in Unfinished Tales it's noted that Thranduil: 'delved there a fortress and great halls underground' -- and that no doubt he was following the example of King Thingol -- although Thranduil's halls were not to be compared with Menegroth, as he had not the arts nor the wealth, nor the aid of the Dwarves.

 

I think I like *Tauroth best so far, as the extra syllable in my *Tawaroth throws me off a bit for some reason --  assuming taur-groth > taurroth > *Tauroth is a correct construction as well!

I was thinking of maybe a genitival construction ['of' or 'of the'] as well, noting Tolkien's

Bar-en-Nibin-Noeg, meaning: 'Home of the Petty Dwarves'

 , for example, for example 'Home of the Petty Dwarves  

 

Maybe *Bar-e-Dawarwaith 'Home of the Silvan Elves' -- noting the article en becomes -e- and -t- is softened to -d- in Tolkien's Narn-e-Dinuviel 'Tale of the Nightingale'. This employs the singular article, as Tolkien's example above, but perhaps the plural in might be used, which I think would trigger a different mutation:

 

*Bar-i-Thawarwaith -- noting Tolkien's i thiw hin [tiw 'signs']. In any case this sort of name would refer to the realm as a whole perhaps, including Thranduil's underground halls and chambers.

 

Or even *Ennyn Thranduil (Aran -i-Thawarwaith) 'Gates of Thranduil'  (Lord of the Tawarwaith)

Ok .... You sound like a Tolkien Guru I bow to your language skills.... Most interesting. I can see that I need to do some serious background reading. I like Ennyn Thranduil but Tauroth is good too.

Unfortunately I have not yet read the Silmerilion or the Unfinished Tales.

I find it interesting that the Elves did in fact construct the Halls without Dwarf help. I still hold to speculation that the Halls were delved into  a Limestone cave system. For whatever that's worth.... I expect that long before the time of the Hobbit Tale the Elves of that region did not have that much to do with the other races close by ( Men and Dwarves) But by the time of the War of the Ring they had become close allies by necessity......

Do you think that there could  been a common name for Thranduils Halls as well as the Elven name?

Galin is an Ultimate Tolkien Guru!

Thank you both for your fantastic comments.  Yes I guess we will never know.

Thanks, but for the record my language skills are pretty limited compared to the experts, and I usually stick to attempting Neo-elvish names and genitival constructions -- in both Quenya and Sindarin.

 

As far as a Westron name, again who knows? although even some of the Silvan Elves of Mirkwood spoke Westron, it appears. And it might be noted that the above suggestions are based on Sindarin examples, but the matter of what type of Elvish the Mirkwood Tawarwaith spoke is a bit of a knotty issue in itself!

 

I note the filmmakers have now chosen *Tauriel for some female character they are inventing; but anyway, if anyone's interested, I've already collected and boiled down the later references from the books:

 

A) In a 'late' text published in Unfinished Tales it was said Oropher (father of Thranduil father of Legolas) and some Sindar merged with the Silvan Elves 'adopting their language'.

B) In another late text (same book) it was said that by the end of the Third Age the Silvan tongues had probably ceased to be spoken in Lórien and the Realm of Thranduil.

C) According to another passage ('late' again) Sindarin was said to be used in Thranduil's house --  'though not by all his folk.'

§] And in a letter dated Dec. 1972 (another late example!) Tolkien explained that: 'The Silvan Elves of Thranduil's realm did not speak S. but a related language or dialect.'
 

This last mention is pretty late, but anyway Tolkien himself published (Appendix F) that in Lórien (at least) at this period Sindarin was spoken, though with an 'accent', since most of its folk were of Silvan origin. So we can say this much, I guess, with respect to the Silvan Elves.
So it seems that Thraduil's Halls are the only Elven Palace or Kingdome without a formal name. Me wonders if PJ will name them. What will it look like I wonder? Dark or Light? Huge and open or tunnelled and close? I'm hoping for natural and Earth based with open halls lit by chrystals and fire plus perhaps some natural light. Carven, beautiful, natural forms depicting the ancient history or the Green Elves. Ancient, however without the quite alien ethereal nature of Lorien. Perhaps more down to Earth and slightly more mortal, as these Elves would have witnessed mortality in man and nature. And not the unspoilt example of Valinor and its unblemished undying environment.

What do you think. P.S don't forget his Magic Doors!

So it seems that Thraduil's Halls are the only Elven Palace or Kingdome without a formal name. Me wonders if PJ will name them. What will it look like I wonder? Dark or Light? Huge and open or tunnelled and close? I'm hoping for natural and Earth based with open halls lit by chrystals and fire plus perhaps some natural light. Carven, beautiful, natural forms depicting the ancient history or the Green Elves. Ancient, however without the quite alien ethereal nature of Lorien. Perhaps more down to Earth and slightly more mortal, as these Elves would have witnessed mortality in man and nature. And not the unspoilt example of Valinor and its unblemished undying environment.

What do you think. P.S don't forget his Magic Doors!

I wonder how they will film his realm. I think the underground halls would be lit and bright resembling the time before the darkness covered the forest. I wonder how dark they will make mirkwood. In the book when the dwarves and Bilbo went off the path, they couldn't find each other after the lights of the elves were off. So I'm guessing they might make it really dark with no sight of any stars.

Considering what he was able to do with the insides of dwarven cities I'm pretty optimistic he'll do the halls of Thranduil adequate justice.

Admittedly I'm not too picky. So as long as it looks cool, either way I just love seeing Middle Earth on the big screen.

So it seems that Thraduil's Halls are the only Elven Palace or Kingdome without a formal name.

Helm's Deep also doesn't have any formal name, does it? Well, it's not an Elvish location, I know. But I never stumbled upon any other description of it - the English name seems like a formal name to me for both Helm's Deep and Thranduil's Halls.

So we have seen our first glimpse of Thranduil's Halls.  Seems very Art Nouveau, natural forms and no straight lines, like tree roots which have been guided into shapes, pleasing to the eye...

I saw a quick glimpse of Thranduil's throne as well.  It looks as though its made from giant antlers,  This made me think that perhaps, as with the Maeras, Thranduil's huge Deer Stag may be akin to Valinorian Deer, possibly Imported to ME in the Elder Days.

Interesting.

As far as I know Helm's Deep IS the official name. Keep in mind this has almost always been under the rule of Men, and Helm's Deep only refers to the valley that leads into the Hornburg, also built and named by Men. So if by "official" name you mean elvish translation, then I don't know if one ever existed. I suppose it would have been part of Beleriand, but even so I don't think it had an "official" name.

I love Tauroth and Dolengroth. Perhaps there is a way to combine it into meaning "Forest-Cave Dwelling." Taura-Dolengroth or something lol. Whatever forest is in front of Dolengroth. But I really like Dolengroth, good call on that Galin.

I know, Balrogs, Helm's Deep is an official name. But it seems more like a description if you know what I mean - like Beth's cat or ...Thranduil's Halls Wink Smilie What I understand as a name here (or lack of it actually) is another word, probably in Westron (like Weathertop) or maybe even something that would be linked to Adunaic. That would be nice Smile Smilie

Yeah for sure, I hear ya. BUT, in this case, I think Helm's Deep is both the description AND the official name...Kinda like Langley Falls or West Virginia. So I don't think a single word name, or official name as you say, exists. As far as I can tell this wasn't even an elvish area when the elves were dominant, meaning they probably didn't have a specific name for this valley (just the general area), so it went straight to Men, and it seems that's what they named it, based on the Helm's Dike hills around it. Sort of like Edoras. That IS the official name, given to it by Men. Point being not everything had a specific elvish name.

Now I'm sure you can find someone who speaks elvish who can then GIVE it the type of name you seek. But to be honest I think it quite fitting for an "official" name

Thanks Balrogs! As for 'forest cave dwelling' I think we are already pretty close with Neo-elvish Tauroth, as a groth [according to Quendi And Eldar at least] refers to 'a large excavation' noting also Menegroth 'Thousand Caves or Delvings'

So *Tauroth 'Forest Caves or Delvings' And while 'delving' is a bit different from 'dwelling' of course, as the name for a dwelling I think we are pretty close.

There is also Grey-elven othrond which means [long version of the meaning] 'underground stronghold, made or enlarged by excavation, containing one or more great vaulted halls' [note Nargothrond]. If we added taur 'forest' to that we might get a Neo-name *Taurothrond.

And if we add -iel to taur we already know what we get Wink Smilie