Elrond, Lord of Imladris
|~ Descriptions ~|
When first Bilbo arrives in the hidden valley of the Last Homely House Elrond is "as noble and as fair in face as an elf-lord, as strong as a warrior, as wise as a wizard, as venerable as a king of dwarves, and as kind as summer." Frodo, on his arrival at Rivendell, describes him more fully:|
"The face of Elrond was ageless, neither old nor young, though in it was written the memories of many things both glad and sorrowful. His hair was dark as the shadows of twilight, and upon it was set a circlet of silver; his eyes were grey as a clear evening, and in them was a light like the light of stars. Venerable he seemed as a king crowned with many winters, and yet hale as a tried warrior in the fullness of his strength. He was the Lord of Rivendell and mighty among Elves and Men."
|~ The First Age ~|
Elrond and his twin brother, Elros, were born in the latter part of the First Age. They were Half-Elves, the sons of Eärendil, who was also Half-Elven. Their mother, Elwing, was the grand-daughter of Lúthien and Beren. Their ancestors included Men and Elves of all the main tribes. They were born in exile, their parents having fled to safety in the estuarial waters of the River Sirion, which once ran though Beleriand, a land to the west of the Blue Mountains. They were orphaned, held captive briefly by other Elves and then brought up by Ereinion Gil-Galad, the High-King of the Elves in Middle-earth.|
They would have taken some part in the War of Wrath, when the Host of the Valar swept into northern Beleriand to destroy Thangorodrim, the upper citadel of Angband, the power base of the evil Morgoth. Morgoth's military commander was Sauron, and he escaped the ruin of Angband when his master was captured and removed from the world. The forces of the Valar left Middle-earth after slaughtering most of the orcs and other creatures who fought for Morgoth, but the fury and might of their attack caused Beleriand to break up and founder beneath the sea.
Elros and Elrond were given a choice: to be thenceforth mortal Men or immortal Elves. Elros chose mortality and left Middle-earth to become the first King of Númenor, the island created for Men who had sided with the Elves against Morgoth. He thereby founded the Line of Elros, the ancestral line of the Númenorean kings, later of the Kings of Gondor and Arnor and finally of the leaders of the Dúnedain.
|~ The Second Age ~|
Elrond chose to be an Elf, and followed Gil-Galad to Lindon. In the middle of the Second Age Elrond commanded the Elves sent by Gil-Galad to defend Eriador against an invasion by Sauron, in which he captured the Nine and Seven Rings. Forced to retreat to a place of safety, Elrond founded Imladris. When Sauron was defeated and expelled Elrond was appointed by Gil-Galad to be Vice-Regent of Eriador, which he ruled from the new settlement at Rivendell. Gil-Galad also gave him Vilya, the Blue Ring of Air. Now Elrond was not of pure Elvish descent, and certainly not one of the ruling Noldor - the Loremasters - by birth. The High-King's faith in Elrond was therefore unusual, and marks Elrond out as almost unique among Elves in having risen to such a position by merit alone.|
When Gil-Galad himself marched to war alongside Elendil, King of Arnor, against Sauron at the end of the Second Age in the Last Alliance between Elves and Men, he took Elrond with him as his Herald. Elrond survived and on his return to Imladris found himself the leader, in effect, of the Elves of Middle-earth, a position which was not challenged and testifies to the respect in which he was held by the remaining High-Elves.
|~ The Third Age ~|
Elrond did not take up arms again, but continued to defend Middle-earth against the return to power of Sauron and his Ringwraiths. Early in the Third Age he married Celebrían, who bore him twin sons - Elladan & Elrohir - and a daughter, Arwen. The marriage did not last long in Elvish terms, though, for after 2400 years Celebrían was attacked by orcs in the Misty Mountains, and decided to leave Middle-earth.|
As well as his family and people, Elrond looked after the Northern Dúnedain, the descendents of his brother's people. He twice sent forces to help them in their wars with the Witch-King of Angmar, though this was also a necessity for the Elves who could not sit by while evil threatened Eriador. When the kingdoms of Arnor fell, Elrond offered the survivors the sanctuary of Rivendell as a base from which to carry out their watchful duty. And on the death of Aragorn's father he took him in and brought him up as another son. As Gilraen put it: "without the good will of Master Elrond the Heirs of Isildur will soon come to an end.". At no time did Elrond turn his back upon Men, aware in any case that Elves would in due course be leaving Middle-earth to them; for Men, the After-comers, had long been destined to replace the Firstborn as the rulers and keepers of Middle-earth.
As one of The Wise, Elrond attended the four meetings of the White Council under Saruman, called to discuss what to do about Sauron. These resulted in little action. By contrast, Elrond hosted and guided the Council of Elrond in a masterly fashion, tolerating little wasteful discussion of impractical options, and leading it to the only conclusion he saw open to them - the sending of The One Ring to Mordor for destruction now that the Elves had it in their possession. Like Galadriel a little while later, he resisted the temptation to take and use it, being strong and wise enough to know that would be as foolish as Isildur had been when he kept it.
Elrond's long-term strategy of maintaining close links between Elves and Men, and a watch on The Shire, paid off with the annihilation of The Ring and Sauron. It enabled him to lead the last of the High-Elves out of Middle-earth to Elvenhome, and hand Middle-earth over to a King with much experience.
For a more detailed look at Elrond, see|
~ Elrond, Loremaster of Imladris ~