Amroth & his Legacy
A collation based upon the accounts, tales & legends in
The Lord of The Rings, The Silmarillion & Unfinished Tales
~ Some Clues ~
Readers of The Lord of The Rings first come across the name of Amroth when the Fellowship enter Lórien and cross the soothing stream of Nimrodel; there Legolas tells part of the legend of Nimrodel and Amroth. It is but a romantic pause as they hurry on into the safety of the realm of the Galadhrim, passing Cerin Amroth. Our next encounter is when the Prince of Dol Amroth with his banner and livery of a silver swan-ship upon blue arrives with his troop of knights and men at arms at Minas Tirith, summoned to defend Gondor. There are few clues to his unusual family history and status except that he is the only Prince on the Council of Gondor and among the Captains of The West.
When Gandalf takes command of the defence of Minas Tirith, The Prince and his knights accompany him. The townsfolk observe that: "The old tales speak well; there is Elvish blood in the veins of that folk, for the people of Nimrodel dwelt in [Dol Amroth] once long ago." Upon the Steward's death we learn that Imrahil, as Prince of Dol Amroth, ranks second in Gondor; his flag flies over Minas Tirith. Legolas notes that Imrahil is "one who had elven blood in his veins" and that "not all sailed from Amroth's haven west". Prince Imrahil's brief acknowledgement - "So it is said in the lore of my land" - is not expanded upon. Even after the arrival of Celeborn and Galadriel to join the wedding celebrations, there is no hint that the name and tale of Amroth is interwoven with theirs.
The tale of Amroth himself is confused in legend by time, and, perhaps, wishful thinking on the part of loremasters; those who knew were not asked, alas, though no doubt the library of Lore-Master Elrond would have included most of his story. The history of the Sindar and Silvan-Elves of the Vale of Anduin in the Second and Third Ages would make interesting reading, for they too faced many perils.
~ From Evendim to Lórinand ~
It was said that Amroth was the son of Celeborn and Galadriel, born to them in the peaceful period when they dwelt in the west of Eriador near Lake Nenuial. But it was not so, for he was the son of Amdir, one of the Sindarin exiles from Beleriand (quite possibly Doriath) who accompanied or followed them into Eriador. Amdir's epessë or nickname was Malgalad ("golden radiance"), but what attributes gave rise to this are not recorded. His son, Amroth, was almost certainly born in Eriador, however, and given the close association between Amroth and the Lord and Lady of Eriador in later years, they were likely members of their household or Court.
Amdir crossed the Misty Mountains, probably soon after Galadriel and Celeborn moved to Eregion (SA 700), and decided to stay in Lórinand, becoming King of the Silvan-Elves there. Amdir was not the only Sinda to do so, for Oropher also journeyed east, and established a kingdom on the other side of the Anduin. Oropher's motives were to get away from the Noldor. Amdir may well have found the craftsmen of Celebrimbor in Eregion too close for comfort, too, and been more comfortable with the Hithaeglir between him and them. The elven realm of Laurelindórenan (Valley of Singing Gold) or simply Lórinand (Golden Wood) in the Vale of Anduin extended at that time across the Great River into Eryn Galen (Greenwood The Great), and the two Sindarin kingdoms maintained contact, peopled as they were for the most part by Nandor who had not followed their kinsmen into Beleriand.
Amdir entertained Galadriel and Celebrian for some years after they left Eregion. It was a joint force of Dwarves from Hadhodrond and Nandor from Lórinand who sallied forth to the aid of Elrond and Celeborn when Sauron invaded Eriador in SA 1695, no doubt at the instigation of Galadriel. Indeed, it was said that Amroth led the Elvish force. This signalled the beginning of future threats to the peace of the Silvan-Elves, though indirectly and due to the proximity of Moria, which was to become a target for Orcs, culminating much later in the War of Dwarves & Orcs and the bloody battle of Nanduhirion in TA 2799, right on their doorstep. In the meantime, following the rout of Sauron's armies in Eriador, they had relative peace for many years.
This was broken at the end of the Second Age when Amdir and Oropher answered Gil-Galad's summons to join the Last Alliance of Elves and Men in SA 3430. The two Sindarin forces went to war together, and fared equally badly. They were ill-equipped for fighting in the open, and regrettably neither King was disposed to obey the orders of a Noldo commander. Acting on their own initiative and unsupported at the Dagor Dagorlad, they were no match for the massed Orcs of Mordor. Both Kings were slain, and their sons obliged to retreat with what few of their forces survived. Amroth struggled back to Lórinand, and Thranduil to Northern Mirkwood. Never again did the Elves of Lórinand fight in the open, or other than to defend their own borders, which they did with determination and skill.
~ From Lórinand to The Sea ~
And thus Amroth became King of Lórien. His reign over a mixed population of Nandor, Sindar and some Noldor enjoyed years of peace. The high mound of Cerin Amroth was his capital, and his people became tree-dwellers - the Galadhrim. The borders of his realm were indistinct, confined to the woods reaching the foothills of the Misty Mountains in the west and almost adjoining Fangorn in the south. To the east the Anduin was a natural boundary, and to the north the Elven influence was limited by the woods, which were not as extensive as those to the east of the river. But directly opposite Lórien across the Anduin rose Amon Lanc, and after some thousand years an evil presence arrived there, corrupting the great forest.
Amroth never married, having fallen in love with Nimrodel, a beautiful Nandorin Elf who lived by the falls near the source of the stream which became named after her. A nervous lady, she was ever-fearful and refused to marry Amroth without the guarantee of security he was unable to give, with orcs spreading in the mountains, Dol Guldur seeming to threaten the Golden Wood, and Easterlings causing wars in northern Gondor. Their courtship nevertheless lasted until TA 1980 when the Dwarves unwittingly released a new and terrible evil in Moria, whose exact nature was to remain unknown for over a thousand years. This was too much for many of the Silvan Elves, who fled south to the settlement of kinfolk in Gondor, at Edellond in Dor-in-Ernil, whence they set sail for the West. Amroth proposed again to Nimrodel, suggesting they too leave Middle-earth and wed in the safety of Eldamar, and she accepted. Nimrodel was herself attempting to flee, but the forest of Fangorn would not let her pass. Why they did not travel together is unclear, but Nimrodel's small party of Elf-maidens evidently became lost and attempted to cross into southern Gondor via the Ered Nimrais, which was then infested by orcs. They became separated and most never arrived. Nimrodel is said to have finally reached the Gilrain, by whose waterfalls she fell into a long, weary sleep. Whether she did ever reach the port and what became of her is untold.
Now Amroth knew the way to Edellond, for he had visited Galadriel and Celeborn there during the time Galadriel most felt the call of the sea. It was doubtless his wont to look out from the stronghold on the cliffs of the headland, thus earning it the name Dol Amroth. When he arrived at the harbour the last ship was preparing to sail and the settlement deserted. There was no sign of Nimrodel, and though the mariners waited long a violent storm was brewing and they were forced to put out to sea. Amroth, who had fallen asleep, awoke in the storm and in desperation dived into the waves to swim back to shore. He was last seen, so it is said, struggling through the waves.
It was only after the loss of the King that Celeborn and Galadriel took up abode as Lord and Lady in Lórien. But Amroth's name was not lost. The Men of Dor-en-Ernil were Elendili of Númenor, whose ancestors had settled there before the Downfall, their Lord being granted the title of Prince by Elendil The Tall. At least one of the lost Silvan elves did reach Edellond, too late to sail. Mithrellas found shelter and stayed with Imrazôr, the Lord of Dol Amroth, and bore him a son and daughter - Galador and Gilmith;. Thus the blood of the Princes was mixed with that of the Nandor. Mithrellas did not tarry longer and left her home and children; her fate too is a mystery. How many other would-be refugees from Lórien stayed in the area is untold, but the knights of Dol Amroth regarded themselves as the closest survivors of the race of Númenoreans, and were perceived to have Elvish blood in their veins.
|~ Galadriel - A History ~ Princes of Dol Amroth ~|