With beloved classics like The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit, author J. R. R. Tolkien's novels have enchanted readers for generations. While film fans might remember actor Hugo Weaving for his portrayal of Elrond in director Peter Jackson's Lord of the Rings film trilogy, the original character of Elrond was first introduced in The Hobbit years ago.
Officially celebrating its eightieth anniversary this year, The Hobbit novel was first published on September 21, 1937, and technically making Elrond (and Bilbo) eighty years old. Sure, this is nothing when compared to the lifespan of Elves, but it's certainly an admirable feat, nonetheless!
For this list, we wanted to focus on some of the lesser known facts surrounding the Elf Lord of Rivendell. Whether you’ve always been curious about what “Elrond” means in Sindarin, or perhaps you wondered what he was up to before his appearance in The Lord of the Rings.
Whether it’s from The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings, and The Silmarillion, there are plenty of secrets about Elrond to uncover. From his past history on the battlefield to his choice to become an Elf, there’s so much to learn about this enigmatic character.
Read on to find out 15 Things You Didn’t Know About Elrond From The Lord of the Rings.
15 His origins
In The Lord of the Rings films, appearances can be deceiving. In fact, by the time Elrond is introduced in The Lord of the Rings, he is actually well over six thousand years old.
Born in Beleriand during the First Age, Elrond was known for being the son of Eärendil and Elwing. Elrond is also known for being the great-grandson of Lúthien, a Half-Elven character who falls in love with a mortal man called Beren. It is said that Lúthien was created by Tolkien and inspired by his own wife.
Of course, Elrond is not alone. LOTR fans have also noted a similar change from the books, where Frodo is actually older than his fellow hobbits. In the films, actor Elijah Wood was the youngest actor out of the main four hobbits (Sam, Merry, and Pippin).
14 A Grandma was accidentally praying to an Elrond statue for years
In a hilariously unexpected turn of events, Gabriela Brandao, a Brazilian hailing from Florianopolis, revealed that her grandmother been accidentally praying to a statue from The Lord of the Rings. In fact, Brandao posted several images on her Facebook of an Elf statue of Elrond, along with the caption reading, "The funniest discovery of 2016."
According to the post, the family's great-grandmother was known for always praying to Saint Anthony every day, but little did she know, she was actually confusing the figure of Elrond with San Antonio de Padua.
In an interview with Buzzfeed, Brandao tried to explain the confusion, but to no avail. Apparently, her great-grandmother had been praying to the statue for years on end. Eventually, her great-grandmother understood, and the family replaced the figure. Sorry, Elrond!
13 He founded Rivendell
In the early scenes of The Fellowship of the Ring film, a flashback sequence reveals that Elrond had already met some of the evil forces of Mordor on the battlefield. In fact, he actually fought against Sauron's forces around SA 1695, but Elrond's forces were forced back. After retreating towards the north, Elrond sought out refuge and founded Rivendell near the base of the Misty Mountains.
Rivendell was known for being one of the last strongholds against Sauron towards the end of the Third Age. Throughout the novels and films, Rivendell is a key location for many events. Elrond holds many different councils, and it is at Rivendell where the Fellowship of the Ring first unites together.
The name "Rivendell" is derived from the Sindarin name of Imladris, which means "deep valley of the cleft."
12 He had a ring of power
In Middle-Earth, there were three Rings of Power which were given to the Elves— Nenya, Narya and Vilya. According to the novels, a lord from Eregion named Celebrimbor forged the three rings in secret, allowing the rings to not become tainted by Sauron's evil. However, when Eregion was later destroyed by Sauron, the ring called Vilya was given to the Elf Lord Gil-Galad. Later, Vilya was given to Elrond, who continued to bear the ring during the Second and Third age.
Vilya was also known as the Ring of Sapphire, the Blue Ring, or the Ring of Air. During this time, Elrond also first met Celebrían, the daughter of Celeborn and Galadriel.
According to the text in the Unfinished Tales, Celebrimbor himself gave both Narya and Vilya to Gil-Galad, who gave Vilya to Elrond and Narya to Círdan.
11 He married Celebrían and had three children
After the long battle against Sauron was over during the Second Age, Elrond married Celebrían, the daughter of Celeborn and Galadriel. Together, they had three children, including twins Elladan and Elrohir, and later a daughter, named Arwen Undómiel.
Elladan and Elrohir were never explicitly stated to be twins, but many have made that assumption based on their description in The Return of the King novel and The Lord of the Rings Appendix. In the Lord of the Rings, Appendix B, Celebrían was attacked by Orcs when she was headed to Lothlórien. After suffering from torture, she became poisoned from a nasty wound. Soon after, she was rescued by her sons and Elrond, but sadly, she was incredibly traumatized by the events. A year later, she left Middle-Earth and sailed to the west.
10 He was an adopted father to Aragorn
Some things about Elrond's family are a little bit more defined. For instance, Elrond played a major role in helping to raise Aragorn. After his father passed away, Aragorn stayed with Elrond in Rivendell. It is said that Elrond also gave him the name “Estel” which translates as “hope”.
Aragorn's father, Arathorn, was killed in battle with orcs. His mother wanted his ancestry to be kept a secret from Aragorn, wanting to protect him from outside threats. His mother was afraid that Aragorn would be killed, just like his father and his grandfather before him, if others were to discover his true identity—a direct descendant of Elendil and Heir of Isildur. Although Aragorn spent much of his formative years in Rivendell, it wasn't until much later that Elrond revealed Aragorn's lineage to the kings of old.
Kind of makes Arwen and Aragorn's romance a little weird, huh?
9 Elrond is a Sindarin name that means "Star-dome" or "Elf of the cave"
Created entirely by author J. R. R. Tolkien, Sindarin is one of many different languages featured in The Lord of the Rings novels. Elves are known for having a deeply poetic language, and names are often very important to their culture.
For instance, the name “Elrond” derives from a Sindarin name that translates as “Star-dome” or “Elf of the Cave”.
His twin sons and his daughter share equally symbolic names, which often reflect their personal characterization and nature.
Elladan stands for "Elf-Man" or more specifically, "Elf-Dúnadan", which is in reference to his mixed ancestry. Elrohir translates as "Elf-Knight", but it can also have the meaning of "Horse-Lord." The name "Arwen" translates as "Noble Maiden" while Undómiel translates as "evenstar".
8 His many powers
Although we were only able to see a glimpse of Elrond in action during the Lord of the Rings film trilogy, he definitely could hold his own on the battlefield. Over the years in Middle-earth, he had experience as a commander in battle, displaying his skills in the Last Alliance of Men and Elves, in the fight against Sauron.
Elrond also had the power to foresee things happening across Middle-earth, despite physically being in Rivendell. He was also known for his skills with healing, and helped to cure Frodo's near-fatal injury from the Morgul blade in The Fellowship of the Ring.
In the novels, Elrond helped to summon the powerful flood on the River Bruinen, sweeping the Nazgûl downstream. In addition, Elrond also had the ability of ósanwe, which allowed him to others' minds. After the One Ring was destroyed, Elrond could communicate telepathically with Galadriel and Gandalf when they left Minas Tirith.
7 David Bowie was considered for the role
Upon first glance, it might seem ludicrous to imagine anyone else other than Hugo Weaving in the role of Elrond, but a major musician was also in the running. According to the commentary from the Extended Edition of The Lord of the Rings DVDs, musician and actor David Bowie was a possible candidate for the Elf Lord.
Bowie, who also starred in cult films like Labyrinth, was also considered for the role of Gandalf.
In an interview in 2013, actor Dominic Monaghan seemingly confirmed that he saw Bowie at the studio, presumably for an audition. However, LOTR casting director Amy Hubbard later stated that Bowie was there to just speak with the team, but not for an official audition.
According to director Peter Jackson, he had originally wanted Bowie for the role of Gandalf, but Bowie had envisioned himself as Elrond instead.
In the end, Elrond was played by Australian actor Hugo Weaving, while the role of Gandalf went to the esteemed British actor, Sir Ian McKellan.
6 Book fans don't like Elrond in the movies
For diehard fans of Tolkien’s novels, Elrond’s change in character might be a sore subject for some. His character was drastically changed for Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings film trilogy, and further expanded upon for The Hobbit films.
In the film adaptations by Peter Jackson, Elrond's character is more distant and has a strong distrust in men. One of the biggest changes from the novels to the books includes Elrond being considerably upset at the thought of Arwen choosing to become mortal in order to be with Aragorn. In the films, Elrond tries to convince Arwen to leave Middle-earth for Valinor.
Also, in the films, Elrond doesn't believe that Sauron can be defeated. In The Two Towers, Elrond agrees to send Elvish warriors to aid the men at Helm's Deep. In the Return of the King film, Elrond accepts Arwen's decision to live on Middle-earth with Aragorn, and reforges the shards of Narsil into Andúril. Elrond also travels to Dunharrow to give Andúril to Aragorn, and encourages him to reclaim the throne.
5 He is Half-Elven
If you’re just a casual fan of the films, you might have wondered why Elrond was harping on about immortality and staying clear of mortal men. A little explanation would have been nice from the movies, but it seems like in the books, Elrond was actually faced with the same choice as Arwen back in the day. His twin brother, Elros, chose the fate of Men, whereas Elrond chose to live among the Elves. Clearly, Elrond wanted Arwen to make the same choice, rather than following his brother's path.
After learning about the sad events with his wife, Celebrian, we do know that she was confirmed to leave for Valinor. Perhaps Elrond envisioned a happy family reunion across the sea— but instead, Arwen chose to live out a mortal life alongside Aragorn.
4 He fought Sauron
In the beginning of The Fellowship of the Ring movie, actress Cate Blanchett narrates a brief history of Middle-Earth, and the sequence includes a brief scene involving Elrond.
During the end of the Second Age, Elrond fought in the Last Alliance of Elves and Men, which left from Rivendell to fight the evil forces of Mordor, In the battle, men from Arnor and Gondor joined forces with the Elves from Rivendell and Lorien, and Dwarves. After a long struggle, Sauron was eventually defeated, but there were many slain in the battle. Elrond attempted to tell Isildur to destroy the One Ring, but he quickly fell under the power of Sauron.
After the battle, Isildur claimed the One Ring for himself, and was later crowned as the High King of Gondor and Arnor. Despite his efforts to dissuade him, Isildur refused to destroy the ring. In turn, Elrond decided to return to Rivendell after the battle was complete.
3 He helped with Thorin in The Hobbit
Many fans will remember actor Hugo Weaving’s performance as the furrowed-brow elf lord known as Elrond. However, as a literary character, Elrond actually was first introduced during J.R.R. Tolkien’s novel, The Hobbit, which celebrated its eightieth anniversary this year.
In The Hobbit, Elrond played a major role in helping with Thorin Oakenshield’s quest to retake the Lonely Mountain. Elrond helped the dwarves with translation, such as by helping to decipher the Moon Writing found on Thorin’s map.
Actor Hugo Weaving even reprised his role as Elrond for Peter Jackson’s film adaptations of The Hobbit, which was divided into three separate films. A close friend of Gandalf the Grey, Elrond was known for being a member of the White Council. In The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey film, Elrond greets Gandalf and Thorin, and welcomes them to Rivendell.
2 He arranged the Fellowship
In The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, Elrond plays a major role in helping to rescue Frodo from the Nazgûl. When Frodo leaves the Shire with the One Ring, Elrond calls upon riders to help find Frodo and bring him to Rivendell.
In the book, an Elf named Glorfindel discovers Frodo and helps lead him to Elrond in Rivendell. In the films, the character of Glorfindel was not shown, and it is Elrond's daughter, Arwen (Liv Tyler), who rescues Frodo.
In Rivendell, Elrond called the Council to help decide the fate of the One Ring. At the Council, the nine members of the Fellowship of the Ring were determined, and together, it was decided that the One Ring should be destroyed.
1 He left Middle-earth
Although in the films, Elrond's sons Elladan and Elrohir were not mentioned, they did play a key role in the novels. For instance, Elrond sends both of his sons to ride out with the Rangers of the North to Rohan. Elrond decides to send a message with his sons, telling Aragorn to take the Paths of the Dead. In the novels, Elrond stayed in Rivendell until the One Ring was destroyed, and Sauron's forces were defeated.
After the battle was complete, Elrond traveled to Minas Tirith, where he passed the Sceptre of Annúminas to King Elessar. Elrond also gave his blessing to his daughter Arwen Undómiel to be married. Eventually, Elrond decided to leave Middle-earth from the Grey Havens, with Celeborn, Galadriel, Gandalf, Frodo, and Bilbo, in 3021.
Do you have any other Elrond trivia from The Lord of the Rings that you’d like to share? Let us know in the comments!