It is also known as Greenwood the Great or Taur-e-Ndaedelos, and was later re-named Eryn Lasgalen.
Mirkwood was a dense and heavy woodland that made up much of the eastern part of Rhovanion or the Wilderland, that has maintained its borders and relative shape for many ages. Its other natural land features include the Mountains of Mirkwood (Emyn Fuin, formerly the Emyn Duir or "Dark Mountains") and a small river both which were in the northern part of the forest. Its climate was relatively mild. Save for ways through the thickets of the forest, there were very few traversable routes through Mirkwood and the only known ones were the Old Forest Road and Forest Path. Approximately it is 600 miles from north to south and 250 miles from west to east at its longest. It is home of giant spiders and the kingdom of King Thranduil of the Elves. The water found in it has magical properties which induces anyone who comes into contact with it into a long slumber and forgetfulness
Mirkwood dates back to the earliest days of Middle-earth and the Elves passed through it on their Great Journey from Cuiviénen into the Far West, and where they made their first long-term stop at before continuing onward. From then on Mirkwood had been the dwelling of the Wood-elves for many thousands of years Nandor elves descending from the wandering Teleri elf Lenwë had begun living there. The Sindarin elf Oropher, the grandfather of Legolas established the Woodland realm proper, which had become the primary settlement of the elves from the Second Age onward. It was around this time that Men, possibly ancestors of the Northmen began making permanent settlements in and around the forest. When Oropher was killed in the War of the Last Alliance, the kingship passed to his son Thranduil and he ruled there ever since.
It had been called Greenwood the Great until around the year TA 1050 of the Years of the Sun, when a shadow of the Dark Lord Sauron fell upon it, and men began to call it Mirkwood, or Taur-nu-Fuin and Taur-e-Ndaedelos in the Sindarin tongue. From then onward, Mirkwood had become a haunted place inhabited with many dark and savage things. Sauron established himself at the hill-fortress of Dol Guldur on Amon Lanc, and drove Thranduil and his people ever northward, so that by the end of the Third Age they were a diminished and wary people, who had entrenched themselves beyond the Mountains of Mirkwood. The Old Forest Road or Old Dwarf Road crossed the forest east to west, but because it was so close to Dol Guldur the road was mostly unusable. The elves made a path farther to the north, which ended somewhere in the marshes south of the Long Lake of Esgaroth or Laketown.Bilbo Baggins, along with Thorin Oakenshield and his band of dwarves, ventured into Mirkwood during their quest to regain the Lonely Mountain or Erebor from the dragon Smaug. There, the Dwarf Bombur fell into the Enchanted river. Later, they came across many great Giant Spiders. Shortly after the Dwarves' escape, they were captured by the elves. After or during these events the White Council attacked Dol Guldur, and Sauron fled to Mordor, and his influence in Mirkwood diminished for a while.Years later, Gollum, after his release from Mordor, was captured by Aragorn and brought a prisoner to Thranduil's halls. He escaped during an orc raid, and fled south to Moria. After Sauron was reduced to a powerless "spirit of malice" at the conclusion of the Third Age, the darkness was lifted from Mirkwood, and it became known again by its old name of Eryn Lasgalen, or Greenwood, Sindarin for the Wood of Greenleaves.
Appearances in adaptationsEdit
Mirkwood is depicted in multiple video games, such as The Lord of the Rings: War of the Ring, The Hobbit (2003 video game), The Lord of the Rings: The Battle for Middle-earth, The Lord of the Rings: The Battle for Middle-earth II, The Lord of the Rings Online and The Lord of the Rings: War in the North.
- Despite being called Mirkwood ever since Third Age 1050, Mirkwood is referred to by Radagast in The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey as Greenwood.
|Elven Realms of Middle-earth throughout the Ages|
|Years of the Trees:||Cuiviénen | Eglador | Havens of the Falas|
|First Age:||Doriath | Dorthonion | Gondolin | Havens of Sirion | Havens of the Falas | Himlad & Pass of Aglon | Hithlum | Maglor's Gap | March of Maedhros | Nargothrond | Nevrast | Ossiriand | Pass of Sirion | Thargelion|
|Second Age:||Eregion | Greenwood the Great | Lindon | Rivendell|
|Third Age:||Lindon | Lothlórien | Northern Mirkwood | Rivendell|
|Fourth Age:||Lindon | Lothlórien & East Lórien | Rivendell | Wood of Greenleaves|
- The Atlas of Middle-earth pgs. 53, 76, 80 & 180-89