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MapOfWilderland

Illustration of the Wilderland, or Rhovanion, from The Hobbit

Rhovanion or Wilderland was a large region of northern Middle-earth. The Great River Anduin flowed through it, and the immense forest of Greenwood the Great also lay within its borders.

Properly speaking Rhovanion was the name of a small region east of Greenwood, which later was the Kingdom of Rhovanion, but the name was used for all of Wilderland by the late Third Age.

HistoryEdit

First AgeEdit

In the First Age the Elves passed through Rhovanion on their Great Journey, and much later the Atanatári (Fathers of Men) followed them. The region is not otherwise mentioned until tales of the Second Age.

Second AgeEdit

Rhovanion was host to two Silvan Elf kingdoms ruled by Sindarin lords: Northern Greenwood and Lórinand (later named Lórien).

The great battlefield (or Dagorlad) of the War of the Last Alliance against the host of Sauron lay in the south of Rhovanion, and in the Gladden Fields of the Great River the High King of Gondor and Arnor, Isildur, son of Elendil, was killed.

Third AgeEdit

In the early Third Age, it was a quite populated area: in the north lay the Dwarven kingdoms of Erebor and the Dwarf halls in the Ered Mithrin, and the Mannish kingdom of Dale, in the north of the Great River Anduin lay the Mannish realm of Éothéod, and in and around the south and east of Greenwood the Great lived the Men of Rhovanion.

In TA 1248, Rómendacil II of Gondor destroyed all camps of the Easterlings even beyond the Sea of Rhûn, and a strong alliance with Rhovanion was forged. The King of Rhovanion at this time was Vidugavia, and Prince Valacar of Gondor served in his army. Vidugavia's daughter Vidumavi married Valacar, and their son Vinitharya became King Eldacar in TA 1432, which led to the Kin-strife in TA 1437. Eldacar fled to Rhovanion, and with a Rhovanion army he reclaimed his Kingdom in TA 1447.

In the north of Greenwood lived the Silvan elves ruled by Thranduil, and in the south of Greenwood and across the river in Lórinand ruled Amdír and later Amroth. In the far south, near the great falls of Sarn Gebir, watched the northern guard of Gondor, and in the valleys of the Anduin lived Stoors (Hobbits).

In TA 1636 the Great Plague devastated Rhovanion, killing more than half its people. This left Rhovanion weakened, and in TA 1851 the Wainriders overran and enslaved Rhovanion. For 43 years Rhovanion was enslaved, but in TA 1899 Rhovanion revolted, while Gondor attacked the Wainriders from the west. Rhovanion was freed but left extremely weakened. Many Men of Rhovanion left for Gondor, where they were welcomed as distant relatives.

In c. TA 2460 Sauron returned as "the Necromancer", taking residence at Dol Guldur in the south of Greenwood, which became evil and was renamed "Mirkwood". The Dwarves of Erebor and Men of Dale were destroyed and scattered when the Dragon Smaug took Erebor, and Gondor retreated from the Falls. Some Men still lived along the forest, notably the Beornings and the Men of Esgaroth upon the Long Lake. The Men of Éothéod removed south at the invite of Gondor, and settled the plains of Calenardhon, later Rohan. After being driven out of Erebor the Dwarves relocated, some went to the Iron Hills, but most went to the Ered Luin in Eriador.

At the end of the Third Age, the Kingdoms of Erebor and Dale were restored as a result of the death of Smaug and the Battle of Five Armies, and Sauron was removed from Mirkwood by the wizard Gandalf. During the War of the Ring it held off an invasion by Sauron's forces, and after Sauron was defeated Mirkwood was clean again, and renamed Eryn Lasgalen, or "Wood of Greenleaves". Some time during the Fourth Age Gondor claimed large parts of it.

BoundariesEdit

  • To the west: the range of the Hithaeglir, or Misty Mountains.

Important rivers were the Anduin or Great River, the Celduin or Running, and the Carnen or Redwater.

Major features were the forest of Mirkwood, and the Long Lake of Esgaroth.

EtymologyEdit

Rhovanion is Sindarin[1] for "wilderland" and contains rhovan, with the place-name ending -ion.

Wilderland was a Hobbit name.[2] Tolkien made Wilderland based on wilderness but with a side-reference to the verbs wilder, "wander astray" and bewilder.[3]

Translations around the worldEdit

Foreign Language Translated name
Amharic ርሆቫኒኦን
Arabic روفانوون
Armenian Րհովանիոն
Belarusian Cyrillic Рhованіон
Bengali ৰহভানিওন
Bulgarian Cyrillic Рхованион
Catalan Rhovànion
Chinese 羅馬尼安
Georgian როვანიონი (Rhovanion)

ველურმიწეთი (Wilderland)

Greek Ροβάνιον
Gujarati ર્હોવનિઓન
Hebrew רהוואניון ?
Hindi रहोवनिओं
Italian Rhovanion a.k.a. Terre Selvagge
Kannada ರೋವನಿಯನ್
Kazakh Рһованіон (Cyrillic) Rhovanion (Latin)
Korean 로바 니온 ?
Kyrgyz Cyrillic Рhованион
Lao Rຫໂvະນິໂນ ?
Macedonian Cyrillic Рхованион
Marathi रोव्हनियन
Mongolian Cyrillic Рhованион
Nepalese ढ़ोवनिओन
Norwegian Rhovanion a.k.a. Villenland
Pashto رهووانیان
Persian رووانیون ?
Portuguese Rhovanion a.k.a. Terra Selvagem (Portugal)

Rhovanion a.k.a. Terras Ermas (Portuguese Brazil)

Sanskrit र्होवनिओन्
Sinhalese ර්හොවනිඔන්
Spanish (Spain and Latin America) Rhovanion a.k.a. Tierras Ásperas
Russian Рованион
Serbian Рованион (Cyrillic) Rhovanion (Latin)
Tajik Cyrillic Рҳованион
Tamil ற்ஹொவநிஒந்
Telugu రహోవానిన్
Thai โรห์วานิออน
Ukrainian Cyrillic Рованіон
Urdu رہووانااون
Uzbek Рҳованион (Cyrillic) Rhovanion (Latin)
Yiddish רהאָוואַניאָן

ReferencesEdit

  1. J.R.R. Tolkien, "Words, Phrases and Passages in Various Tongues in The Lord of the Rings", in Parma Eldalamberon XVII (edited by Christopher Gilson), p. 78
  2. J.R.R. Tolkien, "Unfinished index for The Lord of the Rings", in Wayne G. Hammond and Christina Scull (eds), The Lord of the Rings: A Reader's Companion, p. 14
  3. J.R.R. Tolkien, "Nomenclature of The Lord of the Rings" in Wayne G. Hammond and Christina Scull (eds), The Lord of the Rings: A Reader's Companion, p. 779