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Other Names: Eryn Galen (Greenwood the Great), Taur-nu-Fuin (‘forest under nightshade’), Taur-e-Ndaedelos (‘forest of the great fear’), Eryn Lasgalen (Wood of Greenleaves), the Wood/Forest.


The great forest that lies east of the River Anduin most of it being in the northern part of Rhovanion.  There is a range of mountains in the northern part of the forest called Mountains of Mirkwood (Emyn Duir) and a hill in its southern part called Amon Lanc. Through Mirkwood several rivers run, they are: the Forest River, the Enchanted River that flows into the Forest River, and River Running (Celduin in Sindarin). Through the forest leads the Old Forest Road that goes straight from West to East parallel to the Mountains of Mirkwood some 40 miles away from them.
In the Second Age Mirkwood became an organised dwelling place of the Silvan Elves under the rule of Sindarin elf Oropher. At first the Silvan lived throughout of Mirkwood, but gradually they migrated into the north-eastern part of the wood to be free from the power of the Dwarves of Moria and also Oropher resented the intrusions of Celeborn and Galadriel into Lórien. During the war of the Last Alliance he and many of the Silvan were slain and his son Thranduil became king of the Silvan elves. At the beginning of the second millennium of the Third Age, a mysterious being came to Amon Lanc in the south of Greenwood the Great, and there built the stronghold known as Dol Guldur. This was the magician known as the Necromancer, who was later revealed to be none other than Sauron himself, and from his fortress tower a shadow of nightshade began to spread across the woodlands. From that time on the Elves called Eryn Galen by two names Taur-nu-Fuin, the forest under nightshade, which is translated into the Mannish tongue as ‘Mirkwood’, and Taur-e-Ndaedelos, forest of the great fear. Soon Thranduil decided to build an underground palace in the northeast of the Wood after the manner of Menegroth in Doriath. During the War of the Ring Thranduil's realm was invaded but in the end he had the victory. On the 6th of April in 3019 of the Third Age there was a meeting of Thranduil and Celeborn in the midst of the forest and they again renamed Mirkwood Eryn Lasgalen, the Wood of Greenleaves. They established boundaries of their realms, thus Thranduil took all the forest land north of the Mountains of Mirkwood and Celeborn the woodland south of the Narrows of the Forest (the ‘waist’ of Mirkwood caused by the indentation of the East Bight) and called it East Lórien, all forestland between was given to the Beornings and the Woodmen. Although Lórien faded after the departing of Celeborn and Galadriel, the Silvan Elves of Eryn Lasgalen lived peacefully for many long years. 

Contributed by Taurendil

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