Rivendell, the House of Elrond, stood on the very Edge of the Wild. Eastward beyond Elrond's hidden valley lay the Misty Mountains, and beyond them the dangerous leagues of the northern World: the upper Vales of Anduin, the vast dark forest of Mirkwood, and the uncharted lands farther to the East. To a traveller from the West, then, Rivendell was known as the Last Homely House west of the Mountains.
Conversely, to a traveller returning from adventures in the East, as Bilbo Baggins did on his return from the Quest of Erebor, Rivendell was the first place of refuge after the crossing of the Mountains. From this direction, therefore, the House of Elrond was the First Homely House on a journey continuing into the more civilised lands to the West.
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