The Encyclopedia of Arda - an interactive guide to the world of J.R.R. Tolkien


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  • Updated 8 November 2003
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The great beech of Doriath

An immense beech-tree that grew close to the gates of Menegroth, the underground capital of King Thingol. Its original name seems to have been Neldor, meaning 'triple-tree' because of its three tall straight trunks. It is a mark of the tree's fame that its name ultimately became the Sindarin word for 'beech', from which was named the entire forest of Neldoreth, where it grew.

Its name was changed at the time of the Quest of the Silmaril. Concerned that his daughter Lúthien would risk danger seeking out Beren, Thingol had a house built among the branches of the great beech, and imprisoned Lúthien there. After this time the tree's name was changed to Hírilorn, meaning 'Tree of the Lady', though it did not hold Lúthien for long. Using her magical arts, she escaped from Hírilorn and set out to aid Beren in many adventures, eventually helping him to recover a Silmaril from Morgoth's Iron Crown.

As it had seen these first steps in the Quest, the mighty beech also saw its end: the Silmaril was finally recovered in the Hunting of the Wolf, but in that hunt Beren received a mortal wound, and it was beneath Hírilorn's branches that Lúthien was briefly reunited with him before he died.

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