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Doriath, among the central forests of Beleriand
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  • Updated 11 August 2007
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Queen of Doriath

Melian the Maia

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Known or likely Queens of Doriath are shown in bold text. Note that only Melian is explicitly referred to by this title, but as the consort of a ruling King of Doriath, Nimloth also had a reasonable claim on the title.

In the long years before the beginning of the First Age, the Telerin lord Elwë Singollo came upon Melian the Maia in the woods of Nan Elmoth. So Melian became the first and only of the Ainur to wed one of the Children of Ilúvatar, and together Thingol (as Elwë became known) and Melian founded a kingdom among the forests in the heart of Beleriand, and ruled it as King and Queen.

Throughout much of its existence, the forest-kingdom was known as Eglador. When Morgoth returned to Middle-earth, he sent his Orc-armies to ravage Beleriand. They were beaten back, but only at great cost, and so Melian put out her power to protect her country. She surrounded the forests of her home with a bewildering maze of powerful enchantments, the so-called Girdle of Melian. From that time, the land she ruled with Thingol was no longer known as Eglador, but took a new name, Doriath, the 'fenced land'.

Melian and Thingol ruled in Doriath for some five centuries more. At last Thingol was slain, in his own treasuries by treacherous Dwarves of Nogrod. Melian in despair departed for her ancient home in the West of the World, and the Girdle that had protected Doriath was removed.

Whether Melian was the last Queen of Doriath is open to question. Thingol's grandson Dior ruled for some years in Doriath after his grandfather's death, so Dior's spouse Nimloth might possibly have inherited Melian's title. There is, however, no evidence that Nimloth was ever referred to as the 'Queen of Doriath'.

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