The Encyclopedia of Arda - an interactive guide to the world of J.R.R. Tolkien
Dates
Known to be extant in the late Third Age, but presumably much older than this
Location
Beneath the River Withywindle in the Old Forest

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About this entry:

  • Updated 11 August 2008
  • This entry is complete

River-woman

The mother of Goldberry

"There my pretty lady is, River-woman's daughter,
Slender as the willow-wand, clearer than the water."
Words of Tom Bombadil
From The Fellowship of the Ring I 6
The Old Forest
The River-woman
Goldberry

A mysterious being - apparently some kind of water-spirit - associated with the River Withywindle in the Old Forest. She was the mother of Goldberry, who was for this reason known as the 'River-daughter'.

In the poem The Adventures of Tom Bombadil, we discover a little more about the River-woman. She lived in a deep pool beneath the Withywindle with her daughter, until Goldberry was taken by Bombadil as his wife. She was saddened to be left alone in her hollow - one of the last lines of the poem has the reeds in her river sighing at the loss of her daughter Goldberry.


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