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The name came into use in about III 1050; renamed Eryn Lasgalen in III 3019
Rhovanion, to the east of the Vales of Anduin
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  • Updated 8 December 2008
  • Updates planned: 1


The Elves’ name for Mirkwood

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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 came to refer to the Greenwood as Taur-nu-Fuin, the Forest under Nightshade, rendered into the Mannish tongue as 'Mirkwood'.

The story of Sauron's darkening of Greenwood the Great mirrors events in the First Age, when he occupied the highland forests of Dorthonion, north of Beleriand. That region, too, fell under his shadow, and was also known as Taur-nu-Fuin.



The name Taur-nu-Fuin originated in the First Age, when it was used for the pine forests of Dorthonion after they fell under the power of Morgoth. The translation 'Forest under Nightshade' comes from that earlier dark place, whose name the Elves seem to have reused for Mirkwood after Dol Guldur was built there.

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