Welcome, dear reader. With great excitement, I write these words in Rivendell. Ah such a place I never did behold! I shall not bore you with details of my journey across The Trollshawes as there is much more to relate of Rivendell. It seems as though I have arrived at a time of great importance and a great many people are here including Gandalf. How I love that wizard.
My first task was to report to Aragorn and tell him of the invasion of the North Downs. After making my way through the wonderful landscape I found myself at his dwelling. He welcomed me with these words:
“Oh that I could be there to aid in those matters. But it would seem my fate lies to the south and not the north. I will compose a message for Halbarad and ask Master Elrond if one of his Elves could carry it to Esteldín. You have done enough, and you have my thanks! For now, take what ease you can here in Rivendell.”
After taking a letter for Elrond, I stepped out and then noticed Aragorn’s companions for the first time. There was a man called, I have since learned, Boromir and a very fierce looking dwarf called Gimli. And an Elf called Legolas. Goodness, I pity the poor Orcs that face such as these.
I made my way across the valley and eventually found myself at the house of Lord Elrond. The whole valley was a busy place, for all its beauty, and appeared entirely self-contained. Frankly, it seemed impregnable to my eye.
Elrond himself was accompanied by his two sons, Elladan and Elrohir. Twins they are and hard to distinguish at first. As it turned out, I would spend quite some time in their company and soon became fast friends with them.
Elrond said “The path you took to my doorstep has been perilous, Seolferwulf, and its dangers all too common in these dark days. If you will consent to lend us your aid, it will not be the least of your challenges.
It is good that you have come. Rest well, but not too deeply or too long! We have need of adventuring folk, for there is evil beyond the vale.
Not more than two months ago, a hobbit by the name of Frodo Baggins and his companions were pursued to the Ford of Bruinen by servants of the Enemy. I speak of the Nine, the Nazgûl, fell creatures in the service of Sauron, and though the Bruinen fell upon them at my command, we
have found the steeds of only eight. One of the Riders is unaccounted for.
My sons will set forth to seek this missing Rider. I ask that you go with Elladan to their camp of Thorenhad, among the Bruinen Gorges, and lend your aid to the search. We must learn where this Nazgûl has gone, and most importantly, his designs.”
After leaving Elrond, I immediately made my way to find Gandalf. Ah, what a joy to see him again and to meet his companion, Frodo. I had heard of Frodo during my time in The Shire and now I had the chance to spend some time talking with him. He was melancholy and it seemed as though a great weight dragged him down. I know not the details but it seemed he was involved in the Great Council taking place. However, it seems my path lies with the Rangers and not with Frodo or his companions.
Now, who else? Ah yes, I also met a trio of hobbits called Merry, Pippin and Sam. It seemed these were Frodo’s closest companions. Sam was a very steady hobbit but Merry and Pippin were young and full of mischief. I think they had not yet seen much of the world and I hoped it would not be too much of a shock to them. Not that they seemed to care as all they needed was a second breakfast, some ale and a pipe to smoke and they were happy. Ah, I was like that once!
/OOC: On Elladan and Elrohir
In the year T.A. 2509, the twins’ mother Celebrían went on a journey into the south to visit her own mother, Galadriel, in the land of Lórien. In the Redhorn Pass, she was captured by orcs, and tortured in their dens. Elrohir rode with his brother to rescue her, but by the time they reached her she had received a poisonous wound. Though their father healed her, she would not remain in Middle-earth, and sailed into the West the following year. After this loss, Elladan and Elrohir were filled with hatred of the orcs, often riding against them with the Northern Dúnedain.
“…two tall men, neither young nor old. So much alike were they, the sons of Elrond, that few could tell them apart; dark-haired, grey-eyed, and their faces elven-fair, clad alike in bright mail beneath cloaks of silver-grey.” (The Passing of the Grey Company, ROTK).
What Do Their Names Mean?
Most fortuitously, Tolkien translated their names in one of his Letters, noted in the collection of his letters as Letter 211 to Rhona Beare. The translation was to answer Rhona’s question “When does El- mean ‘elf’ and when ‘star’?”
Elrohir = elf-knight, elf-rider. It is also possible to translate this as star-knight/star-rider, which is charming, but there is no evidence that Tolkien intended this translation.
Elladan = Elf-man. This seems boring until we analyse the etymological significance of the word “dan”. Strictly speaking, it means “man.” In usage, it means Númenorean, advanced man, wise man, as in Dúnedain. There is also overlap with the word “dan” meaning “wright or smith”. (Círdan [singular name, ship-wright] Mírdain [plural name, jewel-smiths]). So the highest, most knowing sort of man is what is implied here – a man of lore and craft, significant ideas in the Tolkien universe.