Spotlight On Middle-Earth : Thranduil's Halls

In a great cave, some miles within the edge of Mirkwood, on its eastern side, there live at this time the greatest King. Before its huge doors of stone, a river runs out of from the heights of the forest, and flows on and out, into the marshes at the feet of the Wooldland Realm, and on still into the Long Lake.



Also known as the Felegoth, Thranduil's Halls are a massive subterranean complex of rooms, passageways and dungeons carved out from living stone, located on the northern outskirts of Mirkwood. In the year 1050 of the Third Age, a great Shadow begin to fall upon the Greenwood. It was at this time that the Elven-King Thranduil decided to lead his people to the north-east corner of the ancient forest, and there, with the help of Dwarves, he built an underground palace inspired by Thingol's halls of Menegroth in Doriath, in the First Age.

The famous Hobbit Bilbo Baggins visited the Elven-King's Halls in the Autumn of 2941 of the Third Age with Thorin and Company - he noted that the entrance to the palace was blocked by a large stone gate secured by magic, which could only be reached by crossing a bridge over the Forest River. Felegoth is a beautiful underground dwelling and includes its own gardens, kitchens and bakeries and dining rooms, lakes and waterfalls, and an immense Great Hall, with pillars hewn out of the living stone where the Elvenking Thranduil sits on a throne of carven wood. It's like been in a forest, but underground, and only lit by artificial light, something of spectacular beauty.  



In lower levels are cells for prisoners and at the lowest part of the caves are the cellars of the king. These cellars are built over an underground stream so that empty barrels can be dropped into the water and floated out to the Forest River through a water-gate. At the opening from the cave, the rock of the roof comes low, and there the portcullis is placed, that can be open and lower by ropes in the cellar generally with the accompaniment of elf-song.This is the place where Bilbo and the Dwarves eventually escape by hiding into empty barrels that were rolled down the trap-door and into the river below. 

Should you venture on to the north-east corner of Mirkwood, don't forget to visit this magnificent place and pay your respects to King Thranduil, in the Autumn he wears a crown of berries and red leaves, in the Spring and Summer his head is adorned with fresh beech leaves, for they are the symbol of the Woodland Realm.

Article by Amorey - Laurelin Archives Webteam


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