legolas and eowyn

The Colony of Eryn Carantaur

"And I," said Legolas, "shall walk in the woods of this fair land, which is rest enough. In days to come, if my Elven-lord allows, some of our folk shall remove hither; and when we come it shall be blessed, for a while. For awhile: a month, a life, a hundred years of Men. But Anduin is near, and Anduin leads down to the Sea. To the Sea!" Book VI, Chapter 4, The Field of Cormallen, Return of the King.

After the fall of Sauron, Gimli brought south a part of the Dwarf-folk of Erebor, and he became Lord of the Glittering Caves. He and his people did great works in Gondor and Rohan. For Minas Tirith they forged gates of mithril and steel to replace those broken by the Witch-king. Legolas his friend also brought south Elves out of Greenwood, and they dwelt in Ithilien, and it became once again the fairest country in all the westlands. Appendix A, Annals of the Kings and Rulers, III Durin's Folk, Return of the King.

Q. Legolas. Did he go back to the King? Will he stay there?
A. Yes, he did. He came south with Gimli, and he brought many of his people from Greenwood the Great (so they call it now). They say it was a wonderful sight to see companies of Dwarves and Elves journeying together. The Elves have made the City, and the land where Prince Faramir lives, more beautiful than ever. Yes, Legolas will stay there, at any rate as long as Gimli does; but I think he will go to the Sea one day. Mr. Meriadoc told me all this, for he has visited the Lady Éowyn in her white house.
Sam talking to Frodo-lad, quoted in Sauron Defeated, History of Middle-Earth, edited by Christopher Tolkien.

Where do you suppose Lady Eowyn's white house is?



The name

The name Eryn Carantaur was inspired by Nebride, who calls her elven colony Eryn Culhallas, meaning 'Wood of the Tall Golden-Red Trees'.

Eryn means 'wood'. Carantaur is made from two words: caran, which means 'red' and taur which means 'great wood, forest' and also 'mighty, vast, overwhelming'. In The strange sea road, Legolas tells Hentmirë that the name means 'Great Red Forest'.

However, when I created the name, I didn't know anything about 'lenition'. This is an important feature of Sindarin Elvish: under certain circumstances, the sound of a consonant mutates to another sound, which, in the context, is easier to pronounce. For example, C becomes G and T becomes D.

So Carantaur may be grammatically incorrect. But place names are often corruptions of an earlier description... and, anyway, I have grown to love it!



What does it look like?

When I frst bought the three volumes of The Art of Lord of the Rings and saw some of Alan Lee's early concepts for Rivendell, it was as though he had drawn Eryn Carantaur: less 'human' than Rivendell, more 'human' than Lorien, incorporating styles that Legolas might have seen on his many travels, and styles that the various colonists had brought with them.

The first picture, which shows The Council Chamber, could easily be a view of the exterior of Eryn Carantaur's Banqueting Hall.

Drawing by Alan Leespacer

The next picture, which shows a staircase in Lorien, could be the main staircase of Eryn Carantaur.

Drawing by Alan Leespacer

The picture below, which Alan Lee describes as a 'living gate', could be the entrance to the stables.

Drawing by Alan Leespacer

The following two pictures are concepts for Elrond's Library. If you ignore the books, these could show the walkway through the 'palace,' with Legolas' chambers on the left,

Drawing by Alan Leespacer

and if you ignore the roof, this could be his garden.

Drawing by Alan Leespacer

Another concept for Rivendell by Alan Lee. Imagine that the stone pedestals are tree trunks...

Drawing by Alan Lee

Some views of the colony:

Kong's mountainspacerthe forestspacerthe forestthe forest

the forestspacerthe forestspacerthe stablesbeneath the city

The entrance to the Banqueting Hall.

beneath the cityspacerbeneath the citythe banqueting hallspacerthe banqueting hall

Various buildings.

view from the palacespacerthe palacebuildingsspacerthe palace

the palacespacerthe palacespacerthe palaceHaldir's home

Inside Legolas and Eowyn's chambers.

Legolas & Eowyn's chambersspacerLegolas & Eowyn's chambersspacerLegolas & Eowyn's chambersLegolas & Eowyn's chambers

Their garden.

Legolas & Eowyn's gardenspacerLegolas & Eowyn's gardenLegolas & Eowyn's garden in snowLegolas and Eowyn's garden


Mediaeval notebooks were made from wax and written on using a stylus. The picture below shows a reconstruction. A ancient one found in York has several pages, and possibly belonged to a secretary. It contains part of a love poem, a list or set of accounts, and part of a legal document

A wax tabletspacer


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Some views of the colony




Nebride's fiction
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