At the time of the events of The Lord of the Rings, Galadriel is lady of Lothlórien (previously residing in Doriath in Beleriand), ruling alongside Celeborn for an uncertain period of time after migrating east through the Blue Mountains from the Elven lands of Beleriand into Middle-earth.

Did Tolkien or his son make clear the year she took over rule over Lothlórien?

2 Answers 2


DisturbedNeo has the correct date; Celeborn and Galadriel assumed political control of Lothlórien around T.A. 1980 or 1981. The date comes to us from Unfinished Tales, which contains a detailed history of the pair from the Second Age onwards. There are two competing drafts describing the event:

It was not until far on in the Third Age, when Amroth was lost and Lórinand was in peril, that Galadriel returned there, in the year 1981.

Unfinished Tales Part 2: "The Second Age" Chapter IV: "The History of Galadriel and Celeborn"

[I]t was not until the disaster in Moria [T.A. 1980], when by means beyond the foresight of Galadriel Sauron's power actually crossed the Anduin and Lórien was in great peril, its king lost, its people fleeing and likely to leave it deserted to likely occupied by Orcs, that Galadriel and Celeborn took up their permanent abode in Lórien, and its government.

Unfinished Tales Part 2: "The Second Age" Chapter IV: "The History of Galadriel and Celeborn" Amroth and Nimrodel

The first draft is dated by Christopher Tolkien to approximately the writing of The Lord of the Rings, but he's no more specific than that; it could be any time from 1937 to 1949. The second draft is dated to 1969, and most probably represents Tolkien's final (recorded) thoughts on the matter in his lifetime.


I feel it important to point out that Galadriel was never Queen of Lórien; this is something Tolkien felt the need to call out specifically, so I find it worth being clear on (emphasis mine):

After the disaster in Moria [in the year 1980] and the sorrows of Lórien, which was now left without a ruler (for Amroth was drowned in the sea in the Bay of Belfalas and left no heir), Celeborn and Galadriel returned to Lórien, and were welcomed by the people. There they dwelt while the Third Age lasted, but they took no title of King or Queen; for they said that they were only guardians of this small but fair realm, the last eastward outpost of the Elves.

Unfinished Tales Part 2: "The Second Age" Chapter IV: "The History of Galadriel and Celeborn" Amroth and Nimrodel

  • "last eastward outpost of the Elves". Curious, that seems to disregard Thranduil's realm, mentioned in the same essay.
    – chepner
    Commented Jul 21, 2016 at 21:36
  • 1
    @chepner Perhaps what was meant was the last outpost of the high-elves, perhaps a mixed Noldor/Sindar population. The Sylvan elves of Mirkwood perhaps did not count to Galadriel. Commented May 19, 2022 at 22:12
  • Lórien and Mirkwood were both inhabited primarily by Silvan elves, accepting the incoming Elves of Beleriand as their overlords.
    – chepner
    Commented May 19, 2022 at 23:31

As seen in this link from Tolkien Gateway, Celeborn and Galadriel were the 3rd rulers of Lórien, taking over from Amroth circa T.A. 1981.

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    Ah, TA 1981... The last good year of woven fashion before they started overdoing it with hairspray and parachute pants...
    – Paul
    Commented Jul 21, 2016 at 11:13

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