Inspired by this question (that mistakenly refers to Rivendell), it occurs to me that I don't actually know the name of the realm where the Mirkwood elves live. I don't recall it ever being mentioned in either The Hobbit or Lord of the Rings.

What is it called?

  • If I find time I'll write up something big
    – Edlothiad
    May 4, 2017 at 11:00
  • 4
    Is it not literally "Mirkwood" ...?
    – TylerH
    May 4, 2017 at 14:48
  • Not sure if serious....
    – Lighthart
    May 4, 2017 at 16:32
  • @Lighthart, yes, I'm serious. I find it hard to believe the elves didn't have their own name for it. Or did they simply say "hey, let's go home to the Woodland Realm."
    – Darren
    May 4, 2017 at 16:48
  • 1
    Ok, then I recommend you change the title of your post to 'What did the Mirkwood Elfs call their realm?'
    – Lighthart
    May 4, 2017 at 17:18

3 Answers 3


The realm of Thranduil in Northern Mirkwood is known as the Woodland Realm, or more commonly, the realm of Thranduil.

In the North also there had been war and evil. The realm of Thranduil was invaded, and there was long battle under the trees and great ruin of fire; [...].

The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King - Appendix B: The Tale of Years

Thranduil, king in the north of Greenwood the Great, was one of these. [...] Thus in one essay Thranduil's realm is said to have extended into the woods surrounding the Lonely Mountain and growing along the shores of the Long Lake, [...].

Unfinished Tales: Chapter III - The History of Galadriel and Celeborn: Appendix B - The Sindarin Princes of the Silvan Elves

So it was that Sauron prepared two strokes- in which many saw the beginnings of the War of the Ring. They were made together. The Orcs assailed the realm of Thranduil, with orders to recapture Gollum; [...].

Unfinished Tales: Chapter IV - The Hunt for the Ring: Of the Journey of the Black Riders according to the account that Gandalf gave to Frodo

Its capital is called the 'Elvenking's Halls', also known as the 'Halls of Thranduil'. This realm did not take any name of Sindarin dialect, as the Silvan Elves did not speak Sindarin, even though some of their ancestors were of Sindarin origin.

Thranduil's Halls are named in the map:
enter image description here

  • 1
    Note that the entire forest is Mirk/Greenwood, not part of it
    – Edlothiad
    May 5, 2017 at 8:37

The Woodland Realm, later known as Mirkwood, was a kingdom of Silvan Elves located deep in the Forest of the Wilderland beginning in the Second Age. King Thranduil of the Sinda rules over the Silvan Elves. The Elves of the Woodland Realm, unlike many Elves, were known to be less wise and more dangerous, but were nevertheless one of the most powerful and legendary of the Elves of Middle-earth.

quoted from the lotr.fandom.com

So Mirkwood is known as the woodland realm.

  • I had the Woodland Realm in my head, but to me it's more of a description. If Legolas was filling out a form, is that what he'd put as his address? I was hoping it had a proper name like Rivendell. Also, I know Mirkwood was later renamed as Greenwood the Great, but do the elves consider the entirety of the wood as their realm rather than a portion of it?
    – Darren
    May 4, 2017 at 8:35
  • 1
    the capital of the woodland realm was Amon Lanc during Oropher's time but changed to the Elvenking's Halls under the rule of King Thranduil. May 4, 2017 at 8:53
  • 1
    It's how Aragorn introduces Legolas to Eomer of Rohan: "I am Aragorn, son of Arathorn. This is Gimli, son of Gloin, and Legolas of the Woodland Realm". I believe in The Hobbit movies Radagast refers to it as "Greenwood" before it falls under shadow and is called "Mirkwood" instead. May 4, 2017 at 9:05
  • 1
    Never mind, the forest of Greenwood / Mirkwood encompassed two different realms, those of the Woodland Realm and Dol Guldur, so the answer is 100% correct, the Elves inhabited the Woodland Realm of Greenwood, and the Orcs inhabited Dol Guldur of Mirkwood. May 4, 2017 at 9:08
  • 2
    I don't know if it is worth a downvote but yes, as @Edlothiad said, when given an option between quoting a wiki with sources and quoting the source itself, you should always favor the source. Questions of validity aside, the source is always the source but a wiki is whatever the last author wanted it to be. May 4, 2017 at 19:17

If you're asking "What did the Woodland Elves call their realm in their own language" then the answer depends on the Era.

From the Days of the Trees up to middle of the Third Age, the region was mostly called "Greenwood The Great". The literal translation in Sindarin is Eryn Galen.

In the eras of the central tales of The Silmarillion, the Elves called the corrupted pine forests of Dorthonion Taur-nu-Fuin (forest under nightshade). The name was re-used to refer to Mirkwood starting in the days of the Necromancer (second millennium of the Third Age).

After the defeat of Sauron, the Woodland Elves renamed the region to Eryn Lasgalen - Wood of Greenleaves (very likely referring to Legolas Greenleaf).

Note that the term "realm" is added in English but the Elves do not use this term (ardh in Sindarin) to refer to their forest domains. Lothlórien is probably the best known woodland realm in LotR, the name means "Gold of the Blossom". Dorthonion means "Land of Pines".

Sources: Tolkien Gateway | Encyclopedia of Arda | Hisweloke | The Silmarillion

  • 1
    Can you cite some sources?
    – Darren
    Oct 26, 2018 at 15:17
  • Right, I can see you've added some sources as a foot note, but a good answer would include them inline - look at Mat's answer as an example. Also a couple of those sources are questionable wrt their canonicity so it would be useful if you could address that.
    – Darren
    Oct 26, 2018 at 15:40
  • That's an interesting statement given you didn't even care to update the question title to what you're actually asking. So if you're just gonna call answers questionable without actually verifying the content, I'm done.
    – Codosaur
    Oct 26, 2018 at 15:50
  • Wow. There's no need to change the title of the question as it's exactly what I've asked. There have been a couple of well sourced and written answers already, but yours is saying something else. I'm prepared to accept you might be right, but you have cited sources that were clearly not written by JRRT himself so I've asked you to address the canonicity of them. No need to get so sniffy.
    – Darren
    Oct 26, 2018 at 15:53

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