by Varda-(Valar)
March 24, 2004 additions
Elves > Places > Mirkwood > Greenwood

    Greenwood the Great was the forest in which the "Elf-king", Thranduil, established and held his kingdom, the Woodland Realm. Legolas was his son.  (Thranduil was first written of in The Hobbit. Tolkien did not come up with Legolas until the Lord of the Rings, however. Had JRRT known the future, he would have surely mentioned the son by name. Some have suggested he might have been the kindly captain of the guard.)
    After the shadow rose in Dol Guldur, the forest became known to men as Mirkwood.
    After the forces of Thranduil and Celeborn freed Mirkwood from the shadow, they renamed the forest Eryn Lasgalen, "The Wood of Greenleaves". Then Thranduil ruled Lasgalen in the north down to the border of the mountains in the south, and Celeborn ruled the wood in the south below the Narrows, naming it East Lorien. The wide forest between was given to Beorn and the Woodmen.
    After the passing of Galadriel, and a time of ruling East Lorien alone, Celeborn left it to stay in Imladris with the sons of Elrond. Very few elves remained in Lothorien, as the golden wood faded without the power of Galadriel's ring.
    Legolas took a part of the Silvan Elves of Eryn Lasgalen (and perhaps Lothlorien, although this is not said) to Ithilien with him, blessing the woods that had been harmed by Sauron, once again making them fair, before Legolas passed to the West after the death of Aragorn.
    But "in the Greenwood, the Silvan Elves remained untroubled." 

References: Hobbit, LotR, "Appendix B" of RotK.
see also "Halls of Thranduil"