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Chapter 6

Concerning Estel:
Who Foretold What, When; or The Strange Case of Foresight's First Formulation

by Sanford S. Kaplan
January 15, 2022, updated June 24, 2023

Imladris: T.A. 2944: "Ada, why did you and Nana
name me Estel? It's such a stupid name."



So begins a delightful tale by Fiondil1, writing in Stories of Arda as part of his series of stories entitled "Tales From Vairë's Loom: On the Naming of Names." In this story, a thirteen-year-old Estel2 bemoans to his Ada, Elrond, that "Estel" is indeed a stupid name. Estel wishes he had a real name, pointing out to Elrond that "Estel" is not even meant to be a name, referring as it does to a philosophy of hope. The story is well-written, and full of irony to the reader somewhat familiar with the characters and their history in not only the LoTR, but the Silmarillion and other writings of Tolkien as well. Estel comments to his Ada that he would like to have a name like that of his brothers, Elladan, or Elrohir, or even Elrond himself, but that "Estel" is a sorry substitute. Of course, Elrond cannot at this point tell his son about his true origin, or his "real" name, and of course the reader of Fiondil's story probably knows already that someday Estel will in fact be named "Elessar," fulfilling his desire to have an "El-" name like his brothers and father, and which Estel's own son one day will bear. Furthermore, Elrond wisely chose a name for his adopted son that reflected both the boy's hopeful nature and his future as the hope of Elves and Men. The humorous end of Fiondil's story is ironic itself: in completing his homework assignment from Erestor, Estel misspells his own name, Aragorn, without knowing that it is in fact his "real" name!

This story gives one pause for thought, because a reader of the Fellowship of the Ring would probably remember the poignant scene in which Galadriel gives Aragorn the actual Elessar, and tells him to take the stone and the name that goes with it--Elessar--as it was foretold that he would one day bear that name. How was Galadriel aware of this prophecy? Who made this bold prediction that a mortal man, even if distantly descended from the Elves himself, and a true descendant of Elrond's brother Elros, would one day receive a high Elvish name? Who foretold that one would come to receive this gemstone from Galadriel? Who foretold what, and when?

It would seem a straightforward enough question to answer, but like all things Tolkien, any research into the history and evolution of the characters and tales within the story as a whole requires an almost Talmudic-like study. Layer upon layer of complexity, threads of narrative woven in and around themselves, hints of different stories not included in the extant Legendarium, with many questions unanswered...such is the nature of research on Tolkien's masterwork, and therein lies its allure for many.

With that thought in mind, this essay shall attempt an examination of how Aragorn came to receive the name Elessar, and the deep significance of that name for the Elves and Men of Arda. Consideration shall also be given to how Galadriel, Elrond, and Gandalf may have known of the words of Ivorwen (HoMe: Peoples of Middle-earth), the foresighted wife of Dírhael and the mother of Gilraen, and the grandmother of Aragorn. In addition, did only Galadriel and Elrond know of the words of Olórin to Galadriel, shortly after his arrival upon the shores of Middle-earth and his assumption of the name Gandalf? Or was Ivorwen herself aware of Gandalf's message to Galadriel?

To untangle the complex history of the Elessar and Aragorn's receiving this name in the Fellowship of the Ring (FR-II-8) is a tricky business indeed. In light of the many potential ways to begin this narrative, perhaps the best place to start is with a discussion of the philosophical meaning of 'estel.' This essay does not intend to fully address the complete extent of the estel concept, but will provide a little bit of background as an opening for a discussion of the Elessar in the LoTR. A discussion of the concept of estel, and the religious significance thereof, could well be the subject of a semester-long college class focusing on Tolkien's religious beliefs and their impact on the writing of LoTR, the Silmarillion, and his other collected works.

Estel as an Idea

What, exactly, is "estel?" The concept of "estel" within the Legendarium is a fascinating topic, and the inclusion of the idea of "estel" in his writings allowed Tolkien to introduce some of his own beliefs about life, death, and immortality, as well as the deeper-seated hope that the future will be better, as opposed to the more limited hope about the future based upon previous history. "Estel" is the same word in both Quenya and Sindarin3, and forms a significant part of the foundation of Elvish thought regarding the future. Through their association with the Elves in the First Age, Men came to understand the philosophical meaning of estel, and came to include it in their own weltanschauung.

When Christopher Tolkien assembled The Silmarillion for publication in 1977, he had to carefully cull the narrative he put together from a huge amount of often disjointed written material that his father, J.R.R. Tolkien, had left unpublished. There is no question but that Christopher Tolkien did a masterful job in creating The Silmarillion, a book that provides unbelievable depth, meaning, and background to the LoTR itself, and parts of which soar to the heights of almost biblical narrative. Nevertheless, C. Tolkien could not include several massively important writings of his father in The Silmarillion. One story in particular, the less well-known Athrabeth Finrod ah Andreth, perhaps represents J.R.R. Tolkien's deepest thoughts on life, death, and the meaning of hope4. It is far beyond the scope of this essay to consider all of Tolkien's deeply held beliefs about estel, because his conception of estel delves into his own personal view of life and death, the future, and our place in the world-to-come...in a nutshell, religion.

Tolkien (1996) wrote at length about the concept of estel in the Athrabeth Finrod ah Andreth, a story set in the First Age, in which Finrod Felagund, son of Finarfin, older brother to Galadriel, and one of the noblest Elves, has a conversation with Andreth (a mortal wise-woman of the House of Bëor), about the views of Elves and Men concerning immortality and mortality, the "Great Hope" of Men, and the future of Elves and the Secondborn beyond Arda. Andreth had fallen in love with Aegnor, one of Finrod's younger brothers, and he in turn loved her...before he left her forever to return to the wars against Morgoth in which he would eventually perish. Finrod, on a time, was briefly visiting the lands of people of Bëor, and while there, sought out Andreth. Finrod was aware of the love between Andreth and Aegnor, perhaps providing some impetus for his desire to visit with her. I believe that Tolkien's own beliefs are expressed by Finrod, who perceives a great insight at the end of his conversation with Andreth. Finrod realizes that at the end of Arda, that will assuredly occur one day, it will be both the Men who have "left" Arda and returned to Ilúvatar, and those who remain on Arda, who will help in the true healing of Arda, and the reunification of Elves and Men before Ilúvatar. Many of the characters in the LoTR and the Silmarillion dwell on the different fates of Elves and Men5, and some hold that the separation of Men and Elves--upon death and the end of Arda respectively--is permanent, but I believe that Tolkien is trying to get us to think about the future...and our own estel. On the very first page of the very first chapter of The Silmarillion (1977), "Ainulindalë: The Music of the Ainur," Tolkien writes "Never since have the Ainur made any music like to this music, though it has been said that a greater still shall be made before Ilúvatar by the choirs of the Ainur and the Children of Ilúvatar after the end of days." Who has said this? We do not know, and Tolkien does not tell us, but I do not believe that Tolkien would willingly allow Elves and Men, who suffered so much together, and for each other, to go their separate ways forever, and for the Elves to die when Arda does. Both Elves and Men are indeed Children of Ilúvatar, as well as Dwarves6, and Hobbits...and I think that Tolkien means for us--the Secondborn--to have estel that we will all, hopefully, join in the great final singing...again, perhaps reflecting his deeply-held Catholic beliefs.

At the end of his life, Aragorn tells Arwen (us) that "Behold! We are not bound forever to the Circles of the World, and beyond them is more than memory. Farewell!7" Like his forebears, Lúthien and Beren, Aragorn accepts with grace his death and ending on Arda. In this Aragorn is expressing the true estel that there is more life after death, and true to his childhood name, Estel, given to him by his loving step-father Elrond, Elessar embraces his death as the Gift from Ilúvatar that it was meant to be. Aragorn's estel that there lies something better beyond the confines of the world, is greater than the fear of many Elves that when Arda dies, they will die as well...and is perhaps what Finrod glimpsed when he thought about the future of both Elves and Men. Perhaps Elrond and his fellow Elves saw this reflected in Estel's hopeful character and temperament. In his final words on Middle-earth, Aragorn goes beyond the doubt of most Men, and graciously accepts the Gift of Ilúvatar, perhaps emphasizing the estel we hold as humans that there is something better beyond death. As a descendant of the faithful Númenoreans, Aragorn embodies the estel of the Men who turned from the dark and gloomy teachings given them upon their first arrival on Arda: teachings provided by Melkor, in his desire to subvert all the beautiful and wondrous things that Ilúvatar created on Middle-earth. Turning their back on Melkor and his dark teachings, these Men turned to the West, and gave rise to the Elf-friends of old, who aided the Elves in their battle against Morgoth. Consider the description of Aragorn--one of the faithful of the Númenoreans, full of hope for the future, and appropriately named Estel as a boy--after he passed: "Then a great beauty was revealed in him, so that all who after came there looked on him in wonder; for they saw that the grace of his youth, and the valour of his manhood, and the wisdom and majesty of his age were blended together. And long there he lay, an image of the splendour of the Kings of Men in glory undimmed before the breaking of the world (RK-App A)." Once again, in death, Aragorn reveals his elvish kinship, and displays the agelessness that rightfully belongs to the Elves only. A parting gift from Ilúvatar, perhaps, to one who so faithfully followed the true estel that Eru intended for his Secondborn.

It is suggested in the Athrabeth Finrod ah Andreth that the original corruption of the Secondborn (The Atani, Men) was accomplished by Morgoth himself. Andreth tells Finrod that Men believe that upon their first arrival on Arda they too were deathless, but that Melkor subverted that immortality, and introduced death, of which Men became afraid. Upon hearing this, Finrod was alarmed that Melkor may have been even stronger than the Elves feared; however, upon reflection, Finrod could not accept that Morgoth could overturn any such creation of Ilúvatar, simply because Eru's creation was good, and that Eru would never abandon the beings of his own creation. Thus, for Finrod, the first Men were not deathless, but were born with the Gift of Ilúvatar in their future. Finrod believes that death IS a Gift from Eru, and that Melkor only sullied its true nature for Men8.

The discussion above is meant to serve as a backdrop for further exploration of the The Elessar, its significance, and its relationship to the concept of "hope," or estel. As noted above, there is no one way to approach a discussion of The Elessar. It is a complex tale, but let's start at the beginning, with the story as told in Tolkien's chapter, "Farewell to Lórien" from the LoTR itself--one's usual introduction to Tolkien's vast world.

On the Fellowship's Departure from Lórien

On the morning of their departure from Lórien (FR-II-8), the Fellowship packed their goods, enriched by gifts of foodstuffs and clothing from the Elves of the Golden Wood. Haldir served as a guide and brought them out of the City, heading southwards and eastwards, towards the River Silverlode. A hike of about ten miles brought them to a lawn of green grass above the junction of the Silverlode, to the west, and the Great River, the Anduin, to the east. There they found ready three small boats that would take them on the next leg of their journey southwards towards the Land of Mordor. The river journey would allow them all some more time to consider their future path, and Aragorn was greatly relieved by Celeborn's advice to take the river south as far as the Falls of Rauros, where the Company would have to decide on the direction they would take--with the Ring--either towards Mordor or Gondor (FR-II-8, "Farewell to Lórien").

The boats of the Elves were "light-built and crafty," and Aragorn, now the leader of the Fellowship, thought it wise to take a trial run upstream on the gentle Silverlode, before setting out on their journey down the more vigorous Great River. As they were heading upstream, they ran into a "Swan-ship" sailing downstream, carrying Galadriel and Celeborn, who invited the Fellowship to join them for a final repast on the lawn between the rivers. After they had eaten together, Celeborn gave the travelers some final words of advice concerning their journey down the Anduin, and noted that their decision point would be just above the Falls of Rauros. Before they left, however, Galadriel offered them the cup of farewell, but then she commanded them to sit once more upon the grass, and she gave each member of the Fellowship a gift to remind them of their stay in the Golden Wood.

Her first gift went to Aragorn, "the leader of your Company," and it was a sheath for his sword Andúril, the Flame of the West, that itself was reforged from the shards of Narsil, Elendil's sword that Isildur used to cut the Ring from the hand of Sauron at the end of the siege of Mordor. Then Galadriel asked Aragorn if there was anything else that he desired from her, before they were separated by the coming darkness, and might not meet again. Aragorn responds that Galadriel already knows what he desires, but that she is not capable of giving it to him, and that he must find his own way through the darkness to achieve his goal. "'Yet maybe this will lighten your heart,' said Galadriel; 'for it was left in my care to be given to you, should you pass through this land.'" Galadriel then gave to Aragorn "a great stone of clear green9, set in a silver brooch," saying 'This stone I gave to Celebrían my daughter, and she to hers; and now it comes to you as a token of hope. In this hour, take the name that was foretold for you, Elessar, the Elfstone of the house of Elendil!'"

On this first telling, Tolkien does not inform the reader how Galadriel knew that Aragorn would be the one to someday carry The Elessar and the name that went with it, but Galadriel clearly considers The Elessar to be a "token of hope." How does Galadriel know that one day Estel would bear the name Elessar, and that this was foretold? Why does Galadriel think of The Elessar in this way? Perhaps a recounting of the legends surrounding The Elessar will shed some light on this question.

Some readers have suggested that Galadriel's gift of The Elessar to Aragorn also served as a wedding gift for Arwen and Aragorn. Galadriel and Celeborn were both in all likelihood aware of their granddaughter Arwen's commitment to Aragorn. In the "Tale of Aragorn and Arwen" (Appendix A of the LoTR), Tolkien relates that after many travels, a weary Aragorn returned to Lothlórien on his way back to Imladris. He did not know that Arwen was there at the same time, coincidentally or not, and upon his arrival, Galadriel bid him to cast aside his wayworn raiment, and she dressed him in Elvish garb of silver and white. Walking upon the Hill of Cerin Amroth, he saw Arwen, and she saw him, and he appeared not as a Man, "but as an Elf Lord out of the West," and Arwen's heart was taken10. They plighted their troth upon Cerin Amroth, and it is unlikely that Galadriel and Celeborn were unaware of their granddaughter's choice, the Choice of Lúthien.

"The Elessar"

The word "Elessar" (the same in Quenya and Sindarin) means "elf stone" in Westron (descended from Adûnaic). The Elessar was also known as the "Stone of Eärendil."

The facts of the matter: In the Unfinished Tales, Tolkien stated that there were two different legends concerning the Elessar that Galadriel gave to Aragorn.

In the first legend, Tolkien states that there lived in Gondolin "a jewel-smith named Enerdhil." He was accorded by many to be the greatest jewel-smith following the death of Fëanor himself. Like many Elves, Enerdhil had a deep love of growing green things, and reveled in the sight of sunlight flickering through the green leaves of trees. He therefore created a jewel in which he somehow managed to capture the light of the sun in a green stone9, and all who came to see it, even the Noldor, marveled at its beauty and power, for it was said that the jewel restored everything as it was when young, even if it was now withered or burned. Furthermore, when one held the stone, their hands bestowed healing upon any that they touched. Enerdhil gave this gem to Idril Celebrindal, daughter of Turgon of Gondolin, and she wore it always upon her breast, and therefore preserved it when Gondolin fell, and she and her husband Tuor led the surviving Elves out of the wreck of Gondolin. When Idril took sail with Tuor in the search for Valinor, she gave the Elessar, for now she so named it, to her son Eärendil, who used it to heal many of the hurt at the Haven of Sirion, both Elves and Men, beasts and plants. He wore it upon his own breast as he traveled the seas in search of the Undying Lands. He was charged by his mother Idril not to surrender the Elessar to any other. It is stated in this tale that Eärendil's first memory was that of seeing this stone upon his mother's breast, and this memory also drove him to seek for Idril as he sailed the Great Sea, seeking sweet succor for all the deserving inhabitants of Middle-earth.

In the first legend, Tolkien states that there were those who believed that the "second Elessar," the one that Galadriel gave to Aragorn, was only the original Elessar returned to Middle-earth, "by the grace of the Valar" (specifically Yavanna), and was brought to Middle-earth by Olórin upon his arrival at the Havens.

In long conversation between Gandalf and Galadriel sometime after his arrival, she reveals her sadness at the decay of leaves and flowers in Middle-earth, and she fondly remembers "trees and grasses that do not die." Fearing that the Valar have completely abandoned Middle-earth to its own devices, Galadriel mourns the passing of Arda's early beauty. In a moving turn of phrase, Galadriel laments the fact that the Elessar has gone over the sea, and will not return to grace Middle-earth with its healing power, and that the "Valar are now removed and Middle-earth is far from their thought..." Galadriel feels the loss of estel that could make Middle-earth green and whole, as it once was. While she is lost in her sad memories, Gandalf suddenly reassures her that the Valar have indeed NOT forgotten Middle-earth, and in token of this, he holds before Galadriel the original Elessar. Galadriel looks upon the stone in deep wonder, and Gandalf tells her that it is a gift from Yavanna, and she is to use it as she will. Yet Gandalf gives Galadriel one fair caution: "For before you grow weary, and at last forsake Middle-earth11 one shall come who is to receive it, and his name shall be that of the stone: Elessar, he shall be called." Again: does Gandalf already know that one day Aragorn will indeed bear The Elessar, or is his prophecy more generic? Gandalf may not specifically know that Aragorn II will be known as the Elessar, simply that someone will indeed come to bear that name in the future.

In the second legend provided in the Unfinished Tales, it is related that Galadriel visited Celebrimbor, "the chief of the Elven-smiths" during the Second Age of Middle-earth. Galadriel, still possessing some overweening pride, perhaps, tells Celebrimbor12 that she feels no need to "ask the pardon of the Valar." Here on the shores of Middle-earth Galadriel believes she wields great power to shape her world, but she mourns the loss of the Elessar, and the hope it brings that the world can be green and alive once again. Celebrimbor rightfully believes that decay is the fate of Middle-earth, but he contrives to create for Galadriel a replacement for the Elessar. Tolkien states that of old Celebrimbor was a friend of Enerdhil in Gondolin, but that Enerdhil created works of greater subtlety and power than Celebrimbor could. Nevertheless, Celebrimbor "took thought" and created for Galadriel a second Elessar, his greatest creation save for the Three Rings of Power. He gave it to Galadriel, for he loved her, despite her turning to Celeborn. It was this Elessar that was passed to Celebrían, thence to Arwen, and then back to Galadriel. The second legend notes that Galadriel gave Celebrimbor's Elessar away when he sent her Nenya, the Ring of Water (also referred to as the Ring of Adamant), and she thought she no longer needed the Elessar.

Thus, one must wonder again how the Elessar came to be in Galadriel's hand again such that she could bestow it upon Aragorn, the one who was meant to bear the name Elessar. Were Celebrían and Arwen aware of the coming of one who would bear the name Elessar? Based upon the fact that Arwen left the Elessar with her grandmother Galadriel, possibly after she pledged herself to Aragorn and the Doom of Men upon Cerin Amroth, it would seem so.

The Elessar and Estel

Tolkien never directly states that there is a connection between The Elessar and estel, but there is sufficient textural evidence to suggest that he indeed saw a link between the two. There are two key ideas in the Legendarium that support this link, and both are individually mentioned in the two legends concerning The Elessar.

In the first legend, as noted above, the newly-arrived Olórin (Gandalf) is in deep conversation with Galadriel, who expresses her thought that the Valar have "removed" themselves from Middle-earth, and they have forgotten its inhabitants. Gandalf dramatically reveals The Elessar (the original!) and says to Galadriel " 'It is not so,' said Olórin. 'Their eyes are not dimmed nor their hearts hardened. In token of which look upon this!' And he held before her The Elessar, and she looked on it and wondered." Gandalf goes on to tell Galadriel that the giving of The Elessar to her is a gift from Yavanna and the Valar. This is the key connection: Yavanna is seeking to restore in Galadriel (and others who will see the Elessar) the hope that the Valar have NOT forgotten Middle-earth in its travails, and that the future will be better. In this sense, the gift of the Elessar to Galadriel is an attempt to restore her estel. This vignette may be the strongest proof for the link between the Elessar and estel.

In the second legend, Galadriel expresses to Celebrimbor her sadness that leaves fall, and everything in Middle-earth falls to decay. She regrets the fact that the decay of Middle-earth is an ill "that no Spring can redress." Here again, Galadriel is, in a sense, expressing a loss of hope in the future. Things will not improve. There is no "happy ending" to look forward to. When Celebrimbor asks her what she would have, Galadriel says that she would "have trees and grass about me that do not die," a hope that Middle-earth can be restored to the days of its glory in the First Age. Thus Celebrimbor made for Galadriel a second Elessar, as noted above.

In both of these legends, Galadriel is admitting to, essentially, a loss of hope for the future. Given the tendency of Elves to live in their memories, and their long history of watching the failure of estel to achieve a lasting, glorious peace13, they may innately possess less estel than the Secondborn, who, in their short lives, must look forward with hope to the future. Knowing that their sojourn on Middle-earth is a short one, Men must look forward with hope, for what else is there? When Gandalf gives the Elessar to Galadriel, it restores hope for her, and teaches her that the Valar--and Eru--have not forsaken Middle-earth.

So that is the background. Understanding the relationship between estel and The Elessar, we can now explore the original question put forth in the title of this essay: who foretold what, and when.

Communications Between Elves and Men in Middle-earth at the End of the Third Age.

"At Aragorn's birth, Ivorwen foresaw that he had a bright future ahead,
for a green stone lay upon his breast. The green stone of which she spoke
was the Elessar gem, which would be given to Aragorn by Galadriel."14

How ironic, that Ivorwen saw that Aragorn, the very distant descendant of Tuor and Idril, would someday wear the Elessar in the same way that his (many generations removed) great-grandmother Idril did.

So now all the pieces of the puzzle have been set out. There is a clear link between the Elessar and estel, even more so between Elessar and the name Estel that was bestowed upon Aragorn as a two-year-old, because Aragorn Elessar did indeed represent the Hope of Men (and Elves!), and he did achieve the goals that were hoped for. In the process of doing so, Aragorn, wearing the Elessar and bearing its name, could begin to "heal" the hurts of Middle-earth that it had suffered at the hands of Sauron. Cloaked and hooded, but still wearing the Elessar, Aragorn entered Gondor at the request of Gandalf, in order to help with the hurt in the Houses of Healing. Tolkien movingly writes in "The Houses of Healing" (RK-V-8) "And word went through the City: 'The King is come again indeed,' And they named him Elfstone, because of the green stone that he wore, and so the name which it was foretold by Ivorwen at his birth that he should bear was chosen for him by his own people." Ivorwen was probably aware of some of the stories regarding Gandalf and Galadriel and The Elessar, but her foresight that the baby Aragorn would some day wear The Elessar was a true insight, and since none of the Wise had yet seen the newly-born Estel, Ivorwen's foresight was indeed a true glimpse of the future.

Only one loose end remains, and that deals with how Ivorwen's foresight came to be common knowledge among the Wise.

There are several tantalizing suggestions in the LoTR that imply some sort of communications link between the remaining Elves in Middle-earth and the Dúnedain, and that there was a shared prophetic vision among Elves and the Dúnedain concerning the Elessar. To begin with, Tolkien makes it clear that the Dúnedain, descendants of the Númenóreans, who were in turn descendants of the Elf friends of old and their people, were granted the gift of foresight.

The Tolkien Gateway (2023) refers to “Foresight (Q. apacen)". Apacen: "The word is not attested directly by itself but extrapolated from apacenye and tercen. Cf. apacenya in Elfdict", which was taken from the excellent Ardalambion website. Apacen "is a gift or power apparently given to picked Elves and Men. Many elves appear to have varying amounts of foresight, while some of the more noble men (Númenóreans/Dúnedain) appear to have degrees of foresight on special occasions.”

It would appear the gift of foresight was a gift from Ilúvatar himself, as it could not be given by the Valar to Elves or the Secondborn, and Melkor would have no interest or the power to do so. This foresight is exhibited by many characters in the LoTR, either in the tale itself or in the supporting texts found in the Appendices to the LoTR or the Silmarillion, for starters. Beginning with the foresight of Huor, who, at the Battle of the Nirnaeth Arnoediad, told Turgon that "from you and from me a new star will arise," continuing down through the prophetic words of Malbeth the Seer at the time of Arvedui, the ability to glimpse the future was strong in Ivorwen, the wife of Dírhael. Both Ivorwen and Dírhael were born of the high people of the Dúnedain,15 and were gifted with foresight in strong measure. Thus, Ivorwen's words at the birth of Aragorn probably reflect her true foresight16. Nevertheless, one wonders about the timing of all of these visions regarding The Elessar and its ultimate bestowal on Aragorn by Galadriel.

In time-line sequence, the two legends regarding the Elessar provide a baseline for its history. It is related in the Unfinished Tales that the Istari, or Wizards, arrived about 1,000 years after the start of the Third Age, when the shadow of Sauron first began to move once again, and evil stirred in the Greenwood. Gandalf's visit with Galadriel must have taken place shortly after his arrival on Middle-earth, because the first legend of the Elessar says that Gandalf took counsel with Galadriel while she was living in Greenwood the Great.

[It is noted in One Wiki to Rule Them All (2023) that "Mirkwood had been called Greenwood the Great until around the year TA 1050, when the shadow of the Dark Lord Sauron fell upon it, and men began to call it Mirkwood, or Taur-nu-Fuin and Taur-e-Ndaedelos in the Sindarin tongue."]

In "The Return of the King, Appendix B,” Tolkien (1955) states that "When maybe a thousand years had passed, and the first shadow had fallen on Greenwood the Great, the Istari or Wizards appeared in Middle-earth." A little further on in the Appendix, Tolkien (1955) notes that in Third Age 1050, “...a shadow falls on Greenwood, and men begin to call it Mirkwood." Other names that were applied to Mirkwood included Taur-nu-Fuin and Taur-e-Ndaedelos (Sindarin. UT).

If Galadriel was dwelling in Greenwood the Great, Gandalf's visit had to be sometime before or only slightly after it was name Mirkwood, implying that Gandalf's visit with Galadriel had to occur about this time.

We can thus establish an early historical mention of the Elessar, when Gandalf tells Galadriel that one day "one shall come who is to receive it, and his name shall be that of the stone: Elessar he shall be called." (UT, The History of Galadriel and Celeborn). There is no mention at this point regarding who this man might be, or when he shall arrive, suggesting that Gandalf's words to Galadriel may be a generic foretelling. Then again, perhaps not. It would appear that the former interpretation may be more correct, because without knowing exactly when the foretold man would arrive, Galadriel was not constrained to hold the Elessar, and was free to "lend" it to Celebrían, and for Celebrían to pass it on to her daughter Arwen. If this is the case, did Arwen "know" that Estel would be "the one...who is to receive it"? This seems to be the crux of the whole matter.

Ivorwen's words of prophecy regarding Aragorn at his birth seem to be a genuine expression of her foresight. Many Elves, particularly the leaders of the Elves on Middle-earth at the end of the Third Age, namely Círdan, Elrond, and Galadriel (and quite possibly Thranduil), and the Istari, appreciated the foresight of the Dúnedain. After all, there was a strong tradition of Men expressing their foresight to the Elves, when it came upon them, and such foresight did, indeed, come to pass. The Elves remembered this, and perhaps paid more attention to the foresight of the Dúnedain than many others did.17 It is also likely that Ivorwen was aware that the Elessar had returned to Middle-earth and was once again operative. In this nexus of events, perhaps the vision of Ivorwen at Aragorn's birth was indeed "heaven sent," thus triggering a chain-of-events that led to Galadriel bestowing the Elessar, and its name, upon Aragorn when he passed through Lothlórien with the Fellowship.

If this is the case, there must have been regular, frequent communications between the Dúnedain and the Elves of the Third Age. The LoTR itself, as well as the Silmarillion, the Unfinished Tales, and other accounts in the Legendarium, all indicate that there was indeed contact between Men (the Dúnedain in particular) and Elves. Mention is made that many of the Chieftains of the Dúnedain, probably as teenagers, were fostered for a while in Imladris before assuming the role of Chieftain. Only Aragorn, however, was truly brought up by Elrond as an adopted son (see "The Tale of Aragorn and Arwen", Appendix A, LoTR), and named Estel upon his arrival in Imladris as a highly dependent, two-year-old boy, with his mother Gilraen.

There has been considerable conjecture by many readers regarding the question of where, and how, the surviving Dúnedain of Arnor lived their daily lives. It has been noted by many readers that little to nothing is mentioned about their home base in the LoTR or the Legendarium as a whole. Tolkien himself wrote that the surviving Dúnedain became "a secret and wandering folk". Tolkien's statement therefore presents a conundrum for those attempting to pinpoint their location in northern Middle-earth during the last third of the Third Age of Middle-earth. After all, if they were secretive and wandering, they could not live near the existing settlements of Men and Hobbits (or Dwarves), as that would necessarily compromise their "secretiveness." They could, however, possibly live near Elvish settlements, because the remaining Elves in Eriador and beyond, given their historical friendship with the Dúnedain, could be reasonably trusted to keep their home location secret.

Tolkien scholar Michael Martinez (2000) wrote a research paper that attempted to find the location for the Dúnedain in Arnor. Using logic and some serendipitous sleuthing, Martinez (2000) concluded that the Dúnedain must have lived in The Angle between the Hoarwell (Mitheithel) and the Loudwater (Bruinen). He based this conclusion on two key observations:

First: Immediately after the Council of Elrond, Aragorn was able to call upon the Dúnedain of Arnor to help in the search for traces of the Nazgûl after their defeat at the Bruinen. They had to be somewhere close to Imladris for Aragorn to be able to do this, otherwise it would have taken too long for Aragorn's message to his people to reach them.

Second: Galadriel had a vision (perhaps in her Mirror) that Aragorn was in need of his fellow Dúnedain and kinsmen, as well as his brothers Elladan and Elrohir. When the host of the Dúnedain, under the leadership of Halbarad, along with Elladan and Elrohir, reached the Rohirrim in Rohan, as King Théoden and his party were returning from their parley at Isengard, Legolas told Gimli that he thought Galadriel had sent word to the Dúnedain to come to the aid of their Chieftain in Rohan. Tolkien's detailed chronology informs us that Aragorn departed Lórien on 16 February, yet in only a few weeks, the Dúnedain could travel south to meet him in Rohan. This means that Galadriel had to get her vision reported to Elrond in Imladris, and then the word had to get to the Dúnedain in Arnor. Martinez notes that this is a period of only three weeks, and could not have been accomplished unless the Dúnedain were already located close to Imladris. Martinez (2011) points out that it is likely that Galadriel had the message sent to Elrond, and then Elladan and Elrohir carried the message themselves to Halbarad and the Dúnedain leadership. Aragorn's brothers rode with Halbarad's troops to succor their brother and to bear witness to the coming battle with Sauron.

These two examples prompted Martinez (2011) to conclude that the Dúnedain of Arnor lived in close proximity to Imladris. Given this fact, and the historic connections between the remaining Men of the West and the Elves of Imladris, it is likely that there were frequent communications between the former and the latter. It is highly probable that Elrond was always well aware of the doings of the Dúnedain, and that they, in turn, were kept abreast of news from Imladris and other Elven strongholds on Middle-earth. Again, this relationship has been well reported by many scholars and written about in the fan-fiction literature.

Furthermore, The Angle would be an ideal spot for the Dúnedain to establish their homes. Hard by the Ettenmoors, (Trollshaws), visitors would have shunned the region, contributing to the "secretiveness" of the Dúnedain settlements.

Based upon the analysis above, it would appear that Elrond, and the Wise, were probably aware of Ivorwen's foresight concerning Aragorn at the time of his birth. Galadriel was a member of "The Wise" and therefore knew that Estel, being reared at Imladris, was probably the one that Gandalf had so long ago foretold would one day wear the Elessar. Indeed, in Galadriel's mind, perhaps, the concatenation between Estel, the boy, and the estel represented by the Elessar, was the sign she was waiting for. Furthermore, it appears that Aragorn himself was aware of Ivorwen's prophecy. This is suggested by his "insisting" that Bilbo include a mention of "a green stone. He seemed to think it important." (FR-II-1). When Aragorn was told of this prophecy is conjectural, although it is less likely that he would have been told as a child, more likely, perhaps, is that Elrond informed Estel of this when he told him about his true ancestry and heritage, or shortly thereafter.

Therefore, in conclusion, it appears that the prophecy delivered to Galadriel by Gandalf established a foundation upon which the later words of Ivorwen would act. Thus, again, the foresight of a Mortal had great significance not only for Elves and Men, but for the history of the whole of Middle-earth as well.


1In preparing this essay, I attempted to contact Fiondil at the Stories of Arda website, in order to gain his approval for using a quote from his story as part of my work. Much to my dismay, I discovered that Fiondil had passed away on 28 January 2015. I then wrote to the Moderator of the Stories of Arda site to confirm the use of Fiondil's quote.

The story by Fiondil that begins this chapter may be found at: "On the Naming of Names".

It is interesting to note that Fiondil's story also addresses Aragorn's name of Elessar.

2There is a huge amount of fan fiction that describe the upbringing of Aragorn in Imladris, as the young boy Estel. Most of this fiction takes as a jumping off point the small mention of Aragorn's youth in Appendix A of the LoTR, "Here Follow a Part of the Tale of Aragorn and Arwen," in which Tolkien states "Then Aragorn, being now the Heir of Isildur, was taken with his mother to dwell in the house of Elrond; and Elrond took the place of his father and came to love him as a son of his own." (italics mine). Some samples of the extant fan-fiction literature about Estel as a child are included in this chapter following the references. It seems to many LoTR devotees that the relationship between Elrond and Estel (Aragorn) was misconstrued in the Peter Jackson films, whereas most of the fan fiction stories seem far more on target in treating with Estel's youth, upbringing, and the loving relationship he shared with Elrond, and Elrond's two sons Elladan and Elrohir, his "brothers."

3The word "estel" is a cognate in Sindarin and Quenya, and essentially means "hope," however, Tolkien describes different kinds of "hope" as noted in this Chapter. When used as a name, such as the name given to Aragorn as a young boy in the house of Elrond, the word becomes capitalized.

4In the Athrabeth Finrod ah Andreth, Tolkien discusses the difference between true "estel" and the related concept of "amdir." True "estel" is the hope based purely on trust and faith, without any recourse to reason or knowledge of previous events. "Amdir," on the other hand, is more grounded, and represents a hopeful view of the future based upon previous experiences and occurrences. It is a more reasoned belief based upon past action, and does not require "blind faith" in its elucidation.

5Once again, many fan fiction writers have picked up on this thread, and explore aspects of it in their work. A particularly good insight is provided in the fan-fiction story "The Sound of Laughter", by MP Brennan, in which Elrond comments to Estel on the differences between fëar and hröar (spirit and flesh), and points out to Estel his own belief that Elves are more likely stronger in hröar, but that Men may be stronger in fëar. It is interesting to speculate that this belief on Elrond's part perhaps is a reflection of the different degree of estel in Men as opposed to Elves. Given their short time-span upon Arda-marred, and the pain and suffering they often experience therein, estel is one way for Men to deal with the apparent grief they find in the world around them.

6Many people mistakenly think that the Dwarves, in particular, having been created by Aulë in anticipation of the arrival of Eru's Firstborn, are not "children of Ilúvatar. Not so! After telling Aulë in The Silmarillion that the Dwarves will not awaken until the Firstborn of Ilúvatar (the Elves) have awakened on Middle-earth, Eru goes on to state "But when the time comes I will awaken them, and they shall be to thee as children; and often strife shall arise between thine and mine, the children of my adoption and the children of my choice." So yes...the Dwarves (and the Hobbits) are indeed Children of Ilúvatar as well. It is interesting to note that in the fan fiction story entitled "Beyond Imladris" by PSW, the author notes that as Elrond entered the Hobbit village of Staddle, "Elrond marveled as they approached at the profusion of paths and colorful round doors cut into the earth itself, pondering anew Eru Ilúvatar's wondrous designs in the creation of his Children. Though Halflings were of the Second-born, yet their ways were different from those of Men, and they offered variety and a set of gifts to Arda which were entirely their own."

7One must do a great deal of reading within the realm of Tolkien's world to fully understand the significance of Aragorn's last earthly words. The Athrabeth Finrod ah Andreth discusses the importance of "memory" for the Elves, who embody, in their immortal lives (at least as long as Arda lasts!) a living memory of all that has passed. Perhaps Aragorn, wise in the ways of the Elves, senses that there is a greater future ahead for both Men and Elves, post-Arda. Without necessarily knowing it, Aragorn may be reflecting the hope (estel) that the future--"beyond the Circles of the World:"--may see the true repairing of Arda, and he is thus reiterating the thoughts that Finrod Felagund expressed to Andreth so long ago. Estel's idea of hope (estel) may, in the end, supercede the living memory that is so dear to the Elves. This is, I believe, what Finrod glimpsed of the future in his conversation with Andreth, wise-woman of the House of Bëor.

An excellent discussion of the concept of estel can be found on the "Tolkien: Medieval and Modern" website for student essays maintained by Professor Rachel Fulton Brown (2017), Associate Professor of History, at the University of Chicago. "Estel" is authored by S.O., May 19, 2017. Although "estel" means "hope," S.O. distinguishes between true "estel," ("trust" in the future)--a deeply heart-held belief that the future will be better, without any supporting evidence--and "Amdir" ("looking up")--an expectation that things in the immediate future will improve based upon past history or experience.

8This idea is discussed at some length in the 17th Edition of the Parma Eldalamberon, a journal dedicated to the study of Tolkien’s created linguistics.

9Tolkien never specifies what the green stone is, although in the FR-I-12 ("Flight to the Ford") Aragorn shows the Hobbits "a single pale-green jewel" that he found "in the mud in the middle of the Bridge." He adds that the stone "is a beryl, an elf-stone." Elves seem to have an affinity for the mineral beryl, as do most of us. Beryl is composed of beryllium (Be) and aluminum (Al), along with a basic silicate component (Silicon [Si] and Oxygen [O]), having the chemical formula Be3Al2Si6O18. It is a member of the cyclosilicate group, and crystallizes in the hexagonal crystal system, with a Hermann-Mauguin notation of 6/m 2/m 2/m. Pure beryl is clear, but the mineral frequently contains impurities of iron (Fe2+ or Fe3+). Beryl containing Fe2+ is often blue in color, Beryl containing Fe3+ is golden-yellow, while beryl containing both Fe2+ and Fe3+ is most frequently a darker shade of blue. The blue form of beryl is known as aquamarine, and is a prized gemstone. The deepest colors of aquamarine are also known as the gemstone maxixe. Green beryl contains impurities (up to 2%) of chromium (Cr) and vanadium (V). In its gemstone form, green beryl is known as emerald, and is extremely rare and highly prized. Pure golden-yellow beryls are often called by their gem name, heliodor. Red beryl, found in Juab County, Utah, contains impurities of manganese (Mn). Other impurities in beryl can include calcium (Ca), scandium (Sc), titanium (Ti), and cobalt (Co), and impart somewhat different colors to beryl (Mottana, Crespi, and Liborio, 1977; Mason and Berry, Elements of Mineralogy, 1968).

10In the Unfinished Tales, "The history of Galadriel and Celeborn," Christopher Tolkien comments that in a note written by his father in December, 1972, J.R.R. Tolkien discusses that "the Elvish strain in Men" may be seen "in the beardlessness of those who were so descended." C. Tolkien states that Elves were characteristically beardless, and that this remark written down by his father was among his last writings "on the subject of Middle-earth." The note to which Christopher Tolkien is referring was written in December 1972. This note is reportedly addressed to Patricia Finney (Dec. 9/72), however, this note is not included in The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien (Carter 1981).

Part Two of The Nature of Middle-earth includes a section on beards in Middle-earth, and notes that Aragorn did not have a beard, and was incapable of growing one, as beardlessness was a characteristic of the high Númenóreans due to the elvish antecedents in their lineage.

It is therefore easy to imagine Aragorn appearing as "an Elf Lord out of the West" given his beardlessness and the elvish garb in which he was attired by Galadriel.

11This is also interesting. Like many other characters in Tolkien's world, Galadriel's nature changed over the course of Tolkien's writings about Middle-earth. In the Unfinished Tales, Tolkien relates that Galadriel was born "in the bliss of Valinor," but was caught up in the strife surrounding the dimming of the Two Trees of Valinor. Tolkien notes that like her brothers, Galadriel was "proud, strong, and self-willed, as were all the descendants of Finwë save Finarfin, and like her brother Finrod, of all her kin the nearest to her heart, she had dreams of far lands and dominions that might be her own to order as she would without tutelage." Even so, Galadriel and her brothers were descended from both the Noldor (through Finwe) and the Vanyar (through Indis), and Galadriel likewise inherited the reverence of the Valar that was part of the Vanyar raison d'etre. Compassionate and merciful, understanding and gracious, Galadriel had an insight "into the minds of others,"a that Fëanor lacked. She was suspicious of Fëanor, and three times refused his request for a strand of her hairb, perceiving that some darkness lay on his soul, the result of Melkor's baleful influence. Tolkien points out that Galadriel herself was touched by this influence, as were all the Noldor who followed Fëanor, but that she herself did not recognize this.

When the Light of the Two Trees were dimmed, seemingly forever, as thought the Noldor, Galadriel fled Valinor, in an effort to help Fëanor recover the Silmarils. After the kin-slaying of the Teleri, where she fought against Fëanor, Galadriel was too willful to return to Valinor as a supplicant. Having invoked the Ban of the Valar (the Doom of Mandos) when Galadriel fled Valinor, even though part of her resolve was to avenge herself against Fëanor for his merciless killing of the Teleri, and his reckless assault upon Melkor, she was not sure that she would be allowed to return. In the first legend presented in this chapter, however, Gandalf suggests that she WILL be allowed to return to Valinor ("for before you grow weary, and at last forsake Middle-earth"). This is at some variance with the thought that Galadriel herself assumed she would never be able to return to Valinor.

Buried in the "The History of Galadriel and Celeborn" Tolkien wrote a moving sentence, that states it took two full ages for Galadriel to grow beyond her early desire for dominion. When Frodo offered the One-ring to Galadriel, even as a freely given gift, she could have taken it and achieved all of her early dreams and desires. She chose not to, and states in "The Mirror of Galadriel" in the FR, "I will diminish, and go into the West..." How many of us, reading this passage for the first time, are struck by its power and beauty, not yet understanding the full history of Galadriel, and the long history and significance of this thought!

aIn the FR, Galadriel reveals her insight into each of the members of the Fellowship, as she gives them their farewell gifts, especially Aragorn and Boromir. Note how in "Farewell to Lórien," she knows what Aragorn truly desires with all his heart, and gives him the Elessar to lighten the burden of his arduous labors to achieve his goal. She also sees Boromir's anguish, and warns Gandalf of Boromir's inner battle when Gandalf takes counsel with Galadriel and Celeborn after his battle with the Balrog, and his return from the Undying Lands.

bAgain, in the same chapter, "Farewell to Lórien," Tolkien notes that Galadriel asks Gimli to name his desire, saying that "You shall not be the only guest without a gift." When Gimli asks for three strands of her golden hair, "The Elves stirred and murmured with astonishment." Why so, the first- or second-time reader might ask? Only until one has read the Unfinished Tales, and understands Galadriel's refusal to give Fëanor a single strand of her hair, even though he requested such on three separate occasions, does one fully understand the import of Gimli's gracious request, and also fully appreciate Galadriel's granting of his wish, "a request so bold and yet so courteous."

12Celebrimbor was the last direct descendant of Fëanor, being the son of Curufin, who was the fifth son of Fëanor, and the most like his father in appearance, skill, and mood. Curufin shares with his older brother Celegorm a rather sordid reputation due to their interactions with Beren and Lúthien, as well as with Finrod Felagund and his younger brother Orodreth in Nargothrond. It is interesting to note that Celebrimbor disavowed his father's actions in Nargothrond. Celebrimbor moved to Eregion in the Second Age and there established his smith works, where Galadriel went to visit him on a time. Mistrustful of Sauron, who claimed to be an Emissary from the Valar, Celebrimbor forged the Three Elven Rings in secret, without Sauron's knowledge. After Sauron crafted the One Ring, and claimed lordship over all the rings made by the Smiths of Eregion, the Elves were finally made aware of Sauron's true intentions regarding Middle-earth. In retaliation for the refusal of Celebrimbor to hand over his three Elven Rings or the most powerful of the seven Dwarf Rings, Sauron invaded Eregion, and laid waste to Celebrimbor's home in Eregion. Celebrimbor was captured alive by Sauron's forces, and tortured, before being killed. When Sauron marched against Lindon, he carried Celebrimbor's body on a pole, taunting the Elves therein. A tragic end, though perhaps not unforeseen, given Celebrimbor's family history. It would seem, however, that, like Boromir in the Third Age, Celebrimbor turned from any evil inclinations that he might have had, and died a hero.

13Elrond succinctly expresses this view in The Council of Elrond (FR-II-2), when he states to the assembled group "Eärendil was my sire, who was born in Gondolin before its fall; and my mother was Elwing, daughter of Dior, son of Lúthien of Doriath. I have seen three ages in the West of the world, and many defeats, and many fruitless victories." In a pithy, laconic statement, Elrond is summing up the feeling shared by most Elves remaining on Middle-earth that there remains little estel for the Elves. Many commentators and fan-fiction writers have picked up on this gloomy sentiment, and incorporate the idea that the arrival of the two-year-old Aragorn in Imladris revived in Elrond's heart (and the hearts of his sons, at the least) a feeling of estel, and so, perhaps, this was one factor that prompted Elrond to bestow the name Estel on his young, adopted son.

14This quote is taken from The History of Middle-earth, Vol. 12, The Peoples of Middle-earth, and can be found in "The Making of Appendix A."

15Dírhael was a direct descendant of Aranarth, the First Chieftain of the Dúnedain of Arnor. Ivorwen was the daughter of Gilbarada, and it should be noted that Tolkien indicates that both Ivorwen and Dírhael were of high lineage. In The Peoples of Middle-earth, Tolkien notes that they were both descended from Isildur, though not "of the right line of the Heirs." Furthermore, in the Foreword to The Peoples of Middle-earth, it is noted that on a "slip of paper torn from a rejected manuscript," it was written that "But Ivorwen at his naming stood by, and said 'Kingly Valour' (for so that name is interpreted): 'that he shall have, but I see on his breast a green stone, and from that his true name shall come and his chief renown: for he shall be a healer and a renewer.'"

aThere is no further mention of Gilbarad or his descent in the Legendarium.

16There is a long list of Dúnedain mentioned in the LoTR alone who are foresighted. In addition to Dírhael and Ivorwen, here is a brief list of the Dúnedain who explicity express foresight, with an example of each. In no special order:

        1: As a very young man, just out of boyhood, Estel tells Elrond that the time of the Elves' choosing draws near.
        2: Telling Éomer that they will meet again though a host of the enemy lay between them.
        3: Telling Gandalf that he sees great danger for Gandalf if they pass through Moria.

Malbeth the Seer
        1: Foretold that Arvedui would be the last King of Arthedain, and of two choices before the Dúnedain of both Gondor and Arnor.
        2: Wrote a poem of prophecy about Aragorn (the Heir of Isildur):
        Over the land there lies a long shadow,
        westward reaching wings of darkness.
        The Tower trembles; to the tomb of kings
        doom approaches. The Dead awaken;
        for the hour is come for the oathbreakers:
        at the Stone of Erech they shall stand again
        and hear there a horn in the hills ringing.
        Whose shall the horn be? Who shall call them
        from the grey twilight, the forgotten people?
        The heir of him to whom the oath they swore.
        From the North shall he come, need shall drive him:
        he shall pass the Door to the Paths of the Dead.

        1: Foresaw his own death before the Troop passed the door to the Paths of the Dead

        1: His dream about the sword that was broken

        1: his dream about the sword that was broken, not once, but several times

        1. Foresaw her own short life, after having given hope (both literally and figuratively) to the Dúnedain and the Elves.

Going back even further, other Men also were possessed of foresight. In The Silmarillion, as stated above, Huor (the father of Tuor) and Hurin both display foresight. The full text of Huor's comments to Turgon states "Yet if it stands but a little while, then out of your house shall come the hope of Elves and Men. This I say to you, Lord, with the eyes of death: though we part here for ever, and I shall not look on your white walls again, from you and from me a new star shall arise. Farewell!" Again, it should be noted, that there is that mention of hope once again. Furthermore, Huor is correctly foreseeing the future, as his son Tuor will eventually marry Idril Celebrindal, and sire Eārendil the Mariner, father of Elros and Elrond.

17For example, after Aragorn by himself overmasters Sauron, and gains control of the Palantir of Orthanca, he discovers that a fleet of Corsair ships is heading up the Anduin to add to the besiegement of Gondor. With no other help available, Aragorn recalls the words of his father Elrond, brought to him by his "brothers" Elladan and Elrohir. As noted above, Malbeth the Seer had foretold that one day the Heir of Isildur would recall the Dead in order for them to fulfill the vow that they had made to Isildur, and to fight against Sauron. Elrond's message to Aragorn reminded him of this prophecy, which Aragorn, as the boy Estel, had probably been taught years ago. In order to reach the lower reaches of the Anduin in time to halt this ship-borne invasion from the South, Aragorn must ride the Paths of the Dead under the White Mountains, and recall the Dead to their duty. Aragorn leaves the company of King Théoden, Éomer, Merry, and the rest of the Rohirrim. Aragorn tells Éomer that they may meet again, though all the hosts of Morder lay between them, but Éomer clearly did not put a great deal of credence in Aragorn's comment. It was only after they met on the Fields of the Pelennor, in exactly the way that Aragorn had forteold, that Éomer realized that Aragorn was, indeed, a man foresighted.

aThis is the Palantir that Pippin had inadvertently picked up when Grima threw it out a window of Orthanc overlooking the assembled party of Gandalf, Aragorn, King Théoden, Éomer, Legolas, Gimli, Merry, Pippin, and picked men from the guard of Théoden. After the flight of the Nazgûl over the encampment of this group upon their return to the Hornburg, Gandalf realizes that Sauron is closer to starting his war against Gondor. He mounts Shadowfax, Aragorn hands Pippin (who had been sleeping nearby) to Gandalf, and they ride off into the night to warn the Steward of Gondor of Sauron's approaching attack.

Bibliography and References

Brennan, M.P., 2023. "The Sound of Laughter." Retrieved 13 June 2023 from Stories of Arda.

Brown, Rachel Fulton, 2017: Tolkien: Medieval and Modern: "Estel" by S.O. Retrieved 13 June 2023 from Tolkien Medieval and Modern's Blogspot, run by Dr. Brown, who is an Associate Professor of History, The University of Chicago.

Carpenter, Humphrey, Ed. and Tolkien, Christopher, 1981. The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien. Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston,463 pp.

Fiondil, 2021. "Tales From Vairë's Loom: On the Naming of Names." Retrieved May 15, 2021, from Stories of Arda.

Gilson, Christopher, Ed. 2007. Parma Eldalamberion XVII: Words, Phrases and Passages in Various Tongues in The Lord of the Rings. Journal of Tolkien Research.

Martinez, Michael, 2000: Ranger for Hire, Have Horse, Will Travel. Visualizing Middle-earth, pub. Xlibris Corporation, 156-168.

Martinez, Michael, 2000: Ranger for Hire, Have Horse, Will Travel. [Electronic Version] Online. Visualizing Middle-earth, pub. Xlibris Corporation, 156-168. Retrieved April 16, 2023, from Xenite.org.

Mason, Brian, and Berry, L.G., 1968: Elements of Mineralogy. W.H. Freeman and Company, San Francisco, USA, and London, UK.

Mottana, Annibale; Crespi, Rodolfo; and Liborio, Giuseppe, 1978: Simon and Schuster's Guide to Rocks and Minerals (Martin Prinz, George Harlow, and Joseph Peters, Eds., American Museum of Natural History). Simon and Schuster, New York, 607 pp.

PSW, 2023. Upon Amon Sûl. Retrieved 23 June 2023 from https://archiveofourown.org/works/14029854/chapters/32313801

Tolkien Gateway, 2023: Foresight. Retrieved June 13, 2023, from https://tolkiengateway.net/wiki/Foresight

Tolkien, J.R.R., 1954, 1994: The Fellowship of the Ring. Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston and New York, U.S.A.

Tolkien, J.R.R., 1954, 1965: The Two Towers. Ballantine Books, New York, U.S.A.

Tolkien, J.R.R., 1955, 1983: The Return of the King. Ballantine Books, New York, U.S.A.

Tolkien, J.R.R., 1977. The Silmarillion. Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston, U.S.A.

Tolkien, J.R.R., 1980. Unfinished Tales of Númenor and Middle-earth (Christopher Tolkien, Ed.). Ballantine Books, New York, U.S.A.

Tolkien, J.R.R., and Christopher Tolkien (ed.), 1996: The History of Middle-earth, Volume X, Morgoth's Ring, "Part Four. Athrabeth Finrod ah Andreth: 'The Debate of Finrod and Andreth.'" Houghton Mifflin, Boston.

Tolkien, J.R.R., and Christopher Tolkien (ed.), 1996: The History of Middle-earth, Volume XII, The Peoples of Middle-earth: Foreword, p. xii: "The Making of Appendix A," "The Tale of Aragorn and Arwen," Part 1, Ch. 9, p. 263. Houghton Mifflin, Boston. It is interesting to note that Ivorwen foresaw the green gem upon Aragorn's breast. How ironic, that Aragorn, the very distant descendant of Idril and her son Eärendil, would someday wear the Elessar in the same way that his (many generations removed) great-grandmother Idril did. Additional information is available at: http://www.henneth-annun.net/bios_view.cfm?scid=389


Suggested Young Estel Fan Fiction

"Bittersweet" by MistyC. Gilraen reflects on life on Estel's birthday. On FanFiction.net

(not found) "Night in the Forest" for Beleriandings. On Archive of our Own, a project of the Organization for Transformative Works, requires a consent by the reader to use. Site includes kink.

"Sweet Silver Bells" Glorfindel, knowing he is up against the Nine, considers which harness to put on his horse. FanFiction.net

"And the Darkness Did Not Overcome it" by MP brennan. Estel has a nightmare. On Stories of Arda.

"Gifts from the Heart" by Silivren Tinu. An incident during a visit to a nearby village makes Estel remember and treasure some very special gifts he has received on his birthday. FanFiction.net

"Chance Meeting at Rivendell" by Aunt Dora Baggins. Bilbo meets young Estel (10 years old) at Rivendell on the way to the Lonely Mountain with Thorin's Company. On Tolkien-inspired Stories.

"Hope will Prevail" by MistyC. Estel overhears a discussion between Elrond and Glorfindel and has a few questions. FanFiction.net

"The Valley is Jolly" by Canafinwe. When Thorin and Company arrived in Rivendell enroute to the Lonely Mountain, Elrond Halfelven did not offer aid in their endevours until their last night in his house. Why? Simply put, he was occupied with more pressing matters: 2941 was a very hard year. 37 chapters. FanFiction.net.