An encyclopedia of Middle-earth and Numenor
Liv Tyler as Arwen in the New Line film
Arwen by George Zeil
Arwen Evenstar was the daughter of the Elf-lord Elrond. She was beautiful with dark hair and grey eyes and she was called Undomiel, the Evenstar of her people. Arwen's beauty was compared to that of Luthien, and like Luthien, Arwen chose to forsake her immortality for the love of a mortal Man. After the War of the Ring, Arwen wed Aragorn, King Elessar, and became Queen of the Reunited Kingdom.
Arwen was born in the year 241 of the Third Age. She had two older brothers, Elladan and Elrohir. Their father Elrond was descended from both Elves and Men and he had been given the choice between the immortal life of the Elves or the mortal life of Men. Arwen and her brothers faced this same choice.
In 2509, Arwen's mother Celebrian was captured by Orcs in the Redhorn Gate and was tormented and wounded. Although she was rescued by her sons and healed in body by her husband, Celebrian remained troubled by terrible memories and she chose to leave Middle-earth the next year.
Arwen spent much of her time in Lothlorien with her grandmother Galadriel. She returned to Rivendell in 2951 to visit her father and there she met Aragorn. Aragorn fell in love with Arwen, but Elrond told him that his daughter's age and experience as well as her lineage placed her too far above Aragorn and that if she chose to be with Aragorn she would relinquish the immortal life of the Elves and be parted from her kin.
Aragorn left Rivendell and journeyed through Middle-earth gaining knowledge and experience. He came to Lothlorien in 2980 and found Arwen there. When Arwen saw Aragorn approaching her at Caras Galadhon, she knew her choice was made. They spent a season together in Lothlorien, and on Midsummer's Eve they plighted their troth on Cerin Amroth. But Elrond told Aragorn that his daughter would marry no lesser Man than the King of Gondor and Arnor. Aragorn set out once again on arduous journeys as he strove to fulfill his destiny.
Elrond called Arwen back to Rivendell in 3009 when the Misty Mountains and the lands in the east grew dangerous. In October of 3018, Aragorn and Arwen were briefly reunited when he returned to Rivendell with Frodo Baggins, but two months later Aragorn left with Frodo on his quest. In Lothlorien, Aragorn received from Galadriel the Elessar, or Elfstone, that had been left there for him by Arwen.
Arwen watched Aragorn from afar in thought and she made for him a banner bearing the emblem of the White Tree of Gondor and the Seven Stars and Crown of Elendil. She sent the banner when her brothers Elladan and Elrohir accompanied Halbarad and the Rangers south to meet Aragorn. Aragorn unfurled the banner when he came to the Pelennor Fields in the Corsairs' ships on March 15, 3019.
After the downfall of Sauron, Arwen traveled south to Gondor with her father. She arrived in Minas Tirith on Midsummer's Eve of 3019. Arwen and Aragorn were married on Mid-year's Day and Arwen became Queen of the Reunited Kingdom.
Arwen recognized that Frodo was still suffering from his burden. She gave him a white jewel to bring him comfort when he was troubled and told him that if he could no longer bear the memories and pain he could sail in her place into the West where his wounds might be healed. It is not known exactly how Arwen was able to give Frodo this gift. She may have asked Gandalf, as an emissary of the Valar, to allow Frodo to go in her stead.
Arwen travelled to Edoras with the funeral procession of King Theoden. After the funeral, Arwen and Elrond went up into the hills to say their final farewells. Then Elrond departed and he and his daughter never saw one another again. Elrond sailed over the Sea to join his wife in the Undying Lands on September 29, 3021.
Arwen and Aragorn lived happily together for 120 years. They had a son, Eldarion, as well as daughters. In the year 15 of the Fourth Age, the King and Queen travelled to the North-kingdom. Arwen bound the Elendilmir on Aragorn's brow when he assumed full kingship of Arnor. They dwelled for a time by Lake Evendim and they went to the Brandywine Bridge to meet with Sam Gamgee, Merry Brandybuck, and Pippin Took. Arwen made Sam's daughter Elanor her maid of honor.
Aragorn died in the year 120 of the Fourth Age. Arwen was deeply grieved and at last she understood the bitterness of mortality. Arwen said farewell to her children and went to Lothlorien where she died the next winter. Her grave was on Cerin Amroth where she and Aragorn had become betrothed.
The Fellowship of the Ring: "Many Meetings," p. 239, 245, 250; "Lothlorien," p. 367
The Return of the King: "The Steward and the King," p. 250-51; "Many Partings," p. 252-54
Appendix A of The Lord of the Rings: "The Tale of Aragorn and Arwen," passim
Unfinished Tales: "The Disaster of the Gladden Fields," p. 277
The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien: Letter #246
Birth of Arwen.
Arwen's mother Celebrian is captured and tormented by Orcs.
Celebrian decides to leave Middle-earth and goes to the Undying Lands.
Arwen returns from Lothlorien to Rivendell and meets Aragorn.
Arwen and Aragorn meet again in Lothlorien and on Midsummer's Eve they become betrothed.
Arwen returns to Rivendell at her father's request.
October 20: Aragorn returns to Rivendell with Frodo Baggins.
October 24: Arwen attends the feast in honor of Frodo.
December 25: Aragorn leaves Rivendell with the Fellowship.
February 16: The Fellowship leaves Lothlorien; Aragorn receives the Elessar left for him by Arwen.
March 6: Aragorn receives the banner made by Arwen.
March 15: Aragorn unfurls Arwen's banner at the Battle of the Pelennor Fields.
March 25: The Ring is destroyed and Sauron's realm falls.
May 1: Aragorn is crowned
King; Arwen and Elrond leave Rivendell.
May 20: Arwen and Elrond come to Lothlorien.
May 27: Arwen and Elrond leave Lothlorien.
June 14: Arwen is met by her
brothers, Elladan and Elrohir, and they travel to Edoras.
June 16: Arwen sets out for Gondor.
1 Lithe: Arwen arrives in
Mid-year's Day: Arwen weds Aragorn.
July 15: Arwen tells Frodo
that he may pass into the West in her stead.
July 22: Arwen leaves Minas Tirith with the funeral procession of King Theoden.
August 10: Arwen attends the
funeral of King Theoden.
August 14: Arwen and Elrond say their final farewells and are parted forever.
September 29: Elrond passes over the Sea to the Undying Lands.
Aragorn and Arwen travel to the North-kingdom.
March 1: Death of Aragorn.
Winter: Death of Arwen.
Arwen means "royal maiden" from ar meaning "royal" and wen meaning "maiden."
The Silmarillion: "Appendix - Elements in Quenya and Sindarin Names," entries for ar and wen
Undomiel means "twilight star" or "evening star." The element ndu means "set (as of the sun)." The element domi means "twilight." The element el means "star." Arwen was so called because of her dark beauty and because she lived in the fading - or twilight - years of the Elves in Middle-earth.
The History of Middle-earth, vol. V, The Lost Road and Other Writings: "The Etymologies," entries for DOMO, EL, & NDU
Evenstar is the Common Speech equivalent of Undomiel.
Rivendell, Lady of Imladris, Lady of Lorien:
Arwen was called by these various honorifics.
The Return of the King: "The Passing of the Grey Company," p. 48; Appendix A of The Lord of the Rings: "The Tale of Aragorn and Arwen," p. 340
Arwen was called this because of her great beauty.
Appendix A of The Lord of the Rings: "The Tale of Aragorn and Arwen," p. 340
the Reunited Kingdom:
Arwen became Queen of the Reunited Kingdom of Gondor and Arnor on her marriage to King Elessar.
Family tree of Arwen:
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