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Elessar by John Howe

The Elessar, translated as Elfstone in Westron, also known as Stone of Eärendil, was one, or possibly two, fabulous green gem(s) whose legends of creation are conflicting and complex.

The Elessar was green as the leaves but had the light of the Sun trapped within it; it was marveled by the Noldor, and those who looked through it were said to see the withered or aged as whole and young again. It was even claimed to grant some power of healing to its wearer.[1]:249


[edit] History

The Elessar, or at least the first of them, was made in Gondolin during the First Age. Some name Enerdhil the jewelsmith as its maker, but others say it was his pupil, Celebrimbor son of Curufin.[1]

This Elessar was saved from the Fall of Gondolin by Idril, who gave it to her son Eärendil, and with Eärendil it was carried across the Sea to the Blessed Realm.[1]:249

A legend says that Celebrimbor, who was in love with Galadriel, remade another version of the lost jewel with less power than the original, in the Second Age. It was made as her behest, pained at the state of Middle-earth.[1]:251

However another legend says that when the Wizards were sent from Valinor to Middle-earth in the Third Age, Olórin brought back Earendil's jewel as a token from Yavanna that the Valar had not forsaken them; as Gandalf, he gave it to Galadriel, and remarked prophetically that she would only hold it for a little while, before she passed it to another, who will also be called Elessar.[1]:250

[edit] The Elessar of the Third Age

Whatever the origins of Galadriel's Elfstone were, she gave it to her daughter Celebrían, who in turn gave it to Arwen.[1]:251

However by the time the Fellowship of the Ring visited the wood of Lothlórien it was again under Galadriel's possession. When the Fellowship departed and Galadriel offered them her gifts, the Elessar was the gift for Aragorn[2]. This giving held the function of a wedding gift from the family of the bride to the groom, foretelling his marriage to Arwen.[3]

The Elfstone was worn by Aragorn ever after, and this causes him to also be given the name of King Elessar by the people of Minas Tirith. He adopted it as his royal name, as Gandalf foretold.

[edit] In lore

Bilbo Baggins, during his stay in Rivendell, was urged by Aragorn to include a green jewel in his Song of Eärendil, possibly anticipating the symbolic importance that the gem would have in his life. Bilbo Baggins, obeying Aragorn but seemingly unaware of the Elfstone's story, included an inaccurate reference to an emerald.[4]

[edit] Other versions of the legendarium

An early concept for the Elfstone was the "Green Stone of Fëanor." This stone was given from Fëanor to his eldest son Maidros on his deathbed, and then later given from Maidros to Fingon.[5] Christopher Tolkien noted that this was likely his father "pondering the previous history of the Elessar," though this version of the story was not further expanded upon and likely dismissed in favor of the histories present in Unfinished Tales.

[edit] Portrayal in adaptations

1980: The Return of the King (1980 film):

The Elfstone is worn by Aragorn on his cloak. Although it is never identified in film, it matches the books description.
Gifts of Galadriel
Andúril's sheath · Elfstone · Boromir's belt · Merry and Pippin's belts · Sam's garden box · Hair of Galadriel · Bow of the Galadhrim · Phial of Galadriel


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), Unfinished Tales, "The History of Galadriel and Celeborn"
  2. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Fellowship of the Ring, "Farewell to Lórien"
  3. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), Morgoth's Ring, "Part Three. The Later Quenta Silmarillion: (II) The Second Phase: Laws and Customs among the Eldar", p. 211
  4. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Fellowship of the Ring, "Many Meetings"
  5. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The War of the Jewels, "Part Two. The Later Quenta Silmarillion: Of the Siege of Angband (Chapter 10)"