Tolkien Gateway


Lebethron was a hardwood tree that grew in Ithilien.


Lebethron was said to be fair, and beloved by the woodworkers of Gondor.[1] The staves given by Faramir to Frodo and Sam were made of lebethron,[1] as was the casket, described as made of "black lebethron", in which he brought the Crown of Gondor to the coronation of Elessar.[2]


The name was invented by Tolkien at the time of writing, as melinon, then lebendron and finally lebethras. It was replaced by lebethron on the fair manuscript copy.[3]

According to a later source, lebethron was a Gondor Sindarin word. The fist element, lebeth, was related to Quenya lepsë,[4] "finger".[5] The second element was said to be derived from oron, "tree", though a later addition also ties it to the root RUN, "rub, grind, smooth, polish". In this light, the tree was named lebethorn, and the wood of the tree lebethron, and the two words merged into one over time.[4]


  1. 1.0 1.1 J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Two Towers, "Journey to the Cross-Roads"
  2. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Return of the King, "The Steward and the King"
  3. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The War of the Ring, pp. 180 and 207.
  4. 4.0 4.1 J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Gilson (ed.), "Words, Phrases & Passages in The Lord of the Rings", published in Parma Eldalamberon #17 (July 2007), page 89.
  5. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien, The Lost Road and Other Writings, "The Etymologies"