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Ted Nasmith - A Song in the Trollshaws.jpg
"A Song in the Trollshaws" by Ted Nasmith
General Information
LocationEastern Eriador, west of Rivendell
DescriptionA wild forest on the north side of the East-West Road
People and History
EventsQuest of Erebor

Trollshaws were the upland woods, consisting at least partly of beech trees, that lay to the west of Rivendell between the Rivers Hoarwell and Loudwater.[1]

On the hills of the Trollshaws were shallow caves, such as the Troll's Cave, and Mannish castles and towers.


[edit] History

Trollshaws were within the borders of Arnor and later of the smaller realm of Rhudaur. The Men of Rhudaur built castles and towers on the top of some of its hills.[2]

They were the haunt of Trolls, especially after the fall of Arnor; Stone-trolls from "the mountains" came to the woodlands. This was the case of William who led Tom and Bert; having eaten a village and a half on their way, they complained about the scarcity of people in the area and instead had to make do with mutton. While they made their camp, they famously waylaid Bilbo and his companions who were on their Quest of Erebor. Thanks to the distractions of Gandalf, the Trolls were turned to stone by the Sun.[3] Years later, Frodo and his companions traversed the woodland and found the Trolls' petrified forms on the way to Rivendell.[4]

[edit] Etymology

Shaws is an archaic word meaning "thicket, small wood, copse, or grove", therefore the name means "Trolls' wood".[5]

The woods geographically belonged to where the ancient realm of Rhudaur used to be, and were perhaps named after it; Rhudaur means "troll-shaws" in Common Speech[6].

[edit] Portrayal in adaptations

2001: The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring:

Trollshaws is where Arwen encounters Aragorn and the Hobbits - right near Old Bilbo's stone Trolls.
Map of the Trollshaws from The Lord of the Rings Online.

2007: The Lord of the Rings Online:

Trollshaws is one of main regions of the game, lasting from the Last Bridge to the valley of Rivendell. The river Bruinen plays a prominent role there, with both Bruinen Gorges and the hills of Tal Bruinen being important landmarks. This area is inhabited by dozens of non-playable characters, who are involved in hundreds of quests.

2012: The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey:

As in the book, the Company traverse the Trollshaws where they have a similar adventure with the Trolls.


  1. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, "The West of Middle-earth at the End of the Third Age" [map]
  2. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix A, "The Númenorean Kings", "Eriador, Arnor, and the Heirs of Isildur"
  3. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit, "Roast Mutton"
  4. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Fellowship of the Ring, "Flight to the Ford"
  5. Wayne G. Hammond and Christina Scull (eds), The Lord of the Rings: A Reader's Companion, p. lxiii
  6. J.R.R. Tolkien, "Words, Phrases and Passages in Various Tongues in The Lord of the Rings", in Parma Eldalamberon XVII (edited by Christopher Gilson)
Route of Thorin and Company
Bag End · Green Dragon · The Shire · Lone-lands · Last Bridge · Trollshaws · Trolls' Cave · Rivendell · High Pass · Front Porch · Goblin-town · Goblin-gate · Eagle's Eyrie · Carrock · Beorn's Hall · Wilderland · Forest Gate · Elf-path · Mirkwood · Elvenking's Halls · Forest River · Lake-town · Long Lake · River Running · Desolation of the Dragon · Ravenhill · Back Door · Lonely Mountain · Great Hall of Thráin