For a while the hobbits continued to talk and think of the past journey and of the perils that lay ahead; but such was the virtue of the land of Rivendell that soon all fear and anxiety was lifted from their minds. The future, good or ill, was not forgotten, but ceased to have any power over the present.
The Fellowship of the Ring, J. R. R. Tolkien
G'day fans of Tolkien's Legendarium, today I present the ultimate Rivendell map. This Rivendell was created for both the Ridder Clan Mod and The Special Extended Edition, Director's Cut. This map is based on Peter Jackson's The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit trilogies. It is designed to the highest quality in Electronic Art's Worldbuilder tool and takes into account the differences in the layout of Rivendell between the two trilogies.
I have not been alone in the creation of this map. My initial partner in this project is Wheellee from ArdaCraft. Ardacraft is a faithful and gigantic Minecraft recreation of Middle-earth. Check it out!
Seen above is ArdaCraft's first draft of their own Rivendell, entirely based on Tolkien's beautiful watercolour painting.
Rivendell, The Last Homely House
This is Rivendell, Imladris in the tongue of elves, and is the hidden fortress of Lord Elrond. It is here that the free peoples of Middle-earth find refuge in their travels past the edge of the wild.
Rivendell has been the safeguard of Eriador, and of the west, ever since the destruction of the elvish kingdom of Eregion. It was founded and fortified by Elrond in the Second Age, after his defeat in Eregion. Refugees from Ost-in-Edhil first populated the valley, and more elves soon came, fleeing from their burning settlements in Eregion.
Under the leadership of Elrond, the elves constructed fortifications, and successfully defended against Sauron's besiegement of the valley. For three years they held out, until a second force from Lindon, sent by Gil-galad, in addition to reinforcements from Númenor, evil was driven from the lands. However, the Kingdom of Eregion was never rebuilt, and Sauron had achieved his purpose, control of the rings was his, and Celebrimbor, the ring crafter, was dead.
Soon after, the vast armies of the Last Alliance temporarily set up camp in the valley. Human armies from Arnor led by King Elendil, and elvish armies led by Gil-galad, with Elrond as the elvish standard-bearer, forged weapons and armour, using Rivendell as their muster point. Gil-galad and Elendil would not return from the great battle that ended the Second Age, however, Elrond would return to become lord of Imladris and be in alliance with the Kingdom of Arnour, which was the first of the Númenorean realms in exile.
During the fall of the Kingdom of Arnor, which was orchestrated by the Witch-king of Angmar, Rivendell was powerless to help. The Evil Men of Angmar and orcs of the Misty Mountains besieged the valley for many years. Only until allies from the elvish kingdom of Lothlorien arrived in Eriador was Glorfindel* of Rivendell able to break the siege. He rode out with the Knights of Rivendell and defeated the forces of Angmar.
The remnant of Arnor, who are the Grey Rangers and their Chieftain settle the Angle, a small land to the south west of Rivendell. Their children are fostered in Rivendell and are taught by elvish sages and keepers of lore. It is here that Aragorn, in his boyhood called Estell, is raised. Aragorn falls in love with Elrond's daughter, Arwen and the two wed in Lothlorien after the War of the Ring.
As a cosmopolitan centre of wisdom and safety in Middle-earth, Rivendell hosted the first and second White Council, of which were held many meetings that discussed the growing power and return of Sauron and how to defeat him once and for all. It also hosted The Council of Elrond, where the Ringbearer was revealed amongst representatives from all the free peoples of Middle-earth and a plan was set in motion for the destruction of the Ring of Power. The last meeting of the White Council is shown in An Unexpected Journey, the first movie of The Hobbit trilogy. It was attended to in the movie by Galadriel, Saruman, Elrond and Gandalf. The council chamber, in which they held long discussion, overlooked the valley and was set beside gentle and great waterfalls.
Due to the power of Elrond’s ring of power, the mighty Vilya, ring of air, Rivendell preserved the memories of Eldar Days. Vibrant, sophisticated and isolated, it provided refuge and counsel. Hidden in a valley next to the Misty Mountains, Rivendell enjoyed a cool-temperate climate, similar to the real world Oxford. Light snowfall and warm summers, waterfalls are fed by melting high in the mountains.
During the Forth Age, Rivendell was kept for a time by Elrond's sons, Elladan and Elrohir. Celeborn joined them soon after, as Galadriel had left for Valinor and Caras Galadhon was returned to the forest. Elrond's twins, like their father and the rest of their household, grew tired of the world and abandoned the gardens, waterfalls and ancient library of Rivendell.
*Glorfindel is a character of interest in The Lord of the Rings. His actions are unfortunately yet understandably omitted in the recent movie trilogy. Glorfindel displays the immortality of the elves, he is in both The Lord of the Rings novels and The Silmarillion. In The Silmarillion he dies fighting a Balrog in an epic battle on the mountain paths leading out of Gondolin. Elves can return from death; they are sent to the waiting halls of Valinor, and the great elvish lord had not finished his work on Middle-earth. Glorfindel returns to Middle-earth and dwells in Rivendell, where he serves Elrond.
The Rivendell Map
The original map that shipped with the game was taken into account when designing the playable layout of Rivendell. I have kept the map as a three player fortress skirmish map. The Rivendell player inside their fortress has enough of an advantage to play against two players with equal skill. I hope you enjoy playing inside or against the fortress player.
As for the map's design, I consulted for many hours with Wheellee, an expert of Tolkien's Middle-earth and artist for ArdaCraft. He sculpted the original layout of the map, planning out the first design. I then used the brilliant program World Machine to generate realistic terrain. World Machine is a must have for environment artists, the erosion filter is fantastic for generating mountains and valleys.
Rivendell in its many names, Karnigul in Westron, Imladris in Sindarin, translates to the deep cloven valley. Tolkien was inspired by his visit to Lauterbrunnen and the town of Beatenberg in Switzerland. While I have never been there I have found many photos online, and listened to the accounts of my friends who have trekked there. I recommend to all who enjoy the sublime and beauty of nature to experience this place.
Terrain painting the realistically sculpted terrain took three years to complete. While this was happening, Wheellee was researching. He was able to reconcile the apparent differences in the layout and geography of Rivendell as seen in The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings movie trilogies.
Is the Rivendell we see in The Hobbit the same Rivendell we see in The Lord of the Rings? The short answer is that Rivendell is a slowly changing place. As the population shrinks due to mass migration to Valinor, and as the great waterfalls slowly erode the landscape, the environment changes, and house layout changes. Structures are dismantled or left for ruins, new areas are settled and later reverently abandoned.
Three important locations seen in The Hobbit are in ruins by the time of The Lord of the Rings, and you can visit them on the map.
The Council Chamber, where the White Council discussed the possibility of the Necromancer being Sauron, this can be seen on top of a cliff behind and to the right of Rivendell. Media (RC Mod)
The Rivendell Observatory, where Thorin, Gandalf and Bilbo learn the riddle of the moon-runes with the help of Elrond, this is set above in the cliffs behind. (Check back for more media)
The small cave that is a hidden passage, from which The Company of Thorin Oakenshield finds refuge from the Hunter Orcs, it is still found in the lower right corner of the map, however, the gate from which they enter from is now in disrepair and hidden from sight when viewed in The Lord of the Rings movie. Media (RC Mod)
Wheellee and I had discussions over the layout and positioning of objects and buildings. What he brought in was complete accuracy and what I brought in was gameplay and achievability within the confines of The Battle for Middle-earth II game. He later moved onto his projects in ArdaCraft and I have worked on many things ongoing. But I believe that Rivendell will long be remembered as a great map.
As we continue to discover more about this fantastic fantasy location, now comes time to turn attentions to the second Rivendell map, what I have titled Rivendell of the Second Age. This map will use the layout as seen in The Hobbit, but also include, lower down in the valley the forges of the Last Alliance. I hope to work with Ridder Clan artist, NewErr/Valaquenta in creating new structures for use and possibly my own skills in 3d modelling will be sufficient in editing the assets we already have.
- Three player fortress map
- Build plots for the fortress player
- Multiplayer compatible
- New terrain
- New structures
- Hidden secrets
Scenes from The Lord of the Rings can be recreated at these locations (check back for more media)
- Guesthouse with Frodo and Bilbo - media (RC mod)
- Front gate, where the Fellowship of the Ring leaves - media (RC Mod)
- The Council of Elrond
- Library with Arwen and Elrond
- Forge where Narsil is remade into Anduril
Scenes from The Hobbit will have to wait, this is the first Rivendell map, another map that is in production will have the layout as seen in The Hobbit movie trilogy.
Notes: The Rivendell map will be released first in the Ridder Clan mod as a patch. Images in this article are from the Ridder Clan mod developed by Ridder Geel and NewErr. Rivendell will be in The Special Extended Edition, Director's Cut first release when the mod is completed. This article was posted in the Ridder Clan mod and The Special Extended Edition, Director's Cut mod pages. More images can be found on the Ridder Clan mod media page.
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Rivendell main gatehouse, watching over the Brunien
Check out Ridder Clan's Elvish faction buildplots
Elvish statues from the Ridder Clan Elven faction
You should ensure to train warriors and archers to defend the secrecy and safety of Rivendell
Rivendell Guesthouse and Inn
The Council of Elrond
Lord Elrond, Glorfindel and Arwen
Ruins of the Rivendell Observatory