Woodmaiden 1

In the earlier centuries of the Third Age, many of the Northmen of Wilderland lived along the eastern side of Mirkwood under the rule of various petty lords and princes. The greatest of these was Vidugavia, who styled himself the King of Rhovanion. At the time, the King of Gondor was Rómendacil II, who much desired to strengthen Gondor’s alliance with the Northmen. Therefore, he sent his son, Valacar, to dwell in the court of Vidugavia as his ambassador. Valacar spent years in the court of Vidugavia and grew to love the ways of the Northmen. Now Vidugavia had a daughter, Vidumavi, and Valacar grew to love her, too. He asked for her hand in marriage, which pleased her father the king. But Valacar’s own father, Rómendacil, was hesitant, for a prince of Gondor had never before taken to wife one of alien race. Nevertheless, he consented to the marriage so as not to affront his ally Vidugavia. And thus Vidumavi and Valacar were wed.

Woodmaiden 2

They continued to dwell among the Northmen and in time Vidumavi bore Valacar a son. They named him Vinitharya in his mother’s language. When Vinitharya was five years old, Rómendacil recalled Valacar to Gondor, and he obeyed, returning with his wife, his son, and a household of Northmen. Vidumavi was welcomed in Gondor, for she was fair and noble, and her son would one day be king. Vidumavi took well to life in the South-kingdom, learning the language and taking the name Galadhwen, for so her her native name is rendered in the noble tongue of Gondor. But there were those who were displeased, saying that the king’s son had married a woman of lesser race and that it was wrong that the future king should share the blood of an alien people. As was feared, Vidumavi’s span of years was much shorter than that of the race of Westernesse, and she died while Valacar was still young and hale; indeed, before he had even ascended the throne. In time, Valacar succeeded his father and, after reigning for sixty years and six, was succeeded by his own son. Vinitharya took the throne as Eldacar, but his ascension caused the Kinstrife, Gondor’s terrible civil war that had repercussions reaching far into the future. Yet the seed of the alliance of the Northmen and the Men of Gondor, in the planting and tending of which Vidumavi played a part, flourished down through many centuries, and bore fruit in the two great rides of the Northmen to the aid of Gondor, the first of these being the ride of the Éothéod out of Northerland to the aid of Gondor during the Battle of the Field of Celebrant; and the second being the mighty Ride of the Rohirrim to lift the siege of Minas Tirith at the very end of the Third Age.

Happy new year, everyone! I hope everyone had a lovely holiday season. I was inspired to make today’s outfit because I told myself that I needed to try to use some of the more recent pieces available in game (by which I mean anything from, say, the Riders of Rohan extension forward). As I’ve mentioned a few times now, the newer pieces often don’t really speak to me and I have a hard time incorporating them into outfits. Anyway, I’m glad I did try a few of these out, because I really enjoy the result with today’s outfit. I felt it seemed very fitting for a Northman princess — noble and rugged at the same time. The Northmen of Rhovanion are of course the distant ancestors of the Rohirrim and also of the seldom-mentioned Woodmen of Wilderland. I find the Woodmen really fascinating (the edge cases are always so interesting in Tolkien). If you’re into tabletop RPGs, the Woodmen get a really nice treatment in Cubicle 7’s  gorgeous “The One Ring” roleplaying game. One final note of a linguistic nature: the names of the Northmen of Rhovanion of the early Third Age are Gothic in origin, with Latinized (or rather, Quenyarized) spelling. The Quenyarization I suppose reflects that these names are known to history only through the records of Gondor, which at the time (c. III 1200s) would have been written in Quenya. For example, “Vidumavi” represents Gothic Widumawi, “wood-maiden” (which in turn represents her unattested genuine Northern Mannish name). And “wood-maiden”, of course, is also the meaning of Sindarin Galadhwen, her name in Gondor.

Woodmaiden 4

  • Head: Worn Hood (autogranted — Beorning), washed
  • Shoulders: Exemplary Shoulders of the Anórien Tree (bartered — Minas Tirith Builder’s Fellowship vendor), sienna
  • Chest: Robe of the Flowered Vale (quest reward — Eastern Gondor [100] The Madness of Vanyalos), steel blue
  • Hands: Simple Bracers (autogranted — Beorning), default
  • Feet: Isengard Prisoner Boots (quest reward — Epic [72] Book 4, Chapter 23: The Wizard’s Vale), rust

Tips: The autogranted Beorning pieces have appearances that vary based on the gender of the wearer, so depending on the character you want to wear them on, you may need to run your Beorning through the whole Beorning introductory instance to get both sets (male and female). The robe shares its appearance with the other light armour chest piece quest rewards in Eastern Gondor. If you would like to add a cloak to this outfit, the Worn Cloak of the Ranger (quest reward — Epic [75] Book5, Chapter 1: Separate Ways – Radanir), dyed navy.

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12 Responses to Woodmaiden

  1. Harrison says:

    Thag you very buch for the happy new year!

    Great to see a rendering of the Woodmen of Rhovanion. Always felt they didn’t get as much of a portrayal as they should have.

  2. dustbunny says:

    I’ve always found the Rhovanion woodmen fascinating! I’m glad you did a piece about them.

  3. gloredh says:

    very nice combo of armour from very different places, but with the right dye it is as if they all belong to a full set 🙂 good integration of lore too!

  4. Fairymore says:

    I have been following your blog for a long time and I have to say I have always appreciated and enjoyed the lore you share. Thank you.

  5. Great stuff. I just started looking at your blog today (2-23-16) and I am finding some great costumes and some serious LotR knowledge. Lore on!

    Cubicle 7’s the One Ring game is a need to buy for anyone who is into rpgs an Tolkien. I am hoping to get into a game of it…someday. It usually seems as though I have to referee a non standard game (standard being D&D or Pathfinder) to get our group into it, -but I want to be a player!

    Thanks for helping me lose myself in Middle Earth for a while.

    David S.
    Minnesota, USA

    • Hi David, thank you very much for your kind comment, and welcome! I’m glad you enjoyed checking out the blog, it’s been a great outlet for my love of Tolkien.

      Absolutely agree about The One Ring — what a great-looking game. I’m hoping to get into or a run a game one day myself… but coordinating even a few people’s schedules is so hard these days. If you do convince your group to give it a try, consider coming back to these comments and letting us know how it went, I’d love to hear about it. 🙂

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