Elrond was a crucial part of forming the fellowship in the Lord of the Rings, but he was living on borrowed time even before its nine members set out for Mount Dooom. All Elves eventually make the Great Journey to Valinor, the Land Across the Sea. Some made it immediately, while others made it after setting down roots in Middle Earth and creating long lives for themselves among its many inhabitants. Elrond followed in the footsteps of his parents, Elwing and Eärendil, and experienced great joys and deep sorrows.
He founded the beautiful Elven realm of Rivendell, where he built a home with his wife Celebrían and their three children – Arwen, Elladan, and Elrohir. When Middle Earth went to war against Sauron in the First Age, Elrond took up arms. He put his trust in Men until their great warrior Isildur failed them all. He was understandably bitter about this even centuries later. Yet, he still worked hard to help Middle Earth defeat Sauron once and for all. Only then did Elrond give in to the call of Valinor.
Where was Elrond at the end of the story?
Many fans of Lord of the Rings remember Elrond as a stern-faced voice of reason. Yet, underneath his judgmental exterior was someone who’d once put his faith in Men and been burned by the experience. Elrond saw Isildur take the One Ring by force and assumed he had what it took to finish the job. Instead, the Man put on the One Ring and disappeared along with any hope of permanently defeating the Dark Lord. Elrond walked away with a severe distrust in all Men that extended to Aragorn since he was Isildur’s heir even going so far as to call the race of Men “weak” and “failing”.
Gandalf’s belief in the young man didn’t matter. He saw Aragorn as unworthy of such faith, and even less deserving of Arwen forsaking immortality in Valinor to become his mortal wife. Elrond gave up on trying to convince Gandalf to see Men with his distrustful eye. However, he made multiple attempts to convince Arwen to leave Aragorn behind. Fortunately, though, even the most stubborn can have their minds changed and Elrond was no different even as old as he was.
In Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, Gandalf tries to convince Elrond to believe in Men once more. The Lord of Rivendell refuses as he’s reminded of what happened when he trusted Isildur to do the right thing. If he were a modern-day woman, one might call him a misandrist for all the insulting things he has to say about Men as a race of Middle Earth. In Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, Elrond tries to convince Arwen to leave Aragorn behind since their relationship is doomed. He reminds her that her lover surviving the war against Sauron doesn’t mean he won’t still die in a different battle or simply of old age.
To Elrond, her situation is hopeless in ways that make her refusal to leave with him to Valinor senseless and naive. After all, he chose to walk Middle Earth as an Elf when his dual nature gave him the chance to walk the lands as a Man. To Arwen, she’s ready to risk it all for a life with Aragorn no matter how short it might be. She’s loved and been loved by Aragorn for a long time before it comes up in conversation with her father. The idea of living forever without him was something she didn’t want to imagine. Towards the end of Lord of the Rings, Elrond’s heart was heavy with certainty that Aragorn would fail and ruin his daughter in the process.
What Happened to Elrond After The War of the One Ring?
While Elrond spent much of the series actively distrusting Aragorn, he was not a selfish or cruel person. So, he helped him whenever he could along his reluctant journey to reclaim the throne of Gondor. Lord of the Rings: Return of the King marks a significant shift in Elrond’s belief in Men. He sends his sons, Elladan and Elrohir, to battle alongside the Rangers of the North in Rohan. Elrond later goes to Aragorn, so he can warn him of a secret fleet of Southerners sent by Sauron to attack from the river.
But Aragorn’s forces are small and ill-prepared to defend themselves from a double-sided assault. So, Elrond reminds Aragorn of the spirits of warriors past who wander the Paths of the Dead that connect the lands of Rohan and Gondor. When Aragorn expresses disbelief that he could rely on those cursed for not helping Gondor during the first war, Elrond gives him the sword reforged from the one used to cut the One Ring from Sauron’s finger. He reminds Aragorn that it’s his destiny as “the King of Gondor” to give those old souls a new chance at redemption.
It’s a powerful turn of character for someone who spent so much of Lord of the Rings holding a grudge against Men for the actions of their ancestors. Elrond spoke to Aragorn of forgiveness while learning to practice it himself. Ultimately, he was rewarded for his faith when Middle Earth emerged victorious in its battle against the Dark Lord. Aragorn finally ascended the throne and became everything legends said he would be – good, kind, and worthy of leadership. Elrond was finally able to accept Arwen’s choice to stay with Aragorn and also support them both in holy matrimony.
However, Elrond showed that his faith in Men had been officially restored by returning the Sceptre of Annúminas, a symbol connecting the royalty of Men to that of Elves. The Lord of the Rings ended with Elrond finally answering the call of Valinor. He joined Galadriel, Gandalf, Bilbo Baggins, and Frodo Baggins in boarding the ship that would take them to the Land Across the Sea. It was not the end of Elrond’s journey, but the mark of a new chapter.