Building of Menegroth
Event Type: General
Age: Time of the Trees
Years: 1300 ~ 1350
Now Melian had much foresight, after the manner of the Maiar; and when the second age of the captivity of Melkor had passed, she counselled Thingol that the Peace of Arda would not last for ever. He took thought therefore how he should make for himself a kingly dwelling, and a place that should be strong, if evil were to awake again in Middle-earth; and he sought aid and counsel of the Dwarves of Belegost. They gave it willingly, for they were unwearied in those days and eager for new works; and though the Dwarves ever demanded a price for all that they did, whether with delight or with toil, at this time they held themselves paid. For Melian taught them much that they were eager to learn, and Thingol rewarded them with many fair pearls. These Círdan gave to him, for they were got in great number in the shallow waters about the Isle of Balar; but the Naugrim had not before seen their like, and they held them dear. One there was as great as a dove's egg, and its sheen was as starlight on the foam of the sea; Nimphelos it was named, and the chieftain of the Dwarves of Belegost prized it above a mountain of wealth.
Therefore the Naugrim laboured long and gladly for Thingol, and devised for him mansions after the fashion of their people, delved deep in the earth. Where the Esgalduin flowed down, and parted Neldoreth from Region, there rose in the midst of the forest a rocky hill, and the river ran at its feet. There they made the gates of the hall of Thingol, and they built a bridge of stone over the river, by which alone the gates could be entered. Beyond the gates wide passages ran down to high halls and chambers far below that were hewn in the living stone, so many and so great that that dwelling was named Menegroth, the Thousand Caves.
But the Elves also had part in that labour, and Elves and Dwarves together, each with their own skill, there wrought out the visions of Melian, images of the wonder and beauty of Valinor beyond the Sea. The pillars of Menegroth were hewn in the likeness of the beeches of Oromë, stock, bough, and leaf, and they were lit with lanterns of gold. The nightingales sang there as in the gardens of Lórien; and there were fountains of silver, and basins of marble, and floors of many-coloured stones. Carven figures of beasts and birds there ran upon the walls, or climbed upon the pillars, or peered among the branches entwined with many flowers. And as the years passed Melian and her maidens filled the halls with woven hangings wherein could be read the deeds of the Valar, and many things that had befallen in Arda since its beginning, and shadows of things that were yet to be. That was the fairest dwelling of any king that has ever been east of the Sea.
And when the building of Menegroth was achieved, and there was peace in the realm of Thingol and Melian, the Naugrim yet came ever and anon over the mountains and went in traffic about the lands.... To Beleriand there came no other rumour or tidings of the world without.
The Silmarillion, Quenta Silmarillion, Ch 10, Of the Sindar
Elena Tiriel 14Oct05