The Hobbit Questions and Answers
by J. R. R. Tolkien

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Why was the Rivendell hard to find?

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Hollis Sanders eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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Rivendell was founded in the Second Age, following the destruction of Eregion by Sauron, whose purpose was to seize the three Elvish rings of power. Elrond's army and the refugees from Eregion were besieged in the valley that would become Rivendell for three years. It was because of these harrowing events and the horrors of Sauron at the time that it was decided that Rivendell should be obscure, difficult to find, and well fortified.

Rivendell is well-hidden in the foothills of the Misty Mountains. There are no roads that lead through or to it. Elrond used the power of the ring Vilya to lock Rivendell into a state of timelessness and obscurity. The sanctuary was also situated on the Bruinen river, offering a natural protection.

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Kristen Lentz eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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Rivendell, also known as Imladris, is a city of elves founded by Elrond.  At the time of Rivendell's founding, Middle Earth was in great turmoil.  Sauron had grown powerful and seemed an imminent threat to the peaceful elven realms.  Choosing a secure and difficult to find location for Rivendell was a strategic move by Elrond to protect his people.  Rivendell is located in a "hidden valley" near the Misty Mountains on the edge of the Bruinen River. 

Rivendell was also protected by elven magic which may have also helped shield it from unfriendly eyes.  Elrond was a ring bearer, holding one of the three elven rings of power, Vilya, the mightiest of the three.  Vilya had the power to protect and preserve and more than likely aided Elrond in preserving Rivendell.  The Bruinen River defended the elven realm from the encroachment of the nazgul inLord of the Rings. 

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