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Extant III 1250 - III 1255;1 probably lived until at least III 1332
Probably 'vidoo'mavi'
'Wood maiden'2


About this entry:

  • Updated 31 May 2023
  • This entry is complete


The mother of Eldacar of Gondor

(Unnamed son)
At least on other
unnamed child3

The daughter of Vidugavia, King of Rhovanion, a Northman who ruled over wide lands eastward of Mirkwood. Vidumavi (whose name meant 'wood maiden' in the language of her people) was said to be fair and noble, and also remarkably courageous. Her father had earned the trust and respect of the King of Gondor, Rómendacil II, and in the year III 1250 Rómendacil sent his son Valacar as ambassador to Vidugavia's court. It was there that Vidumavi met Valacar, and within a few years the two had married.

News of the wedding caused disquiet among some in Gondor, who were concerned that the King's son had married outside his own people and thus potentially reduced the long lifespans of those with true Númenórean heritage. In III 1255 Vidumavi gave birth to a son - a grandson to the ruling King of Gondor - whom she named Vinitharya after the tradition of her people.

In III 1260, when Vidumavi's son Vinitharya was five years old, King Rómendacil recalled Valacar to the royal court of Gondor and, as his wife, Vidugavia naturally accompanied him. Once in Gondor, she quickly learned its language and the ways of its people. She was given a new name there, Galadwen, which was an Elvish translation of her birth name (and her son Vinitharya became known as Eldacar among the Gondorians).

From the sparse records we have, it seems that Vidumavi remained in Gondor for the rest of her life, which was extremely long for one of her people. Records of her date of death are not completely consistent, but she seems to have reached her hundredth year. Nonetheless, this was no great age for one of the Dúnedain (her widower Valacar would live on after his wife's death until the year III 1432, about a century later).

After Valacar's death, Eldacar (the son Vidumavi had named Vinitharya) took the throne, and dissent erupted across Gondor. The fear that Vidumavi's Northern blood had reduced the long lifespans of the Dúnedain - a fear that would prove unfounded - drove rebellion, and Eldacar was deposed after just five years as King. This was the period known as the Kin-strife, a time of civil war in Gondor that would eventually see the Usurper Castamir deposed in turn, and Eldacar returned to his rightful place. Through him, Vidumavi was the ancestor of all the Kings of Gondor who followed, down to the time of Eärnur the last King of Anárion's line, some seven centuries later.



We don't have any definite dates for Vidumavi's life, but we know that Regent Minalcar sent his son Valacar as an ambassador to Rhovanion in III 1250, and he met and married Vidumavi shortly afterward. So, assuming that she was roughly twenty to thirty years old at that time, she would have been born in about the year III 1225. (Valacar himself would have been fifty-six years old when he met Vidumavi, but as a Dúnadan he aged more slowly than other Men.) The last definite canonical date we have for Vidumavi is five years later, III 1255, when her son Vinitharya (or Eldacar) was born.

After Vinitharya's birth, we have no definite canonical account of her life. In the draft text for Appendix A to The Lord of the Rings (in volume XII of The History of Middle-earth), Vidumavi is stated to have '...lived to a great age, as such was reckoned among her people...'. That source gives two alternative dates for Vidumavi's death: III 1332 and III 1344. Even the more conservative of these dates would have have Vidumavi living well past her hundredth year, a 'great age' indeed, for one not of the long-lived Dúnedain.


Vidumavi's name comes from the Gothic language: widumawi, 'wood maiden'. The Elvish equivalent of her name is given as Galadwen, apparently from galadh wen, 'tree maiden'.


We know from a passing mention in volume XII of The History of Middle-earth that Vidumavi had 'children' (that is, more than a single child). We have almost no detail about these children at all, and so we have no way of knowing how many there were, or whether they were sons or daughters.


About this entry:

  • Updated 31 May 2023
  • This entry is complete

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