Ailen Uldaren (T.A. May 18, 2973) was a Half-Elven female living at the time of the War of the Ring, who became part of the Fellowship and accompanied the others on their journey.
Ailen's father Bardan raised her until she reached the age of eight, but he was killed when Orcs attacked their village in Eriador. Ailen was the only survivor of this attack and the memories would remain with her for the rest of her life. For the next twenty years, Ailen would live on her own in Eriador, aided from time to time by the wizard Gandalf, whom she developed a close friendship with.
The Quest BeginsEdit
On the day of Bilbo Baggins' eleventy-first birthday, Gandalf passed Ailen on the road. She hailed him, inquiring where he was going and he bade her to come with him to the Shire. When meeting Bilbo and attending the party, she was astonished at both the quantity and quality of Hobbits' food, as she usually got by on what foods she prepared herself, or when she could spare coin, ate in a local tavern.
Ailen accompanied the four Hobbits to the Prancing Pony in Bree later and met the Ranger Strider. Though uncertain of him at first, she gradually came to trust him on their journey.
During their brief stay in Rivendell while Frodo's Morgul wound healed, Gandalf informed her of her previously unknown Elven heritage and presented her with a longbow and a quiver of arrows. She attended the Council of Elrond and volunteered to join Frodo on the journey to Mordor. Later, in Lothlórien, after the Fellowship lost Gandalf in the Mines of Moria, she revealed her bloodline to the others and Aragorn and Legolas welcomed her as kin. Later when the Fellowship departed Lórien, Galadriel's gift to her was Hyandanar ("Blade of the Sun" or "Sun-cleaver"), her father's sword, taken to the Golden Wood by Gandalf years ago.
The Two TowersEdit
Ailen aided Aragorn, Legolas and Gimli in tracking Merry and Pippin. She rode a blue roan horse named Garien ('iron spear' in Rohirric), one of the mounts that Éomer gave to the four hunters. She also participated in the Battle of the Hornburg alongside the Elven commander Haldir of Lórien and suffered wounds which were treated afterwards. She comforted Rumil and Orophin at the loss of their brother and sang a lament at the burial of the Elves who died in battle at Helm's Deep.
The End of the WarEdit
- "Nai hiruvalye sidh yassen le adarath, hir-nin."
- ― Ailen bidding farewell to Théoden King after his death
Ailen accompanied Aragorn, Legolas and Gimli during their journey on the Paths of the Dead. She also fought at Pelennor Fields and the Black Gate and flew with Gandalf on the Eagle Meneldor to rescue Frodo and Sam from Mount Doom.
After the War of the Ring was over and Sauron defeated, she returned to Rivendell and was given the choice by Elrond, of remaining in Middle Earth, or journeying to the Undying Lands of Valinor with her kin, the Elves. Ailen chose to go with Elrond and the other Elves some years later.
Personality and AppearanceEdit
Ailen was the only female member of the Fellowship, and also the youngest, being only 28 at the start of their journey, still a child by almost any being's standards. She possessed a quick temper and a warrior's spirit, but was calm and level-headed most of the time, often averting arguments or unnecessary violence between parties. When she chose to go to Valinor, she did so partly for Elrond, whom she had great respect for, and had come to love as a father, helping to lessen the pain he felt at his daughter Arwen's choice of mortality. Ailen was fluent in Sindarin and possibly Quenya, thanks to her father'steachings. Ailen inherited much from her Elf ancestors, including the ability to survive harsh natural conditions. When crossing the mountains of Caradhras, while Legolas walked on top of the snow, and the others were up to their waists in it, Ailen only sank in up to her ankles.
Ailen had long, dark brown hair, which she often wore loose or tied back in braids, and green eyes and most often wore a green tunic with a brown belt, leggings and boots. She also wore a black cloak with a golden leaf brooch, alternating it with her gray Lórien cloak and Elven mallorn leaf brooch. At Aragorn's coronation, she wore no cloak, a gold-trimmed rainbow sash in favor of the belt, and a small gold circlet on her head.
Before the QuestEdit
Before Ailen set off on the quest with the Fellowship, her only weapons were a wooden staff and a short dagger. When she and the four Hobbits escaped the Black Riders at Buckleberry Ferry, her staff was lost. When Gandalf told her of her heritage in Rivendell, he gave her Elvish weapons of her own, a bow and arrows, light but extremely strong.
Ailen later received her father's sword, Hyandanar from Galadriel in Lórien. She wielded it for the rest of the War and took it with her to Valinor.
Ailen's father, Bardan, was a Man with distant blood ties to Lord Elrond. Her mother was Lassëna, the sister of the Elvenking Thranduil, thus making her Legolas' cousin. What became of Ailen's mother is not known and Ailen would only vaguely recall her later in life. Ailen's memories of her father include him sometimes going away with other Men and returning several days later. This, along with his relation to Elrond, indicated he may have been a Ranger.
Ailen developed a close connection with every member of the Fellowship during their travels. She cared a lot about Frodo and the other Hobbits, almost acting in a motherly way to them, especially Merry and Pippin. Gandalf was Ailen's mentor and good friend, having known her since she was a child. Aragorn and Legolas viewed Ailen as family and vice versa, and Gimli and Ailen developed a relationship akin to an uncle and his young niece. When in Lothlórien, Ailen spent time with Haldir and his brothers Rumil and Orophin, briefly training in swordplay and archery. They developed a friendship that would end sadly when Haldir died in battle at Helm's Deep. Ailen viewed all Elves with deep respect, feeling a strong sense of kinship towards them, which would eventually contribute to her decision to travel across the Sea to Valinor at the end of the war.
Ailen's name may have been derived from the Sindarin word aelin, meaning lake, or pool. Her surname is an extreme contortion of the Elvish words uial dae rem, or, "a mesh of twilight and shadow." This in turn could be a reference to Aelin-uial, or "The Meres of Twilight," located south of Doriath in the First Age.