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Known to have existed during the journey of the Company of the Ring (III 3018), but appears to have been much older1
Particularly associated with the Elves of Rivendell, but apparently also used by others of the Eldar
Imladris is probably pronounced 'imla'dris' (but see note 1 to the entry for Imladris)
A cordial is a sweet-tasting drink, especially one flavoured with fruit; Imladris ('ravine valley') was the Elvish name for Rivendell
Other names


About this entry:

  • Updated 1 January 2023
  • This entry is complete

Cordial of Imladris

A name for miruvor

A rare and precious elixir, known in Elvish as miruvor, particularly associated with Elrond's house at Rivendell (of which Imladris was the Elvish name). The cordial was clear and colourless and had no taste, but even a drop could invigorate and revive its drinker. It also had the property that food eaten after drinking the cordial would always satisfy hunger.

The cordial was typically carried by travellers in a silver-studded leather flask. Glorfindel had such a flask when he met Strider and the Hobbits on the Great Road, and later Elrond gave a similar flask to Gandalf as the Company of the Ring set out from Rivendell at the beginning of their Quest. It was the cordial's power that enabled the Company to survive the rigours of their failed attempt to cross the Redhorn Pass, and the oppressive darkness of their journey through Moria.

This cordial, or at least something very similar, goes back to the earliest phases of Tolkien's work. In its original form, miruvóre was the 'nectar' of the Valar, made with honey from the gardens of Yavanna, and drunk at times of celebration in Valinor. Like the Cordial of Imladris, this original version was also said to have been clear, or at least translucent, and colourless.

Indeed, it is even possible that Elrond's cordial was literally this 'nectar' of Valinor, carried back to Middle-earth by the Noldor and preserved over the centuries. This would explain why the drink was considered so precious, because there would be no way to create more of it in Middle-earth. It does seem unlikely, however, that a reserve could have been held over thousands of years, and it is perhaps more likely that Elrond's cordial was merely similar to that of ancient Valinor, but concocted in Imladris.

There were various other elixirs and liquors of the same kind as the Cordial of Imladris, with at least one of these also originating in Rivendell. When Frodo Baggins and his companions encountered the Elf Gildor within the Shire, they were given a sustaining drink from a leather flask much like the cordial. This cannot have been the cordial itself (it was described as golden in colour with a flavour of honey, whereas the true Cordial of Imladris was clear and flavourless) but it seems to have some features in common. (The connection to honey is particularly notable, because this flavour was also associated with the original miruvóre of Valinor.)

It was also said that the Númenóreans were able to make a similar cordial of their own, which was also known in Middle-earth, at least during the early years of the Realms in Exile. Even the Orcs had a brew with a similar stimulating effect, though this Orc-liquor must surely have been unrelated to the miruvor of the Elves.



Our earliest (albeit indirect) mention of the Cordial comes from accounts of warriors in the early days of Gondor, where we're told that they carried supplies of their own that were '...not indeed the miruvor or the lembas of the Eldar, but like them...' (Unfinished Tales of Númenor and Middle-earth, Part Three, I The Disaster of the Gladden Fields). This places the existence of the Cordial miruvor at least as far back as the beginning of the Third Age, and its loose association here with lembas - which was known to have existed in the First Age - implies that the Cordial dated back into the distant past.

See also...



About this entry:

  • Updated 1 January 2023
  • This entry is complete

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