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In J. R. R. Tolkien's fictional universe of Middle-earth, two places are known as Lórien, both exceptionally beautiful. The first is the gardens of the Vala Irmo in Valinor (he is sometimes called Lórien as well). The second is a forest in Middle-earth proper, where the exiling Noldor settled, and which, perhaps partly due to their magic, acquired a unique beauty. This forest was called Lothlórien (Lórien of the Blossom) in memory of the Lórien the Noldor left behind; but the name was often shortened to Lórien (Land of Gold, although it carried within it also the meaning of dream.). Other names given to the land include Rohirric name Dwimordene (from Anglo-Saxon dwimor (phantom), an allusion to the perceived magic of the Elves), the Westron name The Golden Wood, and the older Silvan names Laurelindórinan (Land of the Valley of Singing Gold) and Lórinand (Golden Valley).

Lórien, like Mirkwood, was settled by Silvan Elves of Nandor descent some time during the First Age. By the Second Age, Sindarin Elves had enriched its population, and they were ruled by a Sindarin lord, Amdír. The last Sindarin Lord of Lórien was Amroth, who went to Edhellond near Dol Amroth in south Gondor in search of Nimrodel, and was lost at sea. After his time the Silvan Elves of Lórien long had no lords, until Galadriel and her husband Celeborn travelled there from Eregion (Hollin). After Galadriel left for Valinor, the Elves of Lórien were ruled by their lord Celeborn alone, and the realm was expanded with a part of southern Mirkwood, but it appears to have slowly been depopulated during the Fourth Age until all Elves were gone. After Celeborn eventually left for Valinor it is not clear who ruled in Lórien, and the Mallorns grew there no longer.

Lórien was the only place in where the golden mallorn trees grow in Middle-earth, brought there from Valinor by Lady Galadriel. Like Thranduil's Kingdom of northern Mirkwood, it was a wooded homeland of the Silvan Elves. It was located on the River Celebrant, southeast of Khazad-dűm.