A glossary of people, places & objects in Earthsea

Now showing glossary items starting L


Itinerant musician in the west of Havnor; leader of a band, he plays the double-reed woodhorn

'…a light-skinned, flashy-looking fellow…'

[Darkrose and Diamond, TfE]


An extensive maze of tunnels under the Place of the Tombs with a network of spyholes; the Labyrinth guards the treasures of the Tombs of Atuan, trapping any who try to steal them. Believed to be ancient, the Labyrinth's origins are unknown. It contains the mural-decorated Painted Room, Room of Bones, Six Ways, the long Outmost Tunnel by the river, and, in its heart, guarded by a pit, the Great Treasury of the Tombs. Less sacred than the Undertomb, which it adjoins, the Labyrinth can only be accessed via the Undertomb by an iron door, which can be sealed via a lever on the Undertomb side. Unlike the Undertomb, light is permitted within the Labyrinth, but there are no landmarks; the greyish-yellow stone-lined tunnels are all alike, about five feet wide by twelve to fifteen feet high with a vaulted roof. The maze extends from the Hall of the Throne to the river half a mile away, but the distance underground is many times greater, about twenty miles in total. No map exists; the only way of negotiating the maze is to remember turnings taken and passed; these instructions are passed from priestess to priestess without ever being written down. The Labyrinth is at least partially demolished by an earthquake when Ged and Tenar escape with the Ring of Erreth-Akbe

Sources: Dreams and Tales, ToA; Light under the Hill, ToA; The Anger of the Dark, ToA

'There was a weariness in that tracing of the vast, meaningless web of ways; the legs got tired and the mind got bored, forever reckoning up the turnings and the passages behind and to come. It was wonderful, laid out in the solid rock underground like the streets of a great city; but it had been made to weary and confuse the mortal walking in it, and even its priestess must feel it to be nothing, in the end, but a great trap.'

[Light under the Hill, ToA]

Further information on Labyrinth

Lady of Ebéa

Also known as: Ebéa, Lady of

At the time of The Other Wind, an elderly lady, one of the King's Council

Sources: The Dragon Council, OW

Lady of O-tokne

Also known as: O-tokne, Lady of

During The Other Wind, an imperious lady on the King's Council. Presumably related to the Lord of O; possibly the same as the young Lady of O who visits Roke around fifty years earlier during A Wizard of Earthsea

Sources: The Dragon Council, OW

Lament for Erreth-Akbe

Lament composed by Maharion on his return from Selidor after the death of Erreth-Akbe. It's played by the trumpeters telling the hours in Havnor City

Sources: Palaces, OW

Related entries: Songs

Lament for the White Enchanter

Lament for the death of Morred, supposed to have been composed by Elfarran

Sources: A Description of Earthsea, TfE

Related entries: Songs

Land ownership

Also known as: Tenancy

In the central Archipelago, land and, to a lesser extent, property appear to be predominantly owned by landowners, large and small, who let to tenants. For example, on Gont, the Lord of Re Albi employs farmworkers described as tenants, Oak Farm's holdings in Middle Valley include two tenants' cottages, and Tenar rents a cottage from Weaver Fan in Re Albi; on Way, four families contest ownership of the rich farming land of the domain of Iria; in western Havnor, the merchant Golden owns chestnut groves. Tenants on Gont commonly hold a life interest in the profit from the land they work on. Property passes in the male line on Gont, with the widow of a property owner only being entitled to hold the property for an absent (or possibly underage) male heir. The situation regarding land ownership in the Reaches and the Kargad Lands isn't clear

Sources: A Bad Thing, T; Mice, T; Finding Words, T; Winter, T; Darkrose and Diamond, TfE; Dragonfly, TfE


Two main languages are spoken in Earthsea: Hardic (the common tongue), spoken across much of the Archipelago & the Reaches, and Kargish, which is restricted to the Kargad Lands. Some islands in the Archipelago have their own languages or dialects, eg the language spoken on Enlad, of which little is known, and Osskili spoken on Osskil & neighbouring islands, which is closer to Kargish than Hardic. Educated speakers of the Enlad language or Osskili probably speak Hardic in addition, as Lebannen and Serret do.

All these languages are derived from Old Speech (true speech), the language spoken by dragons and learned by mages, Hardic being the closest. Old Speech is not usually used as a spoken language by humans

Sources: A Description of Earthsea, TfE

Further information on Language

Language of the Making

See Old Speech

Lar Ashal

King or queen of Enlad before the reign of Morred. The deeds of the early rulers of Enlad are told in the Deed of Enlad

Sources: A Description of Earthsea, TfE

Related entries: King of All the Isles


Middle-aged woman of the Middle Valley on Gont (probably of Oak Village); described as grey-haired, overweight, with a handsome face. She and her husband (described as quiet) have seven children, the youngest a girl of five years during Tehanu, the eldest & second youngest boys. Long-standing friend of Tenar

Sources: A Bad Thing, T; Hawks, T; Home, T; Winter, T

'She was a heavy, plain, middle-aged woman, whose name did not fit her body anymore. But once she had been a slight and pretty girl, and she had befriended Goha, paying no attention to the villagers who gossiped about that white-faced Kargish witch Flint had brought home; and friends they had been ever since.'

[A Bad Thing, T]

Lass of Belilo, The

See The Lass of Belilo


See Astowell


Also known as: Washing

On Gont, Tenar washes clothes, bedlinen &c at home on a laundry day, using water heated on the fire, and dries them by spreading them out on the grass, weighted with stones. Oak Farm has a soaking tub used for laundry. Soap making is mentioned on Gont

Sources: Hawks, T; Winter, T


See Legal and punitive systems

Lay of the Lost Queen

Song sung on Havnor, presumably recounting the tale of Elfarran

Sources: Darkrose and Diamond, TfE


Coalition which emerges to govern the central islands of the Archipelago around a hundred years after the dragon Yevaud despoils Pendor (ie, approx 950). The League's only known action is to raise a fleet with seven mages which temporarily drives the dragon from Pendor. Only mentioned in 'The Rule of Names', the League may have dissolved before the events of A Wizard of Earthsea, perhaps facilitating Yevaud's return to Pendor

Sources: The Rule of Names, W12Q


Also known as: Arren, Arrendek
Titles: King of All the Isles, King of Earthsea, King of the Western Lands, Son of Morred, Prince Arren, hero of Sorra, wielder of the Sword of Serriadh, the Rowan Tree, the Tall Ash of Enlad, Doorkeeper

Only son of the Prince of Enlad and the Enlades, descended from Morred and Elfarran, via their son Serriadh; mother is Rose of Enlad. Bearer of the Sword of Serriadh. Lebannen means rowan; his use-name Arren means sword in the dialect of Enlad, derived from the Sword of Serriadh. As a youth, he signs his name with the sword-rune. As a seventeen-year-old youth, described as tall, thin & handsome, he travelled with Ged and passed with him across the dry land (lands of the dead), fulfilling the prophecy of Maharion about his successor as king. After his return in around 1051, crowned King of All the Isles at Havnor City on Havnor. A highly popular & much-loved king, he institutes government via an appointed parliament, the King's Council, rebuilds the New Palace & River House, abolishes slavery after winning the Siege of Sorra against slave traders of Wathort, and initiates contact with Thol, High King of the Kargad Lands. In around 1066, becomes betrothed to Seserakh, daughter of Thol & High Princess of the Kargad Lands

Sources: The Masters of Roke, FS; The Dolphin, T; Palaces, OW; Rejoining, OW

'The boy's sleeping face was lit redgold by the long sunset, the rough hair was wind-stirred. The soft, easy, princely look of the boy who had sat by the fountain of the Great House a few months since was gone; this was a thinner face, and harder, and much stronger. But it was not less beautiful.'

[The Dragons' Run, FS]


Small island in the North Reach, north of Udrath

Legal and punitive systems

Also known as: Law, Punitive system

Little is stated regarding the legal systems of the Archipelago. After the restoration of the Archipelagan monarchy, the King's Courts of Law judge serious cases. A dispute about inheritance is pursued in the law courts of Shelieth, the capital of Way, but few details are given. On Gont, law enforcement is carried out by bailiffs, sea-sheriffs and officers of the peace, reporting to the district mayors and village councils. After the restoration of the monarchy, slave-labour and execution by hanging are used for serious crimes such as murder. Prisons or similar methods of punishment such as stocks are not mentioned. During the Dark Years, torture and public execution by burning alive were practised on Havnor under the rule of the warlord Losen.

Whipping with a bundle of reed canes is a common punishment for mild offences in the Place of the Tombs on Atuan. Execution is practised in the Kargad Lands: those of noble birth convicted of treason or sacrilege towards the Godking have their tongues cut out before being sacrificed to the Nameless Ones of the Tombs of Atuan; decapitation is the punishment for trespassing within the Place of the Tombs; High Priestesses caught in falsehood can be executed.

Whipping with nilgu thongs is a punishment among the Children of the Open Sea

Sources: The Wall around the Place, ToA; The Prisoners, ToA; The Ring of Erreth-Akbe, ToA; Orm Embar, FS; Home, T; Winter, T; The Finder, TfE; Dragonfly, TfE


Hen belonging to Heleth. The other chickens are named Red Bucca, Brown Bucca, Grey, Candor, and the King

Sources: The Bones of the Earth, TfE


Small island in the east of the Inmost Sea, near the isle of O

Library of the Kings

Famous ancient library, possibly on Havnor or Enlad; destroyed by the time of the Dark Years

Sources: The Finder, TfE


Foreman of the mines at Samory under the warlord Losen during the Dark Years; described as brutal not cruel

'…a broad, strong man with a furrowed face…'

[The Finder, TfE]


Candles, rushlights, lanterns, oil lamps, torches and werelight are all used for lighting in various contexts. Candles are the most frequently mentioned light, sometimes being described as tallow (as opposed to beeswax); miners work with candles bound to their foreheads on Havnor during the Dark Years. Rushlights (feeble lights with a rush wick) are mentioned as nightlights on Atuan. Lanterns are carried on ships and used to light buildings in towns, for example in Ismay and at the School of Wizardry on Roke; they're also mentioned as lighting an outdoor party on Havnor; Arha (Tenar) carries a tin lantern with a candle when she explores the Labyrinth on Atuan, and they're carried outdoors at Re Albi on Gont. Oil lamps light wealthier homes, for example the Old Mage's House at Re Albi, Oak Farm in the Middle Valley, Hare's house in Hort Town & Emer's house on Semel; cabins on the Dolphin are illuminated by pendant glass lamps; an alabaster lamp is mentioned at the New Palace on Havnor; the Temple of the Godking on Atuan is lit by oil lamps burning attar of roses. Tiny heating lamps are mentioned in the magicians' workroom at Roke school, presumably also fueled by oil. Roke school, the castle of the Court of the Terrenon on Osskil, the Room of Chains in the Undertomb Labyrinth on Atuan and the rafts of the Children of the Open Sea are lit by (wooden) torches, which give a reddish smoky light. Torches are also carried in procession in the Long Dance on Roke and similarly on Atuan, as well as by the dancers on Low Torning in the Ninety Isles. A flint and steel is used to make sparks on Atuan and Gont. Wizards often make werelight rather than using non-magical sources of light


Also known as: Mevre

Wife of Alder, she lived with him at Elini on Taon. A highly gifted mender, she was beautiful with dark hair with a hint of red gold. Her parents were respectable; Lily ran away when they tried to arrange her marriage, and they disowned her when she became a mender. She died in childbirth after eighteen months of marriage

'And indeed she had a greater gift than his. Though she knew not a word of the Old Speech, she could put a smashed jug back together or mend a frayed-out rope just with the movements of her hands and a wordless song she sang under her breath, and she had healed broken limbs of animals and people, which Alder had never tried to do.'

[Mending the Green Pitcher, OW]

Lips of Paor

Also known as: Aurun, Cave at Aurun, Cleft called Aurun

A cave a few miles south of Havnor City whose mouth is a twenty-foot wide crack in the ground. Called the Lips of Paor in ancient maps of Paln, it's a centre of the Old Powers, and is said to have spoken in ancient times. At the time of The Other Wind, used to dump foul-smelling tannery waste

'…they came suddenly to a great crack in the ground, a black gap twenty feet wide or more, right across their way./It was as if the spine of rock had been cracked apart by a wrenching of the earth and had never healed again.'

[Dolphin, OW]


Inland village or town by the head of the river Kaheda and of Middle Valley in the south of Gont; upriver from Kahedanan. Above it are the Long Fells and Hot Springs Mountain

Sources: Frontispiece map, T; Home, T

Little Grey

Female cat belong to Moss; Alder takes Tug, one of her kittens to Havnor

Sources: Mending the Green Pitcher, OW


In the Dark Years, man from Endlane village in the interior of Havnor island; brother of Rose of Endlane

Sources: The Finder, TfE


See Inns

Log rafts

See Ships; Children of the Open Sea

Long Banks

Coastal region of Sattins island

Sources: The Rule of Names, W12Q

Long Dance

Festival of midsummer eve, celebrated widely throughout the Archipelago with dance and song lasting all night long. The Creation of Éa and Deed of Erreth-Akbe are traditionally recited at this time. This festival is celebrated even by the Children of the Open Sea (raft people), who share few other customs with the Archipelago

Sources: A Description of Earthsea, TfE

'As the sun rose the next morning the Chanters of Roke began to sing the long Deed of Erreth-Akbe… When the chant was finished the Long Dance began. Townsfolk and Masters and students and farmers all together, men and women, danced in the warm dust and dusk down all the roads of Roke to the sea-beaches, to the beat of drums and drone of pipes and flutes. Straight out into the sea they danced, under the moon one night past full, and the mustic was lost in the breakers' sound. As the east grew light they came back up the beaches and the roads, the drums silent and only the flutes playing soft and shrill. So it was done on every island of the Archipelago that night: one dance, one music binding together the sea-divided lands.'

[The Loosing of the Shadow, WoE]

Long Dune

Trails westwards from Wellology; visited by the Children of the Open Sea (raft people) in autumn. Beaches are called Emah by those people

Sources: The Children of the Open Sea, FS

Long Fells

High sheep & goat pastures above Lissu and the Middle Valley on Gont

Sources: Home, T


See Ships


Also known as: Sanderling

Clinker-built sailboat with a brown or red sail and a single pair of oars; eighteen feet long and meant for two or three hands. Given to Ged by an old fisherman on West Hand in the East Reach, and named for the curing of the fisherman's cataracts. Ged sailed in Lookfar for many years, leaving her on Selidor in The Farthest Shore

'"We called the boat Sanderling, but do you call her Lookfar, and paint eyes aside her prow, and my thanks will look out of that blind wood for you and keep you from rock and reef. For I had forgotten how much light there is in the world, till you gave it back to me."'

[Iffish, WoE]


See Weaving


Titles: Isle of Silk

Island in the South Reach, famous for high-quality silks, and for bright blue or crimson (dragon's fire) dyes, which are mined there as ores. Harbour village Sosara. Covered in hurbah trees on which silkworms feed, which make it appear bright green from a distance. Climate is warm

Sources: Hort Town, FS; Lorbanery, FS

Lord of Felkway

Also known as: Felkway, Lord of

In The Other Wind, an old man and member of the King's Council

Sources: The Dragon Council, OW

Lord of Gont

Also known as: Gont, Lord of, Prince of Gont, Lord of the Isle

Ruler of the island of Gont, his seat is at Gont Port. The Lords of Gont are associated with piracy. The old Lord of Gont held Ogion the Silent in great respect because of his taming of the earthquake which saved Gont Port from destruction. The new Lord of Gont visited Ogion in Re Albi for advice about a piratical venture in the Andrades, but Ogion would not speak to him

Lord of Metama on Ark

Also known as: Metama, Lord of

Lord of Metama, presumably a city or region of the island of Ark. Spends a year at court at Havnor City with his son, Rody during the time of The Other Wind

Sources: Palaces, OW

Lord of O

Also known as: O, Lord of

Renowned sorcerer, former pupil of Archmage Nemmerle; lives at O-Tokne, on the Island of O. His wife, the Lady of O, is described as '…slender and young, bright as new copper, her black hair crowned with opals.'a

Sources: The School for Wizards, WoE (a)

Lord of Re Albi

Also known as: Re Albi, Lord of

The Lord of Re Albi on the island of Gont during A Wizard of Earthsea is married to a sorceress from Osskil; his daughter is Lady Serret of the Court of the Terrenon on Osskil. In Tehanu, the Lord is said to be a hundred years old; he lives with a young bedridden grandson, described as shy and sullen. According to Re Albi gossip, later confirmed by Aspen, the old Lord hired the wizard Aspen to make him live forever, feeding him with the life of his grandson; the old Lord presumably dies shortly after Aspen's death in 1052. One of the women of the Lord's family is said to have attempted dark magic on another child in utero; the child was born boneless and didn't survive. The Re Albi mansion house is built on a rocky outcrop above the Overfell, up the hill from the village

Sources: The Shadow, WoE; Ogion, T; Bettering, T; Finding Words, T; The Master, T

Lord of the Western Land

Also known as: Western Land, Lord of the

Lord of the Western domain of Havnor island, his seat is near Glade

Sources: Darkrose and Diamond, TfE

Lords of Way

Also known as: Way, Lords of

Rulers of the island of Way; their courts are at the capital Shelieth. Includes the Lord of Wayfirth. In The Masters of Roke [FS], Way is said to be one of the principalities, but the Ruling Prince is not mentioned

Sources: The Masters of Roke, FS; Dragonfly, TfE

Lore of Paln

Also known as: Pelnish lore

Pelnish lore is an ancient tradition of magic distinct from that taught at the Roke School of Wizardry (though likewise based in the Old Speech). It's much concerned with immortality; the Pelnish wizard Seppel was taught that 'the goal of wizardry was to triumph over time and live forever'a. Pelnish lore calls upon the Old Powers, and includes great spells related to crossing between life and death, which can be used to summon the spirits of the dead. The most powerful were created by the Grey Mage of Paln a thousand years ago, and rarely used since, being considered dangerous; such lore was practised by the (Havnorian) necromancer Cob

Sources: Sea Dreams, FS; Dolphin, OW; Rejoining, OW (a)

'"Most of our art of Summoning comes from the Pelnish Lore. Thorion was a master of it… The Summoner of Roke now, Brand of Venway, won't use any part of his craft that draws from that lore. Misused, it has brought only harm. But it may be only our ignorance that's led us to use it wrongly. It goes back to very ancient times; there may be knowledge in it we've lost."'

[Dolphin, OW]


See Books


Titles: King of the Inmost Sea

During the Dark Years, a sea-pirate turned warlord; living in the Tower of the Kings, he rules Havnor City and the east & south of Havnor with the aid of the wizards Gelluk, Hound and, later, Early. His rule eventually spreads to the whole of Havnor Island and the north of the Inmost Sea. In later life, becomes a paralysed puppet of Early; he is killed and his kingdom broken up when Early is defeated on Roke

'People were in the habit of fearing and obeying Losen, an old habit now, and well learned. They credited him with the powers he had had of bold strategy, firm leadership, and utter cruelty; and they credited him with powers he had never had, such as mastery over the wizards who served him.'

[The Finder, TfE]


Also known as: Losso

A small islet in the Pelnish Sea, between Paln and Havnor

Sources: The School for Wizards, WoE

Lost Rune

See Bond Rune


Inland village or town by the river Ar in the east of Gont; near Medu and Chodur

Sources: Frontispiece map, T


Discs of loto-shell decorate the prow of the Osskilian longship Ged takes from Orrimy

Related entries: Decorative arts

Low Torning

Westernmost township of the Ninety Isles, looking out towards Pendor. Barley is grown there and there are groves of the red-flowering pendick-tree. Ged is briefly their wizard when they are threatened by Yevaud, the Dragon of Pendor

Sources: The Dragon of Pendor, WoE; Hunted, WoE


Merchant of Easthill in the west of Havnor; competitor of Golden in the chestnut business

Sources: Darkrose and Diamond, TfE



WoEA Wizard of Earthsea
ToAThe Tombs of Atuan
FSThe Farthest Shore
OWThe Other Wind
W12QThe Wind's Twelve Quarters
TfETales from Earthsea

Earthsea and its inhabitants were created by Ursula Le Guin, and no infringement of her copyright is intended in this fan site