Place from J. R. R. Tolkien's legendarium
Other names The Guarded Realm,
The Hidden Kingdom
Description Elven kingdom
Location Beleriand
Founder Elves of the First Age
Lord Thingol & Melian

In J. R. R. Tolkien's fictional Middle-earth, Doriath is the realm of the Sindar, the Grey Elves of King Thingol in Beleriand. Along with the other great forests[1] of Tolkien's legendarium such as Mirkwood, Fangorn and Lothlórien[2] it serves as the central stage in the theatre of its time, the First Age. On this stage many of the notable characters and events appear such as: The Geste of Beren and Lúthien from The Lays of Beleriand, parts of The Children of Húrin and, of course, The Silmarillion. It is called the 'Fenced Land' because Melian, the queen of that land, put a girdle of enchantment about it, so that none can enter without the leave of King Thingol.



Doriath is a land of forests adjoining the great River Sirion and its eastern tributaries: Mindeb, Esgalduin, Celos, and Aros. Within it are the forests Neldoreth or Taur-na-Neldor, the northern beech forest, Nivrim, the West March, an oak forest, Region the main forest, and Arthórien between Aros and Celon. Additionally, the forests of Brethil and Nan Elmoth were held as part of Doriath, these last two lay outside the Girdle of Melian. Elu Thingol, lord of the Sindar, sees all of Beleriand as his realm, from the Gelion to Belegaer. In the midmost part of Doriath is a natural feature, a vast hill with many caves. Towards the end of the Ages of Melkor's captivity, Melian counselled Thingol that the peace of his realm would not long endure and so with the aid of the Dwarves of Belegost he delved there the wondrous fortress called Menegroth, the Thousand Caves. It is said that of all Kingdoms of Beleriand in the legends "the most mighty and the longest free was Thingol of the Woods."[3]

Long before, during the march of the Elves from Cuiviénen, the Vanyar and the Noldor passed through these woods on the Great Journey. Finwë and the Noldor dwelt there for a time. But they were ferried across the Great Sea on Tol Eressëa while the Teleri yet searched for their lord, for Thingol was lost in Nan Elmoth, and when Ulmo returned for them, a part of that people remained behind, and the Sea filled them with sorrow. They later become known as the Sindar, Elves of the Twilight, and when Thingol returned, revealed as a lord of great reverence, he became the lord of that people and ruled from his kingdom in Doriath.

Doriath was originally known as Eglador, meaning "Land of the Forsaken" for so those of the Teleri that remained in Beleriand called themselves. In the last years before the First Age the Orcs assailed the King of Doriath and after that Battle, the first of many in the Wars of Beleriand Melian fenced that realm, with unseen walls of shadow, the forests of Neldoreth, Region, and Nivrim. Thingol formed a defence of his realm with companies of archers that guarded the borders called March Wardens. With the help of Dwarven smiths, he built an army of Elves armed with axes, long spears and swords and armoured coats of scale-mail and shields. Thingol then summoned all the wandering Sindar to Doriath, but many remained in the wild. After the First Battle of Beleriand, many Laiquendi, Green Elves or Nandor as well as some Avari removed to Doriath, establishing themselves as the 'Guest Elves' of Arthórien.

The Dwarves of Belegost and Nogrod were contracted to build the halls of Menegroth, which became Thingol's capital city and fortress. The gates of Menegroth were carved into a rocky hill alongside the Esgalduin river, and the vast caverns beneath were considered one of the finest works of the Elves of the Elder Days in either Middle-earth or Valinor. Dwarves were employed in its construction as they had far more experience in building underground. Its halls were carved to look like a beech forest, complete with birds and animals. The great tree Hirilorn, wherein Lúthien was placed by Thingol to prevent her from meeting Beren, was outside the front entrance of Menegroth. A great stone bridge across the river Esgalduin was the only access to the gates. Both the river Sirion and its tributary Esgalduin were uncrossable, except by boat or bridge.[4]

When the Noldor return to Middle-earth at the beginning of the First Age, the borders of Doriath are already closed for defence against Morgoth and Thingol allows entry only to the children of Finarfin, who are related to him through his brother Olwë.

When in later years Men arrived in Beleriand, they are also refused passage through, but at Finrod's request the Haladin were allowed to live in Brethil as vassals to Thingol charged with the protection of the Crossings of Teiglin.

Beren, son of Barahir and lord of the First House of Men, passes through the Girdle as Melian foretold, and arrives in Neldoreth. There Thingol's daughter Lúthien falls in love with him. After the Quest for the Silmaril, the great Wolf, Carcharoth, also breaches the Girdle, but Thingol, Beren, Huan the hound and Thingol's captains Beleg and Mablung hunt and kill the beast.

Túrin, son of Húrin and Morwen, is sent to Doriath, and lives there until he comes of age, when he flees after a deadly quarrel with an elf called Saeros, a high councillor of Elu Thingol, King of Doriath. Later his mother and sister, Morwen and Nienor are harboured there, until they leave to search for Túrin and are lost.

Húrin brings the treasure of Nargothrond to Doriath after the fall of Finrod's realm, and Thingol engages the Dwarves of Nogrod to combine the Silmaril of Beren and Lúthien with the Nauglamír, the Dwarves' Necklace. The Dwarves, caught in a spell of lust for the necklace, murder Thingol, steal the necklace and flee. Most are slain and the necklace returned. Word is brought to the kin of the Dwarves and their army perpetrates the first Sack of Doriath. Doriath is briefly restored under Beren and Lúthien's son Dior, but he is attacked and killed by the sons of Fëanor in the Second Kinslaying and second Sack of Doriath. Afterwards, Doriath remains abandoned until it is broken in the War of Wrath and sinks along with much of the rest of Beleriand.[5]

See also


  1. ^ New York Times Book Review, The Hobbit, by Anne T. Eaton, March 13, 1938, "After the dwarves and Bilbo have passed ...over the Misty Mountains and through forests that suggest those of William Morris's prose romances." (emphasis added)
  2. ^ Lobdell, Jared, A Tolkien Compass, ISBN 0875483160, p. 84, "only look at The Lord of the Rings for the briefest of times to catch a vision of ancient forests, of trees like men walking, of leaves and sunlight, and of deep shadows."
  3. ^ Tolkien, J. R. R. (1984), Christopher Tolkien, ed., The Book of Lost Tales, Part Two, Boston: Houghton Mifflin, pp. 43, 251, ISBN 0-395-36614-3 
  4. ^ Tolkien, J. R. R. (2007), Christopher Tolkien, ed., The Children of Húrin, London: HarperCollins, p. 118 "unbridged and unforded", ISBN 0-007-24622-6 ; Tolkien, J. R. R. (1985), Christopher Tolkien, ed., The Lays of Beleriand, Boston: Houghton Mifflin, Lay of the Children of Húrin, p. 59, lines 1457-1471, ISBN 0-395-39429-5 
  5. ^ Though this serves as a summary of these events, note that some editorial additions of the fall of Doriath in The Silmarillion constitute a very difficult issue with respect to the final intent of the author.

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  • Doriath — Saltar a navegación, búsqueda Mapa de Doriath y sus alrededores Doriath es un lugar ficticio perteneciente al legendarium del escritro británico J. R. R. Tolkien, que aparece en sus novelas El Silmarillion y Los hijos de Húrin …   Wikipedia Español

  • Doriath — Description royaume sylvestre protégé par l Anneau de Melian Emplacement dans les forêts de Neldoreth et de Region, en Beleriand Existence Premier Âge Fondateur Thingol Souverains Thingol Sources Le Silmarillion Doriath est un royaume fictif de… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Doriath — Die von J. R. R. Tolkien in mehreren Romanen beschriebene Fantasywelt Arda gehört zu einer der komplexesten Weltenschöpfungen der phantastischen Literatur. Einige der fiktiven Orte auf Arda – insbesondere auf dem Kontinent Mittelerde – sind so… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Doriath —  / Dor Iâth / Dor Iath     Fenced Land (Dor Iâth), referring to the Girdle of Melian, earlier called Eglador; the kingdom of Thingol and Melian in the forests of Neldoreth and Region, ruled from Menegroth on the river Esgalduin. Also called the… …   J.R.R. Tolkien's Middle-earth glossary

  • Doriath Elves —    see Elves of Doriath …   J.R.R. Tolkien's Middle-earth glossary

  • Queen of Doriath —    Melian the Maia.    In the long years before the beginning of the First Age, the Telerin lord Elwë Singollo came upon Melian the Maia in the woods of Nan Elmoth.    So Melian became the first and only of the Ainur to wed one of the Children of …   J.R.R. Tolkien's Middle-earth glossary

  • Elves of Doriath —  / Elf of Doriath / Doriath Elves / Doriath Elf    The People of Thingol and Melian.    Those Elves of the Sindar that lived in the broad forests of central Beleriand, Neldoreth and Region, under the Kingship of Elu Thingol. These people, whose… …   J.R.R. Tolkien's Middle-earth glossary

  • King of Doriath —    The royal title of Thingol and his Heir.    The title of two Elf lords of the Sindar, who ruled the kingdom of Doriath for many centuries from its foundation long before the beginning of the First Age to its destruction at the hands of the… …   J.R.R. Tolkien's Middle-earth glossary

  • Celeborn of Doriath —  / Celeborn    Elf of Doriath, kinsman of Thingol; wedded Galadriel and with her remained in Middle earth after the end of the First Age. Lord of Lothlórien. See Teleporno.        The Lord of Lórien.    An Elf of Doriath, who met with Galadriel… …   J.R.R. Tolkien's Middle-earth glossary

  • Nimloth of Doriath —  / Nimloth    Elf of Doriath who wedded Dior Thingol s Heir; mother of Elwing; slain in Menegroth in the attack by the sons of Fëanor.        The spouse of Dior.    An Elf maid of Doriath; she wedded Dior Thingol s Heir, and was the mother of… …   J.R.R. Tolkien's Middle-earth glossary

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