Minor places in Beleriand
J. R. R. Tolkien's Middle-earth legendarium contains many locations. Some of the minor places in the region of Beleriand during the First Age are described below. It is to be supposed that all of them were destroyed in the Drowning of Beleriand during the War of Wrath unless otherwise noted.
- (S. 'Meres of Twilight') A marshy confluence of Aros in Sirion, held to be a part of Doriath. It was protected by the Girdle of Melian and secret ferries were maintained on the east shore.
- See Pass of Aglon
- Amon Ereb
- (S. 'lonely hill') The broad, shallow-sided hill between Ramdal and the river Gelion that dominated the southern plains of East Beleriand. As the highest point in that region and the easternmost hill of Andram, which was standing alone, it had tremendous strategic importance, because it guarded the eastern passage around the long wall of the Andram into the southern parts of Beleriand and the northern Taur-im-Duinath.
- It was here that Denethor Lord of the Nandor met his end in the First Battle against the Orcs in the Wars of Beleriand, and much later, Caranthir fortified it to guard his escape into the south after the Dagor Bragollach and the Fëanoreans withdrew there after Nírnaeth Arnoediad. The hill was also called "Ereb" for short.
- Amon Ethir
- (S. 'hill of spies') A hill raised artificially by the people of Finrod in the wide plain of Talath Dirnen, a league (approximately 5 kilometres) east of the Doors of Nargothrond above the river Narog. Over the years, trees grew on its flanks, but from its clear summit the watchers of Nargothrond could watch the lands about with the clear sight of the Elves, and so the hill got its name, Amon Ethir, meaning 'Hill of Spies'.
- Amon Rûdh
- (S. 'Bald hill') In the First Age, Amon Rûdh was a stone hill south of Brethil in West Beleriand. It had only deep red flowers called seregon "stone's blood" growing on its top, which made it seem blood-covered.
- Mîm the Petty-dwarf lived within Amon Rûdh with his two sons, Ibûn and Khîm. Mîm was captured by a group of outlaws led by Túrin Turambar and forced to reveal the location of his refuge, which was then called Bar-en-Danwedh "House of Ransom". (Previously, it had been known as Bar-en-Nibin-Noeg "House of the Petty-dwarves".) When it was discovered that Khîm, who had been shot at, had actually been killed, Túrin repented and offered his services to Mîm, who from then on tolerated the presence of the outlaws.
- Amon Rûdh became the base of operations for the outlaws and with the arrival of Beleg, it became the heart of the area known as Dor-Cúarthol "Land of Bow and Helm" (referring to the two captains, Beleg and Túrin), a centre of resistance against the forces of Morgoth. Túrin's location was eventually discovered and orcs slew the outlaws and captured Turambar, covering the hilltop with real blood.
- Amon Rûdh was lost under the sea with the destruction of Beleriand during the War of Wrath at the end of the First Age.
- (S. 'long wall') A long line of hills that ran across Beleriand, from Nargothrond and the Gates of Sirion in the west to Ramdal (Wall's End) in the east. It marked a steep fall in the height of the land of Beleriand.
- At the easternmost edge stood Amon Ereb, which usually was not considered a part of the Andram.
- (S. 'Gate of the Noldor') A subterranean passage below the Ered Lómin. Originally through it a river from the Mountains of Mithrim flowed towards Cirith Ninniach. The tunnel was enlarged and carved by the Noldor of Turgon when he dwelt in Nevrast to ease the communication with Fingon in Hithlum. Later Gelmir and Arminas led Tuor through this passage, apparently at the bidding of Ulmo.
- ("Green Region"), later Anfauglith, was the wide green plain that lay north of the highlands of Dorthonion and south of Morgoth's fortress of Angband in the Iron Mountains, in the First Age.
- In the first days after the rising of the Sun, Ard-galen was a green plain with rich grass, reaching from Hithlum and the Ered Wethrin in the west to the Ered Luin in the east, and rising into highlands of Dorthonion in the south. But the plain was laid waste by rivers of flame and poisonous gases that issued forth from Angband in the Dagor Bragollach and renamed Anfauglith ("Gasping Dust").
- The Fifth Battle of the Wars of Beleriand, called Nírnaeth Arnoediad (Unnumbered Tears), was fought upon the plain, and the dead bodies from that battle were piled up, forming a hill in the midst of the plain, named Haudh-en-Ndengin, the Hill of Slain, by the Elves, and Haudh-en-Nirnaeth, the Hill of Tears; grass grew again upon the hill but nowhere else in Anfauglith.
- Like the other lands around it, Anfauglith sank beneath the waves after the War of Wrath at the end of the First Age.
- Bay of Balar
- An ocean inlet of the Belegaer south of Beleriand, fed by the River Sirion. It was presumably created in the cataclysms that accompanied the struggles of the Valar with Morgoth long before recorded history. The Isle of Balar was a large island in the bay.
- One of two Dwarven cities in the Ered Luin, lying to the north of its neighbouring dwarven city Nogrod. It was the home of the Dwarven people known as Broadbeams. Both clans were early trading partners of the Sindar in Beleriand. Belegost translates from Sindarin as "Great Fortress". The dwarves called it by its Khuzdul name, Gabilgathol of unknown meaning, and although Tolkien used Mickleburg as an Anglicization of the Westron form of the name, this would clearly have been retrospective translation of the Sindarin name, as Westron, 'the common speech', did not begin to develop until centuries after Belegost's destruction.
- Belegost's only named king, Azaghâl, lived in the First Age, and forged a firm alliance with the Noldorin Prince Maedhros after the latter rescued him from an orc ambush. Towards the end of the Nírnaeth Arnoediad, Azaghâl was killed in combat with Glaurung, the Father of Dragons, but his attack wounded it so badly that Azaghâl's debt to Maedhros was repaid: the remaining Noldor were able to escape from certain destruction when the wounded Glaurung fled the field along with all his brood.
- In the years after the battle, the surviving Dwarves of the Mickleburg did not join the Dwarves of Nogrod in the Sack of Menegroth, and actually attempted to dissuade their friends from it. They thus saved themselves from the calamity of destruction inflicted upon the host of Nogrod by the Green-elves and the Ents, but even so, the emigration of many Broadbeams from their ancestral home become necessary shortly thereafter following the War of Wrath, wherein Belegost was 'ruined' when the Blue Mountains were shrunk and broken at that time.
- Relations between the remaining dwarfs of the Ered Luin and the Eldar of the newly founded Lindon - which included many survivors of Doriath amongst their number - must have remained at a low ebb due to the actions of the Firebeards, even after the War of Wrath, as during the early decades of the Second Age, "The Dwarves of Belegost were filled with dismay at the calamity and fear for its outcome, and this hastened their departure eastwards..."
- Although a great many Dwarves of Belegost did indeed emigrate across Eriador some forty years after the war, to join with Durin's folk in Khazad-dûm, there is substantial evidence that some dwarfs remained to rebuild the ruins of Belegost in some form, although in much reduced if presumably independent circumstances. It seems likely that the seven Rings of Power given to seven Dwarf-lords during the Second Age for example, are analogous with the dwarfs' seven clans, amongst whom the Firebeards and Broadbeams are numbered.
- Additionally, one of Tolkien's earlier maps, as shown by Christopher Tolkien in The Treason of Isengard (and also echoed in Karen Wynn Fonstad's Atlas of Middle-earth) still shows Belegost in the Ered Luin in the time of the Third Age, indicating that Belegost may have survived the upheavals of the Second and early Third Ages, or that at least a more recognizable mansion had persisted therein than at Nogrod.
- A cluster of woods bordering Dorthonion, which was probably originally part of Doriath. It was to Brethil that the House of Haleth removed after dwelling east of the river Gelion. Some Drúedain also dwelt there.
- The main feature of the forest was the hill of Amon Obel, upon which stood Ephel Brandir, the main settlement of the Haladin. The river Taeglin crossed the forest.
- (S. 'Leap of the Deer') A deep gorge in the river Taeglin just to the north of the inflow of Celebros near the Forest of Brethil. A "sheer cliff of some forty feet" lay to its east; on the other side was "a bank somewhat less sheer and less high" and "the water ran fiercely among rocks" in between.
- When Glaurung the Dragon issued from Nargothrond to attack Brethil, he chose a straight route and decided to cross the river over the ravine rather than turning to the Crossings of Brethil. This was guessed by Túrin Turambar, who hid himself under the southern cliff and stabbed the dragon from beneath with his sword Gurthang. Glaurung managed to get across to the northern side, blasting the trees with fire and breaking a great space all about him. Before his death he had managed to lead Nienor Níniel to suicide, as she cast herself down the ravine; and shortly after Túrin slew himself on Gurthang near the brink.
- Thereafter no man looked again down into the darkness of Cabed-en-Aras, "nor would any beast or bird come there, nor any tree grow; and it was named Cabed Naeramarth, the Leap of Dreadful Doom." The body of the Dragon was then burned by the Men of Brethil, and the "Field of Burning" was ever after desolate. A mound was raised for Túrin where he had fallen by the brink, and upon it a great grey stone was set, called the Stone of the Hapless or the Standing Stone (Talbor in the tongue of the woodfolk). Upon it was carven in runes:
TÚRIN TURAMBAR DAGNIR GLAURUNGA NIENOR NÍNIEL
- Later their mother Morwen found the stone, and remained there awaiting death. She was found by her husband Húrin, but died on the following day. The Men of Brethil buried her on the west side of the stone, and Here lies also Morwen Eledhwen was added to the carvings. Tolkien writes that "after that day fear left that place, though sorrow remained, and it was ever leafless and bare." But until the end of Beleriand women of Brethil would come there to pay respects, singing of the Grey Lady who sought in vain for her son. Also, a seer and harp-player of Brethil named Glirhuin sung that the Stone of the Hapless would "not be defiled by Morgoth nor ever thrown down."
- After the Drowning of Beleriand the northern brink of Cabed-en-Aras, including the Stone, survived as Tol Morwen, one of the several islands west of the coast of Middle-earth in later ages.
- Cirith Ninniach
- (S. 'Rainbow Cleft') A long and narrow channel in the Ered Lómin, cut by the river issuing from Annon-in-Gelydh and flowing into the Firth of Drengist. Tuor passed through this after escaping from Dor-lómin, and it was he who gave the name to the channel, for "where the water foamed among the boulders or rushed over sudden falls, at morning and evening rainbows were woven across the stream."
- (S. 'cleft mountain peaks') Part of the southern Echoriath, the Encircling Mountains of Gondolin. The area was home to the great Eagles of Thorondor. From here they watched for spies in the vale of the River Sirion.
- In Tolkien's stories it is usually referred to as the "Eagles' Cleft" or "Abode of Eagles".
- An empty land in the north of Beleriand, lying between the Forests of Brethil in the west and Neldoreth in the east.
- See Nen Girith
- See Mount Dolmed
- Dor Caranthir
- See Thargelion
- Dor Dínen
- (S. 'silent land') A relinquished part of east Beleriand, north of Doriath. Contained by one of the upper branches of the Esgalduin (bordering Nan Dungortheb) and the Aros (bordering Himlad), it was said that no one had lived there for ages. To the south lies Neldoreth, and Ered Gorgoroth to the north. The region is best known for the Arossiach, which connected Esgalduin and Aros.
- A mountain range in the north of Beleriand, also called the Encircling Mountains. The Echoriath formed a natural circle of rock, enclosing the valley later called Tumladen, within which lay the Elven city of Gondolin. A hidden ravine provided the only access through the Echoriath — a way guarded by seven gates.
- Eithel Ivrin
- A series of small freshwater lakes, also called the Pools of Ivrin, under the shadow of the Ered Wethrin mountains. One of the most beautiful sights in all of Beleriand, the pools were beloved by Finduilas of Nargothrond, who was given the nickname Faelivrin after the Sun on the Pools of Ivrin by Gwindor.
- (S. 'encampment') A wide plain in East Beleriand. After the first Men arrived from beyond the Ered Luin, they camped for a number of years on the plain before moving further west and north. It is located in between rivers Celon and Gelion just west of Thargelion. The Great Dwarf Road runs through it.
- Fens of Serech
- A series of marshes in the Pass of Sirion where many Battles of Beleriand were fought. Formed by the confluence of the rivers Sirion and Rivil, the Fens were trapped in a wedge formed by the Ered Wethrin and the highlands of Dorthonion.
- During the Dagor-nuin-Giliath the Orcs of Morgoth were caught in the Fens for ten days, where they were being destroyed by the enraged Sons of Fëanor. During the Dagor Bragollach, Finrod Felagund was caught in the Fens, and would have died but for the bravery of Barahir. During the Nírnaeth Arnoediad, Huor and Húrin with the remaining Men of Dor-lómin formed a living wall across the Fens of Serech to guard the withdrawal of King Turgon of Gondolin, who took most of the surviving Noldor with him.
- Fords of Aros
- See Arossiach
- Forest between Rivers
- See Taur-im-Duinath
- Gate of the Noldor
- See Annon-in-Gelydh
- Haudh-en-Ndengin, Haudh-en-Nírnaeth
- (S. 'mound of slain' and 'mound of tears' respectively) A great barrow hill raised by Morgoth's Orcs after the Nírnaeth Arnoediad to bury all those Elves and Edain fallen in the battle. It was also called the Hill of Tears and the Hill of the Slain. Legend had it that the hill was the only verdant spot in all the desert of Anfauglith.
- See Lake Helevorn
- High Faroth
- See Taur-en-Faroth
- (S. 'cool plain') A land in northeast Beleriand situated between the rivers Celon and Aros. On its northern border to Lothlann were the hills of Himring and the March of Maedhros. Along with the Pass of Aglon, Himlad was held by Celegorm and Curufin until the Dagor Bragollach, after which it remained uninhabited.
- Isle of Balar
- A refugee camp of the Eldar and Edain, located in the great Bay of Balar to the south of Beleriand, and according to legend it was the northern tip of Tol Eressëa which had broken off when Ulmo ferried the Eldar to Aman.
- Northeastern part of the highland of Dorthonion. It was briefly a fief of the House of Bëor, but lost to Morgoth in the Dagor Bragollach.
- There have been three Lords of Ladros: Boromir, Bregor and Bregolas. Strictly speaking, Bregolas' brother Barahir has also been Lord of Ladros, but he never reigned his fief, as in Bregolas' time Morgoth overwhelmed Dorthonion and Ladros in the Dagor Bragollach, in which Bregolas himself was slain. His brother Barahir and twelve faithful men, including his son Beren, became outlaws in their own land, assaulting Morgoth's forces from their hidden lair at Tarn Aeluin on the southern borders of Ladros. They were betrayed by Gorlim the Unhappy, and all were slain but Beren, who escaped into the south.
- A "wide and empty" plain to the northeast of Beleriand, beyond the March of Maedhros and Maglor's Gap.
- Meres of Twilight
- See Aelin-uial
- Minas Tirith
- A tower on Tol Sirion that guarded the Pass of Sirion. Minas Tirith was built early in the First Age by Finrod to keep watch upon the doings of Morgoth on the northern plain of Ard-galen and prevent passage south by Orcs through the Pass of Sirion, the West Gate of Beleriand. It was under the command of Finrod's brother Orodreth.
- Mount Dolmed
- A mountain in the Ered Luin that loomed over the only known pass from Eriador into Beleriand. It was here that according to Dwarves two of their Fathers, the founders of the Broadbeams and the Firebeards, awoke. Their descendants later established the Dwarven cities of Nogrod and Belegost. Nogrod was established near and under Mount Dolmed itself, Belegost lay more to the south.
- After the War of Wrath the Ered Luin were broken at the location of Mount Dolmed and an arm of the sea, the Gulf of Lune, broke through it. Mount Dolmed was completely destroyed together with Nogrod.
- (S. 'valley of willows') The region, famed for its flowers, where the River Narog flowed into River Sirion in Southern Beleriand. The equivalent Quenya names Tasarinan and Nan-tasarion are used by Treebeard. Following the sack of Gondolin its survivors, led by Tuor, temporarily rested in Nan-tathren on their way to the mouths of Sirion.
- Nan Dungortheb
- ('Valley of Dreadful Death') The wilderness south of Ered Gorgoroth and Dorthonion, east of Dimbar and the river Mindeb, west of Dor Dínen and the Esgalduin, and north of Neldoreth and Doriath. It is named after Ungoliant, who resided there after escaping from a Balrog attack in Lammoth. It is also named for its proximity to the Ered Gorgoroth, where Ungoliant's descendants haunted the deep vales of the mountains, and its closeness to the shadowy webs of the Girdle of Melian.
- Nen Girith
- (S. 'Shuddering Water') A cascading waterfall on the stream of Celebros, where it flowed down to meet the River Taeglin on the borders of Brethil. The falls raise a fine spray into the air, from which they took their original name, Dimrost 'Rainy Stair'. Above Dimrost, the Men of Brethil had constructed a wooden bridge to cross the Celebros.
- From the bridge, a wide view could be seen, showing the Ravines of Taeglin two miles (3.2 kilometres) distant. When Níniel was first brought to Brethil, when she saw that view from the bridge, she started shivering uncontrollably - so much so that the name of Dimrost was changed to Nen Girith. It was only later that the cause of her foresightful fear was discovered: the Ravines she had seen from the bridge would be the place of her tragic death.
- A coastal region in the north of Beleriand. The name means Hither Shore in Sindarin, as opposed to the Distant Shore of Aman and was originally applied to all the shores of Beleriand (although Nevrast was usually not included in West Beleriand).
- Nevrast was the centre of an Elven kingdom of Turgon for about a century until ca. 125 F.A., when the people began their trek to Gondolin. Turgon's capital (and it seems the only city of Nevrast) was Vinyamar. The land was not permanently inhabited after that, and indeed was utterly abandoned until Tuor came there, guided by Ulmo.
- In the fictional history of J. R. R. Tolkien's Arda, Nogrod was one of the two western most Dwarven cities, to the south of Mount Dolmed in the Ered Luin of Middle-earth, home to the Dwarven Clan known as the Firebeards.
- Obel Halad
- was a town of the Folk of Haleth in the First Age, located upon the hill of Amon Obel in the centre of the Forest of Brethil. From the side of the hill the river Celebros sprang, along which a road towards the Crossings of Taeglin ran until it crossed the stream by a bridge above Nen Girith. In Sindarin amon means 'hill', while obel signifies a walled settlement; Tolkien usually employed the word town to translate it, using it in the ancient sense of 'enclosed dwelling-place'.
- The chief building was the Hall of the Chieftains, a residence of the Halad of Brethil. It was situated on the slope of the hillside, surrounded with wide garth, which was bordered by a "round earthwall rising from a dry outer dyke". Half a mile from Obel Halad (possibly on the other side of Amon Obel) the Moot-ring was built, where the Folk of Brethil gathered to elect a new Chieftain or pass judgements. It "was shaped as a great crescent, with seven tiers of turf-banks rising up from a smooth floor delved into the hillside. A high fence was set all about it, and ... in the middle of the lowest tier of seats was set the Angbor or Doom-rock, a great flat stone upon which the Halad would sit." Not far from Obel Halad were also located the caves that served as a prison, and the Garth of the Graves where the Chieftains were buried.
- The Hall of the Chieftains was burned during the civil war in Y.S. 501, and the Moot-ring was dishallowed by the spilling of blood. Afterwards the Men of Brethil were disunited, "each minding his own homelands", so Obel Halad presumably was not rebuilt.
- Pass of Aglon
- (S. 'high walls') A narrow mountain pass between Ered Gorgoroth to the west and Himring to the east. It was of strategic importance since it joined Himlad and Lothlann, being an eastern passage from Angband to the main Beleriand. It was guarded by Celegorm and Curufin but during the Dagor Bragollach of Y.S. 455 Aglon was breached and the brothers fled to Nargothrond. Some time later (around 469) Maedhros recovered it, but it was again left unguarded when he fled after the Nírnaeth Arnoediad.
- Rainbow Cleft
- See Cirith Ninniach
- A forest forming the southern part of Doriath, bounded by the rivers Aros and Esgalduin, and the Girdle of Melian. Its name is pronounced "reg-ion" because it is an Elvish name, not "region" as in "a region of land".
- See Mount Rerir
- Sarn Athrad
- (S. 'ford of stones'). A ford on the River Gelion where the Dwarf road from Nogrod and Belegost crossed on its way to Doriath. It was the site where Beren Erchamion, with the aid of the Green-elves of Ossiriand, ambushed a host of Dwarves carrying the Nauglamír back to Nogrod after stealing it from Doriath.
- See Nan-tathren
- (S. 'forest between two rivers') A dark and gloomy forest that extended over a vast area of land to the south of Beleriand. It was roughly bordered by Andram in the north, Sirion and Belegaer to the west and by Gelion to the east and south. On the map drawn by Christopher Tolkien for The Silmarillion the Forest between Rivers is shown as exceptionally swampy, and in the text is described as "a wild land of tangled forest in which no folk went, save here and there a few Dark Elves wandering".
- (S. 'beyond Gelion') The land east of the river Gelion and north of the river Ascar, and therefore not counted as part of Ossiriand. After the Exile of the Noldor this was the land of Caranthir, one of the Sons of Fëanor, and after him it was often called Dor Caranthir. The Second House of Men briefly dwelt here until they were nearly wiped out in an Orc-raid.
- The second month of spring in the Attic calendar is also called Thargelion.
- A settlement built by Turgon in Nevrast on the slopes of Mount Taras at the beginning of the First Age. Vinyamar's population was primarily Noldor, with a large influx of Sindarin Elves.
- Woods of Núath
- A wooded area in the north-west of Beleriand. It was bordered in the west by the hills lying south of the Ered Wethrin, and in the east by Eithel Ivrin, the source of Narog. The river Ginglith began in it. Because the woods do not appear in the published Silmarillion, they were left off the map of Beleriand drawn by Christopher Tolkien.
References and notes
- ^ Tolkien, J. R. R. (1980), Christopher Tolkien, ed., Unfinished Tales, Boston: Houghton Mifflin, "The History of Galadriel and Celeborn" ("Concerning Galadriel and Celeborn"), ISBN 0-395-29917-9
- ^ Tolkien, J. R. R. (1980), Christopher Tolkien, ed., Unfinished Tales, Boston: Houghton Mifflin, Narn i Hîn Húrin: "The Coming of Glaurung", ISBN 0-395-29917-9
- ^ Tolkien, J. R. R. (1977), Christopher Tolkien, ed., The Silmarillion, Boston: Houghton Mifflin, Ch. 21 "Of Túrin Turambar", p. 223-4, emphasis added, ISBN 0-395-25730-1
- ^ Tolkien, J. R. R. (1994), Christopher Tolkien, ed., The War of the Jewels, Boston: Houghton Mifflin, The Wanderings of Húrin, p. 296, ISBN 0-395-71041-3
- ^ Tolkien, J. R. R. (1980), Christopher Tolkien, ed., Unfinished Tales, Boston: Houghton Mifflin, "Of Tuor and his Coming to Gondolin", ISBN 0-395-29917-9
- ^ Tolkien, J. R. R. (1977), Christopher Tolkien, ed., The Silmarillion, Boston: Houghton Mifflin, Ch. 14 "Of Beleriand and its Realms", p. 123, ISBN 0-395-25730-1
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