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Anórien is a region and fiefdom of Gondor, called Sunlending by the Rohirrim. The name does not refer to the Sun or the climate, but is 'heraldic', related to the name and the emblem of Anárion, son of Elendil: the land is immediately attached to the Minas Anor.[1]



During the Elder Days, the region was occupied by Pre-Númenórean Men.[2] These were separated relatives of the House of Haleth while the Edain migrated to the west during the First Age. The Woses fled to the forests of that region, hunted by the Men of Darkness.[3]

At the end of the Second Age, the region was given to Anárion as part of the Kingdoms in Exile and was named 'Anórien' after him. Anárion built Minas Anor on Amon Tirith of the Mindolluin.

In the Third Age, as the Great Plague spread, cities were evacuated and many fled to Ithilien and Anórien.

Steward Túrin II fortified the isle of Cair Andros to defend Anórien.[4]

During the War of the Ring, when Sauron released a secondary force from the Morannon, they overwhelmed the defenders of Cair Andros, and used the island to cross into Anórien. They blocked the eastward progress of the Rohirrim as they rode to Gondor's aid, though after the Battle of the Pelennor Fields, Elfhelm chased them down and pushed them back out of Anórien.


Anórien lay north of Minas Tirith and the line of the White Mountains, and was the only part of the northern half of the realm, Calenardhon, which was not given to the Éothéod to become the Kingdom of Rohan.

Anórien formed a narrow strip of land consisting of the valleys of the White Mountains, and its borders were the Mering Stream in the west, and the Mouths of the Entwash in the north. Its eastern border was the border of Gondor at the Anduin.

The Greenway road traversed the fief.

No cities were in Anórien, but following the line of the North-South Road that led through Rohan to Arnor were built the Warning beacons of Gondor.


The name is Sindarin for 'Sun-land'; Anor "sun" and -ien place name suffix.

The name is purely heraldic and doesn't refer to its climate or sunshine.[1]


  1. 1.0 1.1 J.R.R. Tolkien, "Nomenclature of The Lord of the Rings" in Wayne G. Hammond and Christina Scull (eds), The Lord of the Rings: A Reader's Companion, p. 776
  2. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), Unfinished Tales, "Cirion and Eorl and the Friendship of Gondor and Rohan"
  3. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), Unfinished Tales, "The Drúedain"
  4. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Peoples of Middle-earth, "The Heirs of Elendil"