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General Information
LocationSouth of Narog, West of Sirion
DescriptionCoastland of Balar, with Nimbrethil woodlands
InhabitantsNoldor, Falathrim
"Eärendil was a mariner
that tarried in Arvernien
he built a boat of timber felled
in Nimbrethil to journey in
Song of Eärendil[1]

Arvernien was the coastland of Beleriand west of the Mouths of Sirion.


Arvernien was originally an uninhabited land, known mainly for the forest of Nimbrethil,[2] but after the rout that became known was the Battle of Unnumbered Tears and the subsequent destruction of the Havens of Brithombar and Eglarest, Círdan and his folk dwelt in region. Though at first they lived on the Isle of Balar, they later founded the Havens of Sirion.[3] The area became a known refuge, as when Gondolin fell, many of its people fled southward too.[4]

The Havens would fall, eventually, but not by the troops of Morgoth. Having learned of the survival of Elwing and Eärendil, Maedhros mustered a troup to retrieve the Silmaril that had been his father's. Though the forces of the remaining Sons of Fëanor were not very large, they still won the day, and ravaged the Havens. They could not find the Silmaril, however. Elwing went into the Sea with it, and Círdan and Gil-galad were too late to do anything. They could not find Elwing or her sons, Elros and Elrond, who had been found by Maglor, and raised them well out of pity and remorse. Following Eärendil's return from his journeys out at sea and the War of Wrath in which Morgoth was defeated, Beleriand, and Arvernien with it, was destroyed.[5]


Tolkien only ever gave an incomplete translation of the name Arvernien: "(the land) beside the Verna".[6]

Except the core element Verna, the name can be analyzed as prefix ar- meaning "beside, without" (see also argad) and the geographical ending -ien which translates as "land of". The meaning of Verna is, however, unclear.

Considering that the name was an invention of Tolkien's early legendarium, when Beleriand was still called Broseliand, David Salo suggested the name might actually have been inspired by the French region of Auvergne.[7]


  1. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Fellowship of the Ring, "Many Meetings"
  2. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Index"
  3. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Of the Fifth Battle: Nirnaeth Arnoediad"
  4. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Of Tuor and the Fall of Gondolin"
  5. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Of the Voyage of Eärendil and the War of Wrath"
  6. J.R.R. Tolkien, "Words, Phrases and Passages in The Lord of the Rings" (edited by Christopher Gilson), published in Parma Eldalamberon 17 (July 2007), pp. 19, 71
  7. David Salo, Message 34598, Elfling