Tolkien Gateway

Belegaer

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| name=Belegaer
 
| name=Belegaer
 
| othernames=The Great Sea, Sundering Seas, ''Alatairë''
 
| othernames=The Great Sea, Sundering Seas, ''Alatairë''
| etymology= [[S.]] ''[[beleg]]'' + ''[[aer]]''
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| etymology= [[S.]] ''[[beleg]]''   ''[[aer]]''
 
| type=Ocean
 
| type=Ocean
 
| location=East of [[Aman]], west of [[Endor]]
 
| location=East of [[Aman]], west of [[Endor]]
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| realms=
 
| realms=
 
| description=
 
| description=
| events=The [[War of Wrath]] & [[Akallabêth]]
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| events=The [[War of Wrath]]
| references=
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|}}
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'''Belegaer''', the '''Great Sea''' or the '''Sundering Seas''', is the sea of [[Arda]] that is west of [[Middle-earth]].
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Before the [[Second Age]], Belegaer stretched from the Gap of [[Ilmen]] in the far north, where a bridge made of ice known as the [[Helcaraxë]] connected [[Middle-earth]] and [[Aman]], to the far south, where it also connected with Ilmen and froze, although no strait was formed there. Belegaer was narrower in the north than in the south, with its widest part near the equator of Arda.
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The full extent of Belegaer after the [[Akallabêth]] is never made clear, but it reaches far enough to the north to be ice-covered, and far to the south. Belegaer corresponds with (and is intended to ''be'') the Atlantic Ocean.
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==History==
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Before the end of the Second Age, the continent of Aman, home of the [[Valar]], formed the western edge of Belegaer.  Before the ruin of [[Beleriand]] at the end of the [[First Age]], the sea was narrow and ice-filled in the north, forming the strait of Helcaraxë, the Grinding Ice. It was thus possible to cross from Aman to Middle-earth on foot, though with difficulty, as did [[Fingolfin]] and his people of the [[Ñoldor]] when fleeing [[Valinor]].
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After the [[War of Wrath]] Belegaer was widened by the drowning of a large part of Middle-earth, and possibly parts of Aman. The bridge of ice in the north was removed, removing land access to the western continent. During the Akallebêth in the Second Age, the seas were bent and the world was made round. Aman was removed from the world, Belegaer washed "new lands", and only the chosen could find the "Straight Road" to [[Valinor]]. The new western end of Belegaer is never described in the narrative, although there are indications that Númenórean refugees reached them in search for Valinor.
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==Etymology==
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The name is [[Sindarin]], and has the elements ''[[Beleg]]'' or "Might" and ''[[Aer]]'' or ''[[Eär]]'', an element meaning "Sea" which is also present in the name ''[[Eärendil]]'' (sea-lover).
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The [[Quenya]] name of Belegaer, never used in published writing, is '''''Alatairë'''''.
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Belegaer has and had several islands and island chains:
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* [[Tol Eressëa]], the Lonely Isle close to the shore of Aman
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* the Twilit Isles or [[Enchanted Isles]] seaward of Tol Eressëa
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* [[Númenor]] (Second Age only)
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* the Western Isles (after the First Age)
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** [[Tol Morwen]]
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** [[Tol Fuin]]
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** [[Himling]]
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* [[Isle of Balar | Balar]], in the Bay of Balar (First Age only)
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* [[Tolfalas]], in the Bay of Belfalas{{Pronounce|Belegaer.mp3|Ardamir}}
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Other features of Belegaer:
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* Bay of [[Eldamar]]
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* [[Bay of Balar]] (First Age only)
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* the [[Great Gulf]] (First Age only)
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* [[Firth of Drengist]] (First Age only)
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* Ice Bay of [[Forochel]] (after First Age)
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* [[Gulf of Lune]] (after First Age)
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* [[Bay of Belfalas]] (after First Age)
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[[Category:Pronounced articles]]
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[[Category:Oceans]]
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[[Category:Sindarin words]]
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Revision as of 04:35, 15 June 2007

{{location | image=Ted Nasmith - The Sea.jpg | name=Belegaer | othernames=The Great Sea, Sundering Seas, Alatairë | etymology= S. beleg aer | type=Ocean | location=East of Aman, west of Endor | inhabitants= | realms= | description= | events=The War of Wrath