Carnen — Sindarin for Redwater — was a river that flowed generally southward from the Iron Hills east of the Lonely Mountain until it met the Celduin about 250 Númenórean miles to the south. Its course lay in the boundary region between "The North" (the northwestern region of Middle-earth) and the vast "East" (the area called Rhûn).
Between the time when Thráin I founded the dwarf-kingdom in the Lonely Mountain (in 1999) and the arrival of Smaug (in 2770) the Northmen living between the Celduin and Carnen grew strong and repelled all eastern enemies. This area became depopulated after the arrival of the dragon but again filled with Northmen after Smaug's demise. During the War of the Ring the northern host of Sauron crossed the Carnen and drove the forces of King Brand back to Dale.
Carnen or Celduin — Which River Flowed into the Sea of Rhûn?
In none of the maps that showed Rhovanion (in The Lord of the Rings, the Pauline Baynes' Map, or the Unfinished Tales) was it made clear what the name of the river was from the confluence of the Celduin and the Carnen to the Sea of Rhûn. However, in the Index to the Unfinished Tales Christopher Tolkien included information about the Carnen: "'Redwater', river flowing down from the Iron Hills to join the River Running" and the Celduin: "River flowing from the Lonely Mountain to the Sea of Rhûn". Per these statements it was the Celduin that flowed to the Sea and the Carnen was but one of its tributaries.
- ↑ J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), Unfinished Tales, "The West of Middle-earth at the End of the Third Age" [map]
- ↑ J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), Unfinished Tales, "The Istari"
- ↑ J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix B, "The Third Age"
- ↑ J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix A, "Durin's Folk"
- ↑ J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix B, "The Great Years"
- ↑ J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), Unfinished Tales, Index