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Doriath

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Alan Lee - Beleg Departs Menegroth.jpg
Doriath
EtymologyThe Fenced Land
GovernmentMonarchy
Head of StateElu Thingol, Melian the Maia
Societal information
CapitalMenegroth
LanguageSindarin
LocationBeleriand
PopulaceTelerin Elves
Historical information
Formed fromThe abandonment of Thingol and his people in Middle-earth during the Great March
Establishmentc. Y.T. 1152
ReorganisationF.A. 504
DissolutionF.A. 506

Doriath (S, pron. [ˈdorjaθ]) was the land of the Sindar. It was called the Fenced Land (Dor-iath), for its queen, Melian, put a girdle of enchantment about it, so that nobody could enter without King Thingol's permission.

Doriath was a realm of forests about the great river Sirion, with in it the forests Neldoreth (also Taur-na-Neldor, the northern beech forest), Nivrim (also West-march, an oak forest), and Region (pronounced Reh-gi-on, the main forest). Additionally, the forests of Brethil and Nan Elmoth were held as part of Doriath, but these last two lay outside the Girdle of Melian. King Elu Thingol of Doriath, also High King of the Sindar, saw all of Beleriand as his realm, from the Gelion to Belegaer.

The Vanyar and Ñoldor had passed by it on the Great Journey, and had been ferried across on Tol Eressëa by the time the Teleri arrived. Then their lord Elwë was lost in Nan Elmoth, and when Ulmo returned for them a part remained behind. They became known as the Sindar or Grey Elves, and when Thingol returned he became their king, ruling from Doriath.

Doriath was originally named Eglador, meaning either "Land of the Forsaken" or "Land of the Elves", but in the last years before the First Age attacks by Melkor's creatures (Orcs) began to increase in Beleriand, and Melian fenced the forests of Neldoreth, Region, and Nivrim. Thingol then called all the Sindar to Doriath, but many remained in the wild. After the First Battle of Beleriand, many Laiquendi removed to Doriath.

Eöl the Dark Elf leased Nan Elmoth from Thingol, having paid the sword Anglachel for it.

The Dwarves of Belegost and Nogrod were contracted to build the halls of Menegroth, which became Thingol's capital.

When the Ñoldor returned to Middle-earth at the beginning of the First Age, Thingol refused to allow them in Doriath, with the exception of the children of Finarfin, who were related to him by his brother Olwë.

When later Men arrived in Beleriand, they were also refused entry, but at Finrod's request the Haladin were allowed to live in Brethil.

Beren, son of Barahir and lord of the First House of Men, passed through the Girdle as Melian had foretold, and arrived in Neldoreth. There Thingol's daughter Lúthien fell in love with him. After the Quest for the Silmaril the Wolf Carcharoth also breached the Girdle, but Thingol, Beren, and Thingol's captains Beleg and Mablung hunted and killed the beast.

Túrin was sent to Doriath, and lived there until he came of age, when he fled from the land. Later his mother and sister, Morwen and Nienor Níniel lived there, until they were lost.

Húrin brought the treasure of Nargothrond to Doriath after the fall of Finrod's realm, and Thingol enlisted the Dwarves of Nogrod to combine the Silmaril of Beren and Lúthien with the Nauglamír, the Dwarves' Necklace. The Dwarves then attacked Thingol, and slew him, stealing the necklace, during the first Sack of Doriath. Melian then left, and with her the protective Girdle.

Doriath was briefly restored under Beren and Lúthien's son Dior Eluchíl, but he was attacked and killed by the sons of Fëanor in the Second Kinslaying. Afterwards Doriath remained abandoned until it was sunk along with most of the rest of Beleriand.

Map of Doriath

References