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Dorthonion

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Dorthonion
Physical Description
TypeForested Highlands
LocationNorth of Doriath
RealmsAngrod, Aegnor, Finrod, later House of Bëor
InhabitantsElves, Men, Orcs
DescriptionHilly region with pine forests
General Information
Other namesTaur-na-Foen
EventsDagor Bragollach, Massacre at Tarn Aeluin

Dorthonion was a forested highland region in the north of Beleriand which spanned sixty leagues from west to east.[1] The hilly northeastern section was called Ladros. Dorthonion was walled-in by the Echoriath ("Encircling Mountains") in the west and the Ered Gorgoroth ("Mountains of Terror") in the south.[2]

From the plains of Ard-galen to the north, Dorthonion rose gradually until it became a bleak land of tarns and bare tors near the precipices of the Ered Gorgoroth. In the north and the west the land was covered with great forests of pines.[3] The rivers Rivil and Mindeb had their sources in these uplands, as did the lake Aeluin.[2] In the center of the land was a tall peak called Foen.[4]

History

During the tumult when the Valar broke the gates of Utumno after the awakening of the elves, the highlands of Dorthonion were first raised.[5].

In year 6 of the First Age[6] King Thingol gave permission to the Noldor to settle the northern lands of Beleriand.[7] North Dorthonion was ruled by the Elf-lords Angrod and Aegnor and Ladros was ruled by Finrod.[3]

After Finrod and his people removed to Nargothrond in the south, High King Fingolfin granted the land of Ladros to the House of Bëor as a fiefdom.[8]

In F.A. 455 Dorthonion was overrun by the armies of Morgoth in the Dagor Bragollach ("Battle of Sudden Flame") and thereafter was called Taur-nu-Fuin ("Forest under Nightshade").[9] Barahir refused to forsake Dorthonion and remained with twelve companions near Tarn Aeluin. Through the treachery of Gorlim nearly all of this band were killed, save for the son of Barahir, Beren. Beren followed the Orcs who had killed his father to Rivil's Well. He then killed the Orc captain and recovered the Ring of Barahir. Eventually he was pursued so closely that Beren fled from Dorthonion over the Gorgoroth.[10]

Many, many years later, on 29 February, T.A. 3019,[11] Treebeard chanted to Merry and Pippin as he carried them through Fangorn Forest and he mentioned "To the pine-trees upon the highland of Dorthonion I climbed in the Winter."[12]

Etymology

Dorthonion means "Land of the Pine Trees" in Sindarin (from dôr = "land, dwelling-place" and thôn = "pine tree").[13]

In a philological fragment of uncertain date it is stated that Dorthonion was also called Taur-na-Foen, the Forest of the Foen.[14]

References

  1. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Lost Road and Other Writings, "Part Two: Valinor and Middle-earth before The Lord of the Rings, VI. Quenta Silmarillion", p. 272
  2. 2.0 2.1 J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Map of Beleriand and the Lands to the North"
  3. 3.0 3.1 J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Quenta Silmarillion: Of Beleriand and its Realms"
  4. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The War of the Jewels, "Part Two. The Later Quenta Silmarillion: Of Beleriand its Realms (Chapter 11)", pp. 183, 187
  5. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Quenta Silmarillion: Of the Coming of the Elves and the Captivity of Melkor"
  6. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The War of the Jewels, "The Grey Annals": §64
  7. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Quenta Silmarillion: Of the Return of the Noldor"
  8. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Quenta Silmarillion: Of the Coming of Men into the West"
  9. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Quenta Silmarillion: Of the Ruin of Beleriand and the Fall of Fingolfin"
  10. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Quenta Silmarillion: Of Beren and Lúthien"
  11. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix B, "The Great Years"
  12. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Two Towers, "Treebeard"
  13. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Appendix: Elements in Quenya and Sindarin Names"
  14. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The War of the Jewels, "Part Two. The Later Quenta Silmarillion: Of Beleriand its Realms (Chapter 11)", p. 187