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General Information
LocationOn the northwest side of the Sea of Rhûn
DescriptionA land of vineyards
Inhabitantspossibly Elves

Dorwinion or Dor-Winion was a land which lay on the northwestern shores of the Sea of Rhûn, surrounded by the river Celduin[1]. In Dorwinion was made a heady wine, which was strong enough to let even Elves get drunk and fall asleep.

Nothing is known about the realm or its inhabitants, were they Elves or Men. Dorwinion may have been the only Avari realm close to the Westlands of Middle-earth. It was already well established while the Atanatári were still young.[source?]

Dorwinion is mentioned as the place where the special wine of the Elven-king comes from, and the crates are returned by way of the Forest River to Lake-town on Long Lake.[2]


The name is Sindarin meaning "Young-land country" (or "Land of Gwinion") from dor and gwain plus the geographical ending -iond.[3][4]

It has been suggested by Tolkienists that the name may not have been Sindarin at all, but come from an Avari or Nandorin tongue. The element -Winion was understood as apparently meaning "wine", without any probable origin in any known etymology;[5] thus pointing to an obscure (like Avarin) origin. However, Tolkien clearly stated that the name was Sindarin, being a "testimony to the spread of Sindarin".[4]

Other versions

Dorvinion or Dor-Winion is mentioned by in the The Lay of the Children of Húrin; its wine was famous among the Dwarves of Nogrod and Menegroth. It is said there to lie in the "Burning south" (of Beleriand)[6], which might suggest it was a different "Dorwinion", or may just have referred to the fact it came from the more southern lands of Rhovanion by way of the Dwarf-road of Beleriand.

While writing the Quenta Silmarillion, Tolkien once mentioned Dorwinion as a location of Tol Eressea.[7] Tolkien reused the name and the wines in The Hobbit, establishing thus that it is somewhere in or near the Wilderland.

The canonical location was decided at random by Pauline Baynes while drawing A Map of Middle-earth. Tolkien was surprised but agreed.[8]


  1. A Map of Middle-earth
  2. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit, "Barrels Out of Bond"
  3. J.R.R. Tolkien, John D. Rateliff (ed.), The History of The Hobbit
  4. 4.0 4.1 J.R.R. Tolkien, "Words, Phrases and Passages in Various Tongues in The Lord of the Rings", in Parma Eldalamberon XVII (edited by Christopher Gilson), p. 54
  5. Dorwinion, pays de cépages
  6. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Lays of Beleriand, "I. The Lay of the Children of Húrin: I. Túrin's Fostering" lines 223, 425
  7. 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. 338
  8. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Lays of Beleriand, "I. The Lay of the Children of Húrin"