Tolkien Gateway

Dunharrow

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Dunharrow was a refuge of the Rohirrim hidden in the White Mountains and fortified against attack.

History

Dunharrow had been used as a refuge by the Middle Men of the White Mountains during the Second Age — nearly three mellennia before the establishment of the Kingdom of Rohan.

Dunharrow was a clifftop overlooking Harrowdale, the valley of the river Snowbourn. In order to reach the refuge, a winding path had to be used, known as the Stair of the Hold. This path was lined with statues known as the Púkel-men — statues originally carved by the Men of the White Mountains, in the likeness of the Drúedain. After the stair was the "Firienfeld", a large grassy area for the encampment of soldiers and refuge-seekers.

Large carved stones marked the entrance to the Dimholt, a natural amphitheater, which led into the Paths of the Dead.

Etymology

Tolkien made Dunharrow the Modern English form of Rohirric (Old English) Dūnhaerg, meaning "the heathen fane on the hillside".[1]

References

  1. J.R.R. Tolkien, "Nomenclature of The Lord of the Rings" in Wayne G. Hammond and Christina Scull (eds), The Lord of the Rings: A Reader's Companion, pp. 750-781