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Enedwaith

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Enedwaith map.jpg
Enedwaith
Physical Description
TypeRegion
Locationsoutheast of Minhiriath, northwest of Rohan
RealmsGondor
Reunited Kingdom
InhabitantsMen
General Information
EtymologyS. "middle-folk" or "middle-region"
Enedwaith by Matěj Čadil

Enedwaith (S, pron. [eˈnedwa͡ɪθ]), also spelled Enedhwaith (pron. [eˈneðwa͡ɪθ]), originally referred to both a region of Middle-earth and the men that inhabited it, although the region Enedwaith retained that name even when the Enedwaith people were no more.

Contents

Geography

The boundaries of the Enedwaith were defined in the north by the rivers Gwathló and Glanduin, to the east by the Hithaeglir, and to the west by Belegaer. The southern border was less clear, but was probably formed by the river Isen.

History

During the First and early Second Age Enedwaith was deeply forested, but the arrival of the timber-hungry Númenóreans, from the seventh century of the Second Age onwards, devastated the landscape.

The Enedwaith themselves "were forest dwellers, scattered communities without central leadership." They were distantly related to the Haladin of old, but this wasn't recognized in time by Númenóreans, who were mainly descended from the First and Third Houses of the Edain, and therefore spoke a language which was not related. The Enedwaith were not ranked as Middle Men, friends and distant kin of the Edain, but were ranked among the "people of darkness", enemies and aliens.

The denuded forests of Enedwaith, and much of those to the north in Eriador, were finally destroyed by the War of the Elves and Sauron around S.A. 1700, during which much of what had survived the felling was burnt. Only remote corners like Eryn Vorn survived in Eriador, and the Old Forest still further north. Many surviving natives took refuge in the eastern highlands of Enedwaith, "the foothills of the Misty Mountains", which ultimately became Dunland.

After S.A. 3320, Enedwaith formed the most northern part of the new Kingdom of Gondor, at least officially. The south-east was still "in places well-wooded", but elsewhere Enedwaith was by this time "mostly grassland."

Enedwaith was said not to belong to either Arnor or Gondor, sharing an interest in that region, populated by mariners, engineers and military garrisons until the 17th century[1]

Following the Great Plague in T.A. 1636 the region fell quickly into decay; and back into wild fenlands[1] however, Gondor's authority permanently lapsed throughout the region. At some point the Isen marked the western bounds of Gondor but it was of little concern other than the patrolling and upkeep of the great Royal Road[2]

Tharbad, originally one of two ancient cities on the Gwathló, and the only one to survive beyond the early Third Age, was finally abandoned following devastating floods in T.A. 2912, and thereafter, only two groups survived in Enedwaith: the Dunlendings in the far east, and a "fairly numerous but barbarous fisher-folk" wandering the coast.

Etymology

Also spelled Enedhwaith. The name Enedwaith means "middle folk" or "middle region" in Sindarin from enedh meaning "middle" and gwaith which means "people" but is also used for regions.

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), Unfinished Tales, "The History of Galadriel and Celeborn"
  2. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), Unfinished Tales, "The Battles of the Fords of Isen"
Enedwaith
Minhiriath Eriador Dunland
The Great Sea WindRose3.pngGrey Mountains
The Great Sea Gondor Rohan