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|Description||Large, inhabited region scattered with hills and forests|
|Climate||Temperate: warm summers and (mostly) mild winters|
|Other names||Possibly the Lone-lands, almost synonymous with Arnor|
|Events||Foundation of Arnor|
Forging of the Rings
War of the Elves and Sauron
Arrival of Hobbits
The Great Plague
The Fell Winter
Battle of Bywater
First Age and Earlier
The events of the First Age mostly concerned the peoples of Beleriand; as such, we have no map drawn by Tolkien which shows Eriador in the First Age. We have, however, a map of Beleriand which shows the Blue Mountains in the First Age; also we know that Melkor reared the Misty Mountains to hinder Oromë before the arrival of the Elves. Therefore we can deduce that in the First Age the eastern and western borders of Eriador were the same as in latter ages.
The Silmarillion states that a mountain-range, created by Melkor, known as the Iron Mountains (Ered Engrin) stretched across the north of the world in a curve from east to west and which stood on the borders of the region of everlasting cold (compare with the Forodwaith). From this it can be suggested that the northern border of Eriador in the First Age would've been the Iron Mountains.
It is unclear what the borders of Eriador were to the south, we know that the Blue Mountains were more formidable and longer than in the latter Ages, so it is unlikely that Eriador would've had a coastline. We also cannot know, due to the different shape of the world, whether the Greyflood or Lune rivers existed in the First Age; in The Atlas of Middle-earth the Greyflood is shown following its same route through Eriador and continuing on the same course - passing the lower end of the Blue Mountains - before reaching the sea somewhere to the west of the western arm of the White Mountains. It should be noted that this is not necessarily canonical.
Second, Third and Fourth Ages
Eriador was of old the name of all the lands between the Misty Mountains and the Blue; in the South it was bounded by the Greyflood and the Glanduin that flows into it above Tharbad.
—J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix A, "The Númenorean Kings", "Eriador, Arnor, and the Heirs of Isildur"
- to the north, the Icebay of Forochel;
- to the north-east and east, the Misty Mountains (Hithaeglir);
- to the south-east, the river Glanduin;
- to the south, the river Greyflood (Gwathló or Gwathir);
- to the south-west, the Great Sea (Belegaer);
- and to the west and north-west, the Blue Mountains (Ered Luin or Ered Lindon).
|Region of Eriador|
|Blue Mountains||Icebay of Forochel, Forodwaith||Misty Mountains, Forodwaith|
|Blue Mountains, Gulf of Lhûn, Lindon||Misty Mountains, Rhovanion|
|Belegaer||Gwathló, Enedwaith||Glanduin, Dunland|
- Elves, who dwelled in Rivendell in the East; the Grey Havens in the West and during the Second Age, Eregion.
- Men, dwelled in Bree in central Eriador; and the Eryn Vorn to the Southwest.
- Dwarves, Lived in the Blue Mountains on Eastern side of both the Northern, and Southern ranges.
- Hobbits, lived in the Shire, and some in Bree, in central Eriador
- See also: Great March
Before the First Age, the Three Kindreds of the Elves passed through Eriador on the Great Journey to Beleriand, to make the trip to Valinor. First came the Vanyar, following closely by the Noldor, but the Teleri tarried and were only urged forward at the behest of their lord, Elwë, who was keen to return to Valinor.
Not all of the Teleri continued on the march, however, as when the host reached the great river Anduin Lenwë led some of his people southwards away from the rest of his kin: these people became the Nandor. Some of these people eventually passed into Eriador, and dwelt there for a time, before Denethor, son of Lenwë, gathered as many of the Nandor as possible and removed to Ossiriand to become the Laiquendi.
In F.A. 310 the first Men of the House of Bëor entered Beleriand from Eriador, and were discovered by Finrod Felagund. These Men quickly made friendship with the Eldar and entered into their service, but Bereg, great-grandson of Bëor, was discontent and led those of like mind with himself back over the mountains into Eriador.
Living in Eriador in the First Age were also men known as Easterlings, or Swarthy Men, and they were led by Bór and Ulfang. In F.A. 463 Bór and Ulfang led many Men with them from the east into Beleriand, as Men were often drawn westwards, and they met with the Eldar. Bór was faithful to the Eldar and his people followed Maedhros and Maglor, but Ulfang betrayed the Eldar and Edain in the Nírnaeth Arnoediad - even though he swore an oath of allegiance with Caranthir - successfully fulfilling the designs of Morgoth in the process.
Elves and Númenóreans
Following the War of Wrath - and the destruction of Beleriand - many Elves left for Aman whilst the remnants of the Edain removed to live on the newly-formed isle of Númenor. The remaining Elves moved to Middle-earth, and in the year 750 of the Second Age the remnants of the Noldor established the realm of Eregion in the south-east of Eriador.
In S.A. 600 the first Númenórean ships began to visit Middle-earth and when news of this reached the Men of Eriador they were amazed and scared. On the Tower Hills the Númenóreans met with just twelve Men from Eriador and both sides recognised their ancient kinship: the Númenóreans discovered that these people lived in the hills east of the Baranduin and were likely the descendants of the people of Bëor and Hador who never crossed the Blue Mountains.
In S.A. 725 Aldarion first visits Lindon and Eriador and begins a long-lasting friendship with Gil-galad. He made many voyages to Middle-earth and established the haven of Vinyalondë (later known as Lond Daer) on the banks of the river Gwathir - a move which proved crucial in defeating Sauron later in the Second Age. As a mariner, Aldarion had a great desire to build ships and in order to this he began deforesting much of the Minhiriath and Enedwaith; this angered the native forest-dwelling Men who subsequently fled to the forest of Eryn Vorn.
War with Sauron
- See also: Of the Rings of Power and the Third Age
The Noldor of Eregion grew in unparalleled friendship with the Dwarves of Khazad-dûm, to the benefit of both peoples, and there was much traffic between the Elven city of Ost-in-Edhil and the West-gate of Moria. In Eregion the Elven craftsmen became great in knowledge as they were led by Celebrimbor, grandson of Fëanor, the most skilled of the Gwaith-i-Mírdain (the People of the Jewel-smiths).
Sauron saw that the Elves of Eregion were vulnerable and he came to them in the guise of Annatar, "Lord of Gifts", and they welcomed him and he taught the smiths many things of lore and smith-craft. In S.A. 1500, when the knowledge and skill of the Elves reached its height, they began the forging of the Rings of Power, but, in S.A. 1600, Sauron secretly created the One Ring to rule over all the other Rings.
When Sauron put on the Ring the Elves realised they were betrayed so they hid all the other Rings from him; Sauron, however, demanded that all the Rings be given to him for they were created with his help. When the Elves refused to hand over the Rings Sauron was vengeful and in 1693 began the War of the Elves and Sauron with an invasion of Eriador in 1695. In 1697, with Celebrimbor's death and Eregion lain waste, Elrond founds the refuge of Imladris as a defence against Sauron; Sauron takes over all of Eriador by 1699 and besieges Imladris.
Gil-galad sent word to Tar-Minastir calling for aid, but when the ships finally arrived in S.A. 1700 (landing in Lindon and Vinyalondë) Sauron was already preparing his invasion of Lindon. The forces of Gil-galad, Elrond and Ciryatur caused heavy losses at Sarn Ford before Sauron's forces were utterly destroyed at the Battle of the Gwathló, with Sauron barely escaping with his life. However, Eriador lay in ruins as many of the native Men, Elves and Númenóreans had been killed by Sauron, and his forces had ravaged the lands and destroyed many of the remaining forests.
- See also: War of the Last Alliance
Throughout the Second Age the Númenóreans gradually increase their power in Middle-earth by creating coastal dominions until they confront Sauron and take him prisoner to Númenor. Whilst there, Sauron seduced the King and most of the people and persuades Ar-Pharazôn to break the Ban of the Valar which resulted in Ilúvatar changing the shape of the World and destroying Númenor in the process. The Faithful - those Númenóreans who remained true to the Valar and friendly with the Elves - were spared and in S.A. 3320 Elendil establishes the two Realms in Exile: Gondor in the south and Arnor in Eriador.
Sauron - who is now unable to take fair form - returns to Mordor and in S.A. 3429 attacks Minas Ithil and burns the White Tree. Isildur - son of Elendil - fled north to join his father in Arnor who took counsel with Gil-galad, for both foresaw the need to triumph over Sauron before his power grew unstoppable, and in S.A. 3430 they formed the Last Alliance of Elves and Men. In S.A. 3431 Elendil and Gil-galad marched east to Imladris and the host was the fairest and most splendid in arms ever seen in Middle-earth, and the greatest ever assembled since the Host of the Valar.
Arnor and Division
- See also: Arnor
Following Sauron's defeat during the War of the Last Alliance, Isildur took the One Ring for himself as a weregild for his father, but, during the Battle of the Gladden Fields the Ring betrayed him to his death; the Ring was lost and not found again for 2,500 years. The kingship of Arnor passed to Isildur's only surviving son, Valandil whose reign begins an uneventful 800 years in the North-kingdom.
The unity of Arnor was broken, however, when, in Third Age 861, following the death of the tenth king, Eärendur, the dissension amongst his three sons led to the division of Arnor into three kingdoms: Arthedain, Cardolan and Rhudaur. There was often strife between the kingdoms, especially over ownership of the Weather Hills and the chief Palantír of the North at Amon Sûl, and this quickened the waning of the Dúnedain.
Arthedain was in the North-west and included the land between Brandywine and Lune, and also the land north of the Great Road as far as the Weather Hills. Rhudaur was in the North-east and lay between the Ettenmoors, the Weather Hills, and the Misty Mountains, but included also the Angle between the Hoarwell and the Loudwater. Cardolan was in the South, its bounds being the Brandywine, the Greyflood, and the Great Road.
—J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix A, "The Númenorean Kings", "Eriador, Arnor, and the Heirs of Isildur"
The line of Isildur was maintained with the Kings of Arthedain all the way through to Aragorn II, but the line of kings in Cardolan and Rhudaur quickly dwindled. By 1349, with the rule of Argeleb I, the Kings of Arthedain were once again claiming lordship over all of Arnor and prefixed their names with ar- in recognition of this.
Rise of Angmar
In the year T.A. 1300 evil things begin to return to the world with the Witch-king founding the evil realm of Angmar beyond the Ettenmoors in the far north-east of Eriador, hoping to utterly destroy the Dúnedain of the North, seeing hope in the fragmentation of Arnor.
In league with Lindon and Cardolan, King Arveleg I of Arthedain successfully fortified the Weather Hills against Angmar whilst Rivendell was being besieged. However, in T.A. 1409 a great force came out of Angmar, surrounding Weathertop, defeating the Dúnedain, slaying Arveleg and the last prince of Cardolan whilst destroying the tower of Amon Sûl. The palantír was saved in retreat to Fornost but Cardolan was ravaged and Rhudaur became a vassal-state of Angmar; in response, Elrond brought Elves from Lothlórien and Círdan sent aid from Lindon to repel Angmar from the North Downs and Fornost - for a time, Angmar was subdued.
In T.A. 1636 the Great Plague came up from the south with many in Cardolan (especially in Minhiriath) and the Shire perishing; as Cardolan was deserted, the Witch-king sent evil spirits to dwell in the revered Barrow-downs.
Destruction of Arnor
After many years of silence, King Araphant of Arthedain and King Ondoher of Gondor renewed communications between the two realms as they perceived that there was a single power directing the enemies or both Arnor and Gondor, as such in T.A. 1940 Araphant's son Arvedui married Ondoher's daughter Fíriel. Despite the marriage, neither kingdom was able to send aid to the other as Angmar continued to attack Athedain while the Wainriders attacked Gondor; in the Battle of the Camp of T.A. 1944 Ondoher was killed.
On the death of Ondoher and his sons, Arvedui of the North-kingdom claimed the crown of Gondor, as the direct descendent of Isildur, and as the husband of Fíriel, only surviving child of Ondoher. The claim was rejected. In this Pelendur, the Steward of King Ondoher, played the chief part.
The Council of Gondor answer: "The crown and royalty of Gondor belongs solely with the heirs of Meneldil, son of Anárion, to whom Isildur relinquished this realm. In Gondor this heritage is reckoned through the sons only; and we have not heard that the law is otherwise in Arnor."
—J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix A, "The Númenorean Kings", "Gondor and the Heirs of Anárion"
Instead, a distant relative, Eärnil, was chosen as King. Arvedui did not press his claim, but nor did the Dúnedain of the North forget it, for their kingdom diminished as foretold by Malbeth the Seer: in T.A. 1974 Angmar returned with renewed vigour, attacking the Dúnedain, capturing Fornost and destroying Arnor. After holding out for a while on the North Downs, Arvedui was forced to flee to the mountains where he stayed in some old dwarf mines; out of hunger, he and his men travelled north and spent the winter with the Lossoth on the Icebay of Forochel. Arvedui perished and two palantíri were lost.
Eärnil had told Arvedui, "I do not forget the royalty of Arnor, nor deny our kinship, nor wish that the realms of Elendil be estranged. I will send to your aid when you have need, so long as I am able." In T.A. 1973 he received a request for aid and sent his son, Eärnur, north with a great host: they arrived at the Grey Havens too late. However, in T.A. 1975 Círdan and Eärnur amassed a great army and met the forces of Angmar on the plain by Lake Nenuial in the Battle of Fornost: the force was too strong for the Witch-king and his army fled but his retreat was cut off by Gondor's cavalry and a host of Elves led by Glorfindel who had come north from Rivendell.
Despite the utter destruction of Angmar, Arthedain was also over. Arvedui's son, Aranarth, took the title "Chieftain of the Dúnedain" and the heirlooms of Arnor were given into the keeping of Elrond. The Dúnedain continued as a secretive and wandering people, fighting with the sons of Elrond to protect their former lands: they mostly lived out their full lives (save for Aragorn I who was slain by wolves) until the days of Arassuil when evil things began to multiply again.
Foundation of the Shire
- See also: The Shire#History
Hobbits (or Periannath in Sindarin) first entered Eriador in T.A. 1050 when Harfoots came over the Misty Mountains from the Vales of Anduin in order to move away from the shadow which had fallen over Greenwood the Great. In around T.A. 1150 they were joined by the Fallohides whilst the Stoors came over the Redhorn Pass and moved to Dunland and the Angle. With the rise of Angmar some Hobbits migrate westward and settle in Bree; in T.A. 1356 the Stoors leave the Angle, some of whom returned to Rhovanion to become a people of fisher-folk.
In T.A. 1601, led by Marcho and Blanco, Hobbits obtained permission from King Argeleb II to settle in the region beyond the Brandywine River on the proviso that they maintain the Bridge of Stonebows and other bridges and roads, whilst acknowledging Argeleb's lordship. With the foundation of the Shire, the year Third Age 1601 became the year 1 in Shire-reckoning. On the war with with Angmar the following is recorded:
The Shire-folk survived, though war swept over them and most fled into hiding. To the help of the king they sent some archers who never returned; and others went also to the battle in which Angmar was overthrown [...] Afterwards in the peace that followed the Shire-folk ruled themselves and prospered. They chose a Thain to take the place of the King [...] The first Shire-thain was one Bucca of the Marish, from whom the Oldbucks claimed descent. He became Thain in 379
—J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix A, "The Númenorean Kings", "Eriador, Arnor, and the Heirs of Isildur"
For the next thousand years Hobbits were little-affected by the dangers of the world around them as they grew large in both number and wealth. Despite the end of the Watchful Peace in T.A. 2460 - with the passes across the Misty Mountains being barred by Sauron's creatures - Eriador not was attacked by orcs until 2740. Seven years later Bandobras Took led a group of hobbits in successfully defending the Shire against marauding orcs from Mount Gram led by Golfimbul in the Battle of Greenfields. Hobbits faced further hardship in T.A. 2758 in the shape of the Long Winter which killed thousands of hobbits and resulted in a dreadful famine; in T.A. 2911 the Fell Winter began, freezing the rivers and bringing white wolves from the north (in the floods which followed the city of Tharbad was destroyed).
War of the Ring
On March 14, T.A. 2941, a chance encounter between the wizard Gandalf and King Thorin Oakenshield in Bree set in motion a series of events which led to the downfall of Sauron the establishment of the Reunited Kingdom. Thorin was seeking to regain his father's kingdom and wealth was seeking assistance; Gandalf - worried about the threat of the dragon Smaug - agreed to assist, and forcibly enlisted the help of Bilbo Baggins. As the Company of fifteen (thirteen dwarves with Gandalf and Bilbo) travelled towards Rivendell they encountered three trolls - thanks to Gandalf they avoided death whilst managing to gain the two Elvish swords Glamdring and Sting. Out of this quest Bilbo obtained Gollum's magic ring.
Following Bilbo's disappearance in T.A. 3001, Bilbo's "nephew", Frodo, inherited all of Bilbo's possessions, including Bilbo's ring. Bilbo travelled through Eriador, eventually staying with Elrond in Rivendell, whilst Frodo continued to live in Bag End. However, by T.A. 3018, Frodo, with Sam, Merry and Pippin, is forced to set out from the Shire to head towards Bree in order to deliver what is now known to be the One Ring; on the way, the Hobbits encounter the Black Riders and Barrow-wights, as well as Farmer Maggot, Gildor Inglorion and Tom Bombadil. In Bree, the Travellers met a man called "Strider", who had been sent to safely escort the hobbits to Rivendell; despite being attacked by Black Riders on Weathertop and again confronted by them at the Ford of Bruinen, they all eventually make it safely to Rivendell. At Rivendell, a Council decides that a group of nine people should go on a quest to destroy the Ring.
After destroying the the One Ring, witnessing the downfall of Sauron and the coronation of "Strider" as King Elessar of Gondor, the four hobbits and Gandalf returned to Eriador. Gandalf left the hobbits at the Old Forest - deciding to visit Tom Bombadil - but when they arrived at the Brandywine Bridge they saw that the Shire had been badly affected by Saruman via his puppet "Chief" and the use of ruffians. After breaking many of the new "rules", the four hobbits were escorted to Hobbiton by a troop of Shirriffs (including Robin Smallburrow) where the four hobbits began a rebellion in the form of the successful Battle of Bywater: the ruffians were killed (as was Gríma Wormtongue) or captured and the Shire-folk were liberated (at the cost of 19 lives).
Following the Battle of Bywater and the end of the War of the Ring, Frodo temporarily took the position of Deputy Mayor whilst Sam used his gift from Galadriel to replenish the Shire of its lost flora (bringing a Mallorn tree to the Party Field). On September 21, T.A. 3021, Frodo and Sam set out from the Shire to meet the Last Riding of the Three Keepers: on September 29 they reached the Grey Havens where Frodo, Bilbo, Gandalf, Galadriel and Elrond departed Middle-earth; the Red Book of Westmarch was left with Sam.
Eriador is Sindarin (derived from Noldorin) whose derivation is quoted by Carl F. Hostetter from an unnamed note dated 1949-53. This explains that Eriador is derived from eryā, "isolated, lonely" and dor, "land", thereby translating Eriador as "wilderness".
In Other Version of the Legendarium
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Map of Beleriand"
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 2.2 J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Quenta Silmarillion: Of the Coming of the Elves and the Captivity of Melkor"
- ↑ J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Quenta Silmarillion: Of Beleriand and its Realms"
- ↑ Karen Wynn Fonstad, The Atlas of Middle-earth, revised edition, p. 4
- ↑ J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Quenta Silmarillion: Of the Sindar"
- ↑ J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The War of the Jewels, "Part Two. The Later Quenta Silmarillion: Of the Coming of Men into the West (Chapter 14)", pp. 215 and 226
- ↑ J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Quenta Silmarillion: Of the Coming of Men into the West"
- ↑ J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Quenta Silmarillion: Of the Ruin of Beleriand and the Fall of Fingolfin"
- ↑ J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Quenta Silmarillion: Of the Fifth Battle: Nirnaeth Arnoediad"
- ↑ 10.0 10.1 10.2 10.3 J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix B, "The Second Age"
- ↑ 11.0 11.1 J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), Unfinished Tales, "Aldarion and Erendis: The Mariner's Wife"
- ↑ 12.0 12.1 J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), Unfinished Tales, "The History of Galadriel and Celeborn"
- ↑ 13.0 13.1 13.2 13.3 J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Of the Rings of Power and the Third Age"
- ↑ J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Akallabêth: The Downfall of Númenor"
- ↑ J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix A, "The Númenorean Kings", "Númenor"
- ↑ 16.0 16.1 J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Fellowship of the Ring, "The Council of Elrond"
- ↑ 17.0 17.1 17.2 17.3 17.4 17.5 17.6 17.7 J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix B, "The Third Age"
- ↑ 18.0 18.1 18.2 18.3 18.4 18.5 18.6 J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix A, "The Númenorean Kings", "Eriador, Arnor, and the Heirs of Isildur"
- ↑ J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix A, "The Númenorean Kings", "The Realms in Exile", "The Northern Line: Heirs of Isildur", note 4
- ↑ 20.0 20.1 J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix A, "The Númenorean Kings", "Gondor and the Heirs of Anárion"
- ↑ 21.0 21.1 J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, "Prologue", "Concerning Hobbits"
- ↑ J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit, "An Unexpected Party"
- ↑ J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix A, "Durin's Folk"
- ↑ J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), Unfinished Tales, "The Quest of Erebor"
- ↑ J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit, "Riddles in the Dark"
- ↑ J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Fellowship of the Ring, "A Long-expected Party"
- ↑ J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Fellowship of the Ring, "Strider"
- ↑ J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Return of the King, "Homeward Bound"
- ↑ J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Return of the King, "The Scouring of the Shire"
- ↑ J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Return of the King, "The Grey Havens"
- ↑ J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix B, "The Chief Days from the Fall of Barad-dûr to the End of the Third Age"
- ↑ "Letters to VT" in Carl F. Hostetter (ed.), Vinyar Tengwar, vol. 42, July 2001, p. 4
- ↑ J.R.R. Tolkien, "Words, Phrases and Passages in The Lord of the Rings" in Christopher Gilson (ed.), Parma Eldalamberon, vol. 17, July 2007, p. 28
- ↑ J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit, "Roast Mutton"
- ↑ J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Treason of Isengard, "The First Map", pp. 305-306