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Fall of Fornost

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Fall of Fornost
Conflict: War of Angmar
Date: T.A. 1974
Place: Fornost Erain
Outcome: Decisive Angmar victory

Men, Elves, Hobbits



King Arvedui+



Est. 2-10,000 Men of Arnor, several thousand Elves from, Lindon, Rivendell, and Lothlórien, and 500 Hobbit archers

Est. 10-40,000 Orcs, Trolls, Evil Men from Rhudaur and elsewhere, Wolves, other evil creatures


Est. Hundreds or even thousands of Men and Elves, along with all 500 Hobbits

Est. Thousands

The Fall of Fornost was an event that resulted from the defeat of the forces of Arnor, and the taking of their capitol city of Fornost by the Witch-king of Angmar and his armies.


Leading Up to the Siege

By the year Third Age 1974 things were looking very grim for the Dúnedain of Arnor. The Great Plague three hundred years previously had killed most of the people of Cardolan which later fell to the Witch King. And even with the aid of Elves and Hobbits most of the now diminished and totally demoralized people of Arnor were now waiting to make their final stand at Fornost, capitol city of Arthedain.

Opposing Forces

For the forces of Eriador exact numbers are not known, but it can be estimated that at the most ten thousand Men of Arnor were present at the city. Along with likely several thousand Elves of Lindon, Rivendell, Lothlórien, and five hundred Hobbits archers from the Shire.

For the forces of Angmar it can be estimated that there was at least twenty thousand or at the most forty thousand Orcs, Trolls, Evil Men, Wolves, and all other manner of evil creatures.

The Battle

Not much detail is known about what happened, but we know that the forces of Angmar were the decisive victors, and that most of the forces of Eriador were driven west over the River Lhûn. While King Arvedui and some of his guard held out north of Fornost, among the North Downs, they could not hold this position for long. When it became untenable, Arvedui fled northwest.


With Arthedain in his hands, the Witch King had conquered all of Arnor. Arvedui perished in the Bay of Forochel when a ship sent to rescue him sank in a storm. The Witch King took the throne in the king's palace, until a year later in T.A. 1975 when the forces of Eriador had regrouped with newly arrived reinforcements from Gondor. In the Battle of Fornost his army was destroyed, and he himself fled east over the Misty Mountains. Fornost was not resettled after the war. It became a deserted place, feared by the men of Bree, who called it Deadman's Dike. Not until a thousand years later after the War of the Ring under King Elessar was it refounded.