|Other names||Deadman's Dike, Norbury of the Kings|
|Etymology||"Northern Fortress (of the) Kings"|
|Events||Fall of Fornost|
- "Deadman's Dike, you say. So it has been called for long years; but its right name, Barliman, is Fornost Erain, Norbury of the Kings."
- ― Gandalf
It is not known when Fornost was founded or when the kings of Arnor moved there from Annúminas, but it is known that the kings moved to Fornost some time before T.A. 861, when King Eärendur died, and Arnor was divided into three kingdoms with Fornost the capital of the greatest kingdom, Arthedain.
- Main article: Fall of Fornost
In T.A. 1974, Arthedain was overrun by the forces of Angmar. Fornost was captured, and King Arvedui fled into the northern wastes and was lost in the Icebay of Forochel with the two palantirs he had saved from the forces of Angmar. In the following year, a fleet of ships from Gondor, led by Eärnur, landed at Mithlond. The Elves of Lindon, led by Círdan, joined the forces of Gondor, the remaining Dúnedain of the North came, and so did a few archers from the Shire. Eärnur fought the Witch-king of Angmar in the plains west of Fornost and defeated the armies of Angmar, but the Witch-king himself escaped.
After Fornost Erain was abandoned, the inhabitants of the nearest settlement, Bree, referred to it as Deadman's Dike, and did not come there. Only Rangers came there from time to time, but no-one knew what they did there.
Fornost Erain is Sindarin. It means "Northern Fortress (of the) Kings"; from forn "north" and ost "fortress", and erain is the plural of aran. It was called "Norbury of the Kings" in Westron, a fitting translation. The Fornost component is a direct cognate to Quenya Formenos.
Portrayal in Adaptations
- In the expansion pack, The Rise of the Witch-king, Fornost is besieged by the forces of the Witch-king. Arveleg survives the Fall, only to be destroyed later.
2007: The Lord of the Rings Online:
- Fornost Erain is simply called Fornost and is located in the northern end of the North Downs. It is populated with wights, orcs and wargs.