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Fornost Erain

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Fornost Erain
Fornost rotwk.JPG
General Information
Other namesDeadman's Dike, Norbury of the Kings
LocationNorth Downs
Reunited Kingdom
People and History
EventsFall 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."

Fornost Erain was the capital of Arthedain. It was located at the south end of the North Downs, about 100 Númenórean miles north of Bree.



Early history

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.[2]


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.[2]

Deadman's Dike

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.[3]

After King Elessar reunited the kingdoms of Gondor and Arnor, he had the city rebuilt and made a great city where Men dwelt once again.[1]


Fornost Erain is Sindarin. It means "Northern Fortress (of the) Kings"; from forn "north" and ost "fortress", and erain is the plural of aran. The Fornost component is a direct cognate to Quenya Formenos.

It was translated as "Norbury of the Kings" (from supposedly Old English norð-burg[4]), which represents it's Westron name.

Portrayal in Adaptations

Pictures of adaptations of Fornost

2006: EA's The Battle for Middle-earth II: Rise of the Witch-king:

In the expansion pack, The Rise of the Witch-king, Fornost is besieged by the forces of the Witch-king. Arvedui 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.
Fornost is also a name for one of the two Russian servers, unlike Mirkwood this server is focused on Role-Playing. Fornost is created and maintained by IT Territory.[5]


  1. 1.0 1.1 J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Return of the King, "Homeward Bound"
  2. 2.0 2.1 J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix A
  3. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Fellowship of the Ring, "Strider"
  4. 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, p. 774 (entry Norbury)
  5. William Dobson, "Lord of the Rings Online launches in Korea and Russia" dated 23 April 2009, Massively (accessed 2 January 2012)