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Fornost Erain

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Fornost rotwk.JPG
Fornost Erain
Physical Description
LocationNorth Downs
Reunited Kingdom
General Information
Other namesDeadman's Dike, Norbury of the Kings
Etymology"Northern Fortress (of the) Kings"
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."
Gandalf, Homeward Bound

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.


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.

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.

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.


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.

Portrayal in Adaptations

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 goblins.