Tolkien Gateway

Grey Mountains

Revision as of 16:39, 14 September 2008 by Dwarf Lord (Talk | contribs)
Grey Mountains
Mountain range
General Information
Other namesS. Ered Mithrin
LocationNorthwest of Erebor, north of Mirkwood
TypeMountain range
DescriptionA rich mountain range of many ores, it has since ancient times been considered by Durin's folk as part of their territory
RegionsCapital of Durin's folk at one time, Orc tribes, Dragon hoards.
People and History
InhabitantsDurin's Folk, Dragons, and Orcs
EventsWar of the Dwarves and Dragons, slaying of Scatha the Worm

The Grey Mountains (or Ered Mithrin in Sindarin) was a large mountain range to the north of Rhovanion. They were the last remnants of the wall of the Iron Mountains, which once stretched all over the north of Middle-earth, but were broken at the end of the First Age.


Description, and Geography

North of the Grey Mountains lay the Northern Waste. This land was known as Dor Daedelos during the First Age, but most of it was destroyed in the breaking of Arda.

Where the Grey Mountains met with the Misty Mountains lay Mount Gundabad, an ancient Dwarven holy site and later the capital for the Orcs of the north. During the Third Age, the branch of the Grey Mountains west of the Misty Mountains were also known as the Mountains of Angmar, as they were within the Kingdom of Angmar.

The eastern end of the Grey Mountains was split in two branches, and in between lay the Withered Heath, where Dragons still bred. After that was a long gap, until the Iron Hills continued the old line of the Iron Mountains again. Erebor, the Lonely Mountain, was not part of either range.

From east to west the mountains stretched some 350 Númenórean Miles, and the sources of the Great River Anduin, the river Greylin, and the Forest River of Mirkwood arose in this range.


Creation of Arda Through the First Age

Second Age

Third Age

After fleeing Khazad-dum Durin's folk scattered, and later gathered again in the Grey Mountains, but after six hundred years all the Dwarven strongholds had been abandoned or raided during the Wars of the Dwarves and Dragons. Its sole purpose now seemed to be to divide Forodwaith from Wilderland. Although it seems that the Orcs started moving into the mountains after the Dwarves fled, and were a large threat until after the Battle of Five Armies.

It seems according to some hints in Appendix A of the Return of the King, that some Dwarves still dwelt in the Ered Mithrin during the late Third Age. So it is likely after the War of the Ring, the Dwarves drove whatever Drakes and Orcs were left totally from the mountains, and reclaimed the rest of their halls and mines in the Grey Mountains.

Other Versions of the Legendarium

Another line of "Grey Mountains" in Middle-earth are seen on the Ambarkanta map: these are a series of mountains which continue the line of the Blue Mountains as the western edge of Endor, but on the southern half of the continent. Since no maps of the entire world exist after the First Age, it is unknown if this mountain line still existed in the Third Age. In any case they do not appear in any narrative.