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Gwathló

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The river '''Gwathló''' or '''[[Greyflood]]''' is a river in middle [[Eriador]].
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{{location
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| image=
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| name=Gwathló
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| othernames=Greyflood, [[Gwathir]]
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| etymology=([[Sindarin]]) ''Shadowy river from the fens''
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| type=River
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| location=Between [[Minhiriath ]] and [[Enedwaith]] in [[Eriador]]
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| inhabitants=
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| realms=[[Arnor]]</br>[[Gondor]]</br>[[Cardolan]]
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| description=Broad navigable waterway originally bordered by trees
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| events=[[Battle of the Gwathló]]
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| references=
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|}}
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The '''Gwathló''', or '''Greyflood''', was the name of the river separating [[Minhiriath ]] from [[Enedwaith]].  It began at the junction of the rivers [[Mitheithel]] ([[Hoarwell]]) and [[Glanduin]], from whence it flowed southwest until it emptied into the [[Belegaer|Great Sea]] at [[Lond Daer]].  The only crossing point was at [[Tharbad]].<ref>{{UT|Map}}</ref>
  
The [[Sindarin]] name Gwathló was adapted from the name '''Gwathir''', given to the river by the [[Númenóreans]] in the [[Second Age]]. Its name translates as ''Shadowy River'', and was given because over all its length it flowed through immense forests which covered [[Minhiriath]] to the north and [[Enedwaith]] to the south. It was one of the few rivers also given an [[Adûnaic]] name: '''Agathurush'''.
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==History==
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===The Second Age===
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[[Tar-Aldarion|Aldarion]], the son of [[Tar-Meneldur]], was the first [[Númenórean]] to find the mouth of the Gwathló, c. {{SA|737}}.  After the king forbade the cutting of trees in [[Númenor]], Aldarion established a haven called [[Vinyalondë]] or "New Haven" at the mouth of the river the Númenóreans called the [[Gwathir]], or "River of Shadow". There Númenórean ships could be repaired and men could go forth and cut timber.<ref name="Wife">{{UT|Wife}}</ref>
  
The Gwathló was wide enough that it could be sailed on all the way to where its tributary [[Glanduin]] met the river. Its was formed where the [[Mitheithel]] or Hoarwell met the [[Glanduin]], where a marshy area known as ''Nîn-in-Eilph'' or ''Swanfleet'' was formed.
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When explorers from Aldarion's ship ventured up the river in small boats they found huge trees overshadowing the waters.  They thus named the river the ''Gwath-hîr'' ("Shadow-river") which became ''Gwathir''. However, later when the Númenóreans penetrated further up the river they found great fens, the ''Nîn-in-Eilph'' or "[[Swanfleet]]".  Mistakenly believing that the fens were the source of the river they changed the name of the waterway to ''Gwathló'', where the ''lô'' meant fenland and thus the new name meant the "shadowy river from the fens".  This [[Sindarin]] name was translated into [[Adûnaic]] as ''Agathurush''.
  
When the Númenórean Ship Kings required more and more wood to build their ships, they set up a haven-fortress on the Gwathló called [[Lond Daer]] or ''Lond Daer Enedh'', Great (Middle) Haven. From there the lands were rapidly deforested, and by the [[Third Age]] all the forests were gone.
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The lumbering activities of the Númenóreans began along the banks of the Gwathló so that the timber could be floated downstream to the haven.  Wanting more wood for their ships the Númenóreans cut great roads into the forests north and south of the river, which aroused the enmity of the scattered forest dwellers.  These people attacked the Númenóreans but they were driven away, either northwest into the [[Eryn Vorn]] or southeast into [[Dunland]].  Eventually the lands along the Gwathló became denuded of trees.  As more Númenórean settlements were established in [[Middle-earth]] the name of ''Vinyalondë'' was changed to ''Lond Daer'', or in full ''Lond Daer Enedh'', the "Great Middle Haven".<ref name="LD">{{UT|6d}}</ref>
  
In the late Second Age and early Third Age the Gwathló formed the border between the Kingdoms of [[Arnor]] and [[Gondor]], and the great Gondorian northern outpost of [[Tharbad]] was built where the Great South Road crossed the river at its only crossing in the lower stream. However by the late Third Age Gondor had retreated far south and Arnor had been destroyed. Tharbad and its great bridge had been abandoned and ruined, and the river had to be crossed by the ruins of Tharbad in a dangerous ford.
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In {{SA|1695}} [[Sauron]]'s forces invaded [[Eriador]] and by {{SA|1699|n}} he had overrun the region.<ref>{{App|SA}}</ref>  He pressed on with the intention of taking [[Lindon]] while leaving a powerful detachment to contain [[Elrond]] in [[Rivendell]].  Unbeknownst to the Dark Lord in {{SA|1695|n}} [[Gil-galad]] had sent messages to Númenor requesting aid.  The great fleet of [[Tar-Minastir]] arrived in {{SA|1700|n}} and the Númenóreans and the Elves drove Sauron back from the river [[Lhûn]] and pushed him further back from the [[Baranduin]].  Worse for Sauron was to follow, for the Númenórean admiral [[Ciryatur]] had sent a host to Lond Daer and they attacked the rear of Sauron's army.  In the [[Battle of the Gwathló]] Sauron was heavily defeated and escaped with but a small bodyguard.<ref>{{UT|Concerning}}</ref>
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===The Third Age===
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During the time of the Númenóreans the ford below the Swanfleet had merely marked the end of navigation.  However, after the establishment of the Kingdoms of [[Arnor]] and [[Gondor]] a great [[Bridge of Tharbad|bridge]] was built at this point so that the North-South Road could connect the two realms.  [[Tharbad]] arose as a garrison town of soldiers, mariners and engineers.  The town lasted until the [[Great Plague]] of {{TA|1636}}, after which it fell into swift decay.<ref name="LD"/>
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In {{TA|861}} when the kingdom of Arnor was divided,<ref name="TA">{{App|TA}}</ref> the portion that became [[Cardolan]] had the Gwathló as its southern boundary.<ref>{{App|Eriador}}</ref>
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The bridge at Tharbad long remained intact, but in {{TA|2911|n}} the [[Fell Winter]] froze the river and in {{TA|2912|n}} great floods ruined Tharbad and it became deserted.<ref name="TA"/>  In {{TA|3018}} when [[Boromir]] came to Tharbad he found only a dangerous ford and in crossing lost his horse.<ref>{{FR|II2}}</ref>
  
 
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[[Category:Sindarin locations]]
 
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[[fr:encyclo:geographie:eaux:eriador:gwathlo]]
 
 
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[[fr:encyclo:geographie:eaux:eriador:gwathlo]]

Revision as of 18:04, 13 June 2012

Gwathló
Physical Description
TypeRiver
LocationBetween Minhiriath and Enedwaith in Eriador
RealmsArnor
Gondor
Cardolan
DescriptionBroad navigable waterway originally bordered by trees
General Information
Other namesGreyflood, Gwathir
Etymology(Sindarin) Shadowy river from the fens
EventsBattle of the Gwathló

The Gwathló, or Greyflood, was the name of the river separating Minhiriath from Enedwaith. It began at the junction of the rivers Mitheithel (Hoarwell) and Glanduin, from whence it flowed southwest until it emptied into the Great Sea at Lond Daer. The only crossing point was at Tharbad.[1]

Contents

History

The Second Age

Aldarion, the son of Tar-Meneldur, was the first Númenórean to find the mouth of the Gwathló, c. S.A. 737. After the king forbade the cutting of trees in Númenor, Aldarion established a haven called Vinyalondë or "New Haven" at the mouth of the river the Númenóreans called the Gwathir, or "River of Shadow". There Númenórean ships could be repaired and men could go forth and cut timber.[2]

When explorers from Aldarion's ship ventured up the river in small boats they found huge trees overshadowing the waters. They thus named the river the Gwath-hîr ("Shadow-river") which became Gwathir. However, later when the Númenóreans penetrated further up the river they found great fens, the Nîn-in-Eilph or "Swanfleet". Mistakenly believing that the fens were the source of the river they changed the name of the waterway to Gwathló, where the meant fenland and thus the new name meant the "shadowy river from the fens". This Sindarin name was translated into Adûnaic as Agathurush.

The lumbering activities of the Númenóreans began along the banks of the Gwathló so that the timber could be floated downstream to the haven. Wanting more wood for their ships the Númenóreans cut great roads into the forests north and south of the river, which aroused the enmity of the scattered forest dwellers. These people attacked the Númenóreans but they were driven away, either northwest into the Eryn Vorn or southeast into Dunland. Eventually the lands along the Gwathló became denuded of trees. As more Númenórean settlements were established in Middle-earth the name of Vinyalondë was changed to Lond Daer, or in full Lond Daer Enedh, the "Great Middle Haven".[3]

In S.A. 1695 Sauron's forces invaded Eriador and by 1699 he had overrun the region.[4] He pressed on with the intention of taking Lindon while leaving a powerful detachment to contain Elrond in Rivendell. Unbeknownst to the Dark Lord in 1695 Gil-galad had sent messages to Númenor requesting aid. The great fleet of Tar-Minastir arrived in 1700 and the Númenóreans and the Elves drove Sauron back from the river Lhûn and pushed him further back from the Baranduin. Worse for Sauron was to follow, for the Númenórean admiral Ciryatur had sent a host to Lond Daer and they attacked the rear of Sauron's army. In the Battle of the Gwathló Sauron was heavily defeated and escaped with but a small bodyguard.[5]

The Third Age

During the time of the Númenóreans the ford below the Swanfleet had merely marked the end of navigation. However, after the establishment of the Kingdoms of Arnor and Gondor a great bridge was built at this point so that the North-South Road could connect the two realms. Tharbad arose as a garrison town of soldiers, mariners and engineers. The town lasted until the Great Plague of T.A. 1636, after which it fell into swift decay.[3]

In T.A. 861 when the kingdom of Arnor was divided,[6] the portion that became Cardolan had the Gwathló as its southern boundary.[7]

The bridge at Tharbad long remained intact, but in 2911 the Fell Winter froze the river and in 2912 great floods ruined Tharbad and it became deserted.[6] In T.A. 3018 when Boromir came to Tharbad he found only a dangerous ford and in crossing lost his horse.[8]

References

  1. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), Unfinished Tales, "The West of Middle-earth at the End of the Third Age" [map]
  2. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), Unfinished Tales, "Aldarion and Erendis: The Mariner's Wife"
  3. 3.0 3.1 J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), Unfinished Tales, "The History of Galadriel and Celeborn", "Appendix D: The Port of Lond Daer"
  4. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix B, "The Second Age"
  5. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), Unfinished Tales, "The History of Galadriel and Celeborn", "Concerning Galadriel and Celeborn"
  6. 6.0 6.1 J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix B, "The Third Age"
  7. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix A, "The Númenorean Kings", "Eriador, Arnor, and the Heirs of Isildur"
  8. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Fellowship of the Ring, "The Council of Elrond"