Tolkien Gateway

High Pass

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High Pass
Physical Description
TypePass
LocationMisty Mountains
General Information
Other namesPass of Imladris, Cirith Forn en Andrath
CreatedFirst Age

The High Pass was a pass over the Misty Mountains. On its western end was the refuge of Rivendell,[1] and from there the Great East Road climbed into the mountains until it reached the mountain under which lied the Goblin-town.

History

The High Pass was first created during the First Age by Oromë the Vala, in order to allow for a crossing of the mountains by the Eldar. Later the High Pass was used by the Dwarves, who connected their roads (the Great East Road and the Men-i-Naugrim through Mirkwood) with it.[source?]

In the Second Age the High Pass was used by the army of Gil-galad and Elendil when they marched to Mordor in the War of the Last Alliance of Elves and Men. After this war Isildur was slain by Orcs watching the way towards the pass.

During the later Third Age, the Pass became dangerous again because of the Orcs, only with the War of the Dwarves and Orcs, which nearly wiped out all Orcs of the mountains, did it became safe again. Nevertheless in Third Age 2940, the goblins of Goblin Town had burrowed their way back to it, and Bilbo Baggins and the Dwarves of Thorin Oakenshield were captured the next year during the Quest of Erebor.[2]

During the War of the Ring, Grimbeorn the Old and the Beornings kept the High Pass open,[3] but the Fellowship of the Ring bypassed the High Pass because the eastern side of the Misty Mountains had become too dangerous.

It is worth noting that there were actually two passes at this location. The lower pass was more prone to being blocked by Orcs, hence most travellers used the higher pass outside of those rare occasions when the Orcs were suppressed.

Names

The High Pass was also known as the Pass of Imladris. In Sindarin, the pass was called Cirith Forn en Andrath ("the high-climbing pass of the north"); cirith + forn + andrath).[4][5]

References

  1. J.R.R. Tolkien, Nancy Smith, "Index questions"; cf. Wayne G. Hammond and Christina Scull (eds), The Lord of the Rings: A Reader's Companion, p. 207
  2. The Hobbit, Over Hill and Under Hill
  3. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Fellowship of the Ring, "Many Meetings"
  4. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), Unfinished Tales, "The Disaster of the Gladden Fields"
  5. Wayne G. Hammond and Christina Scull (eds), The Lord of the Rings: A Reader's Companion, p. 207