Tolkien Gateway

North Downs

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:The North Downs were a region in [[Eriador]], part of the old kingdoms of [[Arnor]] and [[Arthedain]] and dotted with many ruins from those times. It was sparsely populated but included Elves, Dwarves, and Men among its inhabitants. The Men included both [[Rangers of the North]] and a folk akin to the [[Bree-men]]. In the fall of {{TA|3018}} the North Downs were in a state of war, as a resurgent [[Angmar]] sent its minions south. The region was divided by [[Bree-land]] in the south by the lake "Nen Harn" and the river that flowed west from the lake into the [[Brandywine]]. The [[Greenway]] crossed the river where the great bridge known as the "Trestlespan" spanned a canyon. The town of "Trestlebridge" was located at the southern end of the bridge. The town was threatened by [[orcs]] out of [[Angmar]] which occupied the rocky valley of "Nan Wathren" to the east.
 
:The North Downs were a region in [[Eriador]], part of the old kingdoms of [[Arnor]] and [[Arthedain]] and dotted with many ruins from those times. It was sparsely populated but included Elves, Dwarves, and Men among its inhabitants. The Men included both [[Rangers of the North]] and a folk akin to the [[Bree-men]]. In the fall of {{TA|3018}} the North Downs were in a state of war, as a resurgent [[Angmar]] sent its minions south. The region was divided by [[Bree-land]] in the south by the lake "Nen Harn" and the river that flowed west from the lake into the [[Brandywine]]. The [[Greenway]] crossed the river where the great bridge known as the "Trestlespan" spanned a canyon. The town of "Trestlebridge" was located at the southern end of the bridge. The town was threatened by [[orcs]] out of [[Angmar]] which occupied the rocky valley of "Nan Wathren" to the east.
  
The Greenway continued north through the Fields of Fornost and to the ruins of [[Fornost Erain]] itself in the north-western part of the region. The city was occupied by more [[orcs]] and other evil creatures from Angmar, and the fields were haunted by [[Oathbreakers]] cursed for betraying [[Arthedain]] in the [[Fall of Fornost|assault on the city]]. Barghests and sickly beasts also roamed the fields. In the west of the fields was a gap in the hills allowing access to [[Evendim]]. East of the fields was the lightly forested land of "Annúndir". Notable locations in Annúndir included the steep slope known as "[[Amlaith]]'s Scar", and beyond that a series of ancient burial mounds that were infested with [[wargs]]. The town of "Stoneheight" was located atop the hills that separated Annúndir from the Fields of Fornost. Stoneheight, which in its ancient past been named "Tirith dan Forduath" and "Orod Elon", was a refuge from the Angmarim forces until it fell to the "Gaunt-lord" "Ivar the Blood-hand" and his minions.
+
:The Greenway continued north through the Fields of Fornost and to the ruins of [[Fornost Erain]] itself in the north-western part of the region. The city was occupied by more [[orcs]] and other evil creatures from Angmar, and the fields were haunted by [[Oathbreakers]] cursed for betraying [[Arthedain]] in the [[Fall of Fornost|assault on the city]]. Barghests and sickly beasts also roamed the fields. In the west of the fields was a gap in the hills allowing access to [[Evendim]]. East of the fields was the lightly forested land of "Annúndir". Notable locations in Annúndir included the steep slope known as "[[Amlaith]]'s Scar", and beyond that a series of ancient burial mounds that were infested with [[wargs]]. The town of "Stoneheight" was located atop the hills that separated Annúndir from the Fields of Fornost. Stoneheight, which in its ancient past been named "Tirith dan Forduath" and "Orod Elon", was a refuge from the Angmarim forces until it fell to the "Gaunt-lord" "Ivar the Blood-hand" and his minions.
  
A stream formed the boundary of Annúndir and the grassy plains and hillocks of "Kingsfell" in the east. Kingsfell was home to large farmlands and herds of aurochs, and was threatened by orcs, wargs, and [[spiders]]. When Angmar invaded the land, only one stubborn farmer by the name of "Gatson" and his household remained in the area. The other farmers all fled at the advice of the Rangers. Between Kingsfell and Nen Harn in the south, north-east of Nan Wathren was the swamp "Meluinen", home to the Elven refuge of "Lin Giliath". "Lachenn", the Master of Lin Giliath, was slain when the refuge was sacked by [[stone trolls]] from the forest of "Taur Gonwaith" in the east. A short time after, [[Gildor Inglorion]] arrived at the refuge with a small company. The elves discovered [[hill-men]] were attempting to gain the trolls' loyalty for Angmar.
+
:A stream formed the boundary of Annúndir and the grassy plains and hillocks of "Kingsfell" in the east. Kingsfell was home to large farmlands and herds of aurochs, and was threatened by orcs, wargs, and [[spiders]]. When Angmar invaded the land, only one stubborn farmer by the name of "Gatson" and his household remained in the area. The other farmers all fled at the advice of the Rangers. Between Kingsfell and Nen Harn in the south, north-east of Nan Wathren was the swamp "Meluinen", home to the Elven refuge of "Lin Giliath". "Lachenn", the Master of Lin Giliath, was slain when the refuge was sacked by [[stone trolls]] from the forest of "Taur Gonwaith" in the east. A short time after, [[Gildor Inglorion]] arrived at the refuge with a small company. The elves discovered [[hill-men]] were attempting to gain the trolls' loyalty for Angmar.
  
East of Kingsfell was a steep range of hills dividing it from the eastern reaches of the North Downs. Built into a pass through the hills near the northern end was the secret Ranger stronghold of "Esteldín", formerly the city of "Dolindîr". North of Kingsfell were the rocky hills of "Nan Amlug West", in which was the Dwarven outpost of "Othrikar". The [[Durin's Folk|Longbeards]] of Othrikar were in conflict against the "[[Dourhands]]" inhabiting the local ruins, who were prospecting the hills. During this conflict the Dourhands kidnapped the visiting [[Dori]], though he was soon rescued. A strange row of spiked stones marked the boundary between Nan Amlug West and "Nan Amlug East", in the north-easternmost part of the North Downs. Nan Amlug East was threatened by wargs and enemy hill-men coming from Angmar. These foes came from the north-east, through the easternmost of the three passes into the "Ram Dúath" at the edge of Angmar.
+
:East of Kingsfell was a steep range of hills dividing it from the eastern reaches of the North Downs. Built into a pass through the hills near the northern end was the secret Ranger stronghold of "Esteldín", formerly the city of "Dolindîr". North of Kingsfell were the rocky hills of "Nan Amlug West", in which was the Dwarven outpost of "Othrikar". The [[Durin's Folk|Longbeards]] of Othrikar were in conflict against the "[[Dourhands]]" inhabiting the local ruins, who were prospecting the hills. During this conflict the Dourhands kidnapped the visiting [[Dori]], though he was soon rescued. A strange row of spiked stones marked the boundary between Nan Amlug West and "Nan Amlug East", in the north-easternmost part of the North Downs. Nan Amlug East was threatened by wargs and enemy hill-men coming from Angmar. These foes came from the north-east, through the easternmost of the three passes into the "Ram Dúath" at the edge of Angmar.
 
+
Nan Amlug East and
+
  
 
  '''Esteldín''', an [[Arnor]]ian ruin inhabited by [[Rangers of the North|Dúnedain Rangers]], and '''Othrikar''', a mining outpost of the [[Longbeards]].
 
  '''Esteldín''', an [[Arnor]]ian ruin inhabited by [[Rangers of the North|Dúnedain Rangers]], and '''Othrikar''', a mining outpost of the [[Longbeards]].
: As of fall of {{TA|3018}} the North Downs is in the state of war, as a new power in [[Angmar]] is sending its minions south. '''Nan Wathren''' is a rocky valley occupied by Orcs besieging Trestlebridge, the farms of '''Annundir''' have been ravaged by [[Goblins]], [[Dourhands]] roam the '''Nan Amlug''', but the biggest threat of all is an entire army of Orcs, Wargs and Trolls gathering its strength in '''Dol Dinen'''.
+
:As of fall of {{TA|3018}} the North Downs is in the state of war, as a new power in [[Angmar]] is sending its minions south. '''Nan Wathren''' is a rocky valley occupied by Orcs besieging Trestlebridge, the farms of '''Annundir''' have been ravaged by [[Goblins]], [[Dourhands]] roam the '''Nan Amlug''', but the biggest threat of all is an entire army of Orcs, Wargs and Trolls gathering its strength in '''Dol Dinen'''.
  
 
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Revision as of 01:21, 30 August 2015

North Downs
Hills
Matěj Čadil - North Downs.jpg
General Information
LocationCentral Eriador, east of the Hills of Evendim, north of the Weather Hills
TypeHills
DescriptionA set of hills where Fornost was established
RegionsArnor
Arthedain
Reunited Kingdom
People and History
InhabitantsMen
EventsFall of Fornost, Battle of Fornost

The North Downs were a range of hills in the northern part of Eriador, east of the Hills of Evendim and north of the Weather Hills. From their northernmost point the hills extended in a southwesterly direction. At the southern end was Fornost Erain, the ancient city of the Dúnedain of the North, and the northern terminus of the North-South Road.[1]

History

In the year S.A. 600 Vëantur first returned to Middle-earth from Númenor.[2] Upon hearing that some of their distant kin had come, men living in Eriador petitioned Gil-galad to meet the mariners. Twelve men came and rejoiced to meet the Númenóreans; these men came from about Lake Evendim, the North Downs, and the Weather Hills.[3]

When the kingdom of Arnor was established in S.A. 3320[4] the North Downs were incorporated into the realm.[5] When Arnor was divided in T.A. 861[6] the frontier between Arthedain and Rhudaur was the Weather Hills;[7] this frontier may have extended along the eastern edge of the North Downs.

In 1974 before the end of winter the Witch-king came down from Angmar and captured Fornost. King Arvedui held out on the North Downs until he and some of his guard were driven to the north.[7] Arriving late, Eärnur answered a summons from Arvedui in 1975 with a massive fleet from Gondor. This fleet disgorged a mighty host which marched eastward. Unaware of his peril the Witch-king marched out to meet the combined army of Elves and Men in the plains between the Hills of Evendim and the North Downs. In the ensuing Battle of Fornost the forces of Angmar were routed and then destroyed, although the Witch-king himself escaped.[8]

Although the kingdom of Angmar had been defeated and destroyed, so too had Arthedain come to an end. Fornost was abandoned and became a place of fear, acquiring the name Deadmen's Dike.[9] Other than visits by Rangers of the North, the North Downs remained uninhabited for the remainder of the Third Age. In the Fourth Age though men may have returned to the North Downs; most likely King Elessar visited Fornost when he came north to dwell by Lake Evendim for awhile in Fo.A. 15.[10]

Portrayal in adaptations

Map of the North Downs from The Lord of the Rings Online.

2007: The Lord of the Rings Online:

The North Downs were a region in Eriador, part of the old kingdoms of Arnor and Arthedain and dotted with many ruins from those times. It was sparsely populated but included Elves, Dwarves, and Men among its inhabitants. The Men included both Rangers of the North and a folk akin to the Bree-men. In the fall of T.A. 3018 the North Downs were in a state of war, as a resurgent Angmar sent its minions south. The region was divided by Bree-land in the south by the lake "Nen Harn" and the river that flowed west from the lake into the Brandywine. The Greenway crossed the river where the great bridge known as the "Trestlespan" spanned a canyon. The town of "Trestlebridge" was located at the southern end of the bridge. The town was threatened by orcs out of Angmar which occupied the rocky valley of "Nan Wathren" to the east.
The Greenway continued north through the Fields of Fornost and to the ruins of Fornost Erain itself in the north-western part of the region. The city was occupied by more orcs and other evil creatures from Angmar, and the fields were haunted by Oathbreakers cursed for betraying Arthedain in the assault on the city. Barghests and sickly beasts also roamed the fields. In the west of the fields was a gap in the hills allowing access to Evendim. East of the fields was the lightly forested land of "Annúndir". Notable locations in Annúndir included the steep slope known as "Amlaith's Scar", and beyond that a series of ancient burial mounds that were infested with wargs. The town of "Stoneheight" was located atop the hills that separated Annúndir from the Fields of Fornost. Stoneheight, which in its ancient past been named "Tirith dan Forduath" and "Orod Elon", was a refuge from the Angmarim forces until it fell to the "Gaunt-lord" "Ivar the Blood-hand" and his minions.
A stream formed the boundary of Annúndir and the grassy plains and hillocks of "Kingsfell" in the east. Kingsfell was home to large farmlands and herds of aurochs, and was threatened by orcs, wargs, and spiders. When Angmar invaded the land, only one stubborn farmer by the name of "Gatson" and his household remained in the area. The other farmers all fled at the advice of the Rangers. Between Kingsfell and Nen Harn in the south, north-east of Nan Wathren was the swamp "Meluinen", home to the Elven refuge of "Lin Giliath". "Lachenn", the Master of Lin Giliath, was slain when the refuge was sacked by stone trolls from the forest of "Taur Gonwaith" in the east. A short time after, Gildor Inglorion arrived at the refuge with a small company. The elves discovered hill-men were attempting to gain the trolls' loyalty for Angmar.
East of Kingsfell was a steep range of hills dividing it from the eastern reaches of the North Downs. Built into a pass through the hills near the northern end was the secret Ranger stronghold of "Esteldín", formerly the city of "Dolindîr". North of Kingsfell were the rocky hills of "Nan Amlug West", in which was the Dwarven outpost of "Othrikar". The Longbeards of Othrikar were in conflict against the "Dourhands" inhabiting the local ruins, who were prospecting the hills. During this conflict the Dourhands kidnapped the visiting Dori, though he was soon rescued. A strange row of spiked stones marked the boundary between Nan Amlug West and "Nan Amlug East", in the north-easternmost part of the North Downs. Nan Amlug East was threatened by wargs and enemy hill-men coming from Angmar. These foes came from the north-east, through the easternmost of the three passes into the "Ram Dúath" at the edge of Angmar.
Esteldín, an Arnorian ruin inhabited by Dúnedain Rangers, and Othrikar, a mining outpost of the Longbeards.
As of fall of T.A. 3018 the North Downs is in the state of war, as a new power in Angmar is sending its minions south. Nan Wathren is a rocky valley occupied by Orcs besieging Trestlebridge, the farms of Annundir have been ravaged by Goblins, Dourhands roam the Nan Amlug, but the biggest threat of all is an entire army of Orcs, Wargs and Trolls gathering its strength in Dol Dinen.

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, "A Description of the Island of Númenor"
  3. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), Unfinished Tales, "Aldarion and Erendis: The Mariner's Wife", Note 3
  4. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix B, "The Second Age"
  5. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix A, "The Númenorean Kings", "Eriador, Arnor, and the Heirs of Isildur"
  6. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix B, "The Third Age"
  7. 7.0 7.1 J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix A, "The Númenorean Kings", "Eriador, Arnor, and the Heirs of Isildur", The North-kingdom and the Dúnedain
  8. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix A, "The Númenorean Kings", "Gondor and the Heirs of Anárion"
  9. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Fellowship of the Ring, "The Council of Elrond"
  10. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix B, "Later Events Concerning the Members of the Fellowship of the Ring"