Tolkien Gateway


The Poros was a river in south of Gondor. It formed the northern border of the contested land of Harondor (South Gondor), and the southern border of Ithilien. During the later Third Age it was the effective southern border of Gondor.

About 400 Númenórean miles long, it began in the Ephel Dúath of Mordor and then flowed south-west for about 300 miles, when it bent to the north-west and met the Anduin just before the Anduin began its delta.[1]

The Poros was crossed by the Harad Road at the Haudh in Gwanûr.[2]

In T.A. 2885, the Haradrim crossed the Poros and invaded Ithilien with great strength. Reinforced by Rohan, Steward Túrin II won a victory at the crossings of Poros, though the Rohirrim princes Fastred and Folcred were slain.[3]


The meaning of the name Poros is unknown.[4]

Portrayal in adaptations

Karen Wynn Fonstad speculated in The Atlas of Middle-earth that the Sea of Helcar drained into the Great Gulf and that Poros is what remained of the narrow region called the Straits of the World that once separated the Sea from the Gulf.[5] Fonstand's interpretation was predicated on the idea that Mordor was created in the Second Age where the Sea of Helcar once lay.[6] However, in The Peoples of Middle-earth (which was published after Fontstad's Atlas), Melkor was said to have created Mount Doom in Mordor during the "long First Age".[7] Additionally, it is told in Unfinished Tales that the migration of the Drúedain from Hildórien brought them westward through lands south of Mordor, and that they became the first Men to cross the Anduin.[8]


  1. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Return of the King, "Map of Rohan, Gondor, and Mordor"
  2. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix A, "The Númenorean Kings", "Gondor and the Heirs of Anárion", "The Stewards"
  3. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix A, "The House of Eorl", "The Kings of the Mark"
  4. The Poros and the Bosphorus at Lingwë (accessed 12 October 2011)
  5. Karen Wynn Fonstad (1991), The Atlas of Middle-earth
  6. Karen Wynn Fonstad (1991), The Atlas of Middle-earth
  7. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Peoples of Middle-earth, "Last Writings" p. 390 (note 14)
  8. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), Unfinished Tales, "The Drúedain", pp. 339-340