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Withered Heath

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Withered Lands by Douglas Chaffee

The Withered Heath was a dragon-infested valley in the eastern Grey Mountains in northern Rhovanion.



The Withered Heath was a long narrow valley in the eastern part of the Grey Mountains, where they forked into two thin ranges.[1][2] On the floor of this long east-west valley between the mountains was a heath, but a heath burned and blackened by its inhabitants. This Withered Heath was famed and feared in the north of Middle-earth as the breeding-ground of the dragons.[3] At one time they had infested the Grey Mountains and the lands beyond, and even in the closing decades of the Third Age, the Dragon Smaug still terrorised the inhabitants of the north.[4] Smaug was the last of the great dragons, but we know that other lesser members of his kind remained, so perhaps these still returned to the Withered Heath to continue their race.

Other version of the legendarium

In the manuscript of The Hobbit, Bladorthin (the pre-cursor to Gandalf) says that the Withered Heath is "where the Great Dragons used to live".[5]

Portrayal in adaptations

1982-97: Middle-earth Role Playing:

The Withered Heath (Quenya Sarch nia Linquelíë) is a volcanic basin covering some 8,600 square miles, home to the Drakes of the Grey Mountains.[6][7]


  1. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit, "Map of Wilderland"
  2. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit, "An Unexpected Party"
  3. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix A, "Durin's Folk"
  4. J.R.R. Tolkien, John D. Rateliff (ed.), The History of The Hobbit, Mr. Baggins, pp. 9, 20
  5. Mark Rabuck (1992), Northwestern Middle-earth Gazetteer (#4002)
  6. Craig Paget, Karen McCullough & Joseph A. McCullough V (1992), The Grey Mountains (#3113)