Tolkien Gateway

Withered Heath

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Douglas Chaffee - Withered Lands.jpg
Withered Heath
Physical Description
LocationBetween two arms of the eastern Grey Mountains
DescriptionA long valley made barren by dragons

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, burned and blackened by its inhabitants, being the breeding-ground of dragons.[3]


At one time the dragons of the Heath had infested the Grey Mountains and the lands beyond, and in the closing decades of the Third Age, the Dragon Smaug terrorised the inhabitants of the north.[4] Smaug was the last of the great dragons, but lesser members of his kind remained.

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