Tolkien Gateway

Blackroot Vale

Blackroot Vale
Physical Description
TypeValley
LocationSouthern Gondor, at the feet of the White Mountains.
RealmsGondor
Reunited Kingdom
InhabitantsGondorians
DescriptionGrassy upland valley inhabited by Men
General Information
Other namesMornan
EventsAragorn's ride to Erech

The Blackroot Vale, known as Mornan in Sindarin,[1] was a valley of rich grassland through which the River Blackroot flowed.[2] The river rose beneath the sheer mountainsides of the White Mountains' southern extent,[3] and in the shadowed rocks above its spring was the hidden gateway leading out from the Paths of the Dead.[2]

The people of the vale were known in Gondor for their archery skills, and their lord Duinhir took a small company of his bowmen to the Battle of the Pelennor Fields.[4] With them went Duinhir's sons, Derufin and Duilin, both of whom were lost in the defense of Minas Tirith.[5]

On 8 March T.A. 3019, Aragorn, Gimli, Legolas, and the Grey Company exited the Paths of the Dead at the source of the Morthond.[6] They rode to the Stone of Erech where Aragorn, as the heir of Isildur, called upon the Oathbreakers to follow him and fulfill their pledge.[2]

[edit] Etymology

Carl F. Hostetter has suggested that the name Mornan consists of mor- ("dark") + nan (valley).[7]

[edit] Portrayal in Adapations

2014: The Lord of the Rings Online:

The Blackroot Vale was an area in the region of Western Gondor. It was accessed by traveling from "Kingstead" in Western Rohan through the Paths of the Dead. Tarlang's Neck connected the Vale to Lamedon in the southeast. The Havens of Belfalas lay to the south, connected by a road that runs through "Tarlang's Crown" on the west side of "Tarlang's Peaks". The capital was "Morlad", built upon a hill on the western shore of the river Morthond, south of the entrance to the Dwimorberg. Further south along the river were the villages of "Alagrant" and "Sardol". East of Morlad, on the other side of the Hill of Erech, were the mining village of "Tingobel" and the town of "Lancrath".
The Vale faced several threats in March of T.A. 3019, during the War of the Ring. Orcs of the White Mountains captured Tingobel, Umbarrim Corsairs and sorcerors held Tarlang's Crown, and some of the cursed Oathbreakers had rejected Aragorn's offer and reaffirmed their allegiance to Sauron. These twice-traitorous shades called themselves the Ruthless Dead, and the fear they spread was driving the local fauna to madness and death. "Malthellam" was Steward of the Vale in Lord Duinhir's absence. He required the cooperation of Duinhir's wife, the Lady Rosfin, but Rosfin blamed him for the loss of Tingobel and was initially reluctant to work with him. The emblem of the Blackroot Vale was a black circle on a white field.

References

  1. J.R.R. Tolkien, "The Rivers and Beacon-hills of Gondor" (edited by Carl F. Hostetter), in Vinyar Tengwar, Number 42, July 2001, p. 14
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Return of the King, "The Passing of the Grey Company"
  3. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Return of the King, "Map of Rohan, Gondor, and Mordor"
  4. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Return of the King, "Minas Tirith"
  5. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Return of the King, "The Battle of the Pelennor Fields"
  6. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix B, "The Third Age"
  7. J.R.R. Tolkien, "The Rivers and Beacon-hills of Gondor" (edited by Carl F. Hostetter), in Vinyar Tengwar, Number 42, July 2001, p. 29 (note 31)