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Cirith Thoronath

(Redirected from Eagle's Cleft)
Cirith Thoronath
Physical Description
TypePass
LocationMountains north of Gondolin
InhabitantsEagles
DescriptionHigh mountain pass with a sheer drop
General Information
Other namesCristhorn (pronounced Cris Thorn, meaning "Eagle's Cleft" )
EventsFall of Gondolin

Cirith Thoronath, the "Eagles' Cleft", pass through the northern part of the Echoriad, the mountains that encircled Gondolin.[1] The Cirith Thoronath was but a narrow and dangerous path with a yawning emptiness next to it.

When the city of Gondolin fell, Tuor and Idril led a remnant of the people through a secret passage to the north of the city. After crossing the Vale of Tumladen, hidden by the fume and mists of the destruction, the refugees climbed the dreadful pass that crawled up the side of the highest peaks. As the escapees climbed they were attacked by Orcs led by a Balrog, for even in this unexpected spot Morgoth had set watchers.

Glorfindel was with the refugees and fought a great duel with the Balrog upon a pinnacle of rock until both fell into the abyss. Still, all would have been lost if not for the intervention of the Eagles. They stooped upon the Orcs and slew them or cast them from the Cirith Thoronath. Thus no word of the escape reached Morgoth until long after Gondolin's fall. The eagle Thorondor bore Glorfindel's body up from the abyss and he was buried in a mound beside the pass.

Cirith Thoronath debouched into the Vale of Sirion, whence the remnants of the people of Gondolin fled to the south.[2]

[edit] References

  1. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Index of Names"
  2. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Quenta Silmarillion: Of Tuor and the Fall of Gondolin"