Sea of Rhûn
|Sea of Rhûn|
|Description||Roughly shaped like an hourglass laid on its side|
|Other names||Eastern Sea|
|Etymology||S. rhûn "east"|
The Sea of Rhûn, or the Eastern Sea, is a large saltwater lake or sea in the east of Middle-earth.
The Kine of Araw was found near the Inland Sea.
The Sea of Rhûn covers roughly 400 square miles (1,000 km²). The Celduin (River Running) flows from the northwest into a northwestern arm of the sea, while several unnamed rivers flow from the northeastern shore. West of the Sea of Rhûn is the land of Dorwinion and roughly 200 miles (300 km) to the South is the eastern end of the Ered Lithui.
In the First Age, the shores of the Inland Sea were populated by tribes of Men who were migrating to the West. The Lesser Folk got there first and dwelt at the feet of the nearby hills. The Greater Folk came later in the north-east woods near the shores. The Men crafted boats and could sail the sea, but they didn't meet often, and their languages soon diverged before they resumed their journey to Beleriand.
Christopher Tolkien and others have speculated that the Sea of Rhûn might "...be identified with the Sea of Helkar, vastly shrunken" (The War of the Jewels, pg. 174). Karen Wynn Fonstad adopted this assumption in The Atlas of Middle-earth. In The Peoples of Middle-earth there are references to the Sea of Rhûn existing in the First Age, but no indication as to whether it should be equated with the Sea of Helkar or not.