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Tolfalas by Larry Elmore

Tolfalas (also Tol Falas[1][2]) was a large island that stood beyond the Ethir Anduin in the Bay of Belfalas.[3]

History[edit | edit source]

The storms and waves that followed the Drowning of Númenor almost destroyed Tolfalas and left it like a barren and lonely mountain in the water not far from the new mouths of the Anduin, because the east of the bay of Belfalas was filled with new land and the river Anduin had to carve a new path by many river mouths to the bay. Before the Drowning of Númenor the city of Pelargir had been only a few miles from the sea and was far inland afterwards.[4]

Ships that wanted to sail up the Anduin from the Bay of Belfalas passed Tolfalas on its eastern side and then took a canal that had been made by the Númenóreans in the middle of the delta of the Anduin.[1]

Etymology[edit | edit source]

Tol Falas is a Sindarin name. Its meaning is not glossed, but Paul Strack suggests it means "Island of the Shore", being a clear combination of tol ("island") and falas ("coast").[5]

Other versions of the legendarium[edit | edit source]

The spelling Tolfalas is used in an earlier typescript version of what would later become Appendix A,[4] in an outline that was made during the writing of The Two Towers where it is mentioned that the Men of Harad (then called the Men of Harrowland and by other names) had taken the island[6] and on the First Map of The Lord of the Rings.[7][8]

Portrayal in adaptations[edit | edit source]

1982-97: Middle-earth Role Playing:

In early Third Age, Tolfalas was settled by fisher-folk from the Ethir. After the Kin-strife, the island was raided by the Corsairs, and became almost deserted until the Fourth Age.[9]

1995-8: Middle-earth Collectible Card Game:

Players face an attack by Undead at the site of Tolfalas.


  1. 1.0 1.1 J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), Unfinished Tales, Index, entry Serni
  2. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), Unfinished Tales, "Cirion and Eorl and the Friendship of Gondor and Rohan", "Notes", note 41
  3. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, "The West of Middle-earth at the End of the Third Age" [map]
  4. 4.0 4.1 J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Peoples of Middle-earth, "VI. The Tale of Years of the Second Age", p. 183
  5. Paul Strack, "S. Tol Falas loc.", Eldamo - An Elvish Lexicon (accessed 8 December 2022)
  6. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Treason of Isengard, "XXV. The Story Foreseen from Fangorn", p. 435
  7. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Treason of Isengard, "XV. The First Map of The Lord of the Rings", "The original element in the First Map", p. 298
  8. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Treason of Isengard, "XV. The First Map of The Lord of the Rings", "Maps IIIA and III", p. 308
  9. Jason Beresford, Anders Blixt, Mats Blomqvist, Gunnar Brolin, Jeff Hatch, Tim Innes, Åke Rosenius, Martin Rundkvist, Erik, Rågvik, Chris Seeman, Magnus Seter (1996), Southern Gondor: The Land (#2021), pp. 100-2