House of Ransom

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House of Ransom
"Ascent to Amon Rûdh" by Anke Eißmann
General Information
Other namesBar-en-Danwedh (S), Bar-en-Nibin-noeg (S), Echad i Sedryn (S), the Echad
LocationAmon Rûdh, Talath Dirnen
People and History
InhabitantsMîm and his sons, Gaurwaith
DestroyedF.A. 489
Sack of Bar-en-Danwedh

The House of Ransom was the secret home of the Gaurwaith when they controlled Dor-Cúarthol. It consisted in an underground complex inside the hill of Amon Rûdh.


The entrance of the House of Ransom was hidden, to find it you have to approach Amon Rûdh from the north and follow a secret path on the slopes of the hill. The path wound to and fro, and without a guide it may take days to find the right way.[1]

The house of Mîm was vast and could have housed hundreds or more. There were many chambers within the halls for storage, working and dwelling but they were mostly empty. There was a small room that Mîm used for work that had a hearth and it shared a smoke-vent with another small hall. There was a hidden stair that led to the summit of Amon Rûdh that Mîm kept secret.[2]


Before the arrival of Túrin and his outlaws, the place was a settlement of the Petty-dwarves and it was known as Bar-en-Nibin-noeg, "House of the Petty-dwarves". As the First Age wore on, these people dwindled, until at last only three remained; Mîm and his two sons Khîm and Ibun. To their misfortune, the Petty-dwarves encountered Túrin at the time he led a desperate band of outlaws. Mîm's sons fled, but Mîm himself was caught, and agreed to house the outlaws in exchange for his own life. So the Dwarf-delvings of Amon Rûdh became known as Bar-en-Danwedh, meaning "House of Ransom". The ransom, in fact, was a double one: when they returned to Amon Rûdh, they discovered that Khîm had been shot by an arrow (fired from the bow of Andróg) as he fled in their early encounter, and later died. In recompense, Túrin promised to pay Mîm a ransom of his own, if ever he was able.[3]

Túrin and the outlaws stayed for more than a year in Bar-en-Danwedh, where they were joined by Beleg Strongbow out of Doriath. They defended the lands around the hill against Morgoth's forces, and became so famous in that region that they gained a following, with Túrin and Beleg coming to be known as the Two Captains of Dor-Cúarthol. Their refuge was given the name Echad i Sedryn, "Camp of the Faithful", the "faithful" referred to the Old Company, since only they knew the way into it and no one else was admitted.[4] In the end, though, disaster struck: Mîm betrayed them to the Orcs, who slew the outlaws, sacked their halls and captured Túrin. Beleg survived, and Mîm fled from him, never to return to his home on Amon Rûdh.[3]

Other names

Bar-en-Danwedh is Sindarin for "House of Ransom",[5] consisting of bar ("house" or "dwelling")[6] + en ("of") + danwedh ("ransom").[7]

Its original name was Bar-en-Nibin-noeg which is Sindarin for "House of the Petty Dwarves",[8] consisting of bar ("house" or "dwelling") + en ("of") + niben-nog ("petty dwarf").[9]

Echad i Sedryn is Sindarin for "Camp of the Faithful",[8] consisting of echad ("camp") + i ("the") + the plural of sadron ("faithful").[10]