The area was the home of the Entwives who made their gardens there; but during the War of the Last Alliance at the end of the Second Age, they were driven away when Sauron ruined the land against the advance of the Allies down the Anduin. The Ents vainly had crossed the Anduin in search of the Entwives. Treebeard appeared convinced that the Entwives were not all destroyed but were "lost".
Even by the end of the Third Age, when the Fellowship of the Ring drifted by in boats upon the Great River, they saw only long, formless slopes with a withered look, without trees or even grass. What had caused such desolation not even Aragorn could tell.
The Brown Lands were called Berennyr in Sindarin. The complete meaning of Berennyr is not glossed, but Paul Strack suggests it means "Brown Lands" and is a compound of the plural of baran ("brown", "yellow-brown") and a mutated plural of dôr ("land").
- J.R.R. Tolkien, "Unfinished index for The Lord of the Rings", in Wayne G. Hammond and Christina Scull (eds), The Lord of the Rings: A Reader's Companion, p. 343
- Wayne G. Hammond and Christina Scull, "Addenda and Corrigenda to The Lord of the Rings: A Reader's Companion (2005, 2008, 2014) Arranged by Date", Hammond&Scull.com (accessed 3 August 2015)
- J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, "The West of Middle-earth at the End of the Third Age" [map]
- J.R.R. Tolkien; Humphrey Carpenter, Christopher Tolkien (eds.), The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien, Letter 144, (dated 25 April 1954)
- J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Two Towers, "Treebeard"
- J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Fellowship of the Ring, "The Great River"
- Paul Strack, "S. Berennyr loc.", Eldamo - An Elvish Lexicon (accessed 17 February 2022)