From Tolkien Gateway
Lori Deitrick - Men of Dorwinion.jpg
"Men of Dorwinion" by Lori Deitrick
General Information
LocationNorth-western shores of the Sea of Rhûn
DescriptionLand of vineyards
Inhabitantspossibly Elves[1][note 1]
GalleryImages of Dorwinion

Dorwinion or Dor-Winion was a land which lay on the north-western shores of the Sea of Rhûn, surrounded by the River Running.[2] In Dorwinion was made a heady wine, which was strong enough to let even Elves get drunk and fall asleep.


Despite its location in the outskirts of Rhûn, the very name of Dorwinion betrayed an influence by the Elves or the Gondorians (notably Númenórean influence reached as north as the lands between Celduin and Carnen[3]), although it can't be said with certainty who inhabited that land.

What is known is that since the First Age, many Men wandered or settled the empty lands between the Iron Hills, the Greenwood and the Inland Sea.[4]

In the Third Age King Turambar made conquests in the East, so the lands that was or would be Dorwinion probably became part of Gondor; by the time of Hyarmendacil I Gondor had reached its greatest extent in all its history. In T.A. 1248 King Minalcar and Vidugavia of the Northmen also campaigned in the lands between Rhovanion and the Inland Sea.[5] In the following centuries the Great Plague had hit those lands[6] although it is not known how much Dorwinion was affected.

During the war with the Wainriders (1856), Gondor lost its hold of the eastern lands beyond the Emyn Muil[5] thus excluding Dorwinion from its withdrawing borders.

By T.A. 2941 Dorwinion traded with realms of Wilderland, such as the Woodland Realm. The special wine of Thranduil came from that place in crates. The Elves of Mirkwood returned the crates by way of the Forest River to Lake-town on Long Lake.[7]


The name is Sindarin meaning "Land of Gwinion", whereas Gwinion itself is a name of a country meaning "Young-land"; from dor and gwain plus the geographical ending -iond.[8] The latter part of the name is apparently related to Gnomish words such as gwinwen (“freshness”) and gwion (“young”).

Tolkien commented that the Elvish name in such a remote location is a "testimony to the spread of Sindarin".[9]

Other versions of the legendarium[edit]

Dorvinion or Dor-Winion is mentioned in the The Lay of the Children of Húrin; its wine was famous among the Dwarves of Nogrod and Menegroth. It is said there to lie in the "Burning south" (of Beleriand)[10], which might suggest it was a different "Dorwinion", or may just have referred to the fact it came from the more southern lands of Rhovanion by way of the Dwarf-road of Beleriand.

While writing the Quenta Silmarillion, Tolkien once mentioned Dorwinion as a location of Tol Eressëa.[11] Tolkien reused the name and the wines in The Hobbit, establishing thus that it is somewhere in or near the Wilderland.

In annotations to Pauline Baynes, Tolkien suggested the name Mildor meaning "Land of wines", and it was struck out.[12]


Based on the meaning of its name, John Rateliff suggests that the name is a reference to the Irish legend of Tír na nÓg "Land of the Young". However this similarity rather applies to the earlier phase where Dorwinion was mentioned as a part of Tol Eressea.

Portrayal in adaptations[edit]

2007: The Lord of the Rings Online:

While Dorwinion itself does not appear in the game, Easterlings from that land are encountered as refugees in the Dale-lands. The Men of Dorwinion are said to have fled from a disaster in the East that occurred following the downfall of Sauron. They are notably more friendly towards the Westlands than other Easterling tribes and have had trade relations in the past with Dale and the Woodland Realm. No explanation is given for Dorwinion's Sindarin name or whether Elves also live in the region.

External links[edit]

  1. In Parma Eldalamberon 17 it is said:
    "...but Dorwinion is Sindarin meaning "Young-land country" or Land of Gwinion. (It was probably far south down the River Running, and its Sindarin name a testimony to the spread of Sindarin: in this case expectable since the cultivation of vines was not known originally to the Nandor or Avari."
    ― possibly implying that there were already Nandor or Avari living in the area, which were afterwards taught the cultivation of vines by the Sindar.


  1. J.R.R. Tolkien, "Words, Phrases and Passages in Various Tongues in The Lord of the Rings", in Parma Eldalamberon XVII (edited by Christopher Gilson), p. 53
  2. Pauline Baynes, J.R.R. Tolkien, A Map of Middle-earth
  3. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Peoples of Middle-earth, "X. Of Dwarves and Men", "The Atani and their Languages"
  4. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Peoples of Middle-earth, "X. Of Dwarves and Men", "The Atani and their Languages"
  5. 5.0 5.1 J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix A, "The Númenorean Kings", "Gondor and the Heirs of Anárion"
  6. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), Unfinished Tales, "Cirion and Eorl and the Friendship of Gondor and Rohan"
  7. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit, "Barrels Out of Bond"
  8. J.R.R. Tolkien, "Words, Phrases and Passages in Various Tongues in The Lord of the Rings", in Parma Eldalamberon XVII (edited by Christopher Gilson), p. 54
  9. J.R.R. Tolkien, John D. Rateliff (ed.), The History of The Hobbit
  10. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Lays of Beleriand, "I. The Lay of the Children of Húrin: I. Túrin's Fostering" lines 223, 425
  11. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Lost Road and Other Writings, "Part Two: Valinor and Middle-earth before The Lord of the Rings, VI. Quenta Silmarillion", p. 338
  12. Daniel Helen, "Tolkien’s annotated map of Middle-earth transcribed" dated 10 November 2015, The Tolkien Society (accessed 24 March 2018)