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Mountain range
"Escape From Gondolin" by Peter Xavier Price
General Information
Other namesEryd Echor (S. Encircling Mountains)
LocationNorth Beleriand
TypeMountain range
DescriptionHigh mountains arround Tumladen
RegionsCrissaegrim, Cirith Thoronath, Orfalch Echor
People and History
EventsWanderings of Húrin
GalleryImages of the Echoriad

Alae! Ered en Echoriath, ered e·mbar nín!

The Echoriad, also known as the Encircling Mountains[1] or the Mountains of Turgon[2], were a mountain range in the north of Beleriand.


The Echoriad were part of the highlands around Dorthonion, with the Pass of Sirion separating them from the Ered Wethrin to the west; and the Pass of Anach separating them from the Ered Gorgoroth to the east. The southern part of the circle of mountains were called the Crissaegrim, which was the abode of eagles.[3]

The Echoriad formed a natural circle of rock, enclosing the valley later called Tumladen, within which lay the Elven city of Gondolin. A hidden ravine called Orfalch Echor provided the main access through the Echoriath — a way guarded by the Seven Gates.[4]


Maeglin prospected in the northern part of the Echoriad and found diverse and abundant metals. From his mine, Anghabar, he found hard iron that he prized.[5]

Húrin reaches the Echoriath by Ted Nasmith.

When Fingolfin died in single combat with Morgoth, the eagle Thorondor carried his body to a mountaintop north of Gondolin. Turgon, the son of Fingolfin, came and built a cairn over his body that no Orc dared to approach. Also in the aftermath of the Dagor Bragollach, Húrin and Huor were the first men to enter Gondolin, but they did not traverse the hidden ravine to reach the city - instead they were borne aloft by the eagles of Thorondor over the Encircling Mountains. Later they departed in the same manner and thus could not reveal the passage into Tumladen.[6]

Yet it was Húrin who, despite his oath, eventually and inadvertently revealed the location of Turgon's realm to Morgoth. Húrin came to the Encircling Mountains and, lost, cried out for Turgon to hear him in his hidden halls. Húrin was unaware that spies of Morgoth heard his words and reported to their master that the Hidden Kingdom must be located somewhere in this region.[7]

Then, after Maeglin was captured and revealed the precise location of the city, the host of Morgoth came to Gondolin, pouring over the Echoriad from the north and north east. All would have died within the city, but Idril had made a secret tunnel. She and Tuor led the remnants of the people of Gondolin out by this route and then they climbed into the mountains to the north, by the perilous pass known as the Cirith Thoronath. The refugees were attacked by Orcs and a Balrog. While eagles dispersed the Orcs, Glorfindel fought with the Balrog upon a pinnacle of rock and both fell into the nearby abyss. Like he did with Fingolfin, Thorondor came and brought Glorfindel's body up to the refugees, who buried him in a mound of stones beside the path. The Exiles of Gondolin then proceeded with their escape, eventually coming out of the mountains and into the Vale of Sirion.[8]


Echoriath is Sindarin. It means "encircling fence", from echor ("encircling") and iâth ("fence").[9]

Christopher Tolkien mentioned that his father's intent was to rename the Echoriath as Echoriad, but perhaps this knowledge eluded him while publishing The Silmarillion.[10]

In his "Unfinished index" of The Lord of the Rings, Tolkien gave an alternate name for the Encircling Mountains: Eryd Echor, using the plural eryd of the Sindarin word orod ("mountain").[11]

Other versions of the legendarium

In the early version of the legendarium in The Book of Lost Tales, the Encircling Mountains are named Heborodin,[12] which is Gnomish, from heb ("round about, around") + orod ("mountain").[13]


  1. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Index of Names"
  2. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), Unfinished Tales, "Of Tuor and his Coming to Gondolin", p. 43
  3. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Map of Beleriand and the Lands to the North"
  4. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), Unfinished Tales, "Of Tuor and his Coming to Gondolin"
  5. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Quenta Silmarillion: Of Maeglin"
  6. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Quenta Silmarillion: Of the Ruin of Beleriand and the Fall of Fingolfin"
  7. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Quenta Silmarillion: Of the Ruin of Doriath"
  8. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Quenta Silmarillion: Of Tuor and the Fall of Gondolin"
  9. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Appendix: Elements in Quenya and Sindarin Names", entries echor and iâth
  10. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The War of the Jewels, "Part Three. The Wanderings of Húrin and Other Writings not forming part of the Quenta Silmarillion: I. The Wanderings of Húrin", note 27
  11. 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. 62
  12. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Book of Lost Tales Part Two, "III. The Fall of Gondolin", p. 166, footnote
  13. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Book of Lost Tales Part Two, "Appendix: Names in the Lost Tales – Part II", entry "Heborodin"
Realm of Gondolin
Ondolindë · Hidden City · City of Seven Names
Outside locations Amon Gwared · Anghabar · Echoriad (Crissaegrim · Eithel Nínui · Fingolfin's cairn) · Seven Gates of Gondolin (Gate of Wood · Gate of Stone · Gate of Bronze · Gate of Writhen Iron · Gate of Silver · Gate of Gold · Gate of Steel) · Orfalch Echor · Tumladen
Inside locations Alley of Roses · Arch of Inwë · Caragdûr · Fountains of the South · Gar Ainion · Great Market · Lesser Market · Idril's secret way · Place of the Fountain · Place of the Well · Road of Arches · Road of Pomps · Tower of the King · Way of Running Waters
Objects Anguirel · Axe of Tuor · Crown of the Hidden Kingdom · Elfstone · Glamdring · Glingal and Belthil · Orcrist · Sting
Houses House of the King · House of the Wing · House of the Mole · House of the Swallow · House of the Heavenly Arch · House of the Pillar · House of the Tower of Snow · House of the Tree · House of the Golden Flower · House of the Fountain · House of the Harp · House of the Hammer of Wrath
People Aranwë · Aredhel · Dark Guard · Duilin · Eärendil · Ecthelion · Egalmoth · Elemmakil · Elenwë · Enerdhil · Eöl · Exiles of Gondolin · Galdor · Glorfindel · Huor · Húrin · Hendor · Idril · Legolas · Maeglin · Meleth · Pengolodh · Penlod · Rog · Salgant · Tuor · Turgon · Ulmo · Voronwë · Warden of the Great Gate
Events Fall of Gondolin · Gates of Summer · Nirnaeth Arnoediad · Ulmo's warning · Wanderings of Húrin
Main texts Lost Tale of The Fall of Gondolin (1916-20) · The Lay of the Fall of Gondolin (c. 1920) · Of Tuor and his Coming to Gondolin (1950) · Of Tuor and the Fall of Gondolin (1977) · The Fall of Gondolin (2018)