Mountains of Mirkwood

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Mountains of Mirkwood
Mountain range
General Information
Other namesDark Mountains
Emyn Duir, Emyn-nu-Fuin (S)
LocationRunning west to east through the northern parts of Mirkwood
TypeMountain range
InhabitantsPrimarily Elves

The Mountains of Mirkwood were a range of high hills in the north-east of Mirkwood.[1]

Geography

The Mountains of Mirkwood ran from west to east for over 100 miles, north of the Old Forest Road and south of the Forest River in the north-east of Mirkwood. The mountains in the eastern part of the range were higher than the ones in the western part.[2]

The Enchanted Stream flowed from a source on the northern side of the Mountains of Mirkwood north in a great bend until its confluence with the Forest River. Another river, whose name is unknown, flowed from a source on the south-eastern end of the range south-east until it joined the River Running.[3]

History

At the end of the Second Age, Oropher, the king of the Silvan Elves of the forest and his numerous people lived in the western valleys of the mountains, which were then called Emyn Duir (Dark Mountains), because of the dense fir-woods that grew on their slopes.[1]

Around T.A. 1000 when the shadow of Sauron spread from Dol Guldur[4] north through the forest, which had been called Eryn Galen (Greenwood the Great), the Silvan Elves retreated further to the north-east of the forest and their King Thranduil, who had succeeded his father Oropher after his death in the Battle of Dagorlad, created an underground fortress and halls[5] on the north bank of the Forest River in the very east of the forest.[3] As a consequence of the spreading of the shadow of Sauron, the name of the forest was changed to Taur-nu-Fuin (Mirkwood). The mountains became haunted by the most evil creatures of Sauron and their name was changed to Emyn-nu-Fuin (Mountains of Mirkwood).[1]

After the passing of Sauron and the cleansing of Mirkwood, Thranduil and Celeborn, the lord of the Silvan Elves of Lothlórien, met on 6 April 3019,[6] in the middle of Mirkwood and gave it the new name Eryn Lasgalen, The Wood of Greenleaves. They divided the forest between them so that the realm of Thranduil encompassed the northern part of the wood down to the Mountains of Mirkwood and that the realm of Celeborn encompassed the southern part of the wood south of the Narrows of the Forest, which was named East Lórien by Celeborn. Thranduil and Celeborn gave all the wide forest between the Mountains of Mirkwood and the Narrows of the Forest to the Beornings and the Woodmen.[7] It is not known, if the name of the Mountains of Mirkwood was changed after the cleansing of Mirkwood and if it was changed back to Emyn Duir or to a different new name.

Etymology

The earlier name Emyn Duir is Sindarin.[8] It means "Dark Mountains. The name was given, because of the dense growth of fir trees on their slopes and did not have evil connotations of Darkness.[1] It is a compound of the plural form Emyn of amon ("hill") and the plural of the adjective dûr ("dark").[8]

The later name Emyn-nu-Fuin is also Sindarin[9] and literally means "Mountains under Night".[10] It is a compound of the plural form Emyn of amon ("hill"), the preposition nu and the noun fuin ("night").[9]

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), Unfinished Tales, "The Disaster of the Gladden Fields", "Notes", note 14, pp. 280-281
  2. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, "The West of Middle-earth at the End of the Third Age" [map]
  3. 3.0 3.1 J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit, "Map of Wilderland"
  4. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix B, "The Third Age", entry for the year c. 1100, p. 1085
  5. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), Unfinished Tales, "The History of Galadriel and Celeborn", "Appendix B: The Sindarin Princes of the Silvan Elves"
  6. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix B, "The Chief Days from the Fall of Barad-dûr to the End of the Third Age", entry for the year 3019, April 6, p. 1095
  7. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix B, "The Great Years", p. 1094
  8. 8.0 8.1 Paul Strack, "S. Emyn Duir loc.", Eldamo - An Elvish Lexicon (accessed 13 January 2023)
  9. 9.0 9.1 Paul Strack, "S. Emyn-nu-Fuin loc.", Eldamo - An Elvish Lexicon (accessed 13 January 2023)
  10. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), Unfinished Tales, Index, entry "Emyn-nu-Fuin"