|"Escape From Gondolin" by Peter Xavier Price|
|Other names||Eryd Echor (S. Encircling Mountains)|
|Description||High mountains arround Tumladen|
|Regions||Crissaegrim, Cirith Thoronath, Orfalch Echor|
|People and History|
|Events||Wanderings of Húrin|
|Gallery||Images of the Echoriad|
- "Alae! Ered en Echoriath, ered e·mbar nín!"
- ― Voronwë in "Of Tuor and His Coming to Gondolin"
The Echoriad, also known as the Encircling Mountains, 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Echoriath is Sindarin. It means "encircling fence", from echor ("encircling") and iâth ("fence").
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.
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").
Other versions of the legendarium
In the early version of the legendarium in The Book of Lost Tales, the Encircling Mountains are named Heborodin, which is Gnomish, from heb ("round about, around") + orod ("mountain").
- ↑ J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Index of Names"
- ↑ J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Map of Beleriand and the Lands to the North"
- ↑ J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), Unfinished Tales, "Of Tuor and his Coming to Gondolin"
- ↑ J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Quenta Silmarillion: Of Maeglin"
- ↑ J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Quenta Silmarillion: Of the Ruin of Beleriand and the Fall of Fingolfin"
- ↑ J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Quenta Silmarillion: Of the Ruin of Doriath"
- ↑ J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Quenta Silmarillion: Of Tuor and the Fall of Gondolin"
- ↑ J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Appendix: Elements in Quenya and Sindarin Names", entries echor and iâth
- ↑ 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
- ↑ 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
- ↑ J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Book of Lost Tales Part Two, "III. The Fall of Gondolin", p. 166, footnote
- ↑ J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Book of Lost Tales Part Two, "Appendix: Names in the Lost Tales – Part II", entry "Heborodin"