Enedwaith

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Enedwaith
Region
Matěj Čadil - Enedwaith.jpg
"Enedwaith" by Matěj Čadil
General Information
Pronunciationeh-ned-weyeth
Other namesCentral Wilderness[1]
LocationBetween the Gwathló and the Isen; south of Minhiriath and north-west of Rohan
TypeRegion
RegionsDunland
InhabitantsMen
GalleryImages of Enedwaith

Enedwaith (S, pron. [eˈnedwa͡ɪθ]), also spelled Enedhwaith (pron. [eˈneðwa͡ɪθ]), the Central Wilderness[1], was a region in Eriador between the river Gwathló and the river Isen.

Geography[edit]

Enedwaith was a region between the river Gwathló and the coast of the Belegaer sea from the mouth of the Gwathló to the mouth of the river Isen in the west, the river Glanduin in the north, the Misty Mountains in the east and the river Isen in the south.[2][3] Enedwaith consisted primarily of open plains without mountains.[4]

History[edit]

Earliest inhabitants[edit]

Many of the inhabitants of the forests in Enedwaith were of the same kind as the Folk of Haleth, the second folk of the Edain. They moved westwards later than the Folk of Haleth and had stayed in Eriador either in settlements or wandering around and had not moved on to Beleriand. The language of the Folk of Haleth was not related to the language of the Folk of Hador and the Folk of Bëor.[5]

Second Age[edit]

At the time of the explorations of Aldarion, the heir to the throne of Númenor, Enedwaith was covered by an almost continuous forest with the exception of the great fens of the Swanfleet. The native inhabitants were quite numerous and warlike and lived in scattered communities in the forests without a central leadership. In the beginning the native inhabitants of Enedwaith were in awe of the Númenóreans.[6] Enedwaith was still covered with a dense forest at the time of the earlier settlements of the Númenóreans.[5]

The native inhabitants started to ambush the Númenóreans when the felling of trees by the Númenoreans became devastating to the forests. As a consequence, the Númenóreans treated the native inhabitants as enemies. The natives of Enedwaith that survived the conflicts with the Númenóreans fled into the eastern mountains where afterwards was Dunland.[6]

In the time of the Númenórean King Ar-Adûnakhôr, the Númenórean settlers between Pelargir and the Gulf of Lune classified the inhabitants of the forests of Minhiriath as Men of Shadow instead of as Middle Men, because of their hostility to the Númenóreans and because the Númenóreans did not recognize them as kinsmen of the Edain, because the language of the inhabitants of the forests of Minhiriath was not related to the languages of the Folk of Hador and the Folk of Beor, which were closely related and from which the Adunaic language of Númenor was descended.[7]

After the establishment of the kingdoms of Arnor and Gondor in S.A. 3320, Enedwaith belonged to neither of those two kingdoms.[2]

Third Age[edit]

In the earlier centuries of Arnor and Gondor[8][9][10] the region of Enedwaith belonged to neither of those two kingdoms.[2] In those ancient days the Gwathló was the eastern border of Arnor and the Isen was the western border of Gondor.[11] Until the decay of Arnor both kingdoms shared an interest in this region, but were mainly concerned with the building and maintenance of the North-South Road, which was the main route of transport between the two kingsdoms except by sea, and of the bridge at the fortified town and haven of Tharbad and of the long causeways on which the road ran to Tharbad on either side of the Gwathló across the fens in the plains of Enedwaith.[2] There were no permanent settlements of people of Númenórean origin in Enedwaith,[2] except at Tharbad,[8][9][10] where a large garrison of soliders, mariners, engineers[2] and river-wardens was stationed.[8][9][10] In addition, the drainage works were built and maintained and the banks of the rivers Mitheithel and Gwathló were strengthened.[8][9][10]

After the decay and receding of the kingdom of Arnor, which had originally included Minhiriath,[8][9][10], Enedwaith became a part of Gondor during the days of the Kings of Gondor. Like before, Gondor was mainly concerned with the maintenance and patrolling of the North-South-Road.[11]

After the Great Plague of T.A. 1636 the region fell quickly into decay and turned back into wild fenlands long before the War of the Ring.[2] A fairly numerous, barbarous folk[12] of Drúedain continued to live as fishers and fowlers in the marshlands of the mouths of the Gwathló and the Isen[11] and between the mouths of those rivers[12] and the remnants of the people that the Rohirrim later called Dunlendings continued to live in the foothills of the western side of the Misty Mountains[11] in the east of Enedwaith.[12]

After the death of the last king of Arthedain, Arvedui and the end of the kingdom of Arthedain, in T.A. 1975,[13] and the death of the last king of Gondor, Eärnur, in T.A. 2050,[14] the weakened realm of Gondor retreated from Enedwaith and the Isen and the Gap of Calenardhon became the western border of Gondor. As a consequence, the Dunlendings of Enedwaith ceased to be subjects of Gondor.[11]

After the Fell Winter of T.A. 2911,[15] Enedwaith was devasted by great floods and the city of Tharbad was ruined and deserted in T.A. 2912.[16]

At the time of the War of the Ring the south-east of Enedwaith was still in places well-wooded, but most of the plains were grasslands.[12]

After the War of the Ring at the end of the Third Age, the North-kingdom of Arnor was reestablished by Aragorn II.[17] It is probable that Enedwaith was resettled, because Gandalf announced that the Greenway would be opened again, that there would be people and fields where there was wilderness before and that there would be room enough for people between the Isen and the Greyflood.[18]

Etymology[edit]

Enedwaith is a Sindarin name.[19] It means "middle-region" or "middle-people".[20] It contains the element ened(h) ("middle, centre").[20] Its second element is the probably lenited form waith[19] of gwaith ("people").[21]

The form Enedwaith appears in the General Map of Middle-earth, but J.R.R. Tolkien suggested Enedhwaith in his annotations to Pauline Baynes.[22]

While writing Of Dwarves and Men Tolkien typed Enedwaith and subsequently added h manually on the typed text, until he started typing Enedhwaith which he maintained in The Rivers and Beacon-hills of Gondor. Christopher Tolkien preferred the spelling Enedwaith for the Unfinished Tales for agreement with the published Lord of the Rings.[23]

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Peoples of Middle-earth, "X. Of Dwarves and Men", "Notes", note 76
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), Unfinished Tales, "The History of Galadriel and Celeborn", "Appendix D: The Port of Lond Daer", discussion of the name Glanduin, first paragraph
  3. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, "The West of Middle-earth at the End of the Third Age" [map]
  4. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), Unfinished Tales, "The History of Galadriel and Celeborn", "Appendix D: The Port of Lond Daer", discussion of the name Gwathló, first paragraph
  5. 5.0 5.1 J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Peoples of Middle-earth, "X. Of Dwarves and Men", "The Atani and their Languages"
  6. 6.0 6.1 J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), Unfinished Tales, "The History of Galadriel and Celeborn", "Appendix D: The Port of Lond Daer", discussion of the river Gwathló, third paragraph
  7. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Peoples of Middle-earth, "X. Of Dwarves and Men", "The Atani and their Languages", including Note 72
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 8.4 J.R.R. Tolkien, Carl F. Hostetter (ed.), The Nature of Middle-earth, "Part Three. The World, its Lands, and its Inhabitants: XXII. The Rivers and Beacon-hills of Gondor", p. 378
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 9.3 9.4 Wayne G. Hammond and Christina Scull (eds), The Lord of the Rings: A Reader's Companion, p. 650
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 10.3 10.4 J.R.R. Tolkien, "The Rivers and Beacon-hills of Gondor" (edited by Carl F. Hostetter), in Vinyar Tengwar, Number 42, July 2001
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 11.3 11.4 J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), Unfinished Tales, "The Battles of the Fords of Isen", "Appendix (ii)", note to the text, first paragraph
  12. 12.0 12.1 12.2 12.3 J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), Unfinished Tales, "The History of Galadriel and Celeborn", "Appendix D: The Port of Lond Daer", discussion of the name Gwathló, second paragraph
  13. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix B, "The Third Age", entry for the year 1975
  14. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix B, "The Third Age", entry for the year 2050
  15. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix B, "The Third Age", entry for the year 2911, p. 1089
  16. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix B, "The Third Age", entry for the year 2912, p. 1089
  17. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix A, "The Númenorean Kings", "Eriador, Arnor, and the Heirs of Isildur", p. 1042
  18. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Return of the King, "Homeward Bound", p. 993
  19. 19.0 19.1 Paul Strack, "S. Enedwaith pn.", Eldamo - An Elvish Lexicon (accessed 15 March 2022)
  20. 20.0 20.1 J.R.R. Tolkien; Humphrey Carpenter, Christopher Tolkien (eds.), The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien, Letter 168, (dated 7 September 1955)}
  21. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Appendix: Elements in Quenya and Sindarin Names", entry gwaith
  22. Daniel Helen, "Tolkien’s annotated map of Middle-earth transcribed" dated 10 November 2015, The Tolkien Society (accessed 5 August 2018)
  23. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Peoples of Middle-earth, "X. Of Dwarves and Men", "Notes", note 66
Enedwaith
Minhiriath Eregion Lothlórien
Belegaer WindRose3.pngMisty Mountains
Belegaer Gondor Rohan