Forest of Neldoreth

From Tolkien Gateway
This article is about the forest in Doriath. For the forest in Rhûn in the drafts for The Lord of the Rings, see Neldoreth.
Neldoreth
Forest
Ted Nasmith - By Moonlight in Neldoreth Forest.jpg
"By Moonlight in Neldoreth Forest" by Ted Nasmith
General Information
Other namesTaur-na-neldor (S)
LocationDoriath
TypeForest
People and History
InhabitantsIathrim
EventsMeeting of Beren and Lúthien
GalleryImages of Neldoreth
"To the beeches of Neldoreth I came in the Autumn.
Ah! the gold and the red and the sighing of leaves in the Autumn in Taur-na-neldor!
"
Treebeard's song

The Forest of Neldoreth was the beech-forest that lay between the banks of the Esgalduin River and the Mindeb River that formed the northern and lesser part of the Kingdom of Doriath.[1]

History[edit]

It was in the Forest of Neldoreth that Lúthien was born and later these woods were part of the enclosure called the "Girdle of Melian".[2] It was also under the trees of Neldoreth that Beren first beheld Lúthien dancing in the moonlight. Later, when Sauron had cast Beren into a pit and Lúthien resolved to rescue him, Thingol had her imprisoned in a house built high in the branches of the highest tree of the forest, called Hírilorn.[3]

When Treebeard was carrying Merry and Pippin to Wellinghall he chanted to them about walking in the woods of the First Age. He recalled coming to Neldoreth in Autumn and enjoying the gold and red and sighing leaves of Taur-na-neldor (an alternate name for the forest).[4]

Etymology[edit]

The name Neldoreth is unclear, but seems to be a compound of neldor ("beech") and the abstract noun ending -eth.[5]

Taur-na-neldor more clearly means "Beech-forest": taur ("forest"), na ("of") and neldor.[6]

Other versions of the legendarium[edit]

On an early draft map for The Lord of the Rings, Tolkien indicated that Neldoreth was the name of the forest on the north-eastern shore of the Sea of Rhûn. This forest went unnamed in later maps.[7]

Treebeard's home was also called Forest of Neldoreth in an early draft.[8]

References