Gladden Fields

From Tolkien Gateway
This article is about the fields. For the neighbouring river, see Gladden River.
Gladden Fields
"The Gladden Fields" by Anke Eißmann
General Information
Other namesLoeg Ningloron
LocationIn the Vales of Anduin, at the confluence of the Anduin and Gladden rivers
EventsDisaster of the Gladden Fields
GalleryImages of the Gladden Fields

The Gladden Fields (Sindarin Loeg Ningloron) was, at the end of the Third Age, a large marsh on the east side of the Anduin that extended along either side of its tributary, the Gladden River (Sîr Ninglor), south of the Carrock.[1]

In ancient times a lake had formed at their meeting-place, but by the beginning of the Third Age the lake had been replaced by a wilderness of marshes and islets filled with reeds, rushes, and vast clumps of yellow irises grown taller than a man that grew there in hosts.[2] In the 25th century it was still characterised by great beds of iris and flowering reeds.[3]


In the First Age when the Silvan Elves first entered the Vales of Anduin, they found a lake in the deep depression where the Anduin and Gladden met. Although wider to the west, the lake probably did reach the sloping edge of Greenwood the Great . After many years the lake filled with sediment and became a marsh.[2]

In T.A. 2[4] near this place, on a slope east of the Anduin, Isildur and his three oldest sons were ambushed by Orcs when they marched back towards Arnor. Isildur's sons were killed in that battle, while he attempted to escape using the power of invisibility of the One Ring. He ran to the Anduin and tried to cross it. Due to the current he was swept downstream until he reached the western bank near the inflow of the river Gladden. But the Ring had slipped from Isildur's finger and when he stood up he was seen by Orcs, who laid there to kill any survivors of the ambush, and was slain by their arrows.[5][3]

During the reign of King Calimehtar of Gondor (who died in 1936) the Éothéod were a small people living in the Vale of Anduin; their southern boundary was the Gladden Fields.[6]

During the height of Angmar, after 1356, some Stoors from the Angle of Eriador passed again the Mountains[4] and probably about 1410[7] a band resettled in the Vales.[8] It was here, about 2463, that the hobbit Déagol boated and while fishing retrieved the One Ring; only to be killed by his friend Sméagol.[4]

Borondir, the messenger of Gondor sent by the Steward Cirion in 2510[4] to seek aid from the Éothéod (who by then had migrated farther up the Anduin valley), was pursued as he rode north as far as the Gladden Fields.[9]

In T.A. 2851, after a meeting of the White Council, Saruman began searching near the Gladden Fields for the One Ring.[4] He became alarmed to discover that Sauron's servants were also searching the region.[10]


From Old English glaedene, "gladden" is another name for the "flag" or "iris".[11] Tolkien identified the "gladden" as the yellow-flowered species Iris pseudacorus growing in streams and marshes, and not the species now usually spelt gladdon.[12]

Tolkien suggested to translators to avoid if possible the 'learned' name iris.[11]