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Pauline Baynes - Bilbo's Last Song.jpg
"Bilbo's Last Song" by Pauline Baynes
General Information
PronunciationS, [ˈɬuːːn]
Other namesLune (W)
LocationWestern Eriador, east of the Ered Luin
GalleryImages of Lhûn

The river Lhûn, or Westronized Lune, was a river of north-western Eriador. It gave its name to the Gulf of Lune and the Mountains of Lune. Of old, the Lhûn had been a line of defence: first against Sauron, and later against the Witch-king.

Geography[edit | edit source]

The river Lhûn found its origin in the First Age or before. The river had its sources in the far north of the Blue Mountains, and had two tributaries: the Little Lune and an unnamed river that had its origin in the Emyn Uial.

Its original course is no longer recorded in history, but following the War of Wrath, its course was severely altered; after the breaking of the Blue Mountains, it flowed in the newly-formed Gulf of Lune.[1]

History[edit | edit source]

In the Second Age, the Lhûn formed the border between eastern Lindon and Arnor.[2] Elendil's people dwelt about the courses of the Lhûn.[1] During Sauron's advent, Gil-galad and Elendil were desperately protecting the Grey Havens, and managed to hold the Lhûn.[3]

During the War with Angmar, it formed the end of the Witch-king's influence: many of the Dúnedain fled across it. When Eärnil II came, passage was won back over it. With their defeat imminent, many of the Witch-king's minions drowned in the river Lhûn.[4]

Etymology[edit | edit source]

The meaning of Lhûn is not known. In connection with its first appearance, in a manuscript dating from ca. 1940, the translation "Blue River" is given.[5][6] Apparently, Tolkien originally envisioned it as Noldorin for "blue" (cf. Sindarin luin).[7] Lhûn, and especially the initial /lh/, may have been valid in Noldorin, it was not so in Sindarin, so Tolkien had to rewrite the etymology. He considered the following:[6][8]

  • CE Slōna, "floody"
  • CE Slōnā, "in flood, full of water" (during melting season)
  • CE Slounā, "flow freely"
  • CE Slōno, "deep of water, applied originally to the Gulf!"
  • A renaming to Sîr Luin, "Blue River"
  • CE Slōn, "sound"
  • A Khuzdul origin, salôn or sulûn, "fall, descend swiftly"

External links[edit | edit source]


  1. 1.0 1.1 J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Of the Rings of Power and the Third Age"
  2. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix A, "The Númenorean Kings", "Eriador, Arnor, and the Heirs of Isildur"
  3. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), Unfinished Tales, "The History of Galadriel and Celeborn"
  4. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix A, "Gondor and the Heirs of Anarion"
  5. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Treason of Isengard, "VI. The Council of Elrond (1): The Third Version, (iii)", p. 124
  6. 6.0 6.1 J.R.R. Tolkien, "Eldarin Hands, Fingers & Numerals and Related Writings — Part Two: The Problem of Lhûn" (edited by Patrick H. Wynne), in Vinyar Tengwar, Number 48, December 2005
  7. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Lost Road and Other Writings, Part Three: "The Etymologies" (entry for LUG2-)
  8. J.R.R. Tolkien, "Words, Phrases and Passages in Various Tongues in The Lord of the Rings", in Parma Eldalamberon XVII (edited by Christopher Gilson), pp. 136-7