Minhiriath

From Tolkien Gateway
Minhiriath
Region
The Lord of the Rings (film series) - Miniriath map.jpg
Map showing Minhiriath from The Lord of the Rings film series
General Information
PronunciationS, min-hear-ee-ath
LocationSouthern Eriador
TypeRegion
People and History
InhabitantsMen, Elves
EventsWar of the Elves and Sauron
GalleryImages of Minhiriath

Minhiriath was a region in Eriador between the river Baranduin and the river Gwathló.

Geography[edit]

Minhiriath was located between the river Baranduin in the west and the river Gwathló in the east.[1] Its southern border was the coast of the Belegaer sea from the mouth of the Baranduin to the mouth of the Gwathló. The northern border of Minihiriath is not recorded and could have been anywhere between the Greenway and the Great East Road.[2][note 1] Minhiriath consisted primarily of open plains without mountains.[1]

The Shire was northwest of the river Baranduin across the Sarn Ford. The dark forest of Eryn Vorn was on a cape on the coast of Minhiriath. The region Enedwaith was east of the Gwathló. The city of Tharbad was on the Gwathló on the border between Minhiriath and Enedwaith. The port of Lond Daer was also on the Gwathló where it flowed into the Sea.[2]

History[edit]

Earliest inhabitants[edit]

Many of the inhabitants of the forests in Minhiriath were of the same kind as the Folk of Haleth, the third 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.[3]

Second Age[edit]

At the time of the explorations of Aldarion, the heir to the throne of Númenor, Minhiriath 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 Minhiriath were in awe of the Númenóreans.[4] Minhiriath 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 that survived the conflicts with the Númenóreans fled into the dark woods of the cape of Eryn Vorn.[4] 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 Darkness 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 language of the Folk of Hador and the Folk of Beor, from which Adunaic was descended.[3]

In S.A. 3320,[6] Minhiriath became a part of the kingdom of Arnor.[7]

Third Age[edit]

Matěj Čadil - Minhiriath

When the Kingdom of Arnor was divided in T.A. 861,[8] Minhiriath became a part of Cardolan, one of the three successor states of Arnor.[9] After the Great Plague spread north-west from Gondor in T.A. 1636,[10] most of the people of Cardolan died, especially in Minhiriath.[11] After that Minhiriath was almost completely deserted, but a secretive folk of hunters lived in the woods.[12]

After the Fell Winter of T.A. 2911,[13] Minhiriath was devastated by great floods and Tharbad was ruined and deserted in T.A. 2912.[14]

Although Minhiriath was still thickly forested in several places by the time of the War of the Ring, 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.[15] It is probable that Minhiriath 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 along the shorelands south of the Baranduin.[16]

Etymology[edit]

Minhiriath is a Sindarin name.[17][18] It means "Between the Rivers" (in reference to the rivers Baranduin and Gwathló).[1] It is a compound of min ("between") and the lenited form hir of sîr ("river") and the class-plural suffix -ath, which yield hiriath.[17][18]

In a letter to Mr Paul Bibire (dated 30 June 1969), J.R.R. Tolkien used the name Mesopotamia in brackets after Minhiriath.[19][20][21] Mesopotamia means "[land] between rivers" in Ancient Greek.[22]

Navigation[edit]

Minhiriath
Gulf of Lune The Shire South Downs
Harlindon WindRose3.pngEnedwaith
Belegaer Belegaer Enedwaith

Notes

  1. The entry in the Annals of the Kings that most of the people of Cardolan died in the Great Plague, especially in Minhiriath, implies that Minhiriath is only a part of Cardolan. According to those Annals the northern border of Cardolan was the Great East Road.

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 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
  2. 2.0 2.1 J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), Unfinished Tales, "The West of Middle-earth at the End of the Third Age" [map]
  3. 3.0 3.1 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
  4. 4.0 4.1 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
  5. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Peoples of Middle-earth, "X. Of Dwarves and Men", "The Atani and their Languages"
  6. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix B, "The Second Age", entry for the year 3320
  7. 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
  8. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix B, "The Third Age", entry for the year 861, p. 1085
  9. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix A, "The Númenorean Kings", "Eriador, Arnor, and the Heirs of Isildur", The North-kingdom and the Dúnedain, first paragraph, p. 1039
  10. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix B, "The Third Age", entry for the year 1636, p. 1086
  11. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix A, "The Númenorean Kings", "Eriador, Arnor, and the Heirs of Isildur", The North-kingdom and the Dúnedain, entry for king Argeleb II, p. 1041
  12. 12.0 12.1 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 name Gwathló, second paragraph
  13. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix B, "The Third Age", entry for the year 2911, p. 1089
  14. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix B, "The Third Age", entry for the year 2912, p. 1089
  15. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix A, "The Númenorean Kings", "Eriador, Arnor, and the Heirs of Isildur", p. 1042
  16. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Return of the King, "Homeward Bound", p. 992
  17. 17.0 17.1 Paul Strack, "S. Minhiriath loc.", Eldamo - An Elvish Lexicon (accessed 8 February 2022)
  18. 18.0 18.1 Wayne G. Hammond and Christina Scull (eds), The Lord of the Rings: A Reader's Companion, p. 691
  19. 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
  20. Wayne G. Hammond and Christina Scull (eds), The Lord of the Rings: A Reader's Companion, p. 650
  21. J.R.R. Tolkien, "The Rivers and Beacon-hills of Gondor" (edited by Carl F. Hostetter), in Vinyar Tengwar, Number 42, July 2001
  22. "Mesopotamia", en.wikipedia.org (accessed 23 March 2022)