From Tolkien Gateway
General Information
Other namesBlackroot
LocationIn Anfalas of Gondor, south of the White Mountains
People and History
InhabitantsElves, Gondorians
EventsAragorn's ride to Erech

The Morthond (S. "Black root") was one of the seven rivers of Gondor.

Course[edit | edit source]

The Morthond arose in the White Mountains in a narrow valley that led to the southern entrance of the Paths of the Dead.[1] The river rose beneath the sheer mountainsides of the White Mountains' southern extent,[2] and flowed south-west for half its length before turning south-east to join the Ringló[3] near Cobas Haven.[4]

History[edit | edit source]

Near the confluence of the Morthond and the Ringló was the ancient Elf-haven of Edhellond. This refuge had been founded at the beginning of the Second Age by a remnant of Elves from Doriath.[5]

At the time of the War of the Ring, the lord of the Blackroot Vale was Duinhir. He and his two sons, Duilin and Derufin, marched to Minas Tirith with five hundred bowmen to aid in the city's defence.[6] On 8 March T.A. 3019 Aragorn, Gimli, Legolas, the Grey Company, and the Army of the Dead exited from the Paths of the Dead alongside the Morthond.[7] They followed the young river before crossing a bridge on their way to the Stone of Erech.[1]

Etymology[edit | edit source]

Morthond is a Sindarin name meaning "black-root".[8] The first element mor means "dark" or "black".[9] The second element thond means "root".[10]

Other versions of the legendarium[edit | edit source]

The course and placement of the Morthond changed greatly during the writing of The Lord of the Rings. In the First Map of The Lord of the Rings the Morthond was separate from and far west of the Ringló (with Dol Amroth far to the west of the Morthond).[11] When J.R.R. Tolkien developed Outline VI for Book V in The Return of the King he drew a map with the Morthond east of the Ringló and the Morthond joined the Anduin near its mouth.[12] When Tolkien made the detailed Second Map of The Lord of the Rings there were four rivers – Calenhir, Morthond, Kiril, and Ringló – that flowed independently until they all combined just before exiting into Cobas Haven.[4]