Nen Hithoel

From Tolkien Gateway
Nen Hithoel
Francesco Amadio - Rauros.jpg
"Rauros" by Francesco Amadio
General Information
Pronunciationnen hith-oil
LocationNorth of Rauros, amid Emyn Muil
DescriptionLong oval lake, pale-coloured
EventsBreaking of the Fellowship
GalleryImages of Nen Hithoel
"The pent waters spread out into a long oval lake, pale Nen Hithoel, fenced by steep grey hills whose sides were clad with trees, but their heads were bare, cold-gleaming in the sunlight."
The Fellowship of the Ring, "The Great River"

Nen Hithoel was a large lake upon the Great River Anduin amid the Emyn Muil to the east of Rohan.

Description[edit | edit source]

The lake was approximately 20 miles long from north to south, and 10 miles wide. The lake was formed by a narrow southern outlet and the small island of Tol Brandir, which created a natural dam.[1] Upon the lake's northern approach from Anduin the Men of Gondor carved the huge pillars of the Argonath in the reign of Rómendacil II to mark the northern boundary of their realm,[2] although by the time of the War of the Ring that boundary has long since receded. At the southern end of the lake stood three steep hills. Amon Hen, the "Hill of Seeing", was upon the western shore and Amon Lhaw, the "Hill of Hearing", was upon the east. The third hill formed the island of Tol Brandir. None ever set foot upon the island due to its sheer cliffs that rose directly from the river.[3]

History[edit | edit source]

The Fellowship of the Ring arrived at Nen Hithoel on 25 February, T.A. 3019,[4] and made camp at Parth Galen close to Amon Hen. The fall of Boromir and the breaking of the Fellowship occurred soon after. Frodo and Sam took a boat for the eastern shore skirting the southern edge of Tol Brandir,[3] Merry and Pippin were captured by Orcs,[5] and after sending Boromir's body over the falls in another boat, Aragorn, Legolas and Gimli, calling themselves the Three Hunters, set out to track the Orcs and find the captive Hobbits.[6]

Etymology[edit | edit source]

Nen Hithoel is Sindarin for "Mist-cool Water", from nen ("water") + hîth ("mist") + oel ("cool").[7] Note that the (Noldorin) word oel appeared in the earlier Etymologies of the 1930s with the meaning "pool, lake", but this word had changed to (Sindarin) ael by the time that The Lord of the Rings was written, and therefore could not have been an element of the name Nen Hithoel. Compare, for example, Aelin-uial with its earlier form Oelin-uial.[source?]