Northern Waste

From Tolkien Gateway
This article is about the region of Middle-earth. For the MERP supplement, see The Northern Waste.
Northern Waste
Region
Rob Alexander - Forod.jpg
"Forod" by Rob Alexander
General Information
Other namesForodwaith (S)
LocationNorth of Angmar, Mount Gundabad and Ered Mithrin
TypeRegion
DescriptionThe icy, isolated north of Middle-earth
RegionsForochel, Cape of Forochel
InhabitantsPrimarily Men
GalleryImages of the Northern Waste

The Northern Waste was a vast cold region, in the far north end of Middle-earth,[1] beyond the Mountains of Angmar, Mount Gundabad and the Ered Mithrin.

The region was also named Forodwaith (S., "Northern lands, people"), probably after the hardy Forodwaith, who once inhabited it.

History[edit]

The Northern Waste had always been bitterly cold due to its proximity to Morgoth's realm and continued to remain cold into the later ages.[2]

Angelo Montanini - Northern Waste

The region was once inhabited by the Forodwaith, a hardy Mannish folk accustomed to the cold climate of the Northern Waste, whose name was also applied to the region. In later years the Lossoth, their remnants, lived mostly on the Cape of Forochel, but also camped on the southern shores of the Icebay of Forochel near the northern end of the Blue Mountains.[2]

In T.A. 1981,[3] one of the strongest storms in the history of Gondor came from the Northern Waste through Eriador into Gondor, tore the ship of Amroth from its moorings near near the elven harbour of Edhellond and blew it out into the Bay of Belfalas.[4]

According to Frodo Baggins's poem for Gandalf, Gandalf had travelled "from northern waste to southern hill".[5] It is not known if Frodo meant the Northern Waste that lies north of the Mountains of Angmar and north of the Grey Mountains or some other waste in the north.

Dragons dwelt in the wastes beyond the Grey Mountains.[6] It is not known if these wastes refer to the Northern Waste in the north of the Grey Mountains or to the Withered Heath in the north-east of the southern and longer eastern branch of the Grey Mountains, which was known for its Dragons[7]. After many years, the dragons multiplied and became strong and made war against the Dwarves.[7][6] Among these dragons were Cold-drakes that drove the Dwarves of the Grey Mountains out of their homes.[6]

Other versions of the legendarium[edit]

On the First Map of The Lord of the Rings, the sea west of the Icebay of Forochel was labeled North Sea in pencil.

The different definitions of "Forodwaith" between the earlier and the later map.

In the General Map of Middle-earth that was drawn by Christopher Tolkien and published with earlier editions of The Lord of the Rings, the northern portion of the Westlands is featureless, labelled as "NORTHERN WASTE", with the name "FORODWAITH", in slightly smaller letters, above the Mountains of Angmar. These labels could suggest that Forodwaith was a part of the wider Northern Waste, if not a smaller separate region. This nomenclature was carried over to Pauline Baynes's A Map of Middle-earth.

Later, Christopher Tolkien realized that the two names certainly seem to have been intended as synonymous, because Forodwaith seems to be explicitly equated with the Northern Waste in one of J.R.R. Tolkien's sketch-maps.[8] The misunderstanding was corrected in his later map known as The West of Middle-earth at the End of the Third Age, where only the name "FORODWAITH" appears, labeling all the blank portion north of the Mountains of Angmar and north of the Grey Mountains.[1] On The Third Map of The Lord of the Rings the label "NORTHERN WASTE" north of the Mountains of Angmar and the Grey Mountains has a label "(FORODWAITH)" just below the first label.

Portrayal in adaptations[edit]

Television[edit]

The Northern Waste from the first episode of The Rings of Power.

2022: The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power:

In the first episode, Galadriel's company investigates a fortress located within the Northern Waste which, according to Amazon Prime's "X-Ray feature", was the home of Snow-trolls, Trolls that had adapted to live within the harsh and cold climates of the North.
In the first episode, Galadriel's company is ambushed by a snow-troll, living within the fortress[note 1][9] that they were investigating.

Notes

  1. The map that Galadriel possesses has two sets of runes. One of which translates to either Dûrnost or Tundorach, possibly the name of the Forodwaith fortress.

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), Unfinished Tales, "The West of Middle-earth at the End of the Third Age" [map]
  2. 2.0 2.1 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 about King Arvedui including the footnote relating to the Snowmen of Forochel, p. 1041
  3. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix B, "The Third Age", entry for the year 1981, p. 1087
  4. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), Unfinished Tales, "The History of Galadriel and Celeborn", "Amroth and Nimrodel"
  5. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Fellowship of the Ring, "The Mirror of Galadriel", pp. 359-360
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix A, "Durin's Folk", p. 1072
  7. 7.0 7.1 J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit, "An Unexpected Party"
  8. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), Unfinished Tales, "Introduction", "The Map of Middle-earth", including the footnote relating to Forodwaith
  9. https://mobile.twitter.com/NosyDr/status/1566860112601534466