Old South Road

From Tolkien Gateway
This article is about the extension of the Greenway. For the the road of Beleriand, see Old South Road (Beleriand).

The Old South Road, was the name of the extension of the North Road (later Greenway) beyond Tharbad and into Enedwaith.[1]

It formed the great North-South Road that once led to Gondor.[2][3] However several disasters that struck Eriador during the Third Age, including the dissolution of Arnor and the abandonment of Tharbad, made traffic between the former Two Realms scarce; the route was all but lost by the end of the Age.[1]

Other versions of the legendarium[edit | edit source]

The name "Old South Road" appears only in the original General Map of Middle-earth, as an extension of the Greenway to the south beyond Tharbad. After Tharbad, its line is dotted and disappears, suggesting (along with the name "Old") that it was perhaps ruined by the later Third Age and didn't go beyond Enedwaith. The road and the name also appears on Pauline Baynes's A Map of Middle-earth.

While editing the Unfinished Tales, Christopher Tolkien drew The West of Middle-earth at the End of the Third Age. In that map he "restores" by extrapolating the whole course of the Great Road, joining the interrupted lines.[4] The label "Old South Road" disappears however, and is replaced by the more general label "North-South Road", which refers to the whole restored route.[2]