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Christopher Tolkien - Ossiriand.jpg
General information
Other namesLand of Seven Rivers, Lindon
LocationEastern Beleriand, between the Ered Luin and Gelion
RegionsDor Firn-i-Guinar
LanguageNandorin, Sindarin
GovernanceDenethor (Y.T. 1350 - Y.T. 1497)
FoundedY.T. 1350
Arrival of Beren and LúthienF.A. 469
Destruction of BeleriandF.A. 587
Foundation of LindonS.A. 1[1]
Followed byLindon
GalleryImages of Ossiriand

Ossiriand was a region of eastern Beleriand bounded by the River Gelion on the west, the River Ascar on the north, the Ered Luin on the east, and the River Adurant on the south.[2] It was a wooded region with many elm trees.[3] It survived the drowning of Beleriand in the War of Wrath, and was afterwards known solely as Lindon.

History[edit | edit source]

In the Elder Days, a green, forested and little-peopled region in easternmost Beleriand[note 1] at the western feet of the Blue Mountains was named Ossiriand ("Land of Seven Rivers") by the Sindar.[4][5]

In the early First Age before the rise of the Moon,[6] a part of the Telerin Elven people called Nandor entered Ossiriand under their leader Denethor, and were given permission by Thingol to settle the lands. These Nandor clad themselves in raiment the colour of leaves, and thus became known as the Green-elves.[7]

The woodcraft of the Elves of Ossiriand grew great, and they could remain unseen by those who might pass through their land. The Noldor could hear their singing from across the river Gelion, and named the country Lindon, the land of music.[8]

Thingol called upon Denethor for aid after being assailed by Orcs, and Denethor led a group of Elves from Ossiriand and joined in the First Battle of Beleriand. Denethor's people were lightly armed and no match for the Orcs. Although the Elves had the victory, Denethor and many of the Elves that followed him from Ossiriand were slain. Those that returned to Ossiriand brought tidings of fear, and the Green-elves went never again to open war. Many fled to Doriath and joined Thingol's people there, and those remaining in Ossiriand took to secrecy and chose no more kings.[7][9]

Finrod Felagund, a lord of the Noldor, visited Ossiriand at times, and befriended the Green-elves.[7] In the days of the Long Peace, he crossed into Ossiriand and discovered a camp of Men in a valley there, led by Bëor the Old. Felagund went among them, and learned that more Men were also journeying westward. The Green-elves were troubled by the coming of Men into their land, and upon their request Felagund advised Bëor to relocate his people. The people of Bëor obliged and removed to Estolad in the lands of Amrod and Amras.[10]

In the following centuries of the First Age, Ossiriand suffered little from the Battles of Beleriand. Following the Dagor Bragollach and the breaking of the Siege of Angband, some of the Grey-elves fled to Ossiriand. Caranthir, Amrod, and Amras maintained a watch on Amon Ereb with the help of the Green-elves, and Orcs came not into Ossiriand.[11] After the return of Beren and Lúthien from the dead, they crossed into Ossiriand and stayed in Dor Firn-i-Guinar on Tol Galen, an island located in the river Adurant.[12] After the death of Thingol, the Dwarves of Nogrod tried to return home with the treasure of Menegroth; but they were waylaid by Beren, leading an army of Green-elves of Ossiriand. The Dwarves were slain, or fled and were driven by Ents into the woods of the Ered Luin. The treasure was cast into the River Ascar.[13]

As a result of the War of Wrath, much of Beleriand sank, and the Ered Luin were broken, allowing the Sea to flow through and form the Gulf of Lhûn. Ossiriand, which remained above the sea, was ever afterwards called Lindon.[1]

For its later history, see Lindon.

Geography[edit | edit source]

The Land of Seven Rivers lay between the River Gelion and the Blue Mountains. It was so named because Gelion and its six tributaries watered the lands. The Seven Rivers were, from north to south:[5]

  1. River Gelion
  2. River Ascar or Rathlóriel
  3. River Thalos
  4. River Legolin
  5. River Brilthor
  6. River Duilwen
  7. River Adurant, with Tol Galen

North of Ossiriand lay the land of Thargelion, and south of the river Adurant later lay Dor Firn-i-Guinar. Along the northern shore of the Ascar ran the Dwarf-road to Nogrod.

Etymology[edit | edit source]

Ossiriand is Sindarin, meaning "the Land of Seven Rivers"[14] (alternatively "Land of Seven Streams"[15]).

Other versions of the legendarium[edit | edit source]

Early names used by J.R.R. Tolkien for this region were Ossiriande,[16] Assariad and Ossiriath.[17]

Ossiriand appears for the first time in a list of names jotted down "on a page of rough working for the opening of the Lay" (of Leithian). These names were composed when Tolkien was probably looking to replace the name Broseliand (later Beleriand).[16]


  1. While Tolkien stated that Ossiriand was a part of Beleriand, he wrote in a manuscript that it "was regarded as a separate country". (J.R.R. Tolkien, "Tengwesta Qenderinwa and Pre-Fëanorian Alphabets Part 2", in Parma Eldalamberon XVIII (edited by Christopher Gilson, Arden R. Smith, and Patrick H. Wynne), p. 79)


  1. 1.0 1.1 J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Of the Rings of Power and the Third Age"
  2. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Map of Beleriand and the Lands to the North"
  3. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Two Towers, "Treebeard"
  4. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The War of the Jewels, "Part Four. Quendi and Eldar: C. The Clan-names, with notes on other names for divisions of the Eldar", p. 385
  5. 5.0 5.1 J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The War of the Jewels, "The Grey Annals": §1350, p. 13
  6. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), Morgoth's Ring, "Part Three. The Later Quenta Silmarillion: (I) The First Phase: 3. Of the Coming of the Elves", p. 164 (§29)
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Quenta Silmarillion: Of the Sindar"
  8. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Quenta Silmarillion: Of Beleriand and its Realms"
  9. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Lost Road and Other Writings, "Part Two: Valinor and Middle-earth before The Lord of the Rings, VI. Quenta Silmarillion", p. 263 (§114)
  10. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Quenta Silmarillion: Of the Coming of Men into the West"
  11. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Quenta Silmarillion: Of the Ruin of Beleriand and the Fall of Fingolfin"
  12. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Quenta Silmarillion: Of the Fifth Battle: Nirnaeth Arnoediad"
  13. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Quenta Silmarillion: Of the Ruin of Doriath"
  14. 14.0 14.1 J.R.R. Tolkien, "Words, Phrases and Passages in Various Tongues in The Lord of the Rings", in Parma Eldalamberon XVII (edited by Christopher Gilson), p. 81
  15. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Shaping of Middle-earth, "III. The Quenta: [Section] 10", p. 116
  16. 16.0 16.1 J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Lays of Beleriand, "III. The Lay of Leithian: Canto I (Of Thingol)", pp. 158-160
  17. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Shaping of Middle-earth, "IV. The First 'Silmarillion' Map: The Eastward Extension", p. 233
Amon Ereb Thargelion Nogrod
Taur-im-Duinath WindRose3.pngEred Luin

Seven Rivers of Ossiriand
Gelion · Ascar · Thalos · Legolin · Brilthor · Duilwen · Adurant