From Tolkien Gateway

The Poros was a river in the south of Gondor.

Course[edit | edit source]

Approximately 200 miles long, the Poros began in the Ephel Dúath of Mordor and then flowed south-west for about 150 miles, when it bent to the north-west and met the Anduin just before the Anduin began its delta. The Poros was crossed by the Harad Road.[1]

History[edit | edit source]

The Poros formed the northern border of the region of Harondor (South Gondor), and the southern border of Ithilien. During the later Third Age it was the effective southern border of Gondor.

Around T.A. 1944 some Haradrim had crossed the Poros to South Ithilien, but they were defeated by the Southern Army.[2]

In T.A. 2885, the Haradrim crossed the Poros and invaded Ithilien with great strength. Reinforced by Rohan, Steward Túrin II won a victory at the crossings of Poros, though the Rohirrim princes Fastred and Folcred were slain.[3] The Haudh in Gwanûr was made where the Poros was crossed by the Harad Road.[4]

Etymology[edit | edit source]

The meaning of the name Poros is unknown.[5]

See also: ros

Other versions of the legendarium[edit | edit source]

A map that was drawn by J.R.R. Tolkien after the First Map of The Lord of the Rings carries a note where "Boundary" is written after Poros. Other rivers except the Anduin and the Poros on this note are either under a a heading "From East" or under a heading "From West", which probably refers to on which side of the river Anduin in Gondor they are located.[6] This probably means that the river Poros was at the boundary of Gondor.

Karen Wynn Fonstad speculated in The Atlas of Middle-earth that the Sea of Helcar drained into the Great Gulf, and that Poros is what remained of the narrow region called the Straits of the World that once separated the Sea from the Gulf. Fonstand's interpretation was predicated on the ideas that Mordor did not exist in the First Age, and its location in the Second and later Ages overlapped the area occupied by the Sea of Helcar in the First Age.[7]

However, in The Peoples of Middle-earth (which was published after Fonstand's Atlas), Melkor was said to have created Mount Doom in Mordor during the "long First Age".[8] Additionally, it is told in Unfinished Tales that the migration of the Drúedain from Hildórien brought them westward through lands south of Mordor, and that they became the first Men to cross the Anduin.[9]


  1. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Return of the King, "Map of Rohan, Gondor, and Mordor"
  2. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix A, "The Númenorean Kings", "Gondor and the Heirs of Anárion"
  3. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix A, "The House of Eorl", "The Kings of the Mark"
  4. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix A, "The Númenorean Kings", "Gondor and the Heirs of Anárion", "The Stewards"
  5. The Poros and the Bosphorus at Lingwë.blogspot.com (accessed 12 October 2011)
  6. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Treason of Isengard, "XV. The First Map of The Lord of the Rings", "The original element in the First Map", p. 312
  7. Karen Wynn Fonstad (1991), The Atlas of Middle-earth, p.37
  8. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Peoples of Middle-earth, "XIII. Last Writings", p.390 (note 14)
  9. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), Unfinished Tales, "The Drúedain", pp. 339-340