Tolkien Gateway

Straight Road

The Grey Havens by John Howe
"...beyond the Door of Days,
where the round world plunges steeply down,
but the old road goes,
as an unseen bridge that on arches runs
to coasts no man knows.
Imram, vv. 105-108

The Straight Road was the route that left the Middle-earth's curvature through sky and space to the ethereal land of Aman.

[edit] History

The Straight Road, so called because it followed the old path across Belegaer from before the Downfall of Númenor when the Flat World was made Round, was only kept open to Elves, who were allowed to sail to it on their ships by a special grace of the Valar.[1]

By the Third Age the Elves would take ships to follow the Straight Road and return to Aman from the Grey Havens or Edhellond.[2]

Some mortals were allowed to take the Straight Road to Aman. Bilbo Baggins and Frodo Baggins sailed into the West on the White Ship.[3] Later Samwise Gamgee and Gimli were also permitted to depart for Aman.[4] Ages later, Ælfwine of England found the Straight Road and visited Tol Eressëa.[5]

[edit] Other writings

Smith appears to have found a conceptually similar road, leading him to the land of "Faery".[6]

[edit] See also

Ambarkanta Diagram III


  1. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Akallabêth: The Downfall of Númenor"
  2. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), Unfinished Tales, "The History of Galadriel and Celeborn", "Amroth and Nimrodel"
  3. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Return of the King, "The Grey Havens"
  4. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix B, "Later Events Concerning the Members of the Fellowship of the Ring"
  5. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Book of Lost Tales Part Two, "VI. The History of Eriol or Ælfwine and the End of the Tales"
  6. J.R.R. Tolkien, Smith of Wootton Major