Vales of Anduin
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The Vales of Anduin was the collective name for the large valley of the Anduin, specifically the part east of the Misty Mountains. It is where the Gladden River meets the Anduin and forms the Gladden Fields. Throughout history, it had been occupied by Elves, Men and Hobbits.
In the First Age, the Eldar settled east of the river Anduin during the Great Journey, and founded the land of Atyamar, which however was sometime later was afflicted by evil weather and destroyed their homes. The Teleri who were too afraid to cross the Misty Mountains stopped there. They became the Nandor. Later they were joined by the Avari, specifically the Penni, who came west. But eventually some of them left the Vales for the west.
Near the end of the First Age, the Vales were occupied by Edain, the ancestors of the Northmen. Those were in confederation with the Dwarves of Khazad-dûm and the Longbeards and provided food in return for Dwarven weapons and precious items. This cooperation continued until the War of the Elves and Sauron, when the Dwarves closed themselves in their mountains and the Men were scattered.
After the disastrous Battle of the Plains, some Northmen were gathered under the leadership of Marhwini son of Marhari, who led them north between Anduin and Mirkwood, eventually settling in the Vales of Anduin between the Carrock and the Gladden Fields. They were joined by many fugitives who came through Mirkwood. This was the birth of the Éothéod.
At the end of the second age Woodmen also came forth to destroy the Orcs who had ambushed Isildur on his return from Gondor. At the end of the third age the middle of Greenwood the Great was granted to the same Woodmen. Just before the War of the Ring the Woodmen also aided the elves in the hunt for Gollum.
Sometime during the Third Age the Hobbits migrated to the Vales of Anduin from an unknown earlier location; the Vales are their first known location before eventually the Shadow of Dol Guldur fell on Greenwood. The Harfoots left for the west in T.A. 1050 and began their Wandering Days. When Angmar threatened Eriador, some of the Stoors would return to the east and around T.A. 1356 settled in the Gladden Fields.
Once a fair and fertile land, it became a dangerous area, beleaguered by the creatures of the Necromancer at Dol Guldur. However, when the evil Kingdom of Angmar was destroyed in T.A. 1975, freeing up land to the north, Frumgar led the Éothéod to the vale between the rivers Greylin and Langwell, where they built a city.
Around the time of Cirion (c. T.A. 2500) the Balchoth, a tribe of Easterlings east of Mirkwood, often made raids through the forest and attacked the Vales until the southern vale was largely deserted. By T.A. 2510 the Balchoth were continuously reinforced from the east, building great boats and rafts on the east shores of Anduin. They swarmed over the River and swept away the defenders but were defeated by the Gondorians and the Éothéod.
In the later years before the War of the Ring, few Northmen dwelt on the shores between the Gladden and Rauros, such as the Beornings. During Grimbeorn's time, the High Pass and the Ford of Carrock were kept open and no Orc or Wolf dared to enter his land.
- J.R.R. Tolkien, Carl F. Hostetter (ed.), The Nature of Middle-earth, "Part One. Time and Ageing: VII. The March of the Quendi", pp. 50-51
- J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Quenta Silmarillion: Of the Coming of the Elves and the Captivity of Melkor"
- J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Peoples of Middle-earth, "X. Of Dwarves and Men", "Notes", #67
- J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Peoples of Middle-earth, "Of Dwarves and Men"
- J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), Unfinished Tales, "Cirion and Eorl and the Friendship of Gondor and Rohan", (i) The Northmen and the Wainriders, note 8
- J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix B, "The Third Age"
- J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix A, "The House of Eorl"
- J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix A, "The Númenorean Kings", "Gondor and the Heirs of Anárion", "The Stewards"
- J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix F, "The Languages and Peoples of the Third Age"
- J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Fellowship of the Ring, "Many Meetings"
- J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Fellowship of the Ring, "The Council of Elrond"