Withered Heath

From Tolkien Gateway
Withered Heath
"Withered Lands" by Douglas Chaffee
General Information
LocationBetween two arms of the eastern Grey Mountains
DescriptionA long valley made barren by dragons
GalleryImages of Withered Heath

The Withered Heath was a dragon-infested valley in the eastern Grey Mountains in northern Rhovanion.


The Withered Heath was a long narrow valley in the eastern part of the Grey Mountains, where they forked into two thin ranges.[1][2] On the floor of this long east-west valley between the mountains was a heath, burned and blackened by its inhabitants, being the breeding-ground of dragons.[3]


At one time the dragons of the Heath had infested the Grey Mountains and the lands beyond, and in the closing decades of the Third Age, the Dragon Smaug terrorised the inhabitants of the north.[4] Smaug was the last of the great dragons, but lesser members of his kind remained.

Other version of the legendarium

In one of the earliest versions of the legendarium, the Withered Heath was the name of the Heath of the Sky-roof, a location of Tol Eressëa near Tavrobel, after a great battle between Men who came to the island.[5]

In the manuscript of The Hobbit, Bladorthin (the pre-cursor to Gandalf) says that the Withered Heath is "where the Great Dragons used to live".[6]

Portrayal in adaptations

1982-97: Middle-earth Role Playing:

The Withered Heath (Quenya Sarch nia Linquelíë) is a volcanic basin covering some 8,600 square miles, home to the Drakes of the Grey Mountains.[7][8]

2018: The Lord of the Rings Online:

The Withered Heath is an area of Ered Mithrin where players can find many Drakes. It is a frigid but geologically active area with sulphur deposits and geysers, and a river running eastward through the middle. In the north-west is the Anvil of Winterstith, a glacier that houses the Frost-horde, an army of dragon-spawn led by Hrímil Frost-Heart, a great Cold-dragon of the ancient days. A servant of Morgoth during the First Age, Hrímil rejected Sauron and earned his enmity by consuming one of the Dwarven Rings of Power.