Cormallen - Literature - Geography - Natural Features

Natural Features

See also: List of Middle-earth rivers
A peninsula in the south-west of Gondor; the name translates from Sindarin as "long cape" and is also given an alternative in some of Tolkien's works, Ras Morthil with the meaning either "cape of dark sheen" or "cape of dark horn". Nominally part of Gondor, Andrast was not populated by the Númenóreans, but colonies of the Drúedain were believed to have survived in the mountains of the cape since the First Age, and the northern parts of the peninsula were known as Drúwaith Iaur.
Pinnath Gelin
Hills in the west of the kingdom, between the White Mountains and Anfalas; the name means "green ridges". Before the Battle of the Pelennor Fields, "three hundreds of gallant green-clad men" came from this land to Minas Tirith.
A hill near the sources of river Morthond, upon which Isildur set the Black Stone brought by him to Middle-earth from Númenor. Local tribes, descendants of the from the same ancient stock as the Haladin and the Dunlendings (so are distant kin of the Dúnedain), swore allegiance to Isildur on the Stone, but proved treacherous and were cursed by him, remaining as wraiths after their deaths and becoming known as the Dead Men of Dunharrow. The Hill of Erech was their trysting-place, and consequently the land around it remained unsettled, until after the Dead had been summoned to the Stone by Aragorn, fulfilled their oath and had been permitted by him to pass in peace. Erech is stated to be untranslatable as deriving from a language of pre-Númenórean inhabitants.
A deep cleft on the southern side of the White Mountains, from which sprang the Morthond. Christopher Tolkien stated that the name, which means "black valley", was given to it "not only because of the two high mountains between which it lay, but because through it passed the road from the Gate of the Dead Men, and living men did not go there".
Tarlang's Neck
A narrow pass in the branch of the White Mountains that separated the Morthond Vale in the west from Lamedon in the east. The word tarlang means "stiff neck" in Sindarin, and was stated by Tolkien to have originally been the name of the mountain ridge, later interpreted by folk as a personal name.
The "vales of Tumladen and Lossarnach" appear in The Lord of the Rings as the target of the southward road from Minas Tirith, before it reaches Lebennin. Nothing more is revealed of the former place, the name of which means "level vale" and is also used of the Vale of Gondolin from The Silmarillion.
Imloth Melui
A place noted by the character Ioreth in The Lord of the Rings for exceptionally fragrant roses growing there, possibly located in her homeland of Lossarnach. A Tolkien researcher H. K. Fauskanger has interpreted the name as "lovely flower-vale".
Drúadan Forest
Pine-woods that covered outskirts of the White Mountains in east Anórien, south of the Great West Road. Its name, which is a partial translation of Sindarin Tawar-in-Drúedain, derives from the fact that the forest was populated by the Drúedain or the Wild Men, who survived here since the First Age and shunned the Númenóreans. The Forest was made by Aragorn after his crowning into an independent state under Gondor's protection.
Stonewain Valley
A long narrow cleft in the northern outskirts of the White Mountains, running east-west behind a ridge that connected the hills of Amon Dîn, Eilenach and Nardol and was covered by the Drúadan Forest. The floor of the valley was levelled by the Gondorians in their early days, and a wain-road was made to transport stone from quarries to Minas Tirith, but by the end of the Third Age it became neglected and overgrown. In the narrative of The Lord of the Rings, the westward target of the road appears as Min-Rimmon, but elsewhere it is stated that the valley ended at Nardol, where the quarries were located, and Christopher Tolkien showed that the former statement may be erroneous. The name of the valley is also given in Sindarin as Imrath Gondraich.
Grey Wood
"Wide grey thickets" that grew at the eastern end of the Stonewain Valley, between Amon Dîn and the White Mountains. During the War of the Ring they provided a cover for the Rohirrim army on their passage from behind Amon Dîn to the Pelennor Fields.
An island in the Great Sea close to the Mouths of Anduin, locked between two capes in Belfalas and South Gondor. Its name is derived from Sindarin toll "island" and falas "shore". According to one of Tolkien's outlines, Tolfalas was originally a far greater island, but in the floods following the Downfall of Númenor it "was almost destroyed, and was left at last like a barren and lonely mountain in the water".
Emyn Arnen
A mass of hills at the centre of Ithilien, standing opposite to Minas Tirith across Anduin and around which the river made a bend. From this place originated the line of later Stewards of Gondor, and after the War of the Ring the Lordship of the hills was granted to Faramir, Prince of Ithilien and Steward to the King Elessar. The element arnen in the name was stated by Tolkien to have been of pre-Númenórean origin, while emyn is a Sindarin word for "hills".
Cair Andros
An island in the middle of the river Anduin, around 40 miles (64 km) north of Osgiliath. Its name means "ship of long-foam", given because "the isle was shaped like a great ship, with a high prow pointing north, against which the white foam of Anduin broke on sharp rocks". Cair Andros was one of the two major crossing sites of the great river Anduin, the other being the fords in Osgiliath further south. South of Osgiliath the river became too wide to cross, and north of Cair Andros the river turned into impassable marshlands where it was joined by the tributary river Entwash. Thus, Cair Andros was of vital strategic importance during the centuries of conflict with Mordor to the east. Cair Andros was used as a stronghold already at the time of the Kin-strife, and it was "fortified again" to defend Anórien after Ithilien fell to orcs of Mordor.
The garrison at Cair Andros was maintained until the War of the Ring, but it was defeated and the isle overrun shortly before the Battle of the Pelennor Fields. Later Aragorn, on his march to the Black Gate, sent a small group of soldiers to retake the island. After the fall of Sauron, Cair Andros served as a transit point during the preparations for the feast at the Field of Cormallen.
Henneth Annûn
A hidden outpost in Northern Ithilien, founded by the command of Steward Túrin II shortly after T.A. 2901 and maintained the longest of such refuges. Hobbits Frodo and Sam were temporarily brought here by Faramir during the events of The Lord of the Rings. The name of the refuge, which means "window of the sunset" in Sindarin, is derived from the fact that it was formed by a cave behind a west-facing waterfall, the "Window-curtain", stated to have been the "fairest of the falls of Ithilien". The cave had been excavated by the stream that fed the cascade, which had since been diverted by the men of Gondor to fall from doubled height; the tunnel had been sealed, except for a concealed entrance along the brink of a deep pool beneath the waterfall.
A wide green field in Ithilien close to the Henneth Annûn, where the celebrations after the final defeat of Sauron were held. According to Christopher Tolkien, its name means "golden circle" and refers to the culumalda trees that surrounded it.
Emyn Muil
Hills on the course of Anduin, equally distant from Mirkwood and the White Mountains. They were fortified by Gondorians to serve as their north-eastern defence, with the watchtowers built on the hills of Amon Hen and Amon Lhaw on opposite banks of the river, and the Gates of Argonath constructed at the northern entrance into the straits of Anduin as a warning to trespassers.

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