The first lines of Bilbo's
Song of EärendilThe Fellowship of the Ring
II 1Many Meetings
The northern coastlands of the Bay of Balar, lying between Cape Balar to the west and the Mouths of Sirion to the east. The inland part of this region was famed for the white birchwoods of Nimbrethil.
Arvernien was the most southerly habitable part of the mainland of Beleriand, and thus the furthest from Morgoth's influence. This became important late in the First Age, when refugees from Doriath and Gondolin gathered there, especially in the east at the Mouths of Sirion. Eärendil became the lord of these people, and it was from the birchwoods of Arvernien that he gathered the timbers to make his ship Vingilot.
The -vernien element of this land's name is almost certainly a reference to the forests it contained (though The Etymologies in volume 5 of The History of Middle-earth translates ferni as 'beeches', the Elves seem to have also used the word for the closely related birch tree). So, -vernien can be read as '(land) of birches', which is surely a reference to the birchwoods of Nimbrethil. The ar- element is less certain: it may imply that the birches of this region were particularly maginificent, or it may imply 'outside' (so Arvernien would be the 'land outside Nimbrethil').
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