The Encyclopedia of Arda - an interactive guide to the world of J.R.R. Tolkien
In the Great Sea, bordered to the north by Gondor and the east by the Harad and Umbar
Primarily Men (though Edhellond was at one time maintained by Elves)
Dol Amroth, Edhellond and Umbar stood on its coasts; Linhir and Pelargir were on rivers flowing directly into the Bay
The Great River Anduin emptied into the Bay at Ethir Anduin, as did the Gondorian rivers of Lefnui, Ringló and Serni, as well as Harnen beyond South Gondor
Belfalas is pronounced 'be'lfalas'
The meaning of Belfalas is open to question1
Other names
Also known (at least in poetic sources) as the 'Bay of Bel'


About this entry:

  • Updated 12 August 2013
  • Updates planned: 1

Bay of Belfalas

The great bay to the south of Gondor

Bay of Belfalas

A bay of the Great Sea lying to the south of Gondor, within whose waters stood the island of Tolfalas; the River Anduin flowed into the Bay.



This great Bay took its name from the Gondorian region of Belfalas, which formed a prominent part of its northern coastline. Tolkien originally gave a simple Sindarin derivation for this name, meaning 'steep shore'. In later writings, however, he cast some doubt on this: while -falas 'surf-washed shore' is consistent, he suggested that Bel- actually came from an older tongue and itself also meant 'wave-washed shore'. By this later interpretation Belfalas essentially means 'shore shore', combining two different languages. Reduplication of elements like this is not in fact uncommon in real place-names.

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