The Encyclopedia of Arda - an interactive guide to the world of J.R.R. Tolkien
Dates
Probably built during the early Third Age1
Location
On the East-West Road, crossing the Mitheithel west of Trollshaws
Pronunciation
Mitheithel is pronounced mithay'thel
Meaning
Mitheithel is translated 'Hoarwell'
Other names

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  • Updated 23 April 2011
  • This entry is complete

Bridge of Mitheithel

The Last Bridge across the Hoarwell

Encyclopedia of Arda Timeline
Years of the Trees First Age Second Age Third Age Fourth Age and Beyond
Map of the Bridge of Mitheithel

The three-arched stone bridge that crossed the River Mitheithel, or Hoarwell, far in the east of Eriador. It was the Last Bridge on the East Road before the road reached the Misty Mountains, and the only means of crossing the river between its sources in the cold north and the broken bridge of Tharbad far to the south.

The Bridge's strategic position was important in Frodo's journey to Rivendell. As the only means of crossing the river, the Nazgûl hoped to intercept him here, and three of the Nine Riders lay in wait for the Hobbits. If they had not been driven away by Glorfindel, Frodo's quest would have ended at the Bridge of Mitheithel.

We can be sure that Frodo's uncle Bilbo also used the Bridge on his journey to the Lonely Mountain, years before. Though it's not identified by name, there's a mention of an 'ancient stone bridge' in chapter 2 of The Hobbit, and the location of that bridge seems to match well with the Bridge of Mitheithel.


Notes

1

We have no specific evidence dating the building of this bridge, but we do know that the Dúnedain built at least two other bridges (the Bridge of Stonebows and the Bridge of Tharbad) while the realm of Arnor still held power over the northern lands. The Bridge of Mitheithel seems most likely to have built during the same period.

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