The Encyclopedia of Arda - an interactive guide to the world of J.R.R. Tolkien
Destroyed at the end of the First Age
Running from the southwestern Encircling Mountains to meet Sirion on the northern edge of the Forest of Brethil
Led to the hidden entrance to Gondolin
At one time flowed out into Sirion


About this entry:

  • Updated 20 March 2014
  • Updates planned: 1

Dry River

The entranceway to Turgon’s realm

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Map of the Dry River

The name given to the dry bed of what had once been a tributary of the River Sirion rising in the Encircling Mountains. At the northern end of its gully lay the entrance to the Hidden City of Gondolin.



The exact location of the river's source is unclear: all we know for sure was that it rose in 'the heart of the mountains' (Of Tuor and his Coming to Gondolin in Unfinished Tales). We do know that the Encircling Mountains had once encircled a vast lake, so it seems plausible that this mountain lake - long since vanished at the time of Gondolin's founding - was the source of the river. The disappearance of this ancient lake would also explain the fact the river had run dry by that time.

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