The Encyclopedia of Arda - an interactive guide to the world of J.R.R. Tolkien
Destroyed in the War of Wrath at the end of the First Age
The central parts of Beleriand, flowing for the most part through Doriath
Two streams flowing south out of the Ered Gorgoroth
Into the Sirion on Doriath's western borders
'hidden river'1


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  • Updated 12 July 2016
  • Updates planned: 1

River Esgalduin

The river that flowed through Doriath

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Map of the river Esgalduin

A major tributary of the Sirion, which rose in the dark heights of the Ered Gorgoroth, and flowed southwestward to meet the Sirion on the western borders of Doriath. It marked the boundary between the forests of Neldoreth and Region.



In his Appendix to The Silmarillion, Christopher Tolkien explains the element esgal- as 'screen, hiding', but doesn't explain why this would apply to the Esgalduin. It would be natural to associate the name with Doriath's being known as the 'Hidden Kingdom', but in fact this does not seem to be correct. Actually, the Esgalduin seems to have taken its name from the dense forests it ran through, whose branches and leaves veiled the river from sight. This interpretation comes from The Etymologies (The History of Middle-earth Volume 5, The Lost Road and Other Writings III).

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