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  • Updated 22 March 2017
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The Ever-cold

Himring, the hill of Maedhros' fortress

A name given to a wide, bare hill, the tallest of a range of hills running out eastwards from the massif of Dorthonion. The name 'Ever-cold' comes from its exposed position in the regions on the northeastern limit of Beleriand, between the cool land of Himlad to the south and the wide empty plain of Lothlann to the north. The more commonly used Sindarin form of its name was Himring.1

Eastward beyond the Ever-cold hill and its companions, the ranges northward of Beleriand ran down into a gap, the least defensible part of the northern frontier. It was thus that Maedhros chose to fortify the hill, and this entire region of the northern borderlands became known as the March of Maedhros. This fortress on the Hill of Himring survived even the dreadful Dagor Bragollach, and it was from here that Maedhros led his forces to their decisive defeat at the Nirnaeth Arnoediad.

The cataclysm at the end of the First Age caused the Sea to rush across the lands of Beleriand even as far eastward as the Ever-cold hill, and its range was consumed by the waters. Himring itself was tall enough to survive the inrushing ocean, and its flat heights survived into later ages as a small island off the coasts of Lindon, known after this time as Himling.


Notes

1

Actually it should be noted that while this translation seems very likely, it is not completely certain. The individual elements seem to come from Sindarin him 'steadfast, abiding' and ring 'cold', so when Tolkien describes '...the Hill of Himring, the Ever-cold' (Quenta Silmarillion 14, Of Beleriand and its Realms) he seems to be offering a direct translation.

An alternative possibility is given in Christopher Tolkien's linguistic appendix to the Silmarillion, where he tentatively defines the element him as '"cool" in Himlad (and Himring?)'. This would give an interpretation of the name Himring as 'cool-cold': perhaps less likely, but by no means implausible. This appendix was written some years before Christopher Tolkien published The Etymologies in volume 5 of The History of Middle-earth, so perhaps he was simply unaware at the time of the alternative interpretation of him (as essentially 'ever') contained there within the definition for the linguistic root khim-.

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  • Updated 22 March 2017
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