The Encyclopedia of Arda - an interactive guide to the world of J.R.R. Tolkien
Dates
The Falas was established during the Years of the Trees; its Havens were abandoned in I 473, though their leader Círdan and many of his people survived into the Fourth Age
Location
Occupied the western shorelands of Beleriand, around the mouths of the Rivers Brithon and Nenning
Origins
Teleri persuaded by Ossë to remain by the Sea in Middle-earth
Race
Division
Settlements
Pronunciation
fala'thrim
Meaning
'People of the shore'
Other names

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About this entry:

  • Updated 14 September 2013
  • Updates planned: 1
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The shoreland people of the Falas, who owned Círdan the Shipwright as their Lord. Of Telerin descent, these Elves were persuaded by Ossë to remain in Beleriand when their kin journeyed to Valinor. They established two Havens for themselves on the western shores of Beleriand: Brithombar on the River Brithon, and Eglarest at the mouth of the Nenning, where Círdan had his seat.

The Falathrim thrived in their Havens through the long twilight of the Years of the Trees. They were the first sea-farers in Middle-earth, and became expert mariners. Before the first rising of the Sun, though, Morgoth sent an army of Orcs into West Beleriand, and they came up to the very walls of the Havens of the Falas. Soon afterwards, the returning Noldor drove the Orcs away, and the Elves of the Falas dwelt in peace once more.

Círdan and the Falathrim also played a more active role in the Wars of Beleriand: seven years after the Dagor Bragollach, a great battle was fought in Hithlum between Fingon and the Orcs of Morgoth. The ships of the Falathrim raced to Fingon's defence, and so the Orcs were defeated and the High King saved.

The Falathrim also played their part in the Nirnaeth Arnoediad, where they assembled with the western armies on the slopes of the Ered Wethrin. That great battle turned to disaster, and Morgoth overcame the Elves and took most of the northern lands. The walled cities of the Falathrim became a refuge for the people of Beleriand, and Círdan sent out raiding parties of his own to attack the Orcs wherever he could find them. This respite did not last for long: a year later, Morgoth's armies passed down the valleys of the Brithon and Nenning, and layed siege to the Havens. Both Brithombar and Eglarest were taken, and most of their defenders were slain or captured.

Some few of the Falathrim escaped by ship, including Fingon's son Gil-galad, and Círdan led them south to settle on the Isle of Balar, and at a secret place hidden in the delta of the Mouths of Sirion. That refuge would become the last hope for Elves and Men: as other Elf-kingdoms fell, their survivors gatherered at Sirion's Mouths. At Turgon's bidding, Círdan sent out ships into the Great Sea to seek the aid of the Valar, but all failed. It was from one of those ships, though, that unforeseen hope arose. Voronwë was aboard that ship, and when it was wrecked on the coasts of Nevrast, he met Tuor and led him back to his home in Gondolin. Tuor became the father of Eärendil, and after Gondolin fell to Morgoth, Eärendil escaped to the mariners at the Mouths of Sirion.

Eärendil wed Elwing the daughter of Dior, who bore the Silmaril recovered from Morgoth. Eärendil in turn began his own voyages into the West, but like those before him, he failed each time. In the end, even the last haven of the Falathrim was attacked, not by Morgoth, but by the Sons of Fëanor, driven by their father's Oath. Eärendil was at Sea at that time, returning from a voyage, and Elwing escaped with the Silmaril to join him. Through its power, they were able to make a final journey into the West, a journey that would bring the wrath of the Valar down on Morgoth.


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