The Encyclopedia of Arda - an interactive guide to the world of J.R.R. Tolkien


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  • Updated 13 February 2007
  • Updates planned: 2


The mountain-field of Dunharrow

A wide, flat field of grassland high in the White Mountains. It lay to the south of Edoras, above the stream of the river Snowbourn, and was surrounded by mountain-peaks: the Starkhorn to the south, the Dwimorberg to the east, and the Irensaga to the north. Across the field marched a double row of ancient and worn standing stones, marking the road that led eastwards into the Dimholt forest, and on to the Dwimorberg, the Haunted Mountain.

The only road leading to the Firienfeld was a steep and difficult path leading up the face of a cliff, making it a highly defensible location. After the foundation of Rohan, the Firienfeld was used as a mountain refuge, known as Dunharrow. The field's name in fact comes from the language of the Rohirrim (ultimately deriving from the Old English word for 'mountain').

The word firien also appears in other placenames, such as the Halifirien and Firien Wood that stood on the eastern borders of Rohan, far from the Firienfeld. Actually, in the first drafts of The Lord of the Rings, the Firienfeld, mountain and wood were all associated together at Dunharrow, but later revisions and renamings saw Tolkien's conceptions shift. In the final text of The Lord of the Rings, most of these 'Firien' place-names had moved to the east, but the Firienfeld remained rooted among mountains south of Edoras.

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