The Encyclopedia of Arda - an interactive guide to the world of J.R.R. Tolkien
Dates
Destroyed at the end of the First Age
Location
On the river Gelion, a little northward of the inflow of Ascar
Origins
Apparently established as part of the Dwarf-road from the Blue Mountains
Race
Used especially by Dwarves
Culture
Tributaries
Above the inflow of Ascar, first of the six rivers of Ossiriand to flow into Gelion
Other names

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About this entry:

  • Updated 17 September 2017
  • This entry is complete

Ford of Stones

Sarn Athrad on Gelion

Map of the Ford of Stones

A ford that crossed the wide river Gelion just to the north of the inflow of Ascar. Its Elvish name was Sarn Athrad, of which 'Ford of Stones' is a direct translation. It marked the point where the Dwarf-road out of the Blue Mountains crossed into East Beleriand and led on westwards towards the forest kingdom Doriath. At least on the eastern side of the ford, the banks of Gelion rose relatively steeply from the river, and were covered with fairly dense woodland.1

The Ford of Stones is notable as the place of an important battle. The Dwarves had passed across the ford to Menegroth for centuries, but a time came when Thingol commissioned them to reforge the Nauglamír, mounting it with a Silmaril. The Dwarves were so filled with desire for the reforged Necklace that they slew King Thingol and escaped with his treasures, but as they fled back across the Ford of Stones they were intercepted by Beren and the Green-elves. The treasure was reclaimed, but the Lord of Nogrod, leader of the Dwarves, cursed it. Beren drowned most of the cursed hoard in the waters of Ascar, but the Silmaril was saved and would later pass into the West with Eärendil.


Notes

1

The Ford is not described in detail, but from the name 'Ford of Stones' we can infer that the shallows of Gelion were filled with stones or gravel at this point. The tale of the battle that took place there also gives us a handful of clues to its geography. The Dwarves crossing it eastward were weighed down by the treasure they carried and struggled to climb the eastern bank, implying that it was rather more than a gentle slope, and they were ambushed by a force of archers concealed in woodland, showing that the eastern side of the Ford must have been relatively densely forested.

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About this entry:

  • Updated 17 September 2017
  • This entry is complete

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