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Founded in II 3320 or shortly thereafter
Invaded and occupied by the Witch-king in III 19741
The southern end of the North Downs, roughly one hundred miles north from Bree
Founded by Elendil after his escape from the Downfall of Númenor
fo'rnost e'rine (The last syllable of erain rhymes with English 'fine' or 'shine')
fornost means 'north-fortress'; erain translates as 'kings'2.
Other names
'Fornost Erain' was this city's full title, but it is more often referred to simply as 'Fornost'


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  • Updated 26 April 2013
  • Updates planned: 1

Fornost Erain

The city of the Kings of Arthedain

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Map of Fornost

The chief city of Arthedain, and the seat of its Kings from Amlaith to Arvedui. Soon after the loss of the kingdom of Arthedain, the Battle of Fornost was fought there between Gondor and Angmar.



The Witch-king's occupation of Fornost only lasted for a year, after which he was expelled by the forces of Gondor. Nonetheless, the Northern Dúnedain seem to have made no attempt to reoccupy their old capital. Perhaps their numbers were too few after the desperate fighting of the preceding years, or perhaps the Witch-king left too great a residue of evil behind him in the city.

Whatever the reason, Fornost fell into desolation and decay over the next thousand years, and was a mere crumbling ruin at the end of the Third Age. After the War of the Ring, Gandalf predicted that Aragorn would come north and rebuild the city, but it's unclear exactly when this refounding of Fornost took place.


This usage is reflected in the Hobbits' names for the city. Their 'Norbury' was a direct translation of the Elvish Fornost, but they also occasionally referred to it as 'Kings' Norbury' or 'Norbury of the Kings', each of which is a translation of the full Elvish form, Fornost Erain.

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