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Dates
Established at some point before the Dagor Bragollach of I 455;1 destroyed by the Sons of Fëanor in I 538
Location
Origins
Began as a hidden foothold maintained by Círdan of the Falas
Races
Cultures
Numerous, but notably Elves of Doriath, Falathrim and Gondolindrim
Outflow
The river Sirion flowed into the Great Sea through a delta that surrounded the Havens
Pronunciation
Sirion is pronounced 'see'reeon'
Meaning
Sirion means 'great river'
Other names
No canonical Elvish names are recorded2

Indexes:

About this entry:

  • Updated 11 January 2020
  • Updates planned: 1

Havens of Sirion

Last refuge of the Elves of Beleriand

The sandy reed-beds of the Mouths of Sirion had been home to settlements of the Sindar from their earliest days in Beleriand, and though Círdan ruled his seafaring Falathrim from the Havens of the Falas further north along the coasts, he long maintained a secret outpost and fleet of small vessels among the tall reeds of Sirion's delta. These were the first beginnings of the Havens of Sirion.

It was after the Dagor Bragollach that Círdan's hidden outpost began to gain in importance. Turgon sent envoys from Gondolin there to sail into the West in search of Valinor, though none succeeded. Soon after the Nirnaeth Arnoediad, Círdan's Havens to the north were overrun and destroyed. His ships fled south with many of his people aboard, and they settled at the Havens of Sirion and on the Isle of Balar to the southwest. Turgon again sent mariners from the Havens of Sirion to seek the aid of the Valar, but again they failed.

Ultimately even Turgon's kingdom fell to the forces of Morgoth, but because of the friendship between Gondolin and Círdan, the survivors of that fallen realm travelled southwards under the leadership of Tuor, and founded a settlement of their own at the Mouths of Sirion. As disaster after disaster befell the Elves and Edain of Beleriand, more refugees came southwards to join Tuor and his people, including the survivors of the Ruin of Doriath, and other Elves and Men from far and wide.

For a time, the Havens at the Mouths of Sirion remained peaceful, and after Tuor departed, his son Eärendil became the lord of that people. It was at that time that the poet Dírhavel, who lived among the settlers, wrote the epic lay known as the Narn i Chîn Húrin. As the years passed, Eärendil himself travelled far and wide on the Great Sea, seeking a way into the West as the mariners of his grandfather Turgon had done.

The peace of the Havens was broken at last by the four remaining Sons of Fëanor. Eärendil's wife Elwing was the bearer of a Silmaril that her ancestors Beren and Lúthien had recovered from Morgoth's Crown. Fëanor's sons laid claim to this, and launched a fierce attack on the Havens of Sirion. Elwing herself escaped, and was carried out to sea by the power of Ulmo. So she brought the Silmaril to Eärendil, and through the power of the Jewel they found their way to the land of the Valar.

Of the Havens that they left behind, little more is known. It is clear that the fighting there was fierce, and of the Sons of Fëanor both Amrod and Amras were slain in the battle. The settlement itself presumably survived for a time, but soon afterwards, in answer to Eärendil's prayer, the host of the Valar came against Morgoth in the far north. Their assault broke the lands of Beleriand: the River Sirion and its Mouths were drowned beneath the Sea, and with that the last of the Havens of the First Age came to an end.


Notes

1

Dating the establishment of the Havens of Sirion is difficult, especially as they seem to have evolved over time from a simple refuge into a full settlement. Going back to the most ancient times, the Teleri dwelt by the Mouths of Sirion, and this tradition was maintained by Círdan into the later part of the First Age (though it is unclear whether the area was permanently inhabited during this long period). Círdan's main Havens were at Brithombar and Eglarest, but he maintained a presence at the Mouths of Sirion, and fled there after the fall of the Falas. We know that Turgon of Gondolin maintained contact with him there, and this seems to have been the beginning of the Havens of Sirion as a place of refuge for Elves from across Beleriand.

2

In The Lost Tales (volume II of The History of Middle-earth), the lands at the Mouths of Sirion are variously known as Arlisgion ('place of reeds') or Lisgardh ('land of reeds'). These names come from the very earliest phase of Tolkien's writing, and don't recur in later versions.

According to an early name-list given in volume V of The History of Middle-earth, the settlement at the Mouths of Sirion was known as Siriombar, but that name doesn't reappear in any later writing. Indeed, the Silmarillion offers no Elvish name for the Havens of Sirion or the land where they lay.

Indexes:

About this entry:

  • Updated 11 January 2020
  • Updates planned: 1

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