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


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  • Updated 15 February 2017
  • Updates planned: 2

Land of the Elves

The land west of the Blue Mountains

A name that might in principle apply to any of numerous realms of the Elves throughout history, but in practice is used to describe Beleriand and its surrounding regions. This was a wide western land beyond the Blue Mountains in the northwest of Middle-earth, filled with realms and cities ruled by the Elves. Some of these realms, most importantly the forest kingdom of Doriath, were the domain of the Sindar who had settled there at the end of the Great Journey. When the Noldor returned to Middle-earth, they too established homes for themselves, notably in the northern land of Hithlum that was the seat of their High King.

The Land of the Elves was confronted to the North by Morgoth's land of Dor Daedeloth, and in the last centuries of the First Age the Dark Lord's armies pushed southwards against the Elves and their allies the Edain. The Elf-realms were consumed one by one, until the wide Land of the Elves was reduced to a few pockets of survivors. In the War of Wrath that followed, the Valar sent their forces against Morgoth, and that cataclysmic war saw Beleriand sunk beneath the waves of the Sea. In later Ages, then, only a fringe of land survived beyond the Blue Mountains. Nonetheless this small shoreland realm, Lindon, would remain a Land of the Elves until at least the end of the Third Age.

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