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


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  • Updated 21 April 2011
  • Updates planned: 2

Northern Waste

The icy north of Middle-earth

The little-known lands in the far north of Middle-earth, covered in ice and snow. They lay beyond a natural barrier formed by the northern reaches of the Misty Mountains and the Grey Mountains. There, an isolated people known as the Forodwaith dwelt and developed their own ways of surviving the bitter cold. By the middle of the Third Age only a remnant of these people remained, known as the Lossoth or Snowmen.

After the fall of Arthedain, Arvedui Last-king fled across the mountains into the Northern Waste, and was aided by the Lossoth he found there. When an elven-ship came to rescue the King, the Snowmen were afraid, having heard only tales of such things. In their fear, they warned Arvedui to remain on land, but nonetheless he went aboard. As the ship sailed back towards open water, a sudden storm came down, and the last King of Arthedain was lost in the icy waters of Forochel.

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