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  • Updated 23 August 2004
  • Updates planned: 2

Shadowy Seas

The seas to the east of Aman

That part of the Great Sea that lay closest to the shores of the Blessed Realm, to the immediate east of Tol Eressëa and the Bay of Eldamar. After the Flight of the Noldor and the first rising of the Moon, the Valar elected to shield their realm from the outside world. They meshed these seas with a bewildering shadow - the source of their name - and created a chain of Enchanted Isles, each of which had the power to ensnare any mariner braving this region. Throughout the centuries that followed, no ship reached the shores of Aman, until Eärendil the Mariner finally succeeded in passing through the shadows of the Shadowy Seas.


It's perhaps notable that neither the Shadowy Seas nor the Enchanted Isles seem to have been a concern after the end of the First Age. Indeed, during the Second Age, the Eldar of Eressëa were able to sail to Númenor and back without any apparently difficulties. Númenor's last King, Ar-Pharazôn, was even able to sail a fleet against Aman itself - precisely the kind of assault that the defences of the Shadowy Seas were intended to prevent.

The fact that vessels could apparently cross freely between Númenor and Aman in this period could to be taken to imply that the Valar had removed the Shadowy Seas and the Enchanted Isles at the end of the First Age. With Morgoth finally defeated, these defences no longer served any obvious purpose, so the idea of their abandonment does not seem wholly implausible. We have, however, no specific record of the Shadowy Seas being removed, nor indeed any record of them at all, after the end of the First Age.


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About this entry:

  • Updated 23 August 2004
  • Updates planned: 2

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