The Encyclopedia of Arda - an interactive guide to the world of J.R.R. Tolkien
Dates
Destroyed in the War of Wrath at the end of the First Age
Location
The lands between the Great Sea and the River Sirion, containing the Falas, the realm of Nargothrond and the Forest of Brethil
Settlements
Important peaks
Pronunciation
'Beleriand' is pronounced 'bele'riand'

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About this entry:

  • Updated 15 January 2012
  • This entry is complete

West Beleriand

The lands west of the Sirion

Encyclopedia of Arda Timeline
Years of the Trees First Age Second Age Third Age Fourth Age and Beyond
Map of West Beleriand

A broad term for the lands of Beleriand westward of the river Sirion. The dominant power in this area was Nargothrond, whose realm stretched far and wide from Finrod's great underground stronghold on Narog. On the western coasts lay the Falas, the shoreland realm of Cìrdan the Shipwright, while to the northeast a nation of Men arose in the Forest of Brethil. According to tradition, there were also communities of Dark Elves scattered across the wooded plains of West Beleriand.

The Havens of the Falas were overcome by Morgoth in I 473, causing their inhabitants to flee to the Isle of Balar, and Nargothrond stood only a few years longer before it was sacked by Glaurung in I 495. After this time West Beleriand became a wild and dangerous place, and Orcs moved freely in its northern regions.

In the War of Wrath that brought an end to the First Age, West Beleriand was swallowed by the Sea. According to legend, at least one remnant survived: the island of Tol Morwen, it was said, still held the Stone of the Hapless above the waves.1


Notes

1

In principle, if Tol Morwen survived, we'd also expect that higher nearby land such as Amon Rûdh or Amon Obel would also have remained above the Sea as islands in their own right. This is not impossible, though no such islands are recorded. Alternatively, the Stone of the Hapless was given some special protection - presumably by the Valar - that allowed it to remain in place while the surrounding lands were drowned.

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