The Encyclopedia of Arda - an interactive guide to the world of J.R.R. Tolkien
Location
Approximately, the lands of Middle-earth westward of the course of Anduin1
Races
Primarily Elves (especially during the Second Age) and Men (especially during the Third); also contained populations of Hobbits, Dwarves, Ents and others
Settlements
Numerous, but for the Elves notably Eregion, Imladris, Lindon and Lórien; in the Third Age, the Two Kingdoms of Men, Arnor and Gondor, dominated the Westlands; the great Dwarf mansions of Khazad-dûm also lay within this region
Meaning
The western lands of Middle-earth
Other names
In some uses, closely equivalent to Eriador, though elsewhere used much more broadly
Note
The western promontory of Númenor was known as the Andustar, also translated 'Westlands'; for that use of the term, see the separate entry for the Westlands of Númenor

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About this entry:

  • Updated 14 July 2018
  • Updates planned: 1

Westlands of Middle-earth

The northwestern lands of Middle-earth

Map of Middle-earth
The Westlands of Middle-earth at the time of the War of the Ring
The Westlands of Middle-earth at the time of the War of the Ring

A term of rather uncertain meaning. It appears to refer to the entire north-western region of Middle-earth, although it may also be used more specifically as a name of Eriador.


Notes

1

The term 'Westlands' is used very broadly, and not always consistently, so it is most usefully taken as a vague reference to a wide geographical area, rather than a specific region with defined borders. At times it has a narrow meaning somewhat akin to Eriador, relating to the lands westward of the Misty Mountains. At other times it clearly includes lands eastward or southward of the Mountains, including Gondor or Lórien.

In his index to Unfinished Tales, Christopher Tolkien suggests the Great River Anduin as marking the eastern limit of the Westlands. This does generally hold, with the inconvenient exception of Ithilien, a narrow land that lay eastward of the River but was still explicitly part of the Westlands. Nonetheless, the general conception of the Westlands as those lands westward of Anduin gives a useful idea of the scope of the term.

All of our references to the Westlands of Middle-earth come from the Second and Third Ages, when Lindon marked the westernmost extent of Middle-earth. In the First Age, Beleriand represented a significant landmass running further westward still. This would presumably also have fallen within the ambit of the name 'Westlands', though in practice we have no record of its use while Beleriand still existed.

Indexes:

About this entry:

  • Updated 14 July 2018
  • Updates planned: 1

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