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Most associated with the period after the capture of Dorthonion by Morgoth in I 455; destroyed at the end of the First Age
A pass running southwestwards out of Dorthonion (or Taur-nu-Fuin) into the region above Dimbar
Used especially by Orcs
One of the source rivers of Mindeb rose in the heights of the pass
The source stream ran into Mindeb on the northeastern borders of Dimbar
a'nach ('ch' as in German 'Bach')
Other names


About this entry:

  • Updated 8 November 2021
  • This entry is complete


The road out of Taur-nu-Fuin

Map of Anach

A long, narrow defile that ran down out of Dorthonion, cutting southwest between the impassable mountains of the Crissaegrim and Ered Gorgoroth. Towards its southern end, where it opened into the land of Dimbar, were the springs of the River Mindeb.

In the later years of the First Age, Dorthonion fell under Morgoth's control, and with it the Pass of Anach. His Orcs began to use it as a way down from the highlands (now renamed Taur-nu-Fuin), building a road down through the valley, and using it to reach and harass the lands beyond. Ultimately they succeeded in conquering not only Dimbar, but also the regions to the east that ran along the borders of Doriath.



The initial an- in this name is possibly 'long', but -ach is less clear. It is perhaps connected to achad, 'neck', but in a geographical sense that word usually meant a ridge rather than a pass or valley. Another possibility is the old word acha, which would make Anach the 'long waterfall'. That alternative certainly fits the geography, but the word acha is not attested in any but Tolkien's earliest writings.

A quite different interpretation might connect the name with the Elvish root ának-, meaning 'bite', which doesn't at first sight seem directly relevant, but might conceivably have been used to describe a valley cut out of the surrounding mountainous lands.

Finally there is a potential connection to the Elvish root ak-, describing a feature that is narrow or confined. On this interpretation, then, Anach would mean 'long and narrow'. One indirect hint towards this would be from the Pass of Aglon at the other end of Ered Gorgoroth, which is known to originate from ak-. On this translation, then, Anach would therefore be partially cognate with the nearby Pass of Aglon.


About this entry:

  • Updated 8 November 2021
  • This entry is complete

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