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  • Updated 11 August 2021
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Bridge of Esgalduin

The crossing on the northern borders of Doriath

The river Esgalduin was formed from streams that rose in the mountains on the southern borders of Dorthonion, and flowed together as they ran southward. From their confluence, the river crossed the wide vale known in later days as Nan Dungortheb, before flowing beneath the trees of Doriath. In ancient times, while Middle-earth still lay under starlight, the people of Doriath made a bridge over the river on the northern borders of their land, before it entered the depths of their forests. This stone bridge was named Esgaliant, the 'Bridge of Esgalduin', and over it ran the east-west road along the northern fringes of the wooded land.

As the Years of the Trees reached their end, a monstrous being came out of the West: Ungoliant, the great spider who had aided Morgoth in the destruction of the Two Trees. Ungoliant remained for a time in mountains northward of Doriath where Esgalduin had its springs, filling them with her hideous progeny. So the mountains and the valley that separated them from Doriath became places of terror (it was at this time that the vale gained the name Nan Dungortheb, the Valley of Dreadful Death). From this time, the road along the northern borders of Doriath that ran through the valley was little used. Nonetheless, the Bridge of Esgalduin still spanned the river, and in later times it became known as Iant Iaur, the 'old bridge'.


See also...

Iant Iaur

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About this entry:

  • Updated 11 August 2021
  • Updates planned: 2

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