The Encyclopedia of Arda - an interactive guide to the world of J.R.R. Tolkien
Dates
Destroyed at the end of the First Age
Location
At the head of the Firth of Drengist, leading westward out of Hithlum
Race
Originally associated with Elves, but given its name by Tuor, a Man
Division
The gate of Annon-in-Gelydh leading into the cleft was made by the Noldor
Source
A stream emerged at the head of the cleft and ran on westward
Outflow
Passes
Annon-in-Gelydh, the Gate of the Noldor, led into the cleft from the east
Pronunciation
ki'rith ni'nniach (ch as in Scots 'loch')
Meaning
Other names

Indexes:

About this entry:

  • Updated 22 February 2021
  • Updates planned: 1

Cirith Ninniach

The Rainbow Cleft

Map of Cirith Ninniach

The rocky pass through the northwestern mountains of Middle-earth that led to the Great Sea at the Firth of Drengist. It was into this cleft that the Gate of the Noldor led, and Tuor travelled this way on his fateful mission to Gondolin.


Notes

1

The cleft ran almost directly west to east, so the Sun shone down its length during the morning and evening, causing rainbows to play above the waters of its stream. For this reason Tuor gave it the name Cirith Ninniach, the Rainbow Cleft. If it had an earlier name - and presumably it did, given that the Noldor built a gate leading into it - that name is not recorded.

Indexes:

About this entry:

  • Updated 22 February 2021
  • Updates planned: 1

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