The Encyclopedia of Arda - an interactive guide to the world of J.R.R. Tolkien
Dates
The standing stones of the Firienfeld apparently dated to sometime in the Second Age1
Location
Above the eastern cliffs of Harrowdale in the White Mountains
Origins
The stones of the Firienfeld were placed by the Men of the Mountains
Race
Division
Settled by Men of Darkness, later held by Northmen
Culture
Originally inhabited by Men of the Mountains, but later occupied by the Rohirrim
Settlements
Important peaks
The Dwimorberg lay directly to the east
Pronunciation
fi'ree-enfeld2
Meaning
'Mountain field'
Other names
The standing stones were known as Dúnharg, modernised to 'Dunharrow'

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About this entry:

  • Updated 23 August 2019
  • Updates planned: 1

Firienfeld

The mountain-field of Dunharrow

A wide, flat field of grassland high in the White Mountains. It lay to the south of Edoras, above the stream of the river Snowbourn, and was surrounded by mountain-peaks: the Starkhorn to the south, the Dwimorberg to the east, and the Irensaga to the north. Across the field marched a double row of ancient and worn standing stones, marking the road that led eastwards into the Dimholt forest, and on to the Dwimorberg, the Haunted Mountain.

The only road leading to the Firienfeld was a steep and difficult path leading up the face of a cliff, making it a highly defensible location. After the foundation of Rohan, the Firienfeld was used as a mountain refuge, known as Dunharrow. The field's name in fact comes from the language of the Rohirrim (ultimately deriving from the Old English word for 'mountain').

The word firien also appears in other placenames, such as the Halifirien and Firien Wood that stood on the eastern borders of Rohan, far from the Firienfeld. Actually, in the first drafts of The Lord of the Rings, the Firienfeld, mountain and wood were all associated together at Dunharrow, but later revisions and renamings saw Tolkien's conceptions shift. In the final text of The Lord of the Rings, most of these 'Firien' place-names had moved to the east, but the Firienfeld remained rooted among mountains south of Edoras.


Notes

1

We have nothing approaching a specific date for the making of Dunharrow on the Firienfeld, though all evidence points to the Second Age. Specifically, we're told of the Men of the Mountains that 'Here [on the Firienfeld] they laboured in the Dark Years, before ever a ship came to the western shores...' (The Return of the King V 3, The Muster of Rohan). The first ship of the Númenóreans (presumably the 'ship' referred to here) arrived in Middle-earth in II 600, implying that the earthworks at Dunharrow were made relatively early in the Second Age.

2

Following the normal rules of pronunciation, stress in the name 'Firienfeld' would fall on the second syllable ('firee'enfeld'), but this is compound containing the word Firien ('mountain') where the stress falls on the first syllable. Hence the pronunciation of Firien is maintained by also stressing the first syllable in Firienfeld here.

See also...

Underharrow

Indexes:

About this entry:

  • Updated 23 August 2019
  • Updates planned: 1

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