The Encyclopedia of Arda - an interactive guide to the world of J.R.R. Tolkien
Destroyed at the end of the First Age
Forming the eastern border of Beleriand, separating it from Thargelion and Ossiriand
The confluence of two northern rivers, the Little Gelion and the Greater Gelion
Presumably into the Great Sea1


About this entry:

  • Updated 10 May 2017
  • Updates planned: 1

River Gelion

The river that marked Beleriand’s eastern border

Map of the river Gelion

The Seven Rivers of Ossir

The long river in eastern Beleriand that ran south from the marches of Lothlann, and separated the lands of Thargelion and Ossiriand from East Beleriand.



We do not in fact have any definite evidence of Gelion's ultimate outflow, but it seems unavoidable that its waters would have reached the Great Sea eventually.


Tolkien himself seems rather uncertain about the river's name. The earliest translation is into Old English (from volume IV of the History of Middle-earth) as Glæden, making it an equivalent of the later Gladden River. At another point (The Etymologies in volume V) he also associated it with Elvish roots meaning 'merry' and 'bright'. In late notes, he seems to have intended to adjust the name to make its ultimate source Dwarvish: Gabilán, meaning simply 'great river'.


About this entry:

  • Updated 10 May 2017
  • Updates planned: 1

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