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Lay within the bounds of Gondor after that realm's foundation in II 3320
Southeastward of Erech, providing a pass eastward into Lamedon over a southward spur of the White Mountains
Tarlang is pronounced 'tarr'lang' (with the r sound distinctly pronounced, as shown by 'rr')
Tarlang was said to derive from an old Sindarin name meaning 'stiff neck'1


About this entry:

  • Updated 29 November 2020
  • This entry is complete

Tarlang’s Neck

The pass into eastern Lamedon

Map of Tarlang's Neck

Tarlang was originally the name for a long, mountainous spur of the southern White Mountains, thrusting out between the Blackroot Vale to the west and the land of Lamedon to the east. Where this spur met its parent range, between the sources of the Morthond and the Ciril, a gap formed between the mountains to the north and the south, providing a pass between Erech and Lamedon. This was Tarlang's Neck, and it formed part of the route by which Aragorn led the army of the Dead on their journey to the relief of Minas Tirith in the War of the Ring.



The name Tarlang was said to have derived from Sindarin tarch ('stiff, tough') and lang 'neck'. It was only later that Men added 'Neck' for the low ridge in their own language, so the later name of the pass has a name that means in full 'stiff-neck's neck'.

According to folklore, Tarlang was originally the name of an immense giant, one of those who raised the White Mountains to protect their seaward domain. As he worked, Tarlang tripped and fell with the load he was carrying, and his fellow giants built around his fallen body. So, according to this account, Tarlang's Neck was literally the neck of the giant Tarlang. The higher lands to the south represented Tarlang's head and his fallen load, and their peaks were named Dol Tarlang 'Tarlang's head', Cûl Veleg 'great load', Cûl Bïn 'little load'.

It should be mentioned that this tale of Tarlang the giant does not seem to have been meant to stand, and it certainly wasn't intended as any kind of historical account. There surely was no real giant named Tarlang, but we might take his story as a folk tale told among the people of Erech or Lamedon.

See also...

Duinhir, River Ciril


About this entry:

  • Updated 29 November 2020
  • This entry is complete

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