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Aman was the great western continent lying between Belegaer and Ekkaia. Valinor lay in central Aman west of the great curve of the Pelóri. Eldamar comprised the narrow coastal strip east of the Pelóri near the Calacirya, while to the north and south stretched the great wastes of Araman and Avatar. Aman and Tol Eressëa were removed from Arda when Arda was made round at the destruction of Númenor. It's frequently called Aman the Blessed and the Blessed Realm, as well as the Ancient West.
Angmar was the witch kingdom on both sides of the northern Misty Mountains, north of the Ettenmoors, ruled by the Lord of the Nazgul, who was then known as the Witch-king of Angmar. Its capital was Carn Dûm. Angmar was peopled with Orcs, Hill-men, and other such creatures. Angmar arose about the Third Age 1300 and, for the next 700 years, attempted to destroy the Dúnedain of the North. Cardolan and Rhudaur fell quickly, the former effectively destroyed by 1409 and the latter infiltrated even earlier, but Arthedain, aided by the Evles of Rivendell and Lindon, held out until 1974, although nearly defeated in 1409. In 1975, the Witch-king was defeated in the Battle of Fornost by armies from Lindon (led by Cürdan and Eärnur and strengthened by the latter's army from Gondor) and Rivendell (led by Glorfindel); he was driven from the North and his servants west of the Misty Mountains slain or scattered. Those few who survived east of the Mountains were destroyed soon after by the Eothéod.
Arda is the Earth, intended by Ilúvatar to be the abode of his Children. As conceived in the Ainulindalë, Arda was to be temperate and symmetrical, but it was seriously marred by the malice of Melkor and the struggle between him and the Valar. When the Valar had fulfilled as much of the Vision as they could, Arda was round and flat, encircled by Ekkaia, the Outer Sea, which in turn was enclosed within the Walls of the Night. Arda contained at least two great continents, Aman and Middle-earth, separated by Belegaer. Beneath the field of Arda was a great expanse of rock, pocked with caves; it is not said if this rock rested on anything. Above was the Veil of Arda, the atmosphere. At the Change of the World, Ilúvatar removed Aman from Arda and made Arda the spherical world in which we dwell. It is said that the original design of Arda will be restored in the End. Arda is also called the Earth and, when considered as a realm, the Kingdom of Arda, of Earth or of Manwë, and the Little Kingdom.
The senior Dúnedain Kingdom of Middle-earth, founded in the Second Age 3320 by Elendil, who ruled directly as its first king. At its greatest Arnor included all the lands between the Gwathlo-Bruinen and the Lune. Arnor's first capital was Annúminas, but before 861 the capital was moved to Fornost, the chief city of the country. Unlike Gondor, Arnor did not prosper and the dwindling of the Dúnedain began with the disastrous Battle of the Gladden Fields in the Third Age 2. However, throughout all its troubles, the rules of Arnor, the heirs of the Line of Isildur, were preserved. When Eärendur, the tenth King of Arnor, died in the Third Age 861, Arnor was split among his three sons, the eldest becoming King of Arthedain. The Dúnedain in the other two kingdoms, Cardolan and Rhudaur, quickly dwindled, and in 1349 Arthedain claimed lordship over all of Arnor. After this time, what was properly speaking, Arthedain was sometimes called Arnor. Angmar and Rhudaur used this claim as a pretext to attack Arthedain, and in 1974 te kingdom fell. The heirs of Isildur became the Chieftans of the few Dúnedain of the North, until after the War of the Ring, when Arnor was reestablished by Elessar. It was also called the North-Kingdom.
Beleriand was an area of Middle-earth in the First Age, at first the lands around the Bay of Balar, but later all the lands lying west of the Ered Luin and south of the Ered Wethrin, possibly including Dorthonion and Nevrast. Beleriand was divided into East and West regions by the River Sirion; the populous northern lands were divided from the largely unsettled south bythe Andram. At first, Beleriand was the home of the Sindar of Doriath and the Falas, later joined by the Laiquendi of Ossiriand, the Noldor of Nargothrond, Himlad, East Beleriand and Thargelion, and the Edain. Gradually overrun by the forces of Morgoth, all of Beleriand, save for the portion of Ossiriand later known as Lindon, was ruined in the Great Battle at the end of the First Age. It was also called the Land of the Elves.
Bree-land was the wooded area at the intersection of the Great East and North Roads, inhabited by Men and Hobbits. The Bree-land contained four villages, Bree, Archet, Staddle, and Combe, and a number of scattered dwellings. The Bree-land was founded in the Second Age by Men from Dunland, and somehow managed to survive through all the wars of Middle-earth. The Bree-land was part of Arnor and later Arthedain; after the fall of the North-kingdom it was protected by the Rangers of the North. Its economy dwindled when the North-kingdom failed and trade declined, but the Bree-land doubtless revived in the Fourth Age. In any case, its farms provided a comfortable existence for all its inhabitants.
The Brown Lands were the area between Mirkwood and the Emyn Muil, desolate and treeless. Of old the Entwives made their gardens here, but they were driven away and the land ruined during the war between Sauron and the Last Alliance at the end of the Second Age. They were also called the Noman-lands and the Noman Lands.
Dunland was the area west of the Misty Mountains and south of the Glanduin, at the time of the War of the Ring neither prosperous, civilized, nor organized into a state, being a land of backward herdsmen and hillmen. Dunland was inhabited before the founding of Gondor by the Dunlendings. About the Third Age 1150 some Stoors came to Dunland, but migrated to the Shire in 1630. From approximately the Third Age 2770 to 2800 Dwarves who had escaped from the sack of Erebor, led by Thrór, lived in Dunland. At the time of the War of the Ring, Dunland, though a fair, fertile land, was sparsely inhabited.
Eä is the Creation, the realization of the Vision and the Ainulindalë by the will of Ilúvatar. It comprises Arda and the heavens (Ilmen or menel), is animated by the Secret Fire, and is bound by the principles of matter, space, and Time. Outside Eä are the Timeless Halls, and the Void. Eä is also called the World and the World that is.
The Enchanted Isles were islands in the Shadowy Seas, created by the Valar after the poisoning of the Two Trees and the revolt of the Noldor as part of the guard of Valinor. Any mariner who set foot on the Enchanted Isles slept until the Change of the World.
Erebor was a mountain east of Mirkwood and west of the Iron Hills. Erebor was first settled by Thráin 1, who came there with a large part of Durin's Folk after fleeing from Moria, and founded the Kingdom under the Mountain in the Third Age 1999. The Kingdom was for a while lessened in numbers and glory while the Kings of Durin's Folk dwelt in the Ered Mithrin, but dragons caused Thrór to return to Erebor in 2590. The fame and richness of Erebor grew for nearly two hundred years, until in 2770 Smaug plundered the Dwarf-kingdom. Smaug dwelt in Erebor with his hoard until 2941, when he was disturbed by Thorin and Company and slain by Bard. Dáin 2 reestablished the Kingdom under the Mountain, and its halls became once more fair and its people wealthy. During the War of the Ring, Erebor was besieged by an army of Easterlings, but after the downfall of Sauron the Dwarves and the Men of Dale routed the besiegers. In the Fourth Age, Erebor was independent, but it was allied with and protected by the Reunited Kingdom. It was called in Westron the Lonely Mountain and the Mountain.
Fangorn Forest was a wood of great age east of the southern end of the Misty Mountains, watered by the Entwash and Limlight. Fangorn was the eastern remnant of the great forest that once covered all of Eriador and extended into Beleriand. The Ents lived in Fangorn Forest at the time of the War of the Ring. During the last century of the Third Age, Orcs of Isengard did great damage to Fangorn, but this stopped with the destruction of Isengard by the Ents during the War of the Ring. Fangorn was a wild, visibly old forest. There were places in it where the shadow of the Great Darkness had never been lifted. Fangorn was named after Fangorn the Ent, the oldest Ent living there at the time of the War of the Ring and the guardian of the Forest. It was called the Entwood by the Rohirrim; it was also called Fangorn and Forest of Fangorn. ambarona, Tauremorna, Aldalómë, and Tauremornalómë were epithes applied to the Forest by Fangorn the Ent.
Gondor was one of the Dúnedain kingdoms in Middle-earth, founded by Elendil in the Second Age 3320 and committed by him to the joint rule of his sons Isildur and Anárion. At the height of its power (circa the Third Age 1100), Gondor extended north to Celebrant, east to the Sea of Rhûn, south to the River Harnen inland and Umbar on the coast, and west to Gwathlo. In addition, various realms to the east and south were tributary states. The chief cities of Gondor were Osgiliath, Minas Anor, Minas Ithil, Dol Amroth, and Pelargir. From its founding, Gondor was always under attack by Sauron or his allies. Ithilien was invaded a number of times, beginning in the Second Age 3429, until in the Third Age 2002 Minas Ithil was taken by the Nazgûl and held until the end of the War of the Ring. In the Third Age, Gondor suffered three great evils: the Kin-strife, the Great Plague, and the invasions of the Wainriders. These difficulties, combined with the degeneration of the Dúnedain, sapped Gondor's strength, decreased its population, and dulled its vigilance. After the death of Elendil in the Second Age 3441, Gondor was ruled by the Line of Anárion until it failed in the Third Age 2050. From that time until the restoration of the kingdom by Elessar in 3019, Gondor was governed by the Ruling Stewards. Gondor was a feudal kingdom. Originally the two greatest fiefs, the royal fiefs of Ithilien (Isildur) and Anórien (Anárion and his heirs), were of equal rank, but after the removal of Isildur to Arnor and the moving of the capital from Osgiliath to Minas Anor, Anárion became more important than Ithilien. Gondor was also called the South-kingdom, in opposition to Arnor. It was called Stonelending and Stoningland by the Rohirrim.
Khazad-Dûm was the greatest of the Dwarf-halls, the mansion and folk-home of Durin's Folk, carved by Durin 1 early in the First Age in the caves overlooking Azanulbizar. Here was located the tomb of Durin, and here dwelt the heart of his people. Expanded many times, Khazad-dûm ultimately took up much of the area beneath Barazinbar, Zirak-zigil, and Bundushathûr, and in the Second Age a tunnel was built to Eregion. Khazad-dûm consisted of many large halls on a number of levels, as well as mines, etc. At the end of the First Age, the population of Khazad-dûm was increased, as many skilled Dwarves from the Ered Luin came there after the ruin of Nogrod and Belegost. Early in the Second Age, mithril was discovered in Khazad-dûm, and the friendship between Durin's Folk and the Noldor of Eregion began. The gates of Khazad-dûm were closed during the War of Elves and Sauron, and thus the Dwarves survived through the Second Age. In the Third Age 1980, the Dwarves, while extending their mithril-mine, released the Balrog hidden beneath Barazinbar. The next year, after two Kings of Khazad-dûm had been slain by the Balrog, the Dwarves fled. About 2480, Sauron began to keep Orcs in Khazad-dûm, and these Orcs murdered Thrór in 2790. This led to the War of the Dwarves and Orcs, which ended in 2799 with the Battle of Azanulbizar. Despite the Dwarves# victory, Dáin Ironfoot refused to reenter Khazad-dûm because of the presence of the Balrog. In 2989, however, a large group of Dwarves of Erebor, led by Balin, established a Dwarf-kingdom in Khazad-dûm. However, they were trapped by the Watcher in the Water at the West-gate and a large army of Orcs at the East-gate, and they perished in 2994. In January 3019, the Company of the Ring (and Gollum) passed through Khazad-dûm, and Gandalf slew the Balrog in a series of battles that ruined the Chamber of Mazarbul, Durin's Bridge, the Endless Stair, and Durin's Tower. There is no mention of a recolonization of Khazad-dûm by the Dwarves in the Fourth Age, despite the death of the Balrog. The Dwarvish kingdom of Khazad-dûm included Azanulbizar as well as the halls within the mountains. Except for Balin, all the Kings of Khazad-dûm were also Kings of Durin's Folk. Khazad-dûm was called the Dwarrowdelf in Westron and Hadhodrond in Sindarin, although the more usual Elvish name, especially after the freeing of the Balrog, was Moria. From the latter name came the Westron Black Pit, Black Chasm, and Mines of Moria.
Lórien was the Elven realm west of Anduin, at the meeting of Celebrant and Anduin, ruled by Celeborn and Galadriel. The mellyrn woods of Lórien were protected from Sauron by the power of Galadriel, and here alone in Middle-earth was the true beauty and timelessness of Eldamar preserved. Lórien was made and founded in the Second Age by Galadriel. Although most of its people were Silvan Elves, Sindarin was spoken in Lórien. In 1981, as a result of the appearance of the Balrog in Khazad-dûm, many of the Elves of Lórien fled south. During the Quest of Mount Doom the Companions of the Ring rested in Lórien for a month. In the War of the Ring, Lórien was assaulted three times from Dol Guldur, but the attackers were defeated. With the passing of Galadriel over Sea at the end of the Third Age and Celebors removal to East Lórien, Lórien was largely deserted.
Menegroth was the underground halls of Thingol (Elwe), built for him by the Dwarves of Belegost during the third age of the captivity of Melkor at the urging of Melian. Menegroth was built in a rocky hill on the south bank of the Esgalduin at the point where it began to flow westward. Its only entrance was by a bridge of stone over the river. Menegroth prospered until the death of Thingol, when it was sacked by the Dwarves of Nogrod. Dior later settled there, but the city was deserted after his murder by the sons of Fëanor. It was also called the Caves of Menegrother and the Thousand Caves.
Middle-earth consisted of the lands of Arda lying east of Belegaer, extending at least as far south and east as Harad and Rhûn. In the First and Second Ages it included Cuiviénen and Hildórien, and probably all of the lands north of Beleriand and Eriador as far as Ekkaia. But in the very far east in the Elder Days there were inner seas separating Middle-earth from tomething else, perhaps the Empty Lands. In the south there may have been lands, which, if they were part of Middle-earth, were ignored by geographers and mariners. The Change of the World at the downfall of Númenor damaged the coasts of Middle-earth but apparently did not alter its boundaries. Middle-earth is called Endóre in Quenya and Ennor in Sindarin. It is also called the Great Lands, the Hither Lands, the Hither Shors, the Wide World, and the Outer Lands.
Mirkwood was the name given Greenwoo the Great when the shadow of Dol Guldur fell on it about the Third Age 1050. With the growth of the power of Sauron in Dol Guldur, black squirrels, Orcs, and great spiders spread through the forest, but the Woodman and the Elves of the Woodland Realm of northern Mirkwood remained in Mirkwood. In the course of the Third Age the Old Forest Road fell into disuse. In the Third Age 2941, Thorin and Company passed through Mirkwood on an old elf-path and encountered an enchanted stream, queer eyes and insects at night, the great spiders, and a feeling of oppression and darkness. After the War of the Ring, Mirkwood was cleansed and renamed Eryn Lasgalen. It was called Taur e-Ndaedelos in Sindarin. It was also called the Wood and the Great Wood.
Mordor was a realm east of the lower Anduin, bounded and protected on the north by the Ered Lithui and on the south and west by the Ephel Dúath. First settled by Sauron about the Second Age 1000, Mordor was ever after a stronghold of evil. From Mordor, Sauron directed the War of the Elves and Sauron and he remained there until he submitted to Ar-Pharazôn in 3262. After the fall of Númenor, Sauron returned to Mordor, and in 3429, attacked Gondor. Mordor was invaded by the army of the Last Alliance in 3434, and with Sauron's defeat in 3441, Mordor was cleansed of his servants. Called in Westron the Black Land, the Land of Shadow, or the Dark Country, Mordor was also called the Nameless Land. In the Third Age, Gondor built fortresses such as Durthang, the Towers of the Teeth, and the Tower of Cirith Ungol to prevent any evil thing from reentering Mordor. After the Great Plague of 1636 these fortresses were abandoned, and the Nazgûl entered Mordor and began the slow preparation of the land for the return of Sauon, who was then dwelling in disguise in Dol Goldur. In 2942, Sauron returned to his home, and in 2951 openly declared himself and began the rebuilding of Barad-Dûr. During the War of the Ring the armies gathered in Mordor were unleashed against Gondor, but with the unmaking of the One Ring many of Sauron's works were destroyed and Mordor was devastated by earthquakes.
The Northfarthing was one of the Four Farthings of the Shire, where the barley for the Shire's beer was grown. Only in the Northfarthing was snow common in the Shire. It was also the site of hunting. Its soil tended to be rocky. It was also spelled “North Farthing”.
Númenor was the rich and powerful kingdom of the Dúnedain in the Second Age, founded in the Second Age 32 on a great island raised by the Valar in the western waters of Belegaer. The westernmost of mortal lands, Númenor was granted to the Edain as a reward for their valor and faithfulness in the War of the Great Jewels. The Kings of Númenor were Elros Tar-Minyatur and his descendents; after 1075 the scepter passed to the eldest child of the King, whether male or female. Enriched by gifts from Eldar, the Númenóreans became great mariners, powerful and wise, but they were forbidden to set foot on the Undying Lands or to become immortal. About 600 ships of Númenor first returned to Middle-earth, and the Dúnedain instructed the primitive Men they found there and helped them free themselves from the Shadow. About 1200 Númenor began to establish permanent havens in Middle-earth, of which Umbar and Pelargir were the greatest. In 1700 Tar-Minastir sent a great fleet to the aid of Gil-galad in Lindon, and with this aid Sauron, who had overrun all of Eriador in the War of the Elves and Sauron, was Defeated. After helping to defeat Sauron, the Dúnedain began to grow proud and discontented. Situated between Middle-earth and the Undying Lands, the Númenóreans lost sight of the significance of the Gift of Men, and their later history shows a failure to understand both mortality and immortality. About 1800 they started to establish dominions on the shors of Middle-earth, exacting tribute and domination. This desire for power was partly a result of irritation at the Ban of the Valar, which barred the Dúnedain from the fair towers of Eldamar which they could see from their ships, but all these discontents ultimately stemmed from the growing fear of death. Viewing the Gift of Men as their Doom, the Dúnedain tried to find immortality in lordship and ornate tombs, and satisfaction in riches and revelry. By the twenty-third century, in the reign of Tar-Atanamir, the Dúnedain began to speak openly against the Valar. Soon the Eldar were estranged and the Hallow of Eru neglected. Only the Faithful remained loyal to the Valar and friendly wih the Eldar. In succeeding generations the majority of Númenóreans, known as the King's Men, abandoned the use of the Elven tongues, persecuted the Faithful, and lost the joy of life through the fear of death. The Kings in 2899 began to take their royal names in Adûnaic, and the dwindling of their life spans increased. In 3175, Tar-Palantir tried to return to the old ways, but his reign was marked by civil war, and on his death in 3255 his nephew usurped the crown and became Ar-Pharazôn. Resolving to gain the kingship of the world, Ar-Pharazôn humbled Sauron in 3262 and took him to Númenor as a prisoner. Sauron quickly corrupted Númenor. Within fifty years he had built a Temple to Melkor in which human sacrifices were held, persuaded Ar-Pharazôn to destroy Nimloth, and induced the King to assault Valinor and seize the right to immortality by force. Amid civil anarchy, frenzied sacrifices to Melkor, the enslavement of Men in Middle-earth, and portents from the West, Ar-Pharazôn prepared the Great Armament. When he landed on Aman in 3319, the Valar laid aside their Guardianship and called upon Eru, and Númenor was destroyed in the Change of the World. Elendil, son of the Lord of Andúnië, escaped from the ruin with his sons and a small following of the Faithful and came to Middle-earth. The only other Dúnedain to survive were those living in Middle-earth, the Faithful of Lindon and Pelargir and the Black Númenóreans of Umbar and Harad. Sauron also escaped, but his body was destroyed. Númenor is a slightly Anglicized (or Westron-ized) form of the Quenya Númenóre; the Adûnaic form was Carn Dûm and the Westron Westernesse. More properly called Númendor. Andor, Elenna, and the Land of the Star tended to refer to the island as opposed to the kingdom. After its fall, Númenor was called Akallabêth in Westron and Mar-nu-Falmar or Atalante in Quenya; the last form gives the modern Atlantis.
Elven-refuge in a steep and hidden valley in the Angle, founded in the Second Age 1697 by Elrond, who was fleeing from the destruction of Eregion with the remnant of the Gwaith-i-Mírdain; most of the Elves of Rivendell were Eldar, including the great lords Gildor and Glorfindel. From Rivendell, Elrond succoured the Dúnedain at need in the Third Age. Valandil, the son of Isildur, was raised here, as were, later, all the Chieftains of the Dúnedain. Rivendell survived the War of the Elves and Sauron and the wars against Angmar because of the great Elvenpower there; in more peaceful times Rivendell was a center of lore and counsel. After the War of the Ring, Elrond and many of the Elves of Rivendell went over Sea, but Ellandan ad Elrohir remained there, and they were joined by Celeborn. There is no record of when Rivendell was finally deserted. In Sindarin it was called imladris and Karningul in genuine Westron.
Rohan was the kingdom of the Rohirrim, bounded by the Ered Nimrais, the Isen, the Misty Mountains, Fangorn, the Limlight, Anduin, the Mouths of Entwash, and the Mering Stream. Once a province of Gondor, Calenardhon, the land was given to the Men of èothéod by Cirion of Gondor in the Third Age 2510 in return for their aid in the Battle of the Fields of Celebrant and their swearing to the Oath of Eorl. Rohan, as the country was then called in Gondor, was ruled by King Eorl and his descendants. The Rohirrim farmed and raised horses on the green plains of their country and restored ancient fortresses and refuges in the Ered Nimrais, the most important of which were Dunharrow and Helm's Deep. The first kings built the capital of Edoras below Dunharrow, but most of the Rohirrim dwelt in small villages or on farms. Their greatest concern was for their horses, which were the best in the world. In 2758 Rohan was overrun by Dunlendings led by Wulf, but the invaders were defeated the next spring by Fréaláf. After 2799, Orcs fleeing from the Battle of Nanduhirion troubled Rohan, and they were not entirely driven out of the Ered Nimrais until 2864. About 2960, Saruman began to trouble Rohan, and his harassments increased until the War of the Ring, when Rohan was invaded by an enormous army of Orcs and Dunlendings. Although the Rohirrim were defeated in the two Battles of the Fords of Isen, the invaders were crushed, with the aid of Gandalf and the Huorns, in the Battle of the Hornburg. Throughout its history, Rohan was closely allied with Gondor. Rohan performed its greatest service to the Dúnadan realm during the War of the Ring, when the Riders of Rohan played a crucial role in the Battle of the Pelennor Fields. Rohan was the name given the land in Gondor, the Rohirrim called their land the Riddermark, the Mark of the Riders, or the Mark. The Orcs called it Horse-country.
Undying Lands was the general name given to the lands of Arda west of Belegaer: Aman (comprising Valinor and mainland Eldamar) and Tol Eressëa. Despite the lies of Sauron and the wishes of the Númenorëans, the Undying Lands were not inherently immortal, but rather were hallowed by the Valar, Maiar, and Eldar, their deathless inhabitants. It was also called the Deathless Lands. Such terms as the West, the Far West, the Uttermost West, and the Isles of the West refer to the same area.
Valinor is the land of the Valar in Aman, bounded on the north, south, and east by the curve of the Pelóri and on the west by Ekkaia. Established by the Valar was the home of the Valar (except Ulmo), most of the Maiar, and, later, the Vanyar. Its only city is Valimar. Valinor was lighted by the Two Trees until their poisoning, and later by the Moon and Sun. Mandos and Vairë dwell in his halls on the shores of Ekkaia, and Nienna dwells nearby. The woods of Oromë lie in southern Valinor, east of the fields and gardens of Yavanna. The mansions of Aulëe are in central Valinor, while Manwë and Varda dwell on Taniquetil. The gardens of Vána and the gardens and pools of Lórien and Estë are also in Valinor.
The West was the realms and peoples opposed to Sauron and favoring virtue and the Dúnedain.