Beleriand [beh-‘leh-ree-ahnd] – part of Middle-earth west of the Blue Mountains that sank into the sea at the end of the First Age; the setting for almost all of the stories in The Silmarillion; only Lindon (Ossiriand) remained of Beleriand into the later ages.


– Three main realms (they play crucial roles in The Silmarillion):

Nargothrond [nahr-‘goth-rond] – the largest Elven realm in Beleriand; located in western Beleriand; ruled by King Finrod Felagund and later by Orodreth his brother; its capital city of the same name is delved in the high rocky banks of the river Narog; city known for its amount of treasures.
You know it from: It’s mentioned as a great Elven realm along with Gondolin by both Galadirel and Gimli in FotR.

Doriath [‘dor-ee-ath] – the second largest Elven realm; located in central Beleriand; a woodland realm hidden behind the impassable Girdle of Melian for long; ruled by Thingol, later by his grandson Dior; its capital city is Menegroth.
You know it from: It’s mentioned in Aragorn’s tale of Beren and Lúthien in FotR; in TTT, it’s noted that Shelob’s kin lived near to Doriath’s border; Treebeard sometimes came to the woods of Doriath.

Gondolin [‘gon-doll-in] – realm/city of King Turgon hidden by a circular mountain range in a wide valley; the white city of Gondolin resembled in its beauty the Elven city of Tirion in Valinor; located in the North; the last realm to fall.
You know it from: it’s mentioned in both LotR and The Hobbit, especially in connection with its fall; the blades Sting, Glamdring and Orcrist are identified as coming from Gondolin.

– Lesser realms and lands:
Hithlum / Dor-Lómin [‘heeth-loom, dor-‘law-min] – “Land of Mist” and “Land of Echoes” in the North; ruled by the High Kings Fingolfin and Fingon; Men of the House of Hador later lived in Dor-lómin. Plays a role in the tale of Túrin Turambar.

Dorthonion / later Taur-nu-Fuin [dor-‘thaw-nee-on, ‘tour*-noo-‘fooin (* ‘our’ as in ‘sour’, not as in ‘tour’) ] “Land of Pines” / “Forest Under Night” – wooded highland realm in Central Beleriand, north of Doriath; ruled by Galadriel’s brothers Angrod and Aegnor and home to Men of Bëor’s House; transformed into an evil forest place after Sauron conquered it for his master Morgoth. Plays a role in the tales of Beren and Túrin.
You know it from: Treebeard sings about walking among the pine-trees of Dorthonion in TTT.

Ossiriand [os-‘sihr-ree-ahnd] – wooded land of the Green Elves under the western slopes of the Blue Mountains; doesn’t have a ruler as the Green Elves had no king; refuge to Elves and Men after Morgoth started conquering the Beleriand lands; remained into the Third Age as Lindon (west of the Grey Havens).
You know it from: mentioned in TTT by Treebeard as one of the places he visited; he mentions the lovely light and music of this realm.

Falas [‘fah-lass] “Shore” – coastal realm of Sea Elves in West Beleriand; contained two walled havens- Eglarest and Brithombar; ruled by Círdan.

Nevrast [‘nev-rahst] – realm of Turgon before he moved to Gondolin; abandoned; located on the North-West coast. Plays a role in the tale of Tuor.


For Gondolin and Nargothrond, see entries for the realms of the same name.

Menegroth [‘meh-neh-groth] “Thousand caves” – the capital city of Doriath; hewed in stone under a hill in the forest; famed for its beauty; site of the Second Kinslaying; Thranduil fashioned his halls in Mirkwood after this city. Appears in both the story of Beren and Lúthien and of Túrin who was raised here.

Havens of Sirion– located in the South where the river Sirion meets the sea; founded by Círdan; gain importance as a haven for refugees when Morgoth started conquering the lands of Beleriand, especially after the falls of Doriath and Gondolin; site of the Third Kinslaying. Appears in the story of Eärendil and his voyage.

Belegost and Nogrod [‘beh-leh-gosst, ‘nogg-rod] – the cities of Dwarves in the Blue Mountains; unknown if they lasted beyond the First Age.

Eglarest and Brithombar [‘egg-lah-rest, brih-‘thom-bar] – havens of the Sea Elves on the western coast; after their destruction their people and their lord Círdan moved south to the Havens of Sirion and Isle of Balar.

Vinyamar [‘vih-nyah-mar] – the capital city of Nevrast; appears in the tale of Tuor as the site where Tuor meets Ulmo.


Angband [‘ahng-bahnd] “Hell of Iron” – the great underground fortress of Morgoth in the far North of Beleriand.
You know if from: Aragorn’s tale of Lúthien in FotR where he speaks of a ‘Wolf that came from the gates of Angband’. (for the wolf see Creatures)

Himring [‘him-ring] “Ever-cold” – fortress upon a hill of the same name in East Beleriand; residence of Maedhros the eldest of the Sons of Fëanor; the hilltop possibly still stands in the Third Age as it’s probably identical with the offshore island of Himling near the Grey Havens.


Thangorodrim [thahn-‘gor-odd-rim] – black mountain peaks above Angband in the far North, emitting poisonous smoke. Featured primarily in the story of the capture and saving of Maedhros.
You know it from: It’s mentioned in LotR, seemingly standing simply for Morgoth’s entire abode (cf. Sam’s ‘the Iron Crown in Thangorodrim’ in his talk of Beren’s quest in TTT)

Echoriath (Encircling Mountains) / Crissaegrim [eh-‘khor-ree-ath, cris-‘saye-grim] – mountains in central Beleriand surrounding the hidden city of Gondolin. Featured in all tales concerning Gondolin, especially in the tale of Tuor.
You know it from: the history of Gwaihir whose ancestors resided here (RotK)

Ered Gorgoroth [‘eh-red ‘gor-gor-oth] “Mountains of Terror” – a dangerous mountain range in central Beleriand between Doriath and Dorthonion; Ungoliant temporarily lived there, and later her offspring that pursued travellers; all local streams were poisonous. Featured mainly in the tale of Beren who crosses this range before straying into Doriath.

Ered Wethrin [‘eh-red ‘weth-rin] – mountain range in western Beleriand separating the realms of Hithlum and Dor-lómin in the North and the realm of Nargothrond in the South. Featured in both the tale of Túrin and tale of Tuor.

Ered Luin (Blue Mountains) [‘eh-red ‘looin] – the range separating Beleriand from the eastern Middle-earth of the later ages; remained into the Third Age; featured especially in the parts concerning Dwarves whose two chief cities were located here.


– Rivers:
Sirion [‘sih-ree-on] – the chief river in Beleriand; flows through central Beleriand, close to Gondolin and through Doriath; meets the sea in the Havens of Sirion.

Narog [‘nah-rog] – river in western Beleriand in whose high banks was delved the city of Nargothrond.

– Islands:
Tol Sirion (Isle of Sirion)/ Tol-in-Gaurhoth (Isle of Werewolves) [‘toll ‘sih-ree-on, ‘toll in ‘gour*-hoth (* ‘our’ as in ‘sour’, not as in ‘tour’)] – island on the river Sirion in the North, not far from Angband; on it stood a watchtower built by Finrod Felagund; captured by Sauron who transformed the island into his residence- Isle of Werewolves. Plays a large role in the tale of Beren and Lúthien; Beren is captured here and Finrod dies here.

Isle of Balar– refuge to Sea Elves and other fugitives from the lands of Beleriand that Morgoth conquered; located in the Bay of Balar on the Southern coast of Beleriand; Círdan’s mariners and Gil-galad live here by the end of the First Age. Featured mostly in the tale of Eärendil.


Brethil [‘breh-thil] – forest on west side of Doriath; dwelling place of the Men of the House of Haleth. Featured primarily in the tale of Túrin Turambar who stayed here for a time.

Amon Rûdh [‘ah-mon ‘rueth* (*’th’ as in ‘then’)] “The Bald Hill” – large bare hill between the realms of Doriath and Nargothrond; occupied by the last few living Petty Dwarves. Featured in the tale of Túrin who stays here with his company of outlaws.

Anfauglith [ahn-‘fou*-glith (* ‘fou’ as in ‘foul’)] “The Gasping Dust” – previously Ard-galen- a lush plain before Angband; transformed into a wasteland in the Battle of Sudden Flame.

Nan Dungortheb [‘nahn doon-‘gore-theb] “Valley of Dreadful Death” – dangerous valley on the Northern border of Doriath; descendants of Ungoliant (possibly Shelob herself) lived here and pursued travellers.
You know it from: It’s possible that this valley is meant by Frodo when speaking of “webs of horror in the dark ravines of Beleriand” in Shelob’s lair (TTT).

Nan Elmoth [‘nahn ‘ehl-moth] – dark forest east of Doriath. Featured in the tale of Thingol and Melian as the place where they met for the first time, and in the tale of Maeglin as the home of his father, the Dark Elf Eöl.


Arda [‘ahr-dah] – the world.

Utumno [oo-‘toom-no* (* final ‘o’ short, not as in ‘no’ but as in ‘not’)] – Morgoth’s first fortress in the far north of Middle-earth; destroyed by the Valar after the Awakening of the Elves.
You know it from: the expression “flame of Udûn” for a balrog in LotR (as the Sindarin translation of Utumno is Udûn, and the balrogs lived there).

Cuiviénen [cooee-vee-‘eh-nen] “Water of Awakening” – bay of an inland sea by which the Elves awoke; located in the far East of Middle-earth.

Middle-earth realms and settlements of the Second Age, known also from LotR- Lindon, Grey Havens (Mithlond), Eregion (Hollin), Imladris (Rivendell), Moria.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email