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Places in Middle-earth

Forest River, The

Type: Rivers & Lakes

Region: Rhovanion/Misty Mtns

Location: The Forest River originates on the southern slopes of the Grey Mountains (Ered Mithrin) and flows south east. It is joined by the Enchanted River shortly before passing the doors of Thanduil's caverns, then continues on to empty into the Long Lake at Lake-town (Esgaroth). In addition "A stream flowed under part of the lowest regions of the palace, and joined the Forest River some way further to the east, beyond the steep slope out of which the main mouth opened."
The Hobbit, Ch 9 Barrels Out of Bond

Description: "Before his huge doors of stone a river ran out of the heights of the forest and flowed on and out into the marshes at the feet of the high wooded lands."
The Hobbit, Ch 8, Flies and Spiders

"The dark river opened suddenly wide, and there it was joined to the main water of the Forest River flowing down in haste from the king's great doors. There was a dim sheet of water no longer overshadowed, and on its sliding surface there were dancing and broken reflections of clouds and of stars. Then the hurrying water of the Forest River swept all the company of casks and tubs away to the north bank, in which it had eaten out a wide bay. This had a shingly shore under hanging banks and was walled at the eastern end by a little jutting cape of hard rock.
The Hobbit, Ch 9 Barrels Out of Bond

"After a while the river rounded a steep shoulder of land that came down upon their left. Under its rocky feet like an inland cliff the deepest stream had flowed lapping and bubbling. Suddenly the cliff fell away. The shores sank. The trees ended."

"The lands opened wide about him, filled with the waters of the river which broke up and wandered in a hundred winding courses, or halted in marshes and pools dotted with isles on every side: but still a strong water flowed on steadily through the midst."

"After a while, however, the river took a more southerly course and the Mountain receded again, and at last, late in the day the shores grew rocky, the river gathered all its wandering waters together into a deep and rapid flood, and they swept along at great speed."

"The sun had set when turning with another sweep towards the East the forest-river rushed into the Long Lake. There it had a wide mouth with stony clifflike gates at either side whose feet were piled with shingles."
The Hobbit, Ch 10 A Warm Welcome

"From what Bilbo overheard, the roads had become more dangerous and the river became the main thoroughfare between the Wood-elves and Lake-town, and probably also south to Dorwinion as well. This resulted in "the bickerings of the Lake-men and the Wood-elves about the upkeep of the Forest River and the care of the banks."

The river had changed as well:
"Great floods and rains had swollen the waters that flowed east; and there had been an earthquake or two (which some were inclined to attribute to the dragon-alluding to him chiefly with a curse and an ominous nod in the direction of the Mountain). The marshes and bogs had spread wider and wider on either side. … only the river offered any longer a safe way from the skirts of Mirkwood in the North to the mountain-shadowed plains beyond, and the river was guarded by the Wood-elves' king."
The Hobbit, Ch 10 A Warm Welcome

Contributors: Lyllyn 2.3.04

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