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Places in Middle-earth

Long Lake

Type: Rivers & Lakes

Region: Rhovanion/Misty Mtns

Location: A large, narrow lake east of Mirkwood and south of the Lonely Mountain, fed by the Forest River from Mirkwood and the River Running (Celduin) from Erebor.


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 Long Lake! Bilbo had never imagined that any water that was not the sea could look so big. It was so wide that the opposite shores looked small and far, but it was so long that its northerly end, which pointed towards the Mountain, could not be seen at all. Only from the map did Bilbo know that away up there, where the stars of the Wain1 were already twinkling, the Running River came down into the lake from Dale and with the Forest River filled with deep waters what must once have been a great deep rocky valley. At the southern end the doubled waters poured out again over high waterfalls and ran away hurriedly to unknown lands. In the still evening air the noise of the falls could be heard like a distant roar.

The Hobbit, Ch 10, A Warm Welcome

Bilbo... learned how the wine and other goods came up the rivers, or over land, to the Long Lake. It seemed a town of Men still throve there, built out on bridges far into the water as a protection against enemies of all sorts, and especially against the dragon of the Mountain. From Lake-town the barrels were brought up the Forest River.... When the barrels were empty... they were collected and tied together and floated back to Lake-town, which stood close to the point where the Forest River flowed into the Long Lake.

The Hobbit, Ch 9, Barrels Out of Bond

Not far from the mouth of the Forest River was the strange town he heard the elves speak of.... It was not built on the shore, though there were a few huts and buildings there, but right out on the surface of the lake, protected from the swirl of the entering river by a promontory of rock which formed a calm bay. A great bridge made of wood ran out to where on huge piles made of forest trees was built a busy wooden town, not a town of elves but of Men, who still dared to dwell here under the shadow of the distant dragon-mountain. They still throve on the trade that came up the great river from the South and was carted past the falls to their town.... The rotting piles of a greater town could still be seen along the shores when the waters sank in a drought.

The Hobbit, Ch 10, A Warm Welcome

[Under] the Master's direction they began the planning of a new town, designed more fair and large even than before, but not in the same place. They removed northward higher up the shore; for ever after they had a dread of the water where the dragon lay. He would never again return to his golden bed, but was stretched cold as stone, twisted upon the floor of the shallows. There for ages his huge bones could be seen in calm weather amid the ruined piles of the old town. But few dared to cross the cursed spot, and none dared to dive into the shivering water or recover the precious stones that fell from his rotting carcass.

The Hobbit, Ch 14, Fire and Water

In two days going they rowed right up the Long Lake [from Lake-town] and passed out into the River Running, and now they could all see the Lonely Mountain towering grim and tall before them.

The Hobbit, Ch 11, On the Doorstep

1 The Wain is a name for the seven main stars of the constellation Ursa Major, the Great Bear. These stars are more commonly known in England as the Plough and in America as the Big Dipper.

The Annotated Hobbit, Annotated by Douglas A. Anderson, Ch 10, A Warm Welcome, Note 3

Lyllyn 11Jun03
Elena Tiriel 18Oct07

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