Places in Middle-earth
Meaning: Holy Mountain
Amon Anwar 'Hill of Awe' (Sindarin)
Hill of Anwar
alight, calling for aid.... See, there is the fire on Amon Dîn, and flame on Eilenach; and there they go speeding west: Nardol, Erelas, Min-Rimmon, Calenhad, and the Halifirien on the borders of Rohan.'
The Return of the King, LoTR Book 5, Ch 1, Minas Tirith
[The Rohirrim rode south] through the Folde; and through the Fenmarch, where to their right great oakwoods climbed on the skirts of the hills under the shades of dark Halifirien by the borders of Gondor; but away to their left the mists lay on the marshes fed by the mouths of Entwash.
Ibid., Ch 3, The Muster of Rohan
The Halifirien was the highest of the beacons, and like Eilenach, the next in height, appeared to stand up alone out of a great wood; for behind it there was a deep cleft, the dark Firien-dale, in the long northward spur of Ered Nimrais, of which it was the highest point. Out of the cleft it rose like a sheer wall, but its outer slopes, especially northwards, were long and nowhere steep, and trees grew upon them almost to its summit. As they descended the trees became ever more dense, especially along the Mering Stream (which rose in the cleft) and northwards out into the plain through which the Stream flowed into the Entwash. The great West Road passed through a long cutting in the wood, to avoid the wet land beyond its northern eaves; but this road had been made in ancient days, and after the departure of Isildur no tree was ever felled in the Firien Wood, except only by the Beacon-wardens whose task it was to keep open the great road and the path towards the summit of the hill. This path turned from the Road near to its entrance into the Wood, and wound its way up to the end of the trees, beyond which there was an ancient stairway of stone leading to the Beacon-site, a wide circle levelled by those who had made the stair. The Beacon-wardens were the only inhabitants of the Wood, save wild beasts; they housed in lodges in the trees near the summit, but they did not stay long, unless held there by foul weather, and they came and went in turns of duty.
Unfinished Tales, Part 3, Ch 2, Cirion and Eorl and the Friendship of Gondor and Rohan: Cirion and Eorl
The name Halifirien meant in the language of the Rohirrim "holy mountain." Before their coming it was known in Sindarin as Amon Anwar, "Hill of Awe;" for what reason was not known in Gondor, except only (as later appeared) to the ruling King or Steward. For the few men who ever ventured to leave the Road and wander under the trees the Wood itself seemed reason enough: in the Common Speech it was called "the Whispering Wood."
[They] came at last to the upper slopes of the Hill and passed through a belt of white birches and saw the stone stair going up to the summit. After the shadow of the Wood the sun seemed hot and bright, for it was the month of Úrimë; 1 yet the crown of the Hill was green, as if the year were still in Lótessë 2....
[When] they came to the summit they saw there a wide oval place of level turf, unfenced, but at its eastern end there stood a low mound on which grew the white flowers of alfirin....
"[This] is [Elendil's] tomb," said Cirion; "and from it comes the awe that dwells on this hill and in the woods below."
[Even] when it had become the site of a great beacon, the Hill of Anwar was still a place of reverence to Gondor and to the Rohirrim, who named it in their own tongue Halifirien, the Holy Mount.
Ibid., Cirion and Eorl and the Friendship of Gondor and Rohan: The Tradition of Isildur
[Halifirien] is a modernized spelling for Anglo-Saxon hálig-firgen; similarly Firien-dale for firgen-dæl, Firien Wood for firgen-wudu. [Author's note.] — The g in the Anglo-Saxon word firgen "mountain" came to be pronounced as a modern y.
Unfinished Tales, Part 3, Ch 2, Cirion and Eorl and the Friendship of Gondor and Rohan: Notes, Note 33
1 Úrimë Quenya name of the eighth month according to the Númenórean calendar, corresponding to August.
Unfinished Tales, Index
2 Lótessë Quenya name of the fifth month according to the Númenórean calendar, corresponding to May.
Elena Tiriel 30Jul04, 25Jan05, 10Aug10