Places in Middle-earth
Type: Valleys, Caves, Tunnels
Meaning: The deep valley belonging to Helm's Deep
Other Names The Deeping
Description: 'See now!' said Gandalf. 'The Westfold dales are opening before us. Here we come back to the eastward road. The dark shadow yonder is the mouth of the Deeping-coomb. That way lies Aglarond and the Glittering Caves.'
The Two Towers, LoTR Book 3, Ch 11, The Palantír
At Helm's Gate, before the mouth of the Deep, there was a heel of rock thrust outward by the northern cliff. There upon its spur stood high walls of ancient stone ... The Hornburg it was called, for a trumpet sounded upon the tower echoed in the Deep behind.... A wall, too, the men of old had made from the Hornburg to the southern cliff, barring the entrance to the gorge. Beneath it by a wide culvert the Deeping-stream passed out. About the feet of the Hornrock it wound, and flowed then in a gully through the midst of a wide green gore, sloping gently down from Helm's Gate to Helm's Dike. Thence it fell into the Deeping-coomb and out into the Westfold Vale.
The Two Towers, LoTR Book 3, Ch 7, Helm's Deep
[Said Legolas,] 'How far is it to Isengard, Gandalf?'
'About fifteen leagues, as the crows of Saruman make it.' said Gandalf: 'five from the mouth of Deeping-coomb to the Fords: and ten more from there to the gates of Isengard.'
The Two Towers, LoTR Book 3, Ch 8, The Road to Isengard
After the fall of Théodred command in the West-mark (again without orders from Edoras) was assumed by Erkenbrand, Lord of Deeping-coomb and of much other land in Westfold. He had in youth been, as most lords, an officer in the King's Riders, but he was so no longer. He was, however, the chief lord in the West-mark, and since its people were in peril it was his right and duty to gather all those among them able to bear arms to resist invasion.
Unfinished Tales, Part 3, Ch 5, The Battles of the Fords of Isen: Appendix
The Deeping: this is so written and is clearly correct, since it occurs again later. My father noted elsewhere that the Deeping-coomb (and Deeping-stream) should be so spelt, rather than Deeping Coomb, "since Deeping is not a verbal ending but one indicating relationship: the coomb or deep valley belonging to the Deep (Helm's Deep) to which it led up." (Notes on Nomenclature to assist translators, published in A Tolkien Compass, edited by Jared Lobdell, 1975, page 181.)
Unfinished Tales, Part 3, Ch 5, The Battles of the Fords of Isen: Notes, Note 6
Contributors: Elena Tiriel 17Sep04