HASA Resources

Places in Middle-earth

Ettenmoors, The

Type: Mountains, Hills, Promontories

Region: Arnor/Eriador/Lindon

Other Names
The Ettendales
The troll-fells

Location: The Ettenmoors are a hilly region in Eriador, foothills of the Misty Mountains north of Rivendell; the source of the River Hoarwell (Mitheithel).

Description: [Said Strider,] 'We have now come to the River Hoarwell, that the Elves call Mitheithel. It flows down out of the Ettenmoors, the troll-fells north of Rivendell, and joins the Loudwater away in the South. ... There is no way over it below its sources in the Ettenmoors, except by the Last Bridge on which the Road crosses.'

The Fellowship of the Ring, LoTR Book 1, Ch 12, Flight to the Ford

'We have come too far to the north,' [Strider] said, 'and we must find some way to turn back southwards again. If we keep on as we are going we shall get up into the Ettendales far north of Rivendell. That is troll-country, and little known to me. We could perhaps find our way through and come round to Rivendell from the north; but it would take too long, for I do not know the way, and our food would not last. So somehow or other we must find the Ford of Bruinen.'

The Fellowship of the Ring, LoTR Book 1, Ch 12, Flight to the Ford

[Said Gandalf,] 'I reached [Rivendell] at last by a long hard road, up the Hoarwell and through the Ettenmoors, and down from the north. It took me nearly fourteen days from Weathertop, for I could not ride among the rocks of the troll-fells, and Shadowfax departed.'

The Fellowship of the Ring, LoTR Book 2, Ch 2, The Council of Elrond

Rhudaur was in the North-east and lay between the Ettenmoors, the Weather Hills, and the Misty Mountains, but included also the Angle between the Hoarwell and the Loudwater.

The Return of the King, LoTR Appendix A, Annals of the Kings and Rulers: Eriador, Arnor, and the Heirs of Isildur

It was in the beginning of the reign of Malvegil of Arthedain that evil came to Arnor. For at that time the realm of Angmar arose in the North beyond the Ettenmoors.

The Return of the King, LoTR Appendix A, Annals of the Kings and Rulers: Eriador, Arnor, and the Heirs of Isildur

... The Witch-king defeated at the Battle of Fornost, and pursued to the Ettenmoors. He vanishes from the North.

The Return of the King, LoTR Appendix B, The Tale of Years: The Third Age


Etymology

It is perhaps relevant to note that the trolls [in The Hobbit] come from a place to the north of Rivendell that is called the Ettenmoors, or the Ettendales. In his "Nomenclature of The Lord of the Rings," Tolkien notes in the entry for Ettendales that it is "meant to be a Common Speech (not Elvish) name, though it contains an obsolete element eten, 'troll, ogre.'" Old English eoten, Middle English eten, is usually translated as "giant, monster." And the form etayn appears twice (lines 140, 723) in Sir Gawain and the Green Knight; in the 1925 Tolkien and Gordon edition it is glossed "ogre, giant." In Beowulf, the monster Grendel clearly derives from a tradition of waterfall-trolls, but is also referred to as an eoten (line 761).

The Annotated Hobbit, Annotated by Douglas A. Anderson, Ch 4, Over Hill and Under Hill, Note 5

Contributors: Elena Tiriel 3Jul04, 14Feb05, 23Feb05, 5Nov05

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