HASA Resources

Places in Middle-earth

Bar-en-Danwedh

Type: Cities, Towns, Settlements

Region: Beleriand & North

Meaning: House of Ransom

Other Names
Echad i Sedryn 'Camp of the Faithful
Bar-en-Nibin-noeg 'House of the Petty-dwarves'

Location: An underground dwelling delved into Amon Rûdh, an isolated hill in the lands south of Brethil

Description: 'House of Ransom', the name that Mîm the Dwarf gave to his dwelling on Amon Rûdh when he yielded it to Túrin.

The Silmarillion, Index of Names

They had come to Mîm's house, Bar-en-Nibin-noeg, which only ancient tales in Doriath and Nargothrond remembered, and no Men had seen.

Unfinished Tales, Part 1, Ch 2, Narn I Hîn Húrin: Of Mîm the Dwarf

[Beneath] the crown of Amon Rûdh, the Bald Hill, the slow hands of the Petty-Dwarves had bored and deepened the caves through the long years that they dwelt there

The Silmarillion, Quenta Silmarillion, Ch 21, Of Túrin Turambar

[In] Mîm’s halls the smithies were idle, and the axes rusted, and their name was remembered only in ancient tales of Doriath and Nargothrond.

The Silmarillion, Quenta Silmarillion, Ch 21, Of Túrin Turambar

[As Túrin and the outlaws] began to climb the last steep slopes, they perceived that he was following some path by secret signs or old custom. Now his course wound to and fro, and if they looked aside they saw that at either hand dark dells and chines opened, or the land ran down into wastes of great stones, with falls and holes masked by bramble and thorn. There without a guide they might have laboured and clambered for days to find a way.

At length they came to steeper but smoother ground. They passed under the shadows of ancient rowan-trees into aisles of long-legged aeglos: a gloom filled with a sweet scent. Then suddenly there was a rock-wall before them, flat-faced and sheer, towering high above them in the dusk.

"Is this the door of your house?" said Túrin. "Dwarves love stone, it is said." He drew close to Mîm, lest he should play them some trick at the last.

"Not the door of the house, but the gate of the garth," said Mîm. Then he turned to the right along the cliff-foot, and after twenty paces halted suddenly; and Túrin saw that by the work of hands or of weather there was a cleft so shaped that two faces of the wall overlapped, and an opening ran back to the left between them. Its entrance was shrouded by long-trailing plants rooted in crevices above, but within there was a steep stony path going upwards in the dark. Water trickled down it, and it was dank. One by one they filed up. At the top the path turned right and south again, and brought them through a thicket of thorns out upon a green flat, through which it ran on into the shadows. They had come to Mîm's house, Bar-en-Nibin-noeg, which only ancient tales in Doriath and Nargothrond remembered, and no Men had seen. But night was falling, and the east was starlit, and they could not yet see how this strange place was shaped.

Unfinished Tales, Part 1, Ch 2, Narn I Hîn Húrin: Of Mîm the Dwarf

Amon Rûdh had a crown: a great mass like a steep cap of stone with a bare flattened top. Upon its north side there stood out from it a shelf, level and almost square, which could not be seen from below; for behind it stood the hill-crown like a wall, and west and east from its brink sheer cliffs fell. Only from the north, as they had come, could it be reached with ease by those who knew the way. From the cleft a path led, and passed soon into a little grove of dwarfed birches growing about a clear pool in a rock-hewn basin. This pool was fed by a spring at the foot of the wall behind, and through a runnel it spilled like a white thread over the western brink of the shelf. Behind the screen of the trees near the spring, between two tall buttresses of rock there was a cave. No more than a shallow grot it looked, with a low broken arch; but further in it had been deepened and bored far under the hill by the slow hands of the Petty-dwarves, in the long years that they had dwelt there, untroubled by the Grey-elves of the woods.

Unfinished Tales, Part 1, Ch 2, Narn I Hîn Húrin: Of Mîm the Dwarf

[From] a passage at the back of the outer grot there stepped another Dwarf bearing a small torch.

Unfinished Tales, Part 1, Ch 2, Narn I Hîn Húrin: Of Mîm the Dwarf

[Túrin and the outlaws] groped along the passage by the feel of the rough walls. Many times it bent this way and that at sharp angles; but at last a faint light gleamed ahead, and they came into a small but lofty hall, dim-lit by lamps hanging down out of the roof-shadow upon fine chains. […] the door of a chamber [opened] at the back of the hall [… with] a stone couch by the further wall. […] when they woke […] the chamber was closed by a stone. […] [Mîm said:] “the chamber that is closed, none shall open it but me."

Unfinished Tales, Part 1, Ch 2, Narn I Hîn Húrin: Of Mîm the Dwarf

[Túrin] walked on the greensward before the mouth of the cave, and looked out east, and west, and north. Northward he looked, and descried the Forest of Brethil climbing green about Amon Obel in its midst, […] to the north-west […] league upon league away […] [were] the Mountains of Shadow [Ered Wethrin], […] west […] the Vale of Narog lay.

The Silmarillion, Quenta Silmarillion, Ch 21, Of Túrin Turambar

[The outlaws] found that the caves could have housed a hundred or more at need. There was another smaller hall further in. It had a hearth at one side, above which a smoke-shaft ran up through the rock to a vent cunningly hidden in a crevice on the hillside. There were also many other chambers, opening out of the halls or the passage between them, some for dwelling, some for works or for stores. In storage Mîm had more arts than they, and he had many vessels and chests of stone and wood that looked to be of great age. But most of the chambers were now empty: in the armouries hung axes and other gear rusted and dusty, shelves and aumbries were bare; and the smithies were idle. Save one: a small room that led out of the inner hall and had a hearth which shared the smoke-vent of the hearth in the hall. There Mîm would work a times, but would not allow others to be with him.

Unfinished Tales, Part 1, Ch 2, Narn I Hîn Húrin: Appendix

Steep as were the sides of the crown, the summit could be reached, for to the east of the cave-mouth rough steps had been hewn leading up to slopes where men could clamber unaided.

Unfinished Tales, Part 1, Ch 2, Narn I Hîn Húrin: Appendix

At this time Andróg [one of the outlaws], seeking for Mîm's secret store of food, became lost in the caves, and found a hidden stair that led out on to the flat summit of Amon Rûdh

Unfinished Tales, Part 1, Ch 2, Narn I Hîn Húrin: Appendix

Naming of Bar-en-Danwedh

Mîm […] pleaded for his life before Túrin, and offered as ransom to lead them to his hidden halls which none might find without his aid.

The Silmarillion, Quenta Silmarillion, Ch 21, Of Túrin Turambar

Mîm led them by secret paths up the steep slopes of Amon Rûdh; and at the mouth of his cave he bowed to Túrin, saying: 'Enter into Bar-en-Danwedh, the House of Ransom; for so it shall be called.'

The Silmarillion, Quenta Silmarillion, Ch 21, Of Túrin Turambar

Túrin entering stood beside Mîm, and offered him aid. Then Mîm looked up at him, and said: 'You can give no aid. For this is Khîm, my son; and he is dead, pierced by an arrow. He died at sunset. Ibun my son has told me.'

Then pity rose in Túrin's heart, and he said to Mîm: 'Alas! I would recall that shaft, if I could. Now Bar-en-Danwedh this house shall be called in truth; and if ever I come to any wealth, I will pay you a ransom of gold for your son, in token of sorrow, though it gladden your heart no more.'

The Silmarillion, Quenta Silmarillion, Ch 21, Of Túrin Turambar

Echad i Sedryn ‘Camp of the Faithful’, name given to the refuge of Túrin and Beleg on Amon Rûdh

Unfinished Tales, Index

Contributors: Tanaqui 11.13.04, UT quotations and an additional names added 11.15.04

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