HASA Resources

Places in Middle-earth

Westfold Dale

Type: Valleys, Caves, Tunnels

Region: Rohan

Location: A great valley below Thrihyrne in the White Mountains in Rohan; the Deeping-stream runs through it; the Deeping-coomb (which contains the Helm's Deep gorge and the Hornburg fortress) juts out from its southwest side.

Description: The host turned away now from the road to the Fords of Isen and bent their course southward. ... The hills drew near, but the tall peaks of Thrihyrne were already dim against the darkening sky. Still some miles away, on the far side of the Westfold Vale, lay a green coomb, a great bay in the mountains, out of which a gorge opened in the hills. Men of that land called it Helm's Deep....

The Two Towers, LoTR Book 3, Ch 7, Helm's Deep

On the page of the completed manuscript in which the final form of this passage ... was reached the text reads thus: 'Still some miles away, on the far side of the Westfold Vale, a great bay in the mountains, lay a green coomb out of which a gorge opened in the hills.' There is no question that this is correct, and that this was what my father intended: the great bay in the mountains was of course the Westfold Vale. In the typescript based on this, however, the sentence became, for some obscure reason (there is no ambiguity in the manuscript): 'Still some miles away, on the far side of the Westfold Vale, lay a green coomb, a great bay in the mountains, out of which a gorge opened in the hills.' This error is perpetuated in The Two Towers.

The War of the Ring, HoME Vol 8, Part 1, Ch 2, Helm's Deep

Beneath [the Hornburg] by a wide culvert the Deeping-stream passed out. About the feet of the Hornrock it wound, and flowed then in a gully ... 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

Contributors: Elena Tiriel 22Dec04

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