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Places in Middle-earth

Eriador

Type: Kingdoms, Realms, Lands

Region: Arnor/Eriador/Lindon

Meaning: lone-lands

Location: The large region of Middle-earth between the Blue Mountains (Ered Luin) on the west and the Misty Mountains on the east, north of the Rivers Gwathló (Greyflood) and Glanduin.

Description:

Map of Eriador.
Eriador and its environs.
Eriador was of old the name of all the lands between the Misty Mountains and the Blue; in the South it was bounded by the Greyflood and the Glanduin that flows into it above Tharbad.

At its greatest Arnor included all Eriador, except the regions beyond the Lune, and the lands east of Greyflood and Loudwater, in which lay Rivendell and Hollin. Beyond the Lune was Elvish country, green and quiet, where no Men went; but Dwarves dwelt, and still dwell, in the east side of the Blue Mountains, especially in those parts south of the Gulf of Lune, where they have mines that are still in use. For this reason they were accustomed to pass east along the Great Road, as they had done for long years before we came to the Shire.

The Lord of the Rings, Appendix A, Annals of the Kings and Rulers: Eriador, Arnor, and the Heirs of Isildur

At first [Thorin's company] had passed through hobbit-lands, a wild respectable country inhabited by decent folk, with good roads, an inn or two, and now and then a dwarf or a farmer ambling by on business. Then they came to lands where people spoke strangely, and sang songs Bilbo had never heard before. Now they had gone on far into the Lone-lands, where there were no people left, no inns, and the roads grew steadily worse.

The Hobbit, Ch 2, Roast Mutton


Etymology
er  'one, alone', in Amon Ereb (cf. Erebor, the Lonely Mountain), Erchamion, Eressëa, Eru.

The Silmarillion, Appendix: Elements in Quenya and Sindarin Names

dôr  'land' (i.e. dry land as opposed to sea) was derived from ndor; it occurs in many Sindarin names, as Doriath, Dorthonion, Eriador, Gondor, Mordor, etc. In Quenya the stem was blended and confused with a quite distinct word nórë meaning 'people'; in origin Valinórë was strictly 'the people of the Valar', but Valandor 'the land of the Valar', and similarly Númen(n)órë 'people of the West', but Númendor 'land of the West'. Quenya Endor 'Middle-earth' was from ened 'middle' and ndor; this in Sindarin became Ennor (cf. ennorath 'middle lands' in the chant A Elbereth Gilthoniel).

Ibid.

Contributors:
Lyllyn 14May03
Elena Tiriel 22Oct11, 5Feb13

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