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General Information
LocationNorth of the White Mountains, between the Mering Stream in the west and Minas Tirith in the east
DescriptionThe royal lands around Minas Tirith
RegionsDrúadan Forest, Firien Wood
Major townsOsgiliath, Minas Anor (later Minas Tirith)
People and History
InhabitantsPrimarily Gondorians (A remnant of the Drúedain lived in the Drúadan Forest)
EventsSiege of Gondor, Battle of the Pelennor Fields

Anórien was a region and fiefdom of Gondor.


[edit] History

During the Elder Days, the region was occupied by Pre-Númenóreans.[1] These were separated relatives of the House of Haleth while the Edain migrated to the west during the First Age. The aboriginal Woses fled to the forests of that region, hunted by the Men of Darkness.[2]

At the end of the Second Age, the region was given to Anárion as part of the Realms in Exile and was named 'Anórien' after him. Anárion built Minas Anor on Amon Tirith of the Mindolluin.

Peoples from Anórien, as well as from Ithilien and Calenardhon joined with Eldacar against Castamir in the Kin-strife.[3]

As the Great Plague spread, cities were evacuated and many fled to Ithilien and Anórien.

Steward Túrin II fortified the isle of Cair Andros to defend Anórien.[4]

By the time of the War of the Ring, Anórien was one of the few fiefs which was dominated by the Dúnedain of Gondor; specifically, in Minas Tirith and the adjacent townlands where Sindarin was still known and used as a daily language.[5][6] It would appear that the western part of Anórien (from Min-Rimmon westward) was deserted or depopulated by this time, as tidings of the coronation of Aragorn went out into "all parts of Gondor, from Min-Rimmon even to Pinnath Gelin and the far coasts of the sea".[7]

When Sauron released a secondary force from the Morannon, they overwhelmed the defenders of Cair Andros, and used the island to cross into Anórien. They blocked the eastward progress of the Rohirrim as they rode to Gondor's aid, though after the Battle of the Pelennor Fields, Elfhelm and 3000 Rohirrim chased them down and pushed them back out of Anórien.[8]

[edit] Geography

Anórien lay north of the line of the White Mountains, and formed a narrow strip of land consisting of the valleys of the White Mountains, and its borders were the Mering Stream in the west, and the Mouths of the Entwash in the north. Its eastern border was the border of Gondor at the Anduin.

After Calenardhon was given to the Éothéod to become the Kingdom of Rohan, Anórien remained as the only part of the northern half of the realm.

The Greenway road traversed the fief.

The land contained the Drúadan Forest and fertile farmlands. Except Minas Anor and Osgiliath, no cities were in Anórien but, following the line of the North-South Road that led through Rohan to Arnor were built the Warning beacons of Gondor.

[edit] Etymology

The name is Sindarin for 'Sun-land'; Anor "sun" and -ien place name suffix. Called Sunlending by the Rohirrim.

The name does not refer to the Sun or the climate, but is 'heraldic', related to the name and the emblem of Anárion, son of Elendil: the land is immediately attached to the Minas Anor.[9]


  1. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), Unfinished Tales, "Cirion and Eorl and the Friendship of Gondor and Rohan"
  2. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), Unfinished Tales, "The Drúedain"
  3. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix A, "The Númenorean Kings", "Gondor and the Heirs of Anárion"
  4. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Peoples of Middle-earth, "VII. The Heirs of Elendil"
  5. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix F, "The Languages and Peoples of the Third Age", "Of Men"
  6. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Peoples of Middle-earth, "II. The Appendix on Languages"
  7. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Return of the King, "The Steward and the King"
  8. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Return of the King, "The Last Debate"
  9. J.R.R. Tolkien, "Nomenclature of The Lord of the Rings" in Wayne G. Hammond and Christina Scull (eds), The Lord of the Rings: A Reader's Companion, p. 776