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Alan Lee - Beleg Departs from Menegroth.jpg
General information
Other namesEglador, The Guarded Realm, The Hidden Kingdom
LocationForests in central Beleriand
RegionsNeldoreth, Region, Nivrim, Brethil, Nan Elmoth
Few Laiquendi
GovernanceThingol and Melian
Later Dior
Thingol awakesc. Y.T. 1152
Building MenegrothY.T. 1300
Girdle of Melian establishedY.T. 1497
Dior becomes KingF.A. 503
AbandonedF.A. 506
GalleryImages of Doriath

Doriath (S, pron. [ˈdorjaθ]) was the land of the Sindar. It was called the Fenced Land, for its queen, Melian, put a girdle of enchantment about it, so that none could enter without King Thingol's permission.



Doriath was a realm of forests about the great river Sirion, with in it the forests Neldoreth (also Taur-na-Neldor, the northern beech forest), Nivrim (also West-march, an oak forest), and Region. Additionally, the forests of Brethil and Nan Elmoth were held as part of Doriath, but these last two lay outside the Girdle of Melian. King Elu Thingol of Doriath, also High King of the Sindar, saw all of Beleriand as his realm, from the Gelion to Belegaer.



The Vanyar and Noldor had passed by it on the Great Journey, and had been ferried across on Tol Eressëa by the time the Teleri arrived. Then their lord Elwë was lost in Nan Elmoth, and when Ulmo returned for them a part remained behind. They became known as the Sindar or Grey Elves, and when Thingol returned he became their king, ruling from Doriath.

Doriath was originally named Eglador,[1] but in the last years before the rising of the Sun, attacks by Orcs and other Melkor's creatures began to increase in Beleriand, and Melian fenced the forests of Neldoreth, Region, and Nivrim. Thingol then called all the Sindar to Doriath, but many remained in the wild.

Other peoples

On Melian's advice, Thingol became an ally of the Dwarves of Belegost, who carved the caverns of Menegroth for him.[2]

In Y.T. 1497, after the First Battle of Beleriand, many Laiquendi removed to Doriath.[2] After the First Battle of Beleriand, Doriath was encircled by the Girdle of Melian, an impenetrable fence of enchantment that guarded the kingdom.[2] While his own kingdom was protected, Thingol was still loath to surrender any other lands in Beleriand to the Noldor as he was suspicious of the aggressive new lords in Middle-earth.[3] King Thingol's relations with the Noldor were strained, and grew worse decades later when he learned the truth of the Kinslaying at Alqualondë. Thingol banned the use of Quenya in his lands, which led to Sindarin being the common Elven tongue in Middle-earth. The King of Doriath refused to aid the Noldor in the war against Morgoth, and took little part in the ongoing struggle.[4]

Eöl the Dark Elf leased Nan Elmoth from Thingol, having paid the sword Anglachel for it. When later Men arrived in Beleriand, they were also refused entry, however at Finrod's request the Haladin were allowed to live in Brethil.

Beren, son of Barahir and lord of the First House of Men, passed through the Girdle as Melian had foretold, and arrived in Neldoreth. There Thingol's daughter Lúthien fell in love with him. After the Quest for the Silmaril the Wolf Carcharoth also breached the Girdle, but Thingol, Beren, and Thingol's captains Beleg and Mablung hunted and killed the beast.

Túrin was sent to Doriath, and lived there until he came of age, when he fled from the land. Later his mother and sister, Morwen and Nienor lived there, until they were lost.


In F.A. 502, some time after Túrin's tragic death, Húrin, Túrin's father and now an old man, was allowed to enter Menegroth with a band of outlaws, where in anger he threw the Nauglamír, the treasure of Nargothrond before King Thingol and "thanked" him for aiding his son. This infuriated the outlaws, who tried to take the gold back but were killed by Thingol's guards.[5] Melian finally pierced through Húrin's madness and grief; shamed by his actions, he left Menegroth a broken man.[6]

Henning Janssen - Nauglamir and the Doom of Thingol

At that time a desire came into Thingol's heart to take the Nauglamír and place the Silmaril in it, thus melding together two of the greatest creations made by the Elves and the Dwarves. He hired some Dwarven craftsmen to do it for him. But by the time the Dwarves were finished they had become obsessed with the Nauglamír and asked for it as a payment for their labour. This infuriated Thingol realizing they were coveting the Silmaril. The Dwarves were angered by his harsh words, and killed him. This led to the sacking of Menegroth in F.A. 503 and the eventual destruction of Doriath, which scattered its people.[6]

In F.A. 503, Doriath was briefly restored under Beren and Lúthien's son Dior Eluchíl.[6] Learning that the Silmaril is in Doriath, the Sons of Fëanor sent message to Dior requesting the return of the Silmaril. Dior does not answer.[6][7]. However, in F.A. 506, Dior was attacked and killed by the Sons of Fëanor, along with their followers. They assaulted Doriath with a surprise attack, in the middle of winter, and fought with Dior in the Thousand Caves. This was the second slaying of Elf by Elf. In that battle, Dior slew Celegorm. Curufin and Caranthir also fell. Dior was also slain along with his wife Nimloth. Eluréd and Elurín were seized, taken into the forest, and left to starve by the cruel servants of Celegorm.[6] Maedhros repented of this act of vengeance and cruelty against the children, and he long sought for them in the woods, but "his search was unavailing," and the fate of Dior's sons is not known.[6] By F.A. 507, Doriath was utterly destroyed following the Second Kinslaying.[6]


Doriath is a Sindarin name meaning "Land of the Fence"[8][9] or "Land of the Girdle"[1]. The name consists of the elements dôr + iâth.[9]

The earlier name of Doriath, Eglador, probably means either "Land of the Forsaken"[8] or "Land of the Elves"[source?] in Sindarin.

Other versions of the legendarium

Artanor ("The Land Beyond") was in early versions of the legendarium the name for what was later called Doriath.[10]


  1. 1.0 1.1 J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Quenta Silmarillion: Of the Sindar"
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Quenta Silmarillion: Of the Sindar"
  3. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Quenta Silmarillion: Of the Return of the Noldor"
  4. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Quenta Silmarillion: Of the Noldor in Beleriand"
  5. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Book of Lost Tales Part Two, "IV. The Nauglafring"
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 6.5 6.6 J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Quenta Silmarillion: Of the Ruin of Doriath"
  7. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The War of the Jewels, "Part Three. The Wanderings of Húrin and Other Writings not forming part of the Quenta Silmarillion: V. The Tale of Years", p. 351
  8. 8.0 8.1 J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Index of Names"
  9. 9.0 9.1 J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The War of the Jewels, "Part Four. Quendi and Eldar", pp. 370, 378
  10. J.R.R. Tolkien; Christopher Tolkien (ed), The Book of Lost Tales
The Kinslayings
First Kinslaying (Alqualondë) · Second Kinslaying (Doriath) · Third Kinslaying (Havens of Sirion)