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Little Gelion
Christopher Tolkien - Gelion .jpg
Gelion in its course through the north
General Information
Other namesK. Gabilān
LocationEast Beleriand
DescriptionMighty river
RegionsThargelion, Ossiriand
Major townsSarn Athrad

Gelion was a river of Middle-earth in the First Age, the principal river of East Beleriand, being the border of Beleriand and Ossiriand.

The vale of Gelion sloped steadily southward and thus had neither falls nor rapids, yet was ever swifter than the River Sirion. Although Gelion was twice the length of Sirion it was less wide and full, for more rain fell in the west than in the east.


[edit] Course

Its two sources were at the hill of Himring, via the Little Gelion, and Mount Rerir, via the Greater Gelion (which also had a tributary connected to Lake Helevorn).

It then flowed south for forty leagues,[1] dividing Estolad to the west from Thargelion to the east. Gelion met Sarn Athrad ("Ford of Stones") just above the inflow of the River Ascar. Gelion then became the western border of Ossiriand, the Land of Seven Rivers, from which it was fed by the rivers Ascar, Thalos, Legolin, Brilthor, Duilwen, and Adurant, all rising in the Ered Luin. Gelion then turned southwest, passing by Taur-im-Duinath (the Forest between the Rivers) before emptying into the Great Sea Belegaer.[2]

[edit] History

Between the arms of Gelion lay the ward of Maglor. Caranthir made his abode at Lake Helevorn, and the land of Thargelion, which signified the Land beyond Gelion, was also called Dor Caranthir, the Land of Caranthir.[1]

Due to the open nature of the land about the upper reaches of the River Gelion the region was subjected to many battles. Haldad of the Haladin built a stockade in the corner formed by the Gelion and the Ascar when an orc-raid fell upon his people in Thargelion.[3] During the Dagor Bragollach the dragon Glaurung came and destroyed all the land between the arms of Gelion.[4] Eventually the lands between the rivers Aros and Gelion became so dangerous that Dwarves traveling to and from the Ered Luin and Menegroth stopping going in small parties but went in great companies well armed.[5]

[edit] Other names

The Khuzdul name of the river south of the junction of Ascar was Gabilān ("Great River").


  1. 1.0 1.1 J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Quenta Silmarillion: Of Beleriand and its Realms"
  2. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Map of Beleriand and the Lands to the North"
  3. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Quenta Silmarillion: Of the Coming of Men into the West"
  4. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Quenta Silmarillion: Of the Ruin of Beleriand and the Fall of Fingolfin"
  5. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Quenta Silmarillion: Of the Ruin of Doriath"
Seven Rivers of Ossiriand
Gelion · Ascar · Thalos · Legolin · Brilthor · Duilwen · Adurant