Tolkien Gateway


Revision as of 14:42, 28 September 2021 by LorenzoCB (Talk | contribs)
(diff) ← Older revision | Latest revision (diff) | Newer revision → (diff)
Christopher Tolkien - Bay of Balar.jpg
General Information
LocationIn Beleriand, south of Narog and west of Sirion
DescriptionCoastal region of Balar
RegionsCape Balar, Nimbrethil
InhabitantsNoldor, Falathrim
"Eärendil was a mariner
that tarried in Arvernien
he built a boat of timber felled
in Nimbrethil to journey in
Song of Eärendil

Arvernien was the coastland of Beleriand west of the Mouths of Sirion. It had the protection of Ulmo.

[edit] History

Arvernien was originally an uninhabited land, known mainly for the forest of Nimbrethil,[1] but after the rout that became known as the Battle of Unnumbered Tears and the subsequent destruction of the Havens of Brithombar and Eglarest, Círdan and his folk dwelt in this region. Though at first they lived on the Isle of Balar, they later founded the Havens of Sirion.[2] The area became a known refuge, as when Gondolin fell, many of its people fled southward too[3] and those were followed by refugees from Doriath.

The Havens were devastated by the Third Kinslaying when the remaining Sons of Fëanor came to claim the Nauglamír held by Eärendil. Following Eärendil's return from his journeys out at sea and the War of Wrath in which Morgoth was defeated, Beleriand, and Arvernien with it, was destroyed.[4]

[edit] Etymology

Tolkien only ever gave an incomplete translation of the name Arvernien: "(the land) beside the Verna".[5]

Except the core element Verna, the name can be analyzed as prefix ar- meaning "beside, without" (see also argad) and the geographical ending -ien which translates as "land of". The meaning of Verna is, however, unclear.

Considering that the name was an invention of Tolkien's early legendarium, when Beleriand was still called Broseliand, David Salo suggested the name might actually have been inspired by the French region of Auvergne.[6]


  1. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Index of Names", entry "Arvernien"
  2. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Quenta Silmarillion: Of the Fifth Battle: Nirnaeth Arnoediad"
  3. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Quenta Silmarillion: Of Tuor and the Fall of Gondolin"
  4. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Quenta Silmarillion: Of the Voyage of Eärendil and the War of Wrath"
  5. J.R.R. Tolkien, "Words, Phrases and Passages in Various Tongues in The Lord of the Rings", in Parma Eldalamberon XVII (edited by Christopher Gilson), pp. 19, 71 (July 2007)
  6. David Salo, Message 34598, Elfling
Falas Narog Nan Tathren
Belegaer WindRose3.pngSirion
Cape Balar Bay of Balar Mouths of Sirion