Tolkien Gateway


The Lord of the Rings (film series) - Miniriath map.jpg
Map showing Minhiriath from The Lord of the Rings film series
General Information
PronunciationS, min-hear-ee-ath
LocationSouthern Eriador
People and History
InhabitantsMen, Elves
EventsWar of the Elves and Sauron
GalleryImages of Minhiriath

Minhiriath was located in Eriador, a name for all the lands between the Brandywine and the Gwathló rivers.



Minhiriath was located between the Brandywine River on its NW border and the Greyflood on its SE border. The Shire was north of the Brandywine across Sarn Ford. Enedwaith was south of the Greyflood.

The eastern border of Minhiriath was probably around the North-South Road. On the SW, Minhiriath had a coast on the Sea. The forest of Eryn Vorn was on a cape on the coast of Minhiriath.

The city of Tharbad was on the Greyflood on the border between Minhiriath and Enedwaith. The port of Lond Daer was also on the Greyflood where it flowed into the Sea.


Earliest inhabitants

The original forest inhabitants of Minhiriath were descended from the same Atani as the ancestors of the Númenóreans, but because they spoke mutually unintelligible languages (they were related to the Haladin), the Númenóreans did not class the Minhiriathrim as Middle Men. Combined with their later hostility, they classified them as "Men of Darkness".[1]

Second Age

A large-scale deforestation of the land began under the Númenórean "Ship Kings" after the 7th century. The folk of Minhiriath became openly hostile, and were in turn persecuted. Only those who fled from Minhiriath into the dark woods of the great Cape of Eryn Vorn survived. Most, if not all of these forest-dwellers subsequently welcomed Sauron hoping for his victory over the Men of the Sea, but they were to be disappointed - and permanently trapped - by Sauron's burning of much of the rest of the surviving forest, and final defeat, in S.A. 1701.

From S.A. 3320, Minhiriath became nominally part of the newly established Kingdom of Arnor.

Third Age

Matěj Čadil - Minhiriath

From T.A. 861, Minhiriath was inherited by one of Arnor's three successor states, Cardolan, but the "ravaging" of Cardolan by evil forces in 1409 no doubt caused extensive depopulation of the whole country. Even worse was the advent of the Great Plague in 1636, after which Minhiriath was "almost entirely deserted". The Dúnedain of Cardolan were wiped out.[2]

After 1975, even though a few secretive hunter-folk lived in the woods throughout the Third Age, Minhiriath was claimed by no kingdom at all.

In 2912, Minhiriath was devastated by floods in the spring that followed the Fell Winter. Tharbad was ruined at this time.[3]

Although it was still thickly forested in several places by the time of the War of the Ring, the once continuously forested Minhiriath bore the permanent scars of over 5000 years of felling, burning and war.

After the War of the Ring at the end of the Third Age, the North-kingdom of Arnor was re-established by Aragorn II. Minhiriath and other regions of Eriador were repopulated during the Fourth Age.


Minhiriath is Sindarin for "Between the Rivers" (in reference to the Brandywine and Greyflood), from min ("between") + hiriath lenited from siriath ("rivers").

In a letter to Mr Paul Bibire (dated 30 June 1969), Minhiriath is associated explicitely by Tolkien to Mesopotamia, which means "between the rivers".[4]


Blue Mountains The Shire South Downs
Harlindon WindRose3.pngDunland
Belegaer Enedwaith, Belegaer Enedwaith


  1. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Peoples of Middle-earth, "X. Of Dwarves and Men", "The Atani and their Languages", Note 72
  2. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix A, "The Númenorean Kings", "Eriador, Arnor, and the Heirs of Isildur"
  3. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix B, "The Third Age"
  4. J.R.R. Tolkien, Carl F. Hostetter (ed.), The Nature of Middle-earth, "Part Three. The World, its Lands, and its Inhabitants: XXII. The Rivers and Beacon-hills of Gondor", p. 378