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|The Misty Mountains|
|Other names||Hithaeglir (S)The Mountains of MistTowers of Mist|
|Location||Between Eriador and Wilderland, and Rohan's northern border|
|Description||The largest mountain range in Middle-earth|
|Regions||Khazad-dûm, numerous Orc-holds|
|People and History|
|Inhabitants||Dwarves of Durin's folk, Orcs, Trolls, Giants, Eagles|
|Events||The Great Journey of the Elves, awakening of Durin I, awakening of the Balrog, dominion of the Orcs, War of the Dwarves and Orcs|
The Misty Mountains, Mountains of Mist or Towers of Mist (Hithaeglir in Sindarin[note 1] as a plural) was a great mountain range that lay between Eriador in the west and the Great River Anduin in the east.
In the far north, the Misty Mountains formed a T with the Grey Mountains and the Mountains of Angmar. They ran 795 miles (1,280 kilometers)[source?] to the Gap of Rohan in the south, where they approached vertically the White Mountains. The Gap was a passable valley between the southernmost peak of the Misty Mountains and the northernmost of the White.[note 2]
The lands around the Misty Mountains included several forests, rivers and other populated areas. Such realms under the Mountains had been Angmar, Eregion, Dunland, Lothlórien, Fangorn and others. While Elves guarded both sides of the Misty Mountains, few ever crossed them.
The northernmost peak of the Misty Mountains can be considered Mount Gundabad, where according to legend, Durin, eldest of the seven Fathers of the Dwarves, awoke. Later it became a haven for Orcs.
The greatest Dwarven realm in Middle-Earth, Khazad-dûm, was located at the midpoint of the Misty Mountains. The city was built under three peaks, the Mountains of Moria: Redhorn (Caradhras in Sindarin), Silvertine (Celebdil) and Cloudyhead (Fanuidhol). Inside Silvertine the Dwarves built the Endless Stair, a stairway from the foundations of the mountain to its peak.
The Misty Mountains were created by the Vala Melkor during the Years of the Trees as a hindrance for Oromë, who would hunt his fell creatures. They would later serve as a deterrent for the Elves during the Great Journey, causing some to turn south. The Elves that would not cross the Misty Mountains would become the Nandor.
The great Dwarven city of Khazad-dûm (later called the "Black Pit" of Moria) was located near the middle of the mountain chain. There Durin's folk lived for thousands of years with a kingdom which spread as far as Gundabad and as far east as the Iron Hills.
Around 1050, the Harfoots migrated west across the Misty Mountains, fleeing the ever more numerous Men and the Shadow growing in Mirkwood, thus the Hobbits entered history. Later the other two groups of Hobbits, the Stoors and Fallohides, migrated west as well, until by 2500 no Hobbits could be found east of the mountains.
When the Dwarves were strong, the mountains were generally free of Orcs, but when the Shadow was strong, Orcs bred in Mount Gundabad, in Goblin-town, later in Moria itself, and everywhere in between. In T.A. 1300 the Orcs of the Misty Mountains started increasing and harassing the Dwarves.
The awakening of Durin's Bane, drove the Dwarves from their city. It also seems that some Dwarves, either before or after the War of the Dwarves and Orcs, dwelt on the eastern side of the mountains near Goblin-town.
The Fellowship of the Ring faced the challenge to pass the Mountains. They decided to avoid the High Pass or the Gap of Rohan because of the threat of Orc patrols and Saruman's forces. They attempted to cross Redhorn Pass, but a powerful blizzard blocked it, forcing them to journey through Moria. There Gandalf was lost trying to stop Durin's Bane, and after falling into the abyss, he chased him up to the Dwarven Endless Stair and fought on the peak of Silvertine.
Portrayal in adaptations
- The Misty Mountain range as the Fellowship tries to cross the pass of Caradhras.
2007: The Lord of the Rings Online:
- Misty Mountains appear as both a major game region and within other game areas. The region of "Misty Mountains" consists of the part of the mountain range adjacent to Rivendell Valley, including both High Pass and Goblin-town. The mountain range in a broader sense can also be accessed from other in-game regions, including the pass Caradhras in Eregion, former settlement of Dwarves under Thrór in eastern Enedwaith, a village on the slopes of mount Methedras in Dunland, the cliffs of Zirakzigil in Moria and the eastern slopes of the Mountains in Lothlórien.
- ↑ The Hithaeglir were mispelled as "Hithaiglin" on the original Lord of the Rings map.
- ↑ Karen Wynn Fonstad estimates in the The Atlas of Middle-earth that some of the peaks may have been as high as 12,000 feet (3,660 meters), comparable to the Alps in Europe. Tolkien had visited the Alps in his youth and was greatly impressed by them.
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Quenta Silmarillion: Of the Coming of the Elves and the Captivity of Melkor"
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, "The West of Middle-earth at the End of the Third Age" [map]
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Fellowship of the Ring, "The Ring Goes South"
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit, "Queer Lodgings"
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix B, "The Third Age"
- ↑ 6.0 6.1 J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Fellowship of the Ring, "The Council of Elrond"
- ↑ J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Fellowship of the Ring, "The Ring Goes South"
- ↑ J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit, "Over Hill and Under Hill"
- ↑ J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Two Towers, "The White Rider"
- ↑ J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix A, "Durin's Folk"
- The Hobbit, Out of the Frying-Pan into the Fire
- The Hobbit, Riddles in the Dark
- The Fellowship of the Ring, Many Meetings
- The Fellowship of the Ring, A Journey in the Dark
- The Fellowship of the Ring, Lothlórien
- The Lord of the Rings, Appendix B
- Unfinished Tales, Cirion and Eorl and the Friendship of Gondor and Rohan
- The Silmarillion, Of Aulë and Yavanna
- The Silmarillion, Of the Coming of the Elves and the Captivity of Melkor
- Karen Wynn Fonstad, The Atlas of Middle-earth