Tolkien Gateway

Glittering Caves

(Redirected from Aglarond)
Ted Nasmith - The Glittering Caves of Aglarond.jpg
Glittering Caves
Physical Description
TypeCave/Colony
LocationWhite Mountains
InhabitantsRohirrim refugees, later Dwarves
DescriptionJewelled caverns
General Information
Other namesAglarond
EventsBattle of Helm's Deep

The Glittering Caves, also called Aglarond, were the spectacular jewelled caverns that lay in the White Mountains behind Helm's Deep in Rohan.

Contents

[edit] Overview

The Glittering Caves were located behind Helm's Deep under the three peaks of the Thrihyrne in the northwestern arm of the White Mountains. Gimli called the Glittering Caves one of the marvels of the Northern World. Reportedly, Legolas was left speechless after visiting them, one of the few times that a dwarf has bested an elf with words. The Glittering Caves extended deep under the mountains, with many passages, stairs, halls, and chambers. The floors were sandy and the ceilings were high, domed vaults. The walls were polished stone set with gems and crystals and veins of ore.[1]

[edit] History

[edit] War of the Ring

During the Battle of the Hornburg on 3-4 March, T.A. 3019, many of the women, children, and elderly people of the Westfold took refuge in the Glittering Caves. Livestock and food were stored there as well. The entrance to the caves was behind the Deeping-wall in a narrow gorge that could be defended long against an onslaught.

Some Orcs crept through a culvert in the Deeping-wall and entered the gorge but were killed or driven back by the defenders. Then the Deeping-wall was breached by an explosive device and the Enemy forces entered the Deep. Many of the Rohirrim including Éomer were driven back to the Glittering Caves, and with them was Gimli.[2]

After the war Gimli brought Legolas to see the caves; the Elf was so impressed that he was silent and said that only Gimli could fittingly describe them.[3]

[edit] As a Dwarven colony

The Dwarven Colony at the Glittering Caves

When Gimli Elf-friend was held up in the caves, he was amazed by their beauty. After the War of the Ring he brought from Erebor part of Durin's folk and founded a colony in the caves, becoming the first Lord of the Glittering Caves. The Dwarves of the Glittering Caves carefully tended the stone walls and opened new ways and chambers and hung lamps that filled the caverns with light. The Glittering Caves became one of the most important realms of the Dwarves at the beginning of the Fourth Age.[4]

[edit] Etymology

Aglarond is Sindarin and contains the elements aglar+rond, therefore "caves of glory". However since the word aglar is related to light, the Westron "Glittering Caves" can be the exact translation.

The Rohirrim called them Glæmscrafu[5] or Caverns of Helm's Deep.

[edit] Inspiration

The Glittering Caves are one of very few locations in Tolkien's work that are associated with a real place. They were inspired by the Cheddar Gorge in Somerset.[6]

[edit] References

  1. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Two Towers, "The Road to Isengard"
  2. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Two Towers, "Helm's Deep"
  3. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Return of the King, "Many Partings"
  4. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix A, "Durin's Folk"
  5. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), Unfinished Tales, "The Battles of the Fords of Isen", Appendix (ii)
  6. J.R.R. Tolkien; Humphrey Carpenter, Christopher Tolkien (eds.), The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien, Letter 321, (dated 4 February 1971)