Tolkien Gateway


Physical Description
LocationBetween Thargelion and Ossiriand
General Information
Other namesRathlóriel
Etymology"Rushing" or "impetuous"
EventsBattle of Sarn Athrad aftermath

Ascar was the northernmost of the rivers that flowed through Ossiriand, along the northern bank of which lay the Dwarf-road from the Blue Mountains.[1] It was renamed Rathlóriel ("Goldenbed") after the sinking of the treasure of Doriath there.

[edit] History

After the murder of King Thingol of Doriath the Dwarves of Nogrod who had crafted the Nauglamír had fled eastward. Most of the Dwarves were slain and the Nauglamír was recovered, but two Dwarves escaped to Nogrod. There they claimed that their companions had been killed by Thingol in order to cheat the Dwarves of their reward for creating the necklace. The Dwarves of Nogrod sought vengeance and marched on Doriath. Melian, in response to Thingol's death, withdrew her protection, the Girdle of Melian, from Doriath and vanished from Middle-earth. The borders unguarded, the Dwarven host easily entered Menegroth where they ransacked and plundered the halls, retaking the Nauglamír.

The victorious Dwarves marched along the banks of the Ascar with their spoils. Suddenly, Beren, Dior his son, and a host of Laiquendi attacked the Dwarves. After the battle Beren reclaimed the Silmaril and the Nauglamír, but had the rest of the treasure of Doriath cast into the Ascar. From that time forth the river was renamed Rathlóriel ("Goldenbed").[2]

[edit] Etymology

Asgar in Noldorin means "rushing" or "impetuous",[3] derived from root A-SKAR.[4]

In Eriol's Old English translations, Ascar is referred to as Baening. Christopher Tolkien tentatively interpreted the O.E. name as "river filled with bones (of the Dwarves)", but doubted that it was his father's intended meaning.[5]


  1. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Map of Beleriand and the Lands to the North"
  2. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Quenta Silmarillion: Of the Ruin of Doriath"
  3. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Index of Names", Ascar
  4. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Lost Road and Other Writings, "Part Three: The Etymologies"
  5. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Shaping of Middle-earth, "III. The Quenta: Appendix 1: Fragments of a translation of The Quenta Noldorinwa into Old English, made by Ælfwine or Eriol; together with Old English equivalents of Elvish names"
Seven Rivers of Ossiriand
Gelion · Ascar · Thalos · Legolin · Brilthor · Duilwen · Adurant