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Lori Deitrick - Men of Dorwinion.jpg
Physical Description
LocationOn the northwest side of the Sea of Rhûn
DescriptionA land of vineyards
General Information
EtymologySee below

Dorwinion or Dor-Winion was a land which lay on the northwestern shores of the Sea of Rhûn, surrounded by the River Running.[1] In Dorwinion was made a heady wine, which was strong enough to let even Elves get drunk and fall asleep.


[edit] History

Despite its location in the outskirts of Rhûn, the very name of Dorwinion betrayed an influence by the Elves or the Gondorians, although it can't be said with certainty who inhabited that land, Elves or Men.

What is known is that by the time of King Hyarmendacil I (T.A. 1015 - 1149), the lands around the region that was or would become Dorwinion were within the borders of Gondor. In T.A. 1248 Minalcar and Vidugavia also campaigned in the lands between Rhovanion and the Inland Sea.[2] In the following centuries the Great Plague had hit those lands[3] although it is not known how much Dorwinion was affected. Eventually Gondor's borders diminished and it withdrew its hold from the lands around Rhûn, and thus Dorwinion.

By T.A. 2941 Dorwinion traded with realms of Wilderland, such as the Woodland Realm. The special wine of Thranduil came from that place in crates. The Elves of Mirkwood returned the crates by way of the Forest River to Lake-town on Long Lake.[4]

[edit] Etymology

The name is Sindarin meaning "Land of Gwinion", whereas Gwinion itself is a name of a country meaning "Young-land"; from dor and gwain plus the geographical ending -iond.[5] The latter part of the name is apparently related to Gnomish words such as gwinwen (“freshness”) and gwion (“young”).

Tolkien commented that the Elvish name in such a remote location is a "testimony to the spread of Sindarin".[6]

[edit] Other versions

Dorvinion or Dor-Winion is mentioned in the The Lay of the Children of Húrin; its wine was famous among the Dwarves of Nogrod and Menegroth. It is said there to lie in the "Burning south" (of Beleriand)[7], which might suggest it was a different "Dorwinion", or may just have referred to the fact it came from the more southern lands of Rhovanion by way of the Dwarf-road of Beleriand.

While writing the Quenta Silmarillion, Tolkien once mentioned Dorwinion as a location of Tol Eressea.[8] Tolkien reused the name and the wines in The Hobbit, establishing thus that it is somewhere in or near the Wilderland.

[edit] Inspiration

Based on the meaning of its name, John Rateliff suggests that the name is a reference to the Irish legend of Tír na nÓg "Land of the Young". However this similarity rather applies to the earlier phase where Dorwinion was mentioned as a part of Tol Eressea.

[edit] External links


  1. Pauline Baynes, J.R.R. Tolkien, A Map of Middle-earth
  2. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix A, "The Númenorean Kings", "Gondor and the Heirs of Anárion"
  3. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), Unfinished Tales, "Cirion and Eorl and the Friendship of Gondor and Rohan"
  4. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit, "Barrels Out of Bond"
  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), p. 54
  6. J.R.R. Tolkien, John D. Rateliff (ed.), The History of The Hobbit
  7. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Lays of Beleriand, "I. The Lay of the Children of Húrin: I. Túrin's Fostering" lines 223, 425
  8. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Lost Road and Other Writings, "Part Two: Valinor and Middle-earth before The Lord of the Rings, VI. Quenta Silmarillion", p. 338