Sea of Rhûn
|Sea of Rhûn|
|Description||Roughly shaped like an hourglass laid on its side|
|Other names||Eastern Sea|
|Etymology||S. rhûn "east"|
The Sea of Rhûn, or the Eastern Sea, is a large saltwater lake or sea in the east of Middle-earth.
The Kine of Araw was found near the Inland Sea.
The Sea of Rhûn covers roughly 400 square miles (1,000 km²). The Celduin (River Running) flows from the northwest into a northwestern arm of the sea, while several unnamed rivers flow from the northeastern shore. West of the Sea of Rhûn is the land of Dorwinion and roughly 200 miles (300 km) to the South is the eastern end of the Ered Lithui.
The south-eastern part of the Sea was occupied by a small shallow island.
In the First Age, the shores of the Inland Sea were populated by tribes of Men who were migrating to the West. The Lesser Folk got there first and dwelt at the feet of the nearby hills. The Greater Folk came later in the north-east woods near the shores. The Men crafted boats and could sail the sea, but they didn't meet often, and their languages soon diverged before they resumed their journey to Beleriand.
 Other versions of the Legendarium
In the drafts for the Lord of the Rings, the sea was called "Sea of Rhûnaen". In the earlier maps, part of the Sea was occupied by a heavily wooded island. In the published maps by Christopher Tolkien, the island is replaced by a dotted pattern. The reason for this change and what it signifies was never specified by C. Tolkien. There is no trace of the unnamed island is absent in Pauline Baynes's A Map of Middle-earth.
Christopher Tolkien and others have speculated that the Sea of Rhûn might "...be identified with the Sea of Helkar, vastly shrunken" (The War of the Jewels, pg. 174). Karen Wynn Fonstad adopted this assumption in The Atlas of Middle-earth. In The Peoples of Middle-earth there are references to the Sea of Rhûn existing in the First Age, but no indication as to whether it should be equated with the Sea of Helkar or not.
- ↑ It is not clear when exactly the eastern lands became part of Gondor; the Inland Sea is mentioned in that context during the time of the Ship-kings, however those extended Gondor to the South, not to the East. It is possible therefore that the eastern lands had come in the possession of Gondor already in even earlier times.
- ↑ J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Peoples of Middle-earth, "The Problem of Ros"
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix A, "The Númenorean Kings", "Gondor and the Heirs of Anárion"
- ↑ J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Treason of Isengard, "The First Map of The Lord of the Rings", "Map II"
- ↑ J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, "The West of Middle-earth at the End of the Third Age" [map]