Tolkien Gateway

Firienholt

Firienholt
Physical Description
TypeForest
LocationOn the border between Rohan and Gondor, north of the Ered Nimrais
InhabitantsBeacon-wardens
General Information
Other namesFirien Wood, The Whispering Wood, Eryn Fuir
"Yonder is the Firienholt. But what lies beyond no man knows."
The War of the Ring, Part Three, Many Roads Lead Eastward, pg. 318

Firienholt, originally known as Eryn Fuir[1] was a small forest of oaks that stood on the borders of Rohan and Gondor, about and upon the slopes of the Amon Anwar (Halifirien).[2]

The Mering Stream arose in the cleft between the Halifirien and the rest of the Ered Nimrais. It then turned northwest and watered the densest stands of trees in the forest. The stream marked the precise border between the Eastfold, and the Gondorian land of Anórien and thus part of the woods belonged to either realm. The great West Road passed through a cutting in the wood to avoid the wet lands to the north. From the road there was also a path to the summit of the Halifirien maintained by the Beacon-wardens.[3]

[edit] History

The road that cut through the northern bounds of the wood had been built by the Exiles of Númenor soon after the founding of Arnor and Gondor.[4]

At the end of the War of the Last Alliance, Isildur took his nephew Meneldil and a company of trusted friends on a ride about the borders of Gondor. Returning from the northern boundary, Isildur came to the Eryn Fuir and had a path made to the summit of Amon Anwar, which was green and treeless. There they raised a mound for a casket to be the tomb and memorial of Elendil. This spot was chosen because it stood near to the center of the lands claimed by the South Kingdom.[5]

In T.A. 2510, after Eorl and his riders from Éothéod had saved the Steward Cirion and the army of Gondor at the Battle of the Field of Celebrant,[6] Cirion brought Eorl through the Eryn Fuir to the Amon Anwar to grant him the land of Calenardhon, thus founding the realm of Rohan.[3] With the coming of the Rohirrim, the forest became known as "Firienholt" from the Rohan language.[1]

In T.A. 2864 King Folca hunted and slew the great boar of Everholt in the Firien Wood, but died of the wounds the beast had given him.[7]

In March of T.A. 3019 Théoden and the host of the Rohirrim passed through Firienholt on their way to Minas Tirith.[8] Months later the funeral escort of Théoden would travel through the Firienholt on the way back to Edoras.[9]

[edit] Other names

The older Sindarin name for the wood had been Eryn Fuir, "North Wood" (becoming obsolete with the coming of the Rohirrim).[1] Because of the unnatural silence that lay upon the land in the Common Speech the Firienholt acquired the name "the Whispering Wood".[3]

[edit] Etymology

firien holt means "mountain wood", though it is rather more commonly referred to simply as the Firien Wood, taking its name from Halifirien.[10]

[edit] References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 J.R.R. Tolkien, "The Rivers and Beacon-hills of Gondor" (edited by Carl F. Hostetter), in Vinyar Tengwar, Number 42, July 2001, p. 20
  2. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Return of the King, "Map of Rohan, Gondor, and Mordor"
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), Unfinished Tales, "Cirion and Eorl and the Friendship of Gondor and Rohan", (iii) Cirion and Eorl'
  4. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), Unfinished Tales, "Cirion and Eorl and the Friendship of Gondor and Rohan", (iii) Cirion and Eorl', note 32
  5. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), Unfinished Tales, "Cirion and Eorl and the Friendship of Gondor and Rohan", (iv) The Tradition of Isildur
  6. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix B, "The Third Age"
  7. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix A, "The House of Eorl", "The Kings of the Mark", 13. Folca
  8. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix B, "The Great Years"
  9. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix B, "The Chief Days from the Fall of Barad-dûr to the End of the Third Age"
  10. J.R.R. Tolkien, "Nomenclature of The Lord of the Rings" in Wayne G. Hammond and Christina Scull (eds), The Lord of the Rings: A Reader's Companion, p. 770