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Northern Waste

(Redirected from Forodwaith (lands))
This article is about the region of Middle-earth. For the MERP supplement, see The Northern Waste.
Northern Waste
Rob Alexander - Forod.jpg
"Forod" by Rob Alexander
General Information
LocationNorth of Angmar, Mount Gundabad and Ered Mithrin
DescriptionIcy isolated region with few inhabitants
InhabitantsForodwaith, Orcs, Cold-drakes, Lossoth

The Northern Waste was a vast cold region of mostly ice and snow, in the far north end of Middle-earth,[1] beyond the Mountains of Angmar, Mount Gundabad and the Ered Mithrin. The main known area was Forochel.

The location was also named Forodwaith (S., "Northern lands, people") after the hardy Forodwaith folk, who inhabited it.

[edit] History

The Waste had been made very cold earlier in Arda's history because of the presence of Utumno and Melkor's evil cold emanating from it. The region remained cold even after Utumno's destruction.

Angelo Montanini - Northern Waste

The region was once inhabited by a hardy Mannish folk, the Forodwaith who gave the region its name. However in later years (possibly suffering by the Witch-king of Angmar) their remnants retreated to the Cape of Forochel.[2]

Dragons also dwelt in there[3] and after many years they multiplied and became strong and made war against the Dwarves. Cold-drakes came from the Northern Waste and drove the Dwarves of the Grey Mountains out of their homes, and most of the Dwarves then moved to Erebor and the Iron Hills.[4]

According to Frodo Baggins's poem for Gandalf, Gandalf had travelled to the Northern Waste.[5]

[edit] Other versions of the legendarium

The different definitions of "Forodwaith" between the earlier and the later map.

In the earliest General Map of Middle-earth by Christopher Tolkien, the northern portion of the Westlands is featureless, labelled as "Northern Waste", with the name "Forodwaith", in smaller letters, above the Mountains of Angmar; this seemed to suggest that Forodwaith is a part of the wider Northern Waste, if not a smaller separate region. This nomenclature was carried over to Pauline Baynes's A Map of Middle-earth.

Later, Christopher Tolkien realized that the two names are synonymous. The misunderstanding was corrected in the later map known as The West of Middle-earth at the End of the Third Age, where only the name "Forodwaith" appears, labeling all the blank portion north of the Mountains of Angmar and the Grey Mountains.[6]


  1. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), Unfinished Tales, "The West of Middle-earth at the End of the Third Age" [map]
  2. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix A, "The Númenorean Kings", "Eriador, Arnor, and the Heirs of Isildur"
  3. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit, "An Unexpected Party"
  4. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix A, "Durin's Folk"
  5. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Fellowship of the Ring, "The Mirror of Galadriel"
  6. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), Unfinished Tales, "Introduction", "The Map of Middle-earth"