Tolkien Gateway


This article is about the river. For the mother of Aragorn, see Gilraen.

Gilrain was a long river that flowed south out of the White Mountains through western Lebennin in the south of Gondor. It was a tributary of the River Serni, joining it above Linhir.[1]

The Gilrain flowed swiftly from its source until at the end of the outlier of the mountains it ran into a wide shallow depression. In this area it wandered for awhile, forming a small mere before it cut through a ridge and fell in waterfalls, from whence it again flowed swiftly towards the sea. Legend said that Nimrodel tarried there upon its banks as she came south out of the White Mountains, falling into a long sleep and thus missing Amroth's ship.[2]

[edit] Etymology

The first element in the Sindarin name Gilrain is gil ("spark"), and the second element derives from the root RAN ("wander, stray").[2][3]

[edit] Portrayal in adaptations

2014: The Lord of the Rings Online:

The river Gilrain formed the border between the areas of Dor-en-Ernil and Lower Lebennin in the region of Central Gondor. The river was the domain of the gentle River-maid Roamingstar, one of the Five Sisters, who dwelt in the mere. Roamingstar lulled the elf-maid Nimrodel to sleep with her song and so accidentally caused the Elf to lose her beloved, Amroth, a tragedy the River-maid still felt guilt for during the War of the Ring. She and her sisters were widely considered myths by then, but when her aid was sought for Gondor she gave it by preventing the Ruthless Dead from crossing her river into Lebennin.


  1. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Return of the King, "Map of Rohan, Gondor, and Mordor"
  2. 2.0 2.1 J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), Unfinished Tales, "The History of Galadriel and Celeborn", "Amroth and Nimrodel"
  3. J.R.R. Tolkien, "The Rivers and Beacon-hills of Gondor" (edited by Carl F. Hostetter), in Vinyar Tengwar, Number 42, July 2001, pp. 11-3