Tolkien Gateway

Great Gulf

Great Gulf
Physical Description
LocationSouth of Endor, north of Hither Lands, coming from Belegaer toward the Straits of the World
DescriptionLarge eastward extension of Belegaer into Middle-earth
General Information
EventsDestruction of the Two Lamps
War of Wrath

The Great Gulf was an immense gulf which divided Beleriand and the other northern parts of Middle-earth from the unknown south during the First Age.[1]

The Great Gulf was created after the destruction of the Two Lamps by Melkor and in the following war, when the Valar widened the great sea Belegaer. The Gulf started at the southern end of Beleriand, and from there flowed east all the way to where later was south Gondor, where a narrow strip of land separated it from the Sea of Helcar, linked together only by the Straits of the World.[2]

North of the Great Gulf lay the lands of Beleriand and Eriador, south of it lay those lands which later would be known as Far Harad.

After the War of Wrath at the end of the First Age, the Great Gulf drained the Sea of Helcar through the Straits of the World and effectively disappeared itself, because much of Middle-earth was drowned. Only its eastern end remained, and became known as the Bay of Belfalas.


  1. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Quenta Silmarillion: Of the Coming of the Elves and the Captivity of Melkor"
  2. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Shaping of Middle-earth, "V. The Ambarkanta: Map V"