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Valinor was the land of the Valar in Aman, beyond the mountains of the Pelóri.  It lay in the far West, beyond the Sea. (Silmarillion 353)   Near to Valinor is Tol Eressëa, the home of the Elves who have gone over the Sea. (351)

With Tol Eressëa it was called the 'Undying Lands.' (353)


Gondolin was the hidden city of Turgon.  It was surrounded by the Encircling Mountains.  It was sacked and destroyed by the Orcs during the First Age. (352)  It had seven names:

Gondobar-the City of Stone

Gondothlimbar-the City of the Dwellers in Stone

Gondolin-the Stone of Song

Gwarestrin-the Tower of Guard

Gar Thurion-the Secret Place


Lothengriol-the Flower of the Plain (BoLT  135)


'Land of Holly' ; it was a Noldorin realm in the Second Age.  It was here that the Three Rings were forged.  It lies west of Moria.  The Fellowship passed by on their way to the West-gate. (329)

The Grey Havens

They were also called 'Mithlond' and 'the Havens'.  They were the harbours of the Elves on the Gulf of Lhûn.  It was from the Grey Havens that those going to the Undying Lands would leave Middle-earth. (341)


There were two Lothlóriens.  One was the realm of Lórien, lord of Dreams.  The other was the land ruled over by Galadriel and Celeborn.  It is with the second one that we are concerned. (338)

It was once called Laurelindórenan, 'Land of the Valley of Singing Gold,' but it became simply Lothlórien, 'the Dreamflower.' (TTT 68)


Imladris was Elrond's home in a valley of the Misty Mountains.  Imladris means 'Deep Dale of the Cleft.'  (Silmarillion 368)   It was also called Rivendell and 'the Last Homely Home. 


It was also called Westernesse.  It was the isalnd prepared by the Valar as a dwelling place for the Edain at the end of the First Age.  It was ruled by the descendents of Elros.  It was drowned by the Valar at the end of the Second Age. (Silmarillion 344)


Gondor means 'Land of Stone.'  It was the southern kingdom founded by the Númenóreans.  It was established by Isildur and Anárion.  The kingdom survived but was kingless until Aragorn Elessar took the throne once more.  (332)

Minas Tirith:  Minas Tirith was the tower founded in Gondor.  It was once called Minas Anor, the 'Tower of the Sun,'  Later, after Minas Ithil became Minas Morgul, Minas Anor was called Minas Tirith, the 'Tower of Watch.' (341)

Minas Morgul:  Minas Morgul was once called Minas Ithil, the 'Tower of the Moon.'  It was established in the land of Ithilien beyond the River.  But it was captured by the Nazgûl and made into Minas Morgul, the 'Tower of Sorcery,' the lair of the Chief Nazgûl. (341)


It was the northern realm of the Númenóreans.  It was established by Elendil.  Arnor meant 'Land of the King.'  It was lost, but the kings remained, Rangers of the North, the Dúnedain. (317)


Mordor was the 'Black Land' established by Sauron in the land east of the Ephel Dúath.  It was ruled over by him for many years. (Silmarillion 341)

Mount Doom:  Mount Doom was also called Orodruin, the 'Mountain of Blazing Fire.'  Here Sauron forged the One Ring. (345)

Barad-dûr:  Barad-dûr was the tower of Sauron.  It was in the north-west corner of Mordor. (354)

The Shire

The Shire was the land of the hobbits.  It was in the west of Middle-earth, near the Grey Havens.  In 3027 Third Age (6 Fourth Age) Aragorn Elessar proclaimed that Men were not to enter the Shire and he made it a free land under the protection of Gondor and Arnor.  (RotK 432)

Bree:  Bree was a town on the edge of the Shire.  Both hobbits and men lived there.  Aragorn as Strider often passed through and he met the four hobbits in the Prancing Pony in the beginning of the Fellowship of the Ring. (FotR 188-217)

Bag End:  This was the hobbit-hole owned by Bilbo Baggins.  It was inherited by Frodo Baggins and then sold to the Sackville-Baggins' when Frodo left to take the Ring to Rivendell (as he thought).  After Frodo's return Lobelia Sackville-Baggins gave it back to him.  When he passed over the Sea he gave it to Samwise Gamgee. (RotK 340)

The Brandywine River:  This was the river near the Shire.  The Brandybucks lived near it and even swam and boated on it (strange for hobbits).  (FotR 23)


Buckland:   The land of the Brandybucks, where they dwelt.  It lay just east of the Brandywine River and just west of the Old Forest.  (22)


Moria means 'the Black Chasm.'  It was the the great Dwarven mansion in the Misty Mountains.  (Silmarillion 337)   It was also called 'Khazad-dûm' and 'Dwarrow-delf.' (342)    The Dwarves delved too deep and woke the Balrog which Gandalf later fought and destroyed.  The Orcs overran it and the Dwarves were forced to leave.  Balin tried to return with a host of Dwarves, but they were killed.  (380)


Fangorn or 'beard of tree' was the great forest ruled over by Treebeard, though ‘managed’ is a better word than ‘ruled over.’ (TTT 63-70)  It lay on the borders of Rohan. 

Cirith Ungol

Cirith Ungol was the place where Shelob lived.  Cirith means 'cleft' while Ungol carries echoes of Ungoliant the great spider who sucks the life from the Two Trees in the Silmarillion. (Silmarillion 322)  Frodo, Sam, and Gollum passed through it. (TTT 368-398)


Isengard was originally a Númenórean fortress on the west borders of Gondor.  It was later given to Cúrúnir or Saruman.  He perverted the tower of Orthanc and turned it into an echo of Barad-dûr.  (Silmarillion 316)



Rohan was the land of the Rohirrim.  It was given to them by Gondor after Eorl the Young and his men saved Minas Tirith.  It was in the south-western part of Gondor. 

Edoras:  Edoras was the city of the Rohirrim and the seat of the Kings of Rohan.  It was built on a hill in the middle of a plain.  It contained Meduseld, the Golden  Hall.


Tolkien, J.R.R.  The Fellowship of the Ring.  New York:  Ballantine Books, 1955.


Tolkien, J.R.R.  The Two Towers.  New York: Ballantine Books, 1955.


Tolkien, J.R.R.  The Return of the King.  New York:  Ballantine Books, 1956.


Tolkien, J.R.R.  The Silmarillion.  Boston, New York:  Houghton Mifflin, 1977.

A map of Middle-earth

A map of the places in the Lord of the Rings

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