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Probably1 destroyed at the end of the First Age
On the southwestern borders of Ladros in eastern Dorthonion (later called Taur-nu-Fuin)
Said to have been hallowed by Melian in ancient times
Within the lands of the House of Bëor
ta'rn ae'luin ('ae' is pronounced like English 'eye')
A 'tarn' is a mountain lake;2 Aeluin probably means 'blue lake'3


About this entry:

  • Updated 22 January 2019
  • Updates planned: 1

Tarn Aeluin

The refuge of Barahir

Map of Tarn Aeluin

A clear blue mountain lake in the highlands of Dorthonion, said to have been hallowed by Melian. It was here that the outlaws of Barahir hid from Morgoth's forces after the Dagor Bragollach.



Almost all the lands westward of the Blue Mountains were destroyed in the cataclysm of the War of Wrath, but certain isolated highlands survived as islands. We know that this is true of the heights of Dorthonion, which in later ages formed an island off the western coasts of Middle-earth named Tol Fuin. It's possible, therefore, that Tarn Aeluin also survived, and perhaps in later ages continued to exist on the new island in the Great Sea.


The word 'tarn' is English, not Elvish. It's a relatively rare word for a mountain lake, especially a small one, so the name 'Tarn Aeluin' is essentially equivalent to 'Lake Aeluin'.


The name Aeluin is never explained, but it seems to be derived from the root ay-, meaning 'lake' or 'pool', combined with luin, 'blue'. This is supported by the fact that the lake's waters are described as being 'clear and blue' (in Quenta Silmarillion 19, Of Beren and Lúthien).


About this entry:

  • Updated 22 January 2019
  • Updates planned: 1

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