The Encyclopedia of Arda - an interactive guide to the world of J.R.R. Tolkien
The name was in use briefly during the eighth century of the Second Age
The border between Minhiriath to the north and Enedwaith to the south
The confluence of the Mitheithel and the Glanduin, above Tharbad
Into the Great Sea at Lond Daer
gwa'theerr (where 'rr' indicates that the final r should be pronounced)
'River of shadow'
Other names


About this entry:

  • Updated 3 May 2022
  • This entry is complete

River Gwathir

The original name for the Gwathló

Map of the river Gwathir
The course of the river Gwathir1
The course of the river Gwathir1

When Aldarion sailed back to Middle-earth in the first millennium of the Second Age, he sent explorers into the mysterious lands that his people had never seen. One such group travelled up a wide river, darkened at that time by dense overhanging forests, and so they gave it the name Gwathir, from the Elvish for 'River of Shadow'. As they travelled further, they emerged from the forests into a vast fen. Imagining - wrongly - that they had found the river's source, they changed its name to Gwathló - 'shadowy river from the fens'.

The lands through which the river flowed changed immensely as the years passed. The Númenóreans felled the shadowing forests, and drained the wide fen, leaving only a remnant at Swanfleet. Before the end of the Second Age, nothing was left of the landscape that had given the river its name, but nevertheless it was known as the Gwathló into the Third Age and beyond.



At the time this river was known as Gwathir, it ran through lands that were dense with forest. We have no canonical map showing those forests, so they don't appear on the map here, but in fact most of this area (excepting the Great Fens of Nîn-in-Eilph) would have been covered thickly in trees during the Second Age.

See also...

New Haven


About this entry:

  • Updated 3 May 2022
  • This entry is complete

For acknowledgements and references, see the Disclaimer & Bibliography page.

Original content © copyright Mark Fisher 2005, 2011, 2022. All rights reserved. For conditions of reuse, see the Site FAQ.

Website services kindly sponsored by Discus from Axiom Software Ltd.
Discus helps you create a completely customised candidate experience for your DISC personality testing portal.
The Encyclopedia of Arda
The Encyclopedia of Arda
Homepage Search Latest Entries and Updates Random Entry