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Destroyed at the end of the First Age
Beneath Mount Rerir at the northern extent of the Blue Mountains
The halls of Caranthir son of Fëanor were on the shores of the lake
The southern of the two sources of the Greater Gelion flowed from the western end of the lake
The Greater Gelion ran on to join the Little Gelion to form the river Gelion itself
Important peaks
Lay beneath Mount Rerir
'Lake of black glass'


About this entry:

  • Updated 28 March 2018
  • This entry is complete

Lake Helevorn

The cold lake beneath Mount Rerir

Map of Lake Helevorn
Slightly conjectural1
Slightly conjectural1

In the far north of Ered Luin, the Blue Mountains, a branch of the range ran down southwestwards to form a hooked shape. Within the crook of this shape, beneath the peak of Mount Rerir, lay a great dark mountain lake that ran for some twenty miles from end to end. Surrounded by mountains on all sides but the south, the lake often lay in deep shadow, and from this it took its name: Helevorn or 'black glass'. From the southern end of the lake ran a small river that would join up with other tributaries to form the Gelion, the great river of East Beleriand.

After the Return of the Noldor to Middle-earth, the Sons of Fëanor occupied the northward lands of East Beleriand. Of these it was the fourth son Caranthir who settled the region around the lake itself, farthest north and east of all the brothers. Caranthir himself built halls on the lake's northern shore, and his people constructed dwellings beside Helevorn and southward through the lands that came to be known as Dor Caranthir, the 'Land of Caranthir'. Being the easternmost settled Elves of Beleriand, they explored eastward over the Blue Mountains, coming into contact with the Dwarves beyond and trading with them.

In the winter of I 455, Morgoth broke the Siege of Angband in the Battle of Sudden Flame. His armies poured southwards, and a great part of them came against the hills of the March of Maedhros northward of the lake. Aided by the Dragon Glaurung, they broke through Maglor's Gap and burned the fortress of Caranthir, who fled away southwards. They ravaged the lands around Lake Helevorn and defiled its waters, and from that time Helevorn and its shores were deserted by the Elves.

The lake was destroyed, or at least covered by the inrushing Sea, in the cataclysm of the War of Wrath a century later. After the drowning of Beleriand, the Great Sea ran almost up to the Blue Mountains in the place where Helevorn had been. In that place a narrow bay ran into the new land of Forlindon, perhaps a remnant of the great lake that had lain there throughout the First Age.



Placing the halls of Caranthir is problematic. They are not shown on any map, and the textual sources are at some variance over their precise location. They're said to have stood beside Lake Helevorn, but also to have been on the western slopes of Mount Rerir. Given the geography of this region, these two statements are difficult to reconcile, but the location shown on the map for this entry represents an approximate compromise between the available sources.


About this entry:

  • Updated 28 March 2018
  • This entry is complete

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