|Place from J. R. R. Tolkien's legendarium|
|Description||Includes the Grey Havens, the Shire, Arnor, the 'Lone-lands' and Rivendell|
|Location||Lands between the Misty Mountains and the Blue|
Eriador is a large region in J. R. R. Tolkien's fictional world of Middle-earth. In the Second Age, and possibly much earlier, it was largely forested, but the Dúnedain felled most of the forests to build ships. Much of it was encompassed in the early Third Age by the kingdom of Arnor, which later split into the rival kingdoms of Rhudaur, Arthedain and Cardolan. The Shire occupies part of the former kingdom of Arthedain, while Bree and its neighbouring villages lie on the border with the former Cardolan. The Barrow-wights dwell within ancient burial mounds constructed in the First Age by the Edain as they journeyed to Beleriand. Other important places in Eriador are Rivendell, the Grey Havens and the abandoned kingdoms of Eregion and Angmar.
For much of Middle-earth's history, Eriador was sparsely populated, and indeed this is the meaning of its name: the Lone-lands. By the time of the War of the Ring, the main settlements were the Shire, Bree-land, Rivendell and the Grey Havens. Communities of Dwarves still mined the Ered Lindon, and a small population of former enemies of Númenor survived in southern Minhiriath. Eriador was protected by the Rangers of the North.
The boundaries of Eriador were:
- To the east, the Misty Mountains.
- To the north, the Ice-bay of Forochel, which flooded part of the lands of Morgoth after the War of Wrath.
- To the west, the mountains of Ered Lindon (also known as Ered Luin or Blue Mountains)
- To the south, the rivers Glanduin and Greyflood and the land of Enedwaith. After the War of Wrath, part of the southwestern border lies along the shores of Belegaer.
Eriador extended for some 600 miles north-south and 700 miles west-east. It was traversed by the East-West Road running from Rivendell to the Grey Havens and by the Greenway (former North-South Road connecting the kingdoms of Arnor and Gondor). Important rivers were the Lune (Elvish Lhûn), the Brandywine (Elvish Baranduin) and the Greyflood (Elvish Gwathló).
Depictions in adaptations
Eriador was the initial setting of the Lord of the Rings Online video game. Notably, both narrator (Gandalf) and characters in-game refer to various dangers as "The Doom of Eriador" or "A Threat to all of Eriador" instead of Middle-earth as a whole. The game was later expanded to include other Regions of Middle-earth, such as Moria, Lothlorien and Mirkwood.
- Fonstad, Karen Wynn (1991), The Atlas of Middle-earth, Boston: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Eriador, ISBN 0-618-12699-6
- Oberhelman, David D. (2006). "Eriador", in Drout, Michael D. C.: J. R. R. Tolkien Encyclopedia: Scholarship and Critical Assessment. Routledge, 17–18. ISBN 0-415-96942-5.
- at the
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