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Topic: The Rainbow Cleft

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Fundin, Lord of Moria - Rank 5
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Date: Nov 1, 2010
The Rainbow Cleft

Anyone with KW Fonstad's book note that there is no seeming gap through the mountains from the Sea into Hithlum and Dor-Lomin, and so no passage, if not over mountains at least, except through the Gate of the Noldor and the Rainbow Cleft?

But compare to (Christopher) Tolkien's map and (it seems to me) that a river creates an arguable gap. Granted Tuor takes the Gate and the ravine on his way out, but the Noldor didn't take this route on the way in, seemingly. And the Orcs sought this route (from the Sea) at one point, if I remember correctly.

What do you think? did the Elves pass over mountains here (or at least lower hills in a 'gap' of sorts) and it just wasn't noted?

Or did I raise this somewhere here already hmm



-- Edited by Galin on Monday 1st of November 2010 02:41:39 PM

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Samwise Gamgee - rank 9
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I'm having a look at the moment and I see the Rainbow Cleft and the Gate of the Noldor a bit further up. Should there be some other passage in addition to this?

-- Edited by mouth of sauron on Tuesday 2nd of November 2010 12:17:43 AM

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Fundin, Lord of Moria - Rank 5
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Date: Nov 2, 2010
I think so; or let's put it this way... how did the arriving Noldor pass into Hithlum? and what about the Orcs for example?

I know CJRT's map is a differently drawn map compared to KWF's version, but to me, on CJRT's map Drengist breaks into the mountains, which seems to agree with...

... the Grey Annals section 43: 'Drengist is a long firth which pierces the echoing Hills of Eryd Lomin that are the west-fence of the great country of Hithlum. Thus the host of Feanor passed from the shores into the inner regions of Hithlum, and marching...'

And section 115, where the orcs '... came by the coasts to the firth of Drengist, and so would enter into the heart of the realm of Hithlum.'





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Anarion, Son of Elendil - rank 8
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I can't say I see much of a difference between that map and the one in the back of my copy of the Silmarillion. Are you comparing it to a different map than that one Galin?

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Fundin, Lord of Moria - Rank 5
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Date: Nov 3, 2010
Yes, that's the one: CJRT's Silmarillion map (or JRRT's in War of the Jewels) versus KWF's rendering in her book.

Maybe I'm assuming too much based on the way the mountains are rendered in both Tolkien maps (the Tolkien-style mountains might make things look more open, so to speak). Or maybe I'm misreading KWF's version, which looks to me like one would have to scale cliffs if not using Annon-in-Gelydh.

In any case, maps aside, how did the arriving Noldor pass into Hithlum? Or why did the Orcs come all the way south to the Firth of Drengist to try and enter Hithlum here? There doesn't seem to be an indication (in the text) that anyone crossed any difficult mountains or cliffs.

It could be due to the story omitting the details I guess (due to compression), but for example: 'Drengist is a long firth which pierces the echoing Hills of Eryd Lomin that are the west-fence of the great country of Hithlum. Thus the host of Feanor passed from the shores into the inner regions of Hithlum, and marching...'

To me, this seems to imply another passage of some sort, carved by Drengist. And back to the maps, the Tolkien-made maps could (arguably at least) allow for this, while again, looking at the Fonstad map there seems no way into Hithlum -- at least at this point in history -- but over cliffs.

I'm not sure that's what Tolkien intended. Doesn't the text above (at least) imply the arriving Noldor passed into Hithlum where the mountains were 'pierced' rather than a difficult climb over them?

Or is it just me biggrin



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Thorin Oakenshield - Rank 6
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Could it be that in some areas the mountains were just simply easy to scale and traverse? I am unsure of the exact geography in that area but "mountains" doesn't always mean the sheer type we see in the LOTR film. Maybe the mountains were less sheer in some areas so much so that a large host could march over them without too much trouble.

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Fundin, Lord of Moria - Rank 5
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Date: Nov 5, 2010

I had a somewhat similar reply elsewhere Bilbo (the only other reply so far in another forum where I asked), from 'Puddleglum19':

'The chief "obstacle" seems to be that in the story of Tuor, he has to pass a tunnel (the "Gate of the Noldor") to reach the ravine at the head of the Firth; while the Noldor and, especially, the Orcs don't.

However, the text (Unfinished Tales "Of Tuor...") describes Tuor's approach to the Ered Lomin with "as (the stream) approach
the hills." (not "the mountains").

I surmise that the Ered Lomin, unlike the Ered Wethrin, were lower and more like hills - easier to cross - especially around the upper end of the Firth of Drengist which "pierced the echoing
hills of Ered Lomin" [from "Of the Return of the Noldor"].  Puddleglum19

This could work, and seems to be essentially what you are saying Bilbo. And maybe we could also use secrecy as a reason for Tuor to desire Annon-in-Gelydh, considering: "But how shall we escape the net of our enemies?" said Tuor. "For the marching of so many will surely be marked." [] "We shall not march through the land openly," said Annael; and if our fortune is good we shall come to the secret way which we call Annon-in-Gelydh, the Gate of the Noldor; ...'

 
If we speculate that we have a hilly region near Drengist here, as opposed to a difficult mountain crossing, this might explain the Noldorin passage into Hithlum and why (I think) no notable crossing is mentioned in the texts (a possible explanation aside from compression anyway), and why the Orcs later also sought this route. 

We would have a passage of sorts, but by Tuor's time perhaps this way was too risky, despite that (I don't think) the narrative ever specifically says this route was being watched.

Or something biggrin


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Samwise Gamgee - rank 9
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Date: Nov 9, 2010
It does state in that quote that Annael said they would 'not march openly over the land' as they needed secrecy. This, therefore, must mean that marching over the land was possible and this is what Feanor and co did?

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