River Sirion

River Sirion

In the fiction of J. R. R. Tolkien, Sirion was a river of Middle-earth in the First Age, the principal river of Beleriand. During most of its course it was the border between East and West Beleriand. Karen Wynn Fonstad estimates its length as 390 miles in her Atlas of Middle-earth.


The Sirion's source was at Eithel Sirion on the eastern side of the Ered Wethrin, which lay in between Ard-galen (later Anfauglith) and Mithrim and Hithlum. It was guarded by the tower of Barad Eithel.


Sirion flowed southwards along the border of the Ered Wethrin, passing through the Fen of Serech before entering the narrow steep-sided valley between the Ered Wethrin and the Echoriath named the Pass of Sirion. Sirion then continued south into Beleriand, with the Forest of Brethil to the west, and Dimbar and then Doriath to the east. After leaving Doriath it ran though flat land and formed Aelin-uial (the Fens of Sirion) before plunging below ground in the Falls of Sirion at Andram (the Long Wall), where the ground fell steeply. Three leagues southwards the Sirion exited the underground caves at the Gates of Sirion. It then flowed southwards through Nan-Tathren until it reached the Bay of Balar, part of Belegaer, at the Ethir Sirion, Mouths of Sirion.


In order from north to south, the principal tributaries of the Sirion were "Rivil", flowing from Dorthonion until it met Sirion in the Fen of Serech; "Lithir", which issued from the Ered Wethrin, "Mindeb", which had its source in Nan Dungortheb and the Ered Gorgoroth, "Taeglin", "Esgalduin" of Doriath; "Aros" flowing south from Dorthonion (and also containing the waters of "Celon" from Himring and Himlad) which met at Aelin-uial, and "Narog", which joined Sirion in Nan-Tathren. Originally a river flowed into Sirion from beneath the Echoriath, but after the building of Gondolin it dried up.

Crossing Points

The crossing points of Sirion are the bridge at Tol Sirion, the Ford of Brithiach where the road from Himlad crossed Sirion, and the ferries of Doriath at Aelin-uial. A Guarded Bridge that allows passage into Brethil or Nivrim was also mentioned. ["Unfinished Tales", p.120, "the guarded bridge near the inflowing of Esgalduin"] It was also possible to cross between the Falls of Sirion and the Gates of Sirion where the river flowed underground. Elsewhere the river was unfordable and uncrossable except by boat - even in winter, for Sirion never froze south of the Fen of Serech.


Barad Eithel, at the source of the Sirion in the Ered Wethrin, was a chief fortress of Fingolfin and his son Fingon, probably guarding a pass into their realm of Mithrim. Further south, in the Pass of Sirion, lay Tol Sirion in the centre of the river (see below). After the Coming of Men, the Edain of the House of Haleth made their home in the Forest of Brethil, and the Sindar ruled by Thingol lay secure within the Girdle of Melian in their realm of Doriath. At the outflow of Sirion into Belegaer, after the destruction of Eglarest and Brithombar, the Havens of Sirion were built by Círdan and his people.


The most important island in Sirion was Tol Sirion. The original Minas Tirith was built here by Finrod Felagund in the strategic location controlling the Pass of Sirion where it entered Beleriand between the Ered Wethrin and the Echoriath. Shortly after Dagor Bragollach it was captured by Sauron and the island became known as Tol-in-Gaurhoth.

Other Information

The river Gelion flowed parallel to Sirion.At the end of the third age when Thangorodrim was broken, Beleriand was submerged in the sea and the Sirion flowed no more.


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  • Sirion — could refer to:*Another name for Mount Hermon *Daihatsu Sirion (a car made by Daihatsu) *River Sirion in the stories of J. R. R. Tolkien …   Wikipedia

  • Sirion —    The Great River of Beleriand, flowing from north to south and dividing West from East Beleriand.        The great river of Beleriand.    The greatest of the rivers of Beleriand, the Sirion flowed some 850 miles from its source in the cold… …   J.R.R. Tolkien's Middle-earth glossary

  • Eithel Sirion —     Sirion s Well , in the eastern face of Ered Wethrin, where was the great fortress of Fingolfin and Fingon (see Barad Eithel).        The source of the River Sirion.    The spring at which the River Sirion had its source, in the eastern Ered… …   J.R.R. Tolkien's Middle-earth glossary

  • Falls of Sirion —    Sirion s descent beneath the Andram.    The mighty thundering falls of the River Sirion, where its waters fell beneath the earth and flowed beneath the hills of the Andram for nine miles before emerging again …   J.R.R. Tolkien's Middle-earth glossary

  • Gates of Sirion —    Sirion s emergence from beneath the Andram.    The cavernous mouth in the southern hills of the Andram where the River Sirion emerged from its underground course …   J.R.R. Tolkien's Middle-earth glossary

  • Vales of Sirion —  / Vale of Sirion    The wide valley that ran north to south through Beleriand.    The wide valley of the River Sirion, that separated West Beleriand from East Beleriand. The term (also seen in the singular form Vale of Sirion ) seems to apply… …   J.R.R. Tolkien's Middle-earth glossary

  • Tol Sirion —    Island in the river in the Pass of Sirion on which Finrod built the tower of Minas Tirith; after its capture by Sauron named Tol in Gaurhoth.        The island where the first Minas Tirith stood.    The island on the upper reaches of the River …   J.R.R. Tolkien's Middle-earth glossary

  • Dry River —    The river that once flowed out under the Encircling Mountains (from the primeval lake where was afterwards Tumladen) to join Sirion; forming the entrance to the plain of Gondolin.        The entranceway to Turgon s realm.    The name given to… …   J.R.R. Tolkien's Middle-earth glossary

  • Fens of Sirion —    The marshland of the Aelin uial.    The fens and marshes that formed around the lakes of Aelin uial on the River Sirion …   J.R.R. Tolkien's Middle-earth glossary

  • Mouths of Sirion —    Haven of the Exiles of Gondolin.    The delta of the River Sirion, where it flowed into the Bay of Balar.    After the destruction of the lands of Doriath and Gondolin, many of their people gathered here, and dwelt under the lordship of… …   J.R.R. Tolkien's Middle-earth glossary