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Minas Tirith Forums » The Hobbit » Where was Dorwinion? (Page 1)
Author Topic: Where was Dorwinion?
Cernunnos
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I've just finished re-reading The Hobbit for the first time in several years. Enjoyed it greatly. I bet this has been disacussed before, but I wonder if anyone can tell me where the kingdom of Dorwinion was, whence the Elves of Mirkwood got their wine. All we learn is that is was to the south of the elf kingdom, along the Running River. I don't recall seeing it on any map. Now, if you go far enough south from Mirkwood, you get to Mordor, and it can hardly have been too near there. In any case the lands north of Mordor were said to be open and desolate if I recall correctly, rather like the Russian steppe, I guess. On the other hand, the Celduin or Running River eventually flows into the inland Sea of Rhun, which seems too far east to be a place friendly to the elves. Could it be in the angle btween the Celduin and the other big river that flows into it (can't remember it's name)?

I hope someone can help me with this important geographical/political problem.

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Whereas the light perceives the very heart of the darkness, its own secret has not been discovered.


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Dingalen
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Well, Cernunnos, that is where ICE placed Dorwinion in their publications. And also there the name of river running south from the iron mountains is not given.
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Ockle Burr
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can't help on the main question, but the river in question is the Carnen (Redwater) which flows from the Iron Hills to the Sea of Rhûn and is met by the River Running.
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Dingalen
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Great! Where did you find the name?
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Ockle Burr
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well... It's on MY map http://www.ititches.com/middleearth/index.html ... I think it came from the map in UT, though I don't have that in front of me
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Roll of Honor TheGentleman
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Wow! That map is something else...

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Ockle Burr
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thank you... (and an update is in the works)
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Ockle Burr
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hmm... some research has uncovered a few things...

The Carnen is named in UT in the chapter on the Istari as the eastern border of Gandalf's wanderings. Where it meets the River Running, THAT river continues to the Sea of Rhûn (my map, at this point, implies the opposite).

[I noticed this morning that the river is also named on the map that is, as far as I know, the standard one published with LotR since 1980 at least. On this map, the same error of implication is made as on mine.]

Dorwinion is not mentioned anywhere but that singular passage in The Hobbit in LotR/Sil/UT or LT 1 (the extent of my collection).

HOWEVER, in A Tolkien Treasury, there are a few short stories written by a Margaret Howes. One of her tales concerns Dorwinion, a city of Men. She places it directly on the Celduin, near enough to the Sea to attract gulls, and at a point where the river widens (presumably the bay formed at the mouth of the river). It is in the hills, so my guess would be that it is on the south shore (though the outlands of the city lie on both shores).

The only question left is: what is HER source.

This message has been edited by Ockle Burr on 08-11-2001 at


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Ockle Burr
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Anybody else wondering about this? this could possibly belong in the Library Council... maybe JRRT addressed this in one of his letters? (I ask because I'm updating my map)
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Roll of Honor Nenya
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Is the Dorwinion in the Hobbit the same that is mentioned in the Lays of Beleriland?


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Ockle Burr
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good question... I hadn't noticed the similarity... unfortunately, my UT is the only text I have with me at work... are you thinking of Dorthonion? aka Taur-nu-Fuin?
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gram
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My copy of UT (Houghton Mifflin Company Boston 1980) has a fold out map of the west of Middle-earth at the end of the Third Age. It shows the river Carnen flowing into the River Running. The river course continues south then makes a turn to the east for around 150 miles and then to the south to flow in the Sea of Rhûn. In Fonstad's atlas of Middle-earth, Dorwinion (Land of Wines) is located in the land that is south of the east jog noted above and northwest of the Sea of Rhûn, in the crook of land with the River Running the northern border and the Sea of Rhûn the southeastern border.
In the foldout maps in my copies of LotR and UT the words "Sea of Rhûn" are located where Fonstad put Dorwinion. I do not know where Fonstad got the information.

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Ockle Burr
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This agrees with Margaret Howes' story. SOMEONE must have a reliable source.
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Roll of Honor Nenya
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No, I'm not thinking of Dorthonion or Taur-nu-Fuin.

Dor-Winion or Dorwinion is mentioned in several places in "The Lay of the Children of Húrin". According to the index in the back it is "A southern land from which wine was imported into the North". So it doesn't seem to be the same land as in the Hobbit.If it means "Land of Wine" in Sindarian it is possible that two different lands in different ages had the same name. But I don't know....


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Snöwdog
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I missed this thread. I too noticed the discrepancy between the UT map and the Fonstad Map as to the location of Dorwinion.
quote:
Dor-Winion or Dorwinion is mentioned in several places in "The Lay of the Children of Húrin". According to the index in the back it is "A southern land from which wine was imported into the North". So it doesn't seem to be the same land as in the Hobbit.If it means "Land of Wine" in Sindarian it is possible that two different lands in different ages had the same name. But I don't know....
I think its a case where Tolkien used the same name in different tales. Evidently both were at least at one time good winemaking country. []
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Ederchil
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Don't have the correct source with me, but...
Tolkien specified the location for Paulina Baynes, when she drew a map. This is also when Drúwaith Iaur and Adorn were added, and the Swanfleet-goof (it was a river on the first maps) was corrected.

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Mithrennaith
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Well, I've got the Pauline Baynes map here, both on file and in print, in the 1974 (A&U) calendar. And I can confirm what Ederchil says.

The river flowing from the Iron hills to the River Running is named "The Red River (Carnen)", where after the confluence the continuing river runs east, Dorwinion is marked to its south, and to the west of the northwestern bay of the Sea of Rhûn that the river flows into.

The Swanfleet-goof however, was made on that map. On Baynes' map the river is named both R. Swanfleet (above its lower reaches) and R. Glanduin (below its upper reaches).

On the map in the first edition (I don't have an early second edition, but Hammond/Anderson say the map is the same [A5e]) and in the Ballantine edition (in 60's and 70's) the river flowing from the Misty Mountains south of Moria to Tharbad is not named, nor are the marshes at its confluence with Hoarwell.

On the map in the so-called 'third edition' (Unwin Paperbacks 1979) the river is only named River Glanduin (same place) and "Swanfleet" is marked in the angle between it and Hoarwell. On that map the "River Adorn" is named as well (it wasn't in the earlier editions). Hammond/Anderson missed the additions to the third edition map [A5n], they say it is the same as in the second edition.

Hammond/Anderson also report [Eii4] that Baynes got the names she added from Tolkien. Apart from R. Adorn, Drúwaith Iaur and R. Swanfleet (R. Glanduin) they mention Andrast, Edhellond, Eryn Vorn, Framsburg and Lond Daer. They however forget to mention Carnen, Dorwinion and The Undeeps (on Anduin).

On the UT map, that was used in British LotR editions from 1981 and in American editions presumably from 1993 or 1994 onward, these additions were also included (and some more), some placed somewhat differently, but Framsburg was omitted, Swanfleet was placed as in the 'third edition' and additionally named "Nîn-in-eilph" and Carnen was named Redway instead of The Red River.

[¡ e (20/1/2008): I've made a curious mistake: Carnen is of course named Redwater (a literal translation), not Redway, also in App A III menstioned below. And Dorwinion was and is also omitted from this UT and later LotR map. !]

The name River Carnen is also marked on the map drawn by Barbara Remington. I have no information on when that was published, but as it has a decorative frame based very closely on Remington's cover illustrations for Ballantine's LotR [A5d], used from 1965 to 1973, I assume that it was made soon after those illustrations and thus before Baynes' map. None of the other additions to Baynes' map or later were made to it. The names Carnen and Redway and clear indication of what they referred to have, however, been mentioned in the text of Appendix A III since the first edition.

[ 01-20-2008, 01:05 PM: Message edited by: Mithrennaith ]

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Galin
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There's also a 'Tol Eressean Dorwinion' appearing in the conclusion to Quenta Silmarillion, the version written before The Lord of the Rings. However Christopher Tolkien used his father's conclusion for the Valaquenta to end the 1977 constructed Silmarillion.

The old QS conclusion also includes (besides Dorwinion) that: 'few mariners of Men have ever come (to Tol Eressea), save once or twice in a long age. One of whom was Eriol or Elfwine, who was said to have returned and brought tidings to the Hither Lands.' In this version the Lonely Isle was also called Avallon.

Christopher Tolkien might have thought this mention of Dorwinion was not likely to survive in any updated version, but in any case it did not survive in his version of course. Tolkien himself had made some later cursory corrections to the end parts of the older Quenta Silmarillion, but see Christopher's characterization of these in HME XI.

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Eluchil
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That reminds me of this.
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Mithrennaith
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Just one addition to my post on maps, Re Glanduin.

Jim Allan, An Introduction to Elvish, reports (Sindarin wordlist) that on certain printings of the Map of Middle-earth in LotR (pre-1977, that is), the mis-printing "Glandin" is marked in error against the upper reaches of the Isen. I have not seen any copies exhibiting this.

I suspect this may refer to (early?) printings of the Unwin Books 1975 (three volume paperback) edition, or contemporary printings of the three volume A&U hardcovers. If so, it probably represents a transitional stage on the way to the correct application of the name in the third edition map.

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Roll of Honor Thorin
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John Rateliff goes through most of this, and he uses Dorwinion as one of his proofs that The Hobbit was originally envisaged to be in Beleriand and Dorwinion was far to the South. And with good reason.

In the current published Hobbit we have this passage:

quote:
It was a potent wine to make a wood-elf drowsy; but this wine, it would seem, was the heady vintage of the great gardens of Dorwinion, not meant for his soldiers or his servants, but for the king’s feasts only, and for smaller bowls, not for the butler’s great flagons.

Barrels out of Bond, TH

Compare this to one of the first drafts of that passage:

quote:
But this it would seem was the heady brew of the great gardens of Dorwinion in the warm South, not meant for his soldiers or his servants, but for the king’s feasts only, and for smaller bowls, not for the butler’s jugs.

In the Halls of the Elvenking, THotH

And look at other semi-contemporary (circa 1918?) mentions of Dorwinion:

quote:
… their heads were mazed
by the wine of Dor-Winion that went in their veins,
and they soundly slept…

…is bruised from the berries in the burning South –
and the Gnome-folk know it, and the nation of the Elves,
and by long ways lead it to the lands of the North.

The Lay of the Children of Hurin, HoME III

In regards to its location, John Rateliff also states that:

quote:
… in this case we can confirm its placement thanks to the same unpublished late linguistic essay already cited, in which Tolkien comments that Dorwinion ‘was probably far south down the R. Running, and its Sindarin name a testimony to the spread of Sindarin: in this case expectable since the the cultivation of vines was not known originally to the Nandor or Avari.’

In the Halls of the Elvenking, THotH


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Luke
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The cultivation of grapes was well known to men, so why wouldn't it be known to the Avari? Aren't they elves?

Also, wouldn't the official location of Dorwinion be too near the iron hills to be a city of men? Wasn't this Dain's territory? And weren't they ready at the drop of a hat to go to war with elves and men? Perhaps they didn't know of anyone living near the Rhun sea.

Another question is: did Dorwinion survive the battle of the ring if it was so near Mordor?

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Ederchil
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quote:
Also, wouldn't the official location of Dorwinion be too near the iron hills to be a city of men? Wasn't this Dain's territory? And weren't they ready at the drop of a hat to go to war with elves and men? Perhaps they didn't know of anyone living near the Rhun sea.
The official location is just about perfectly in the middle: Iron Hills in the North, Mordor in the South. It's the same latitude as Moria.
As for the Dwarves' lust for battle: if you don't piss them off, they won't attack you.

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Luke
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Piss them off or try and break deals with them (i.e. Bard). []
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Ulairë Gordis
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quote:
did Dorwinion survive the battle of the ring ?
Here is a map of the battles in the North(I believe it is Fonstad's).
http://www.nazgul.de/Karte/Mittelerde/Karten/HDR/thumbs/imagepages/battles%20in%20the%20north.html
It is said in the Appendices that Dale and Esgaroth were attacked by Easterlings who had to cross the river Carnen to get there. Therefore it is likely they passed not far from Dorwinion, but maybe they were on the other bank of the Celduin.

Actually Thranduil was getting his Dorwinion wine ( 2941) before Sauron returned to Mordor and declared himself officially (2951). Maybe by the time of LOTR, Dorwinion was already controlled by Easterlings in league with Mordor - so the famous barrels were probably shipped to Barad Dur instead of Thranduil's caves. []

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