Notes on Entries - Use of Language and Maps to define The East.

Text in italics is squire's commentary


  Oromë is the Vala particularly associated with the East, since he hunts there, and so discovers the Elves when they awake. This association lasts into the Third Age and is mentioned in LotR, particularly in connection with the Rohirrim. His name means "Horn-blower" (stem rom- "used of the sound of trumpets and horns"). The Rohirrim believe he brought the mearas horses from Valinor to Middle-earth. They call him Béma in their language as "translated" into Anglo-Saxon (LotR Appendix A.II, p. 346): Anglo-Saxon bēme is "trumpet". (The Silmarillion, Elements in Quenya and Sindarin Names, p. 363).

Theoden charging at the Pelennor is compared to Oromë, and the Rohirrim are an northern offshoot of an Eastern Tribe originally of Rhovanion (LotR, Appendix A.II, p 345.)

Boromir’s hunting horn of the Stewards of Gondor is made from the horn of the "Kine of Araw" in Rhûn, Kine being cattle and Araw being Oromë.

Romen = "east" in Quenya, as seen in Numenor’s eastern haven, Romenna. (Sil, ibid.)

Rhûn = "east" in Sindarin, as in the Talath Rhûnen "East Vale" aka Thargelion, where Caranthir dwelt (Sil, p. 124), and in amrûn. (Sil, ibid.)

King Tarostar of Gondor defeated the first incursion of "wild men out of the East" and took the name Rómendacil ‘East-victor’, c. T.A. 500. (LotR, Appendix A.I.iv, p. 324) Later King Minalcar again defeated the renewed attack of the Easterlings (T.A. 1248) and took the name Rómendacil II. (Ibid., pp. 326-7)

Further Vocabulary

  RŌ- (form of oro, q.v.) rise. Q rómen (see men) east, rómenya eastern; róna east; contrast ndū ‘down’. ON [Old Noldorin] róna east, N rhûn, amrûn (cf. dûn, annûn); †rhûfen east. (The Lost Road, The Etymologies, p. 428)

MEN- Q men, place, spot; mena region. Cf. Númen, Rómen, Harmen [see khyar], Tormen [which is the form in the Ambarkanta, IV. 244-5, 248-9, changed later to Fromen (phor)].

ORO- up; rise; high; etc. (cf rō). Q óre rising, anaróre sunrise; orta- rise, raise. N or prep. above; prefix or- as in orchall, orchel superior, eminent (see khal2); ON ortie, orie rise, ortobe raise; N ortho raise (orthant); erio rise (oronte arose).

Here we see that the derivation of East is Sunrise-place.

From Wikipedia: article on Land of the Sun ( accessed 7/7/05

In the works of J. R. R. Tolkien, the Land of the Sun or "Sun-Lands" is an empty land east of Middle-earth where the sun rises at dawn. Nothing is known of its geography except that there was a curve-shaped mountain range called the Wall of the Sun that corresponds to the Pelóri Mountains of Aman.

In the Ambarkanta it is called the Dark land of the Sun. There is a possibility the Númenóreans visited it.

In the game Middle Earth Role Play by Iron Crown Enterprises, a Sindarin name for the land — Romenor (Easternesse) — was given, although it does not appear in any of Tolkien's writings.

   Guide to the Names in the Lord of the Rings, J. R. R. Tolkien, printed in A Tolkien Compass, ed. Lobdell, 1975. pp. 151 et. seq.

Easterlings. Translate, as ‘Easterners, men from the East’ (in the story men from the little-known regions beyond the Sea of Rhûn).

Middle-earth. Not a special land, or world, or ‘planet’, as is too often supposed, though it is made plain in the prologue, text, and appendices that the story takes place on this earth and under skies in general the same as now visible. The sense is ‘the inhabited lands of (Elves and) Men’, envisaged as lying between the Western Sea and that of the Far East (only known in the West by rumour). Middle-earth is a modern alteration of medieval middel-erde from Old English middan-geard (see Isengard). The Dutch and Swedish versions correctly used the old mythological name assimilated to the modern languages: Dutch Midden-aarde, Swedish Midgård.

Wilderland. An invention (not actually found in English), based on wilderness (originally meaning country of wild creatures, not inhabited by Men), but with a side-reference to the verbs wilder ‘wander astray’ and bewilder. It is supposed to be the Common Speech name of Rhovanion (on the map, not in the text), the lands east of the Misty Mountains (including Mirkwood) as far as the River Running. The Dutch version has Wilderland: Dutch has wildernis, but German or the Scandinavian languages (German wildnis, Danish vildnis).

   "Narrative Pattern in The Fellowship of the Ring" by David M. Miller, in A Tolkien Compass, ed. Jared Lobdell, 1st ed. 1975.

"Unlike most authors, Tolkien provides a special tool for examining narrative structure -- one at the back of each volume. If a straight line is drawn on Tolkien's map from Hobbiton to Mt Doom, and if the actual path of the ring is plotted on the same map, we have at once a graphic illustration of what might be called the narrative texture of

The Lord of the Rings." (pp. 97-98)

Miller goes on to analyze the problem in depth from this point of view, always returning to the Map as the normative base of the problem of destroying the Ring. Very interesting.

One thing I'm banking in my notes from reading this article: Frodo seems always to be going either East or South, although his direction is South-East, by Miller's analysis. That is, Tolkien emphasizes the cardinal directions in describing his characters' travels. This is partly realistic (most people refuse to think in any terms other than N, E, S, W when thinking of compass directions in real life), but also reinforces whatever symbolism he has laid onto those four points of the compass.

   Tolkien’s Art: A Mythology for England, by Jane Chance, Lexington: U. Press of Kentucky, 2001, rev. ed.

In defining the parameters of the work’s structure, [note 8] Tolkien declares that "[t]he only units of any structural significance are the books. These originally had each its title."[note 9] . . . book 2, "The Ring Goes South"; book 3, "The Treason of Isengard"; book 4, "The Ring Goes East"; . . . the title of each thematically and symbolically supports the crowning title, "The Lord of the Rings," by revealing some aspect of the adversary or the hero through a related but subordinate title that fixes on the Ring’s movements and the ambiguity of its "owner" or "bearer," . . . (p. 145)

[note 8]: For other views of structure in the trilogy, see, for example, Helms, "Tolkien’s World: The Structure and Aesthetic of The Lord of the Rings," chap. 5 of Tolkien’s World.

[note 9]: Quoted from a letter by J. R. R. Tolkien appended to Everett, p. 87.


From: "AnchisesGhost" Date: Thu Aug 18, 2005 6:48 am

Subject: Re: Modtheow ... (South) anchisesghost


Of possible note also is Christopher Tolkien's speculation in War of the Jewels that during Tolkien's post-LOTR tinkering with his mythology he may have come to associate Cuivienen, a 'bay in the inland sea of Helkar', with the sea of Rhun. If so, this would surely be of interest, would it not? The awakening-place of the Elves actually mentioned in LOTR as a den of evil and/or slavery? If you're piqued I'll type out some quotes with page numbers etc.



From: "N E Brigand" Date: Thu Aug 18, 2005 12:43 pm

Subject: Re: Helkar / Rhun; & dwarves in the East?



Interestingly I think Karen Fonstad's maps of Middle-earth in different ages actually show the sea of Rhun as having the same outline as part of the inland sea of Helkar. I had taken this as speculation on her part, but perhaps WJ was her source. Also, squire, in your draft for "The East" you say that dwarves awoke in the East--is there a citation for that? I haven't got PoME here, but I thought the dwarves awoke in four groups, roughly in the Blue Mountains, Misty Mountains, Iron Hills, and somewhere farther east.

-N. E. Brigand