It was located in the mountainous eastern foothills of the Ered Wethrin, at the source of the River Sirion, just outside Hithlum, some sixty miles from Thangorodrim. It was attacked and besieged many times during the First Age by the forces of Morgoth. When Men came into the service of the Ñoldor, it was entrusted to the House of Hador. It survived the Dagor Bragollach but was conquered and occupied by the enemy after the Nirnaeth Arnoediad.
Barad Eithel guarded a pass over the Ered Wethrin into Hithlum, the realm of Fingolfin, the High King of the Noldor. There were several mountain fortresses along the eastern border, but Barad Eithel was Fingolfin's primary stronghold. Cavalry based at Barad Eithel patrolled the plains of Ard-galen.
During the Battle of Sudden Flame in FA 455, rivers of fire from Angband turned the grassy plain of Ard of Anfauglith. The Elves of Hithlum and their allies the Men of Dor-lomin were driven back to the mountain forts.During the Siege of Angband, Barad Eithel lay at the heart of the Noldor's defences, and also guarded the passes westward into Hithlum. Throughout the siege, Elves of Fingolfin's people would patrol the green fields of Ard-galen, holding Morgoth within his fortress at Angband, close by to the north.
That changed in the Dagor Bragollach, when the plains of Ard-galen were overrun with rivers of fire and turned to scorching dust. Armies of Orcs assailed Fingolfin's city, but it held firm, though Hador, Lord of Dor-Iomin and his younger son Gundor were both lost in its defence, in front of the fortress's walls. Looking out across the burning desert in despair, Fingolfin set out from Barad Eithel to challenge Morgoth to single combat, and was lost. His son Fingon became the High King of the Ñoldor in his place, and took up his rule from Eithel Sirion.
Though the Siege of Angband had been broken, Barad Eithel still held, and so the passes into Hithlum remained secure. Morgoth resolved to break this defence, and sent another army seven years after the Dagor Bragollach (Battle of Sudden Flame) to overcome Fingon's forces. Again they were repulsed, but Galdor was slain in the attack, where his father Hador had fallen just seven years before. Galdor was killed by an arrow. His son Hurin then, drove the enemy forces back from Barad Eithel and purused them across Anfauglith.
When the Elves came together for a vast new assault on Morgoth, Barad Eithel was the staging post for the western armies. It was from there that the soldiers of Fingon swept across the dusty remnant of Ard-galen, in the glorious beginning of the battle that would turn to the tragedy of the Nirnaeth Arnoediad (Battle of Unnumbered Tears). Gelmir's brother Gwindor was on the outworks of Barad Eithel, and in his anger he launched a premature attack against Morgoth's forces. Fingon ordered his troops to follow and advance on Angband, but despite their initial success they were ultimately defeated in the Battle of Unnumbered Tears. Fingon was killed and no Elves returned to Hithlum, which Morgoth gave to the Easterlings. Though the fate of Barad Eithel in that battle is polemical described, the fact that Fingon's realm was destroyed and Hithlum occupied must mean that the fortress at Eithel Sirion was captured or destroyed. By the last years of the First Age, if Fingolfin's mountain fortress was not in the hands of the Orcs, it would have fallen into ruin and decay.
The name Barad Eithel means "Tower of the Well" in Sindarin from barad meaning "tower" and eithel meaning "well, spring".
Translations around the worldEdit
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