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Dry River

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The Dry River was an extinct river in the East Beleriand that had once flowed down from the Encircling Mountains into the Sirion.[1]

The river was about fifteen miles in length.[2]


In ancient times long past by the First Age, the river once flowed under the mountains into a lake where afterwards Tumladen, the valley of Gondolin was located.[3] The river was dried up by the early First Age when Gondolin was founded leaving a stoney deep-channeled river bed behind.[4] Intent on following his wife and son, Eöl found the Dry River and the Hidden Way and thus to Gondolin to stand before King Turgon.[5] During the Nírnaeth Arnoediad, Turgon's army marched to and from the battlefield down the Dry River.[6] Years after the Nírnaeth Arnoediad, Tuor and his Elvish companion Voronwë traveled up the Dry River for many miles until coming to the entrance to the Hidden Way.[7][4] After being released from the captivity of Morgoth, Hurin sought out Gondolin but when he arrived he found Dry River blocked.[8]

When the city fell in FA 510, the survivors did not use the Hidden Way to escape down the Dry River instead using Idril's Secret Way to escape by way of the Cirith Thoronath.[7]


  1. The Silmarillion (inside cover), "Map of Beleriand and the Lands to the North"
  2. The Atlas of Middle-earth, The First Age, The Elder Days, "Gondolin"
  3. The Silmarillion, Index of Names
  4. 4.0 4.1 Unfinished Tales, Part One: The First Age, I: "Of Tuor and his Coming to Gondolin"
  5. The Silmarillion, Quenta Silmarillion, Chapter XVI: "Of Maeglin"
  6. The Silmarillion, Quenta Silmarillion, Chapter XX: "Of the Fifth Battle: Nirnaeth Arnoediad"
  7. 7.0 7.1 The Silmarillion, Quenta Silmarillion, Chapter XXIII: "Of Tuor and the Fall of Gondolin"
  8. The Silmarillion, Quenta Silmarillion, Chapter XXII: "Of the Ruin of Doriath"

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