09 October 2011
365 Days of Middle-earth ~ Day 101: Nan Dungortheb
Nan Dungortheb (S. ‘valley of dreadful death’) was a valley at the feet of the haunted mountains of Ered Gorgoroth, which lay between Doriath and Dorthonian; it was bordered by the Rivers Esgalduin and Mindeb on the east and west, respectively. It had long been the home to evil, spider-like creatures, but after Ungoliant fled there after the poisoning of the Two Trees, the horror of the land was increased. It was filled with terrifying creatures, webs, traps, and shadows; and its waters were defiled, filling those who drank from them with despair and madness. Its perils increased with Melkor’s power throughout the First Age. While its roads were frequently used (though not meant for mortal or untrained Men), by the late fifth century, the valley had become so perilous that crossing it had been accounted one of the great deeds of Beren.