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Places in Middle-earth

East Bight

Type: Forests, Fields, Plains

Region: Rhovanion/Misty Mtns

Meaning: see note below

Location: The eastern border of Mirkwood

Description: The Éothéod were first known by that name in the days of King Calimehtar of Gondor (who died in the year 1936 of the Third Age), at which time they were a small people living in the Vales of Anduin between the Carrock and the Gladden Fields, for the most part on the west side of the river. They were a remnant of the Northmen, who had formerly been a numerous and powerful confederation of peoples living in the wide plains between Mirkwood and the River Running, great breeders of horses and riders renowned for their skill and endurance, though their settled homes were in the eaves of the Forest, and especially in the East Bight, which had largely been made by their felling of trees.3

Unfinished Tales, Part 3, Ch 2, Cirion and Eorl and the Friendship of Gondor and Rohan: The Northmen and the Wainriders

3The East Bight, not named elsewhere, was the great indentation in the eastern border of Mirkwood seen in the map to The Lord of the Rings.

Unfinished Tales, Part 3, Ch 2, Cirion and Eorl and the Friendship of Gondor and Rohan: Notes, Note 3

…the great éohere set out, leaving fear behind, and taking with them small hope; for they knew not what lay before them, either on the road or at its end. It is said that Eorl led forth some seven thousand fully-armed riders and some hundreds of horsed archers. At his right hand rode Borondir, to serve as guide so far as he might, since he had lately passed through the lands. But this great host was not threatened or assailed during its long journey down the Vales of Anduin. Such folk of good or evil kind as saw it approach fled out of its path for fear of its might and splendour. As it drew southward and passed by southern Mirkwood (below the great East Bight), which was now infested by the Balchoth, still there was no sign of men, in force or in scouting parties, to bar their road or to spy upon their coming.

Unfinished Tales, Part 3, Ch 2, Cirion and Eorl and the Friendship of Gondor and Rohan: The Northmen and the Wainriders

13 The Narrows of the Forest must refer to the narrow "waist" of Mirkwood in the south, caused by the indentation of the East Bight (see note 3).

This note refers to the following passage:

Forthwini, son of Marhwini, indeed warned King Ondoher (who succeeded his father Calimehtar in the year 1936) that the Wainriders of Rhovanion
were recovering from their weakness and fear, and that he suspected that they were receiving new strength from the East, for he was much troubled by raids into the south of his land that came both up the river and through the Narrows of the Forest. 13

~*~
Note on the meaning of the name:

The word bight is from O.E. byht "bend, angle, corner" (related to bow), from P.Gmc. *bukhtis (cf. M.L.G. bucht, Ger. Bucht, Du. bocht). Its sense as an "indentation on a coastline" (the definition found in modern dictionaries) is from 1481.

Contributors: ~Nessime 4Dec05

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