HASA Resources

Places in Middle-earth

Greyflood

Type: Rivers & Lakes

Region: Other Middle-earth

Other Names Gwathló, Gwathir, Agathurush (Adûnaic translation)

Location: The Greyflood was the border between Mirhiriath and Enedwaith. It was formed from the Rivers Glanduin and Hoarwell (Mitheithel) as well as the Loudwater. The Old South Road crossed the river at Tharbad, and at the mouth of the river was the port of Lond Daer.

Description: ... to their right a grey river gleamed pale in the thin sunshine...
FotR, Book I, Ch 12, The Flight to the Ford

[Said Strider,] 'We have now come to the River Hoarwell, that the Elves call Mitheithel. It flows down out of the Ettenmoors, the troll-fells north of Rivendell, and joins the Loudwater away in the South. Some call it the Greyflood after that. It is a great water before it finds the Sea. There is no way over it below its sources in the Ettenmoors, except by the Last Bridge on which the Road crosses.'
The Fellowship of the Ring, LoTR Book 1, Ch 12, Flight to the Ford

At the point of the confluence of Glanduin and Mitheithel [Hoarwell] the land was almost flat, and the waters become sluggish and tended to spread into fenland. * But some hundred miles below Tharbad the slope increased. The Gwathló, however, never became swift, and ships of smaller draught could without difficulty sail or be rowed as far as Tharbad.
Unfinished Tales, Part 2, Ch IV, The History of Galadriel and Celeborn, Appendix C, 'The Boundaries Of Lórien'

When Sauron was at last defeated and driven east out of Eriador most of the old forests had been destroyed. The Gwathló flowed through a land that was far and wide on either bank a desert, treeless but untilled. That was not so when it first received its name from the hardy explorers of Tar-Aldarion's ship who ventured to pass up the river in small boats. As soon as the seaward region of salt airs and great winds was passed the forest drew down to the river-banks, and wide though the waters were the huge trees cast great shadows on the river, under which the boats of the adventurers crept silently up into the unknown land. So the first name they gave to it was "River of Shadow," Gwath-hîr, Gwathir. But later they penetrated northward as far as the beginning of the great fenlands; though it was still long before they had the need or sufficient men to undertake the great works of drainage and dyke-building that made a great port on the site where Tharbad stood in the days of the Two Kingdoms. The Sindarin word that they used for the fenland was lô, earlier loga [from a stem log- meaning "wet, soaked, swampy"], and they thought at first that it was the source of the forest-river, not yet knowing the Mitheithel that came down out of the mountains in the north, and gathering the waters of the Bruinen [Loudwater] and Glanduin poured flood-waters into the plain. The name Gwathir was thus changed to Gwathló, the shadowy river from the fens.
Unfinished Tales, Part 2, Ch IV, The History of Galadriel and Celeborn, Appendix D, The Port Of Lond Daer

Contributors: Lyllyn 6.06.06; added quote & links: Elena Tiriel 7.3.04

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