The Encyclopedia of Arda - an interactive guide to the world of J.R.R. Tolkien
Dates
Ephel Brandir was probably built in about I 495;1 it was destroyed at the end of the First Age
Location
On the hill of Amon Obel in the midst of the Forest of Brethil
Race
Division
Culture
Family
Raised and ruled by the House of Haleth
Important peaks
Built on the hill of Amon Obel
Pronunciation
e'ffel
Meaning
'Outer fence'
Other names
More fully known as Ephel Brandir2

Indexes:

About this entry:

  • Updated 12 February 2024
  • Updates planned: 2

Ephel

A name for a fenced enclosure

Formed from Elvish words meaning literally 'outer fence', an ephel was a fenced fortification. The most famous ephel was that of the Haladin of Brethil, which was properly known as Ephel Brandir, but often simply referred to as 'the Ephel'. This enclosure on the hill of Amon Obel surrounded a small town of the Men of Brethil, and was the seat of their lords.


Notes

1

Dating the raising of Ephel Brandir is difficult, but the available evidence points to a date of I 495 or shortly thereafter (for a more detailed discussion on this topic, see the entry for Ephel Brandir). It is possible that other ephels had been constructed before or after this date, but Ephel Brandir is the only example we have that is named as the Ephel.

2

The fact that the Ephel's name is usually qualified as Ephel Brandir tends to suggest that there may have been other ephels in existence. Indeed, the building of stockades seems to have been part of the culture of the Haladin, and Brandir's ancestor Haldad is recorded as raising such a stockade as a defence against ravaging Orcs, though the word ephel is not used of that structure. If there were other such fenced townships or homesteads within Brethil, however, they are not named as such. Our only other example is the figurative use in Ephel Dúath, the mountainous 'outer fence' of Mordor.

See also...

Shuddering Water

Indexes:

About this entry:

  • Updated 12 February 2024
  • Updates planned: 2

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