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3.22  Amon Thorn, Elenach, Nardol, Penannon, Orodras, Mindor Uilas

§ Amon Thorn, Elenach, Nardol, Penannon, Orodras, Mindor Uilas (WR:232-233)

These are earlier names of the Beacons of Anórien. Their final names were analyzed by Tolkien himself in the essay ’Rivers and Beacon-hills of Gondor’ (VT42:18-21, UT:319).
Amon Thorn corresponds to later Amon Dîn ’the silent hill’ and could mean *’eagle hill’ with N. amon ’hill’ (AM2-) and thorn *’eagle’ as unflected genitive – The Etymologies give thôr and unsyncopated thoron (THOR-, THORON-), but compare Arathorn (Let:347). Another alternative would be *’fenced hill’ with thorn < *thurnā from THUR-, which yields N. thoren ’fenced’ < tháurēnā. A third possibility would be thorn *’stiff’ < *stār(a) < STAR- or STARAN-, whence Ilk.thrôn ’stiff, hard’ < starāna. And finally a fifth one with thorn ’steadfast’ < √THOR (PE17:113).

Elenach corresponds to later Eilenach, which is probably an alien name; not Sindarin, Númenórean or Common Speech (VT42:19). The same is most probably true for Elenach.

On Nardol ’fiery head’ see UT:455. It is obviously composed with nar- ’red’ or ’fire’ from NAR1-, whence also N. narw, naru ’red’, naur ’fire’; and dôl ’head’ (NDOL-) or dol ’head, hill’ (RC:433), ’head; often applied to hills and mountains’ (Silm.index), S. dol (doll) (PE17:36). Compare also Narosîr ’Redway’, Narodûm ’Red Vale’ (1.6), Nargalad *’red light’ above (3.18).

Penannon looks as if it contains N. annon ’great gate’ (AD-) and as the initial element N. pend, penn ’declivity’, later penn ’slope’ (RC:525). But *’sloped gate’ as a name for a hill seems doubtful. Perhaps one should rather suspect N. and, ann ’long’ (ÁNAD-, ANDA-) here with the name-formative suffix -on, thus *’Long-sloped one’. Medial -n- rather than -nn- despite penn may be explained by analogy, as a formation from the further simplified *pen. Compare arn(a)gon-ath > Argonath (Let:347) rather than *Argonnath. On the other hand, see also Erelas (VT42:19) which also seems to contain two interpretable elements er- ’single’ and las(s) ’leaf’, but is not Sindarin.

Orodras looks interpretable again, with N. orod ’mountain’ (ÓROT-) and ?rhass ’horn especially on living animal, but also applied to mountains’ (RAS-,VT46:10), of uncertain reading in The Etymologies (S. rass ’horn’ in PE17:36), thus simply *’mountain-peak’.

In Mindor the first element is probably related to MINI-, whence Q. minda ’prominent, conspicuous’, N. minnas, mindon ’tower’. In the Silmarillion index ’tower’ is S. minas and the same stem occurs in other words referring to isolated, prominent, things – in this case a hill. The suffix is probably #-or ’hill, mountain’ from ORO-, compare Erebor ’The Lonely Mountain’ from The Hobbit and Brandor above (2.36). Thus mindor could be something like *’isolated mountain’. Uilas could mean *’ever-leaf’ or rather *’ever-leaved’ with ui- as in N. Uilos ’Everlasting snow’ (OY-) and l(h)as(s) ’leaf’ (LAS1-, VT42:19). Mindor Uilas corresponds to later Halifirien (modernized Old English ’Holy Mountain’), on whose slopes the Firien Wood grew.

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