Since the fall of King Ostoher in T.A. 1410, the former Númenórean port of Tharbad declined from the glory it held in ages past. In ages past, Tharbad dwarfed any other urban center in Eriador.

An ancient city of Men, it grew up where the North-South Road crossed the River Gwathló (Greyflood). Tharbad was deserted in the late Third Age after it was devastated in the floods that followed the Fell Winter.

Tharbad was founded some time in the early Second Age, if not even earlier. An account exists of Aldarion of Númenor visiting the town and meeting Galadriel there. Aldarion was known to have founded at least one settlement in Middle-earth (at Lond Daer downriver from Tharbad) so it seems likely that he created Tharbad, too; he died in S.A. 1098.

Tharbad stood at the crossing of two important routes through Middle-earth: the river Gwathló leading to the coast, and the North-South Road leading between Arnor and Gondor. Since neither Arnor nor Gondor existed at the time Tharbad was founded, it wouldn’t actually have been a ‘crossway’ for much of its earlier history. It’s therefore possible that the town originally had a different name (now lost), and only acquired the name Tharbad later in its history.

Sources: Encyclopedia of Arda, Realms of Arda


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