According to The Atlas of Middle-earth, Eriador was about six-hundred miles (approximately 965.5 kilometers) from east to west. It was mostly lowlands. Hill areas were mainly in around the realms of Arnor, the Shire in the center of the region and in the far eastern parts near the Misty Mountains. Plains and bottomlands were in the south and southwestern parts. A plateau area existed in the area where Rivendell and the Trollshaws were located. Eriador was largely made up of scattered woodlands with scrublands in the north and northeastern parts. The rest were short grasslands mainly in the center of the region.
The climate was mainly humid with relatively mild to cold winters with a constantly warm and moist prevailing wind blowing over the Blue Mountains. In the northern part, cold and dry prevailing winds blow down from the polar north influencing the climate as well.
The boundaries of Eriador were:
- To the east: the Misty Mountains. On the further (i.e. eastern) side of these mountains lay the region of Rhovanion (Wilderland).
- To the north: the Northern Waste (Forodwaith) and—after the War of Wrath and ensuing floods which ended the First Age—the Ice-bay of Forochel.
- To the west: the mountains of Ered Lindon (also known as Ered Luin or Blue Mountains). On the far (i.e. western) side of these mountains lay the region of Lindon, which was virtually the only part of Beleriand that had survived the First Age. The Grey Havens were located in a gap in the Ered Luin, and it's not clear whether these havens (and the adjacent lands west of the Tower Hills) were part of Lindon or Eriador.
- To the south: the rivers Glanduin and Greyflood (forming the border with the land of Enedwaith) and the shores of Belegaer west of Lond Daer.
Eriador extended for some 600 miles (960 km) north-south and 700 miles (1120 km) west-east. It was traversed by two main routes:
- the East-West Road running from the Misty Mountains' High Pass (near Rivendell) to the Grey Havens
- the Greenway (formerly the North-South Road connecting the kingdoms of Arnor and Gondor).
In the Second Age, and possibly much earlier, it was largely forested, but Men cleared the land for farming and the massive old forests never recovered. Much of it was encompassed in the early Third Age by the kingdom of Arnor, which later split into the rival kingdoms of Rhudaur, Arthedain and Cardolan. The Shire occupies a small part of the former Kingdom of Arthedain, while Bree and its neighbouring villages lie on the border with the former Cardolan. The Barrow-wights dwell within ancient burial mounds constructed in the First Age by the Edain as they journeyed to Beleriand. Other important places in Eriador are Rivendell and the abandoned kingdoms of Eregion and Angmar.
At the beginning of the Second Age, large populations of both regular Men and Dúnedain inhabited the region. There was also a group of Noldorin exiles living in Eregion, near Moria and also located in the western most region of Eriador (and also in Middle-earth) was the High Elven Kingdom of Lindon, once the greatest and mightiest kingdom of Middle earth. Sauron's assault on the Elves of Eregion laid waste to that land, and many of the Elves of the Lindon fell in the War of the Last Alliance.
Even after his fall, Sauron's evil spirit acted through his agents, such as the Witch-king of Angmar, and he also concocted virulent plagues which swept over the land. Between warfare against the surviving Dúnedain kingdoms, the plagues, and the general lawlessness sweeping over the land, the population dropped considerably. The Angmar War turned Eriador into a beautiful, but mostly wild and untamed land, and the only concentration of Elves was either in the valley of Rivendell or Lindon.
Eriador is a Sindarin word that meant 'Lonely land' or 'Lone-lands'.
|Foreign Language||Translated name|
|Chinese (Hong Kong)||伊利雅德|
|Kazakh||Еріадор (Cyrillic) Eriador (Latin)|
|Serbian||Ериадор (Cyrillic) Eriador (Latin)|
|Uzbek||Ериадор (Cyrillic) Eriador (Latin)|
|Amon Ereb • Brethil • Dor-lómin • Estolad • Ladros • Rhûn • Harad • Eriador|
|Arnor • Dunland • Gondor • Harad • Númenor • Rhûn • Umbar • Eriador|
|Arnor (later split into Arthedain, Cardolan, and Rhudaur) • Rohan • City of Dale (later became a Kingdom) • Dunland • Lake-town (later part of the Kingdom of Dale) • Gondor • Harad • Khand • Kingdom of Rhovanion • Rhûn • Umbar • Vales of Anduin • Greenwood the Great • Eriador|
|Kingdom of Dale • Dunland • Harad • Núrn • Reunited Kingdom of Gondor and Arnor • Rohan • Rhûn • Eryn Lasgalen • Khand • Eriador • Rhovanion • Vales of Anduin|
- The Atlas of Middle-earth, The First Age, The Elder Days, "Introduction"
- The Atlas of Middle-earth, The Second Age, "Introduction"
- The Atlas of Middle-earth, Thematic Maps, "Landforms"
- The Atlas of Middle-earth, Thematic Maps, "Vegetation"
- The Atlas of Middle-earth, Thematic Maps, "Climate"
- The Atlas of Middle-earth, Thematic Maps, "Population"
- The Atlas of Middle-earth, Thematic Maps, "Languages"
- The Lord of the Rings, Appendix A, I, (iii) pg. 319