The Ford of Brithiach was a means of crossing the river Sirion, with the empty land of Dimbar to the east and the Forest of Brethil to the south.[1]


After Aredhel Ar-Feiniel made the decision to leave Gondolin and her brother Turgon, it was at the Ford of Brithiach that she sent away the three lords that Turgon had assigned to travel with her. She soon afterwards returned that way after being denied passage through realm of Thingol, in order to search for the land of Celegorm. Later, when Maeglin and Aredhel fled from Eöl, it was at the ford they abandoned their horses and yet were betrayed by the noise of their steeds, and Eöl marked which way they traveled.[2]

The people of Lady Haleth also passed the ford in their journey to the Forest of Brethil, though many regretted it.[3]

During Tuor and Voronwë's journey to Gondolin commanded by Ulmo, they were able to pass the ford during the day without fear of attack from orcs due to the help of the Great Eagles.[1]

Húrin later passed over the ford into Dimbar on his journey to once again come to Gondolin and see its lord, Turgon. Not long after, he returned that way searching for Morwen along the eaves of Brethil.[4]

Afterwards the fords are not mentioned further, but were destroyed along with all Beleriand at the ending of the First Age.


The ford was shallow across the width of the Sirion, and able to easily be crossed on foot. Its water was clear and very cold, and in some places the water froze for at least part of the year. The Sirion, however, could never freeze in its entirety, not even during the Fell Winter of Nargothrond.[1]


The name Brithiac contains the element brith "gravel", as in 'Brithon' and the haven of 'Brithombar'.[5]

Fords of Middle-earth

Arossiach | Brithiach | Budge ford | Ethring | Entwade | Bruinen | Isen | Old Ford | Sarn Athrad | Sarn Ford | Tharbad


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Unfinished Tales, Part One: The First Age, Chapter I: "Of Tuor and his Coming to Gondolin"
  2. The Silmarillion, Quenta Silmarillion, Chapter XVI: "Of Maeglin"
  3. The Silmarillion, Quenta Silmarillion, Chapter XVII: "Of the Coming of Men into the West"
  4. The Silmarillion, Quenta Silmarillion, Ch. XXII: "Of the Ruin of Doriath"
  5. Unfinished Tales, Part One: The First Age, I: "Of Tuor and his Coming to Gondolin", Note 22
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