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Fornost, also known fully as Fornost Erain (Sindarin 'Northern fortress of the Kings' from for(n) (north) + ost (fortress); Norbury of the Kings or simply Norbury in Westron), was a city in Eriador of the Kingdom of Arnor. It was located at the south end of the North Downs, about 100 Númenórean miles north of Bree. It was eventually abandoned and fell into ruin, and became popularly known as Deadmen's Dike. At the time of the events of The Lord of the Rings (TA 30183019), Fornost had been abandoned for about a thousand years, and "even the ruins of Kings' Norbury were covered with grass."

The location of Fornost on Middle-earth map.


In TA 861, when High King Eärendur died, Arnor was divided into three kingdoms, Arthedain, Cardolan and Rhudaur. Eärendur's eldest son, Amlaith became King of Arthedain and moved the royal capital from Annúminas to Fornost.[1]

Fornost was located along the southernmost edge of the North Downs. As a military fortress, it served to guard the gap between the North Downs and the Weather Hills against incursions by the forces of Rhudaur or Angmar. The palantír of Annúminas may have eventually been relocated to Fornost; that of Amon Sûl was taken to Fornost when the Tower of Amon Sûl fell to the Witch-king's forces in TA 1409. The city was besieged for a time in that year, but was successfully defended by King Araphor.

Early in TA 1974, Fornost, along with the rest of Arthedain, fell to a full-scale invasion from Angmar, and most of its inhabitants were killed or driven over the Lune. King Arvedui, after resisting for a time on the nearby North Downs, fled into the northern wastes and was eventually lost in the Icebay of Forochel. The Witch-king then set up his residence in Fornost, and populated the city with "evil folk". The next year, a fleet from Gondor, led by Eärnur, landed at Mithlond. Along with allies from Lindon, Rivendell and the former territories of Arnor, they defeated the Witch-king of Angmar on the plains west of Fornost; though he escaped, Angmar's army was utterly destroyed.

Front gate of Fornost during the time of its ruin, as seen in The Lord of the Rings Online

At the end of the war, the northern Dúnedain, now led by Arvedui's son Aranarth, were too few in number to rebuild their kingdom or maintain cities. Fornost was not resettled, and gradually fell into ruin. The Dúnedain, who became a secretive and wandering people known in Eriador as Rangers, visited Fornost, but most other folk avoided the ruined city; the Men of Bree called it "Deadmen's Dike" and many believed it to be haunted.

After the War of the Ring, Fornost was rebuilt by King Elessar.

Portrayal in adaptations

Video games

As seen in The Battle for Middle-earth II: The Rise of the Witch-king

Several video games have depicted Fornost to date.


Fornost literally translates in Sindarin as "Northern City", from "forn" meaning north, northern and "ost" meaning city, fortress or large dwelling. The same basic roots are present in Quenya; Formenos, the "Northern Fortress" Fëanor built in Valinor.[citation needed]


Foreign Language Translated name
Arabic فورنوست
Amharic ፎርኖስት
Armenian Ֆորնոստ
Belarusian Cyrillic Форност
Bengali ফর্নোস্ট
Bulgarian Cyrillic Форност (Fornost)

Форност Ераин (Fornost Erain)

Chinese 佛諾斯特
Georgian ფორნოსტი
Greek Φορνοστ
Gujarati ફ઼ઓર્નોસ્ત
Hebrew פורנוסט
Hindi फ़ोर्नोस्त
Kannada ಫ಼ೊರ್ನೊಸ್ತ್
Kazakh Cyrillic Форност
Korean 포르노스트
Kyrgyz Cyrillic Форност
Macedonian Cyrillic Форност
Marathi फ़ोर्नोस्त
Mongolian Cyrillic Форност
Nepalese फ़ोर्नोस्त
Persian فورنوست
Russian Форност (Fornost)

Форност Эраин (Fornost-Erain)

Serbian Форност/Fornost


Sinhalese ෆොර්නොස්ත්
Tajik Cyrillic Форност
Tamil பொர்னொச்ட்
Thai ฟอร์นอส
Telugu ఫోర్నోస్ట్
Ukrainian Cyrillic Форност (Fornost)

Фо́рност-Е́раїн (Fornost-Erain)

Urdu فورنوسٹ
Uzbek Форност (Cyrillic) Fornost (Latin)
Yiddish פאָרנאָסט
Places of Middle-earth and Arda

Middle-earth Locations:


Arnor | Dunland | Ettenmoors | Forochel | Forodwaith | Gondor | Harad | Ithilien | Khand | Lindon | Minhiriath | Mordor | Rhovanion | Rhûn | Rohan | The Shire

Forests & Mountains:

Amon Dîn | Amon Hen | Amon Lhaw | Caradhras | Emyn Muil | Erebor | Fangorn Forest | High Pass | Iron Hills | Lórien | Mirkwood | Mount Doom | Mount Gundabad | Old Forest | Tower Hills | Weathertop


Angband | Barad-dûr | Bree | Caras Galadhon | Dol Guldur | Fornost | Hornburg | Isengard | Minas Morgul | Minas Tirith | Orthanc | Osgiliath | Rivendell | Umbar | Utumno


Argonath | Buckland | Cair Andros | Dagorlad | Dead Marshes | Enedwaith | Fords of Isen | Gap of Rohan | Grey Havens | Weathertop

The rest of Arda:

Aman | Dark Land | Land of the Sun | Númenor | Tol Eressëa | Valinor