echoriath

8

‘But Turgon was become proud, and Gondolin as beautiful as a memory of Elven Tirion [and] after the Nirnaeth Arnoediad the people of that city desired never again to mingle in the woes of Elves and Men without, nor to return through dread and danger into the West…Therefore in that time the very entrance to the hidden door in the Encircling Mountains was blocked up; and thereafter none went ever forth from Gondolin on any errand of peace or war, while that city stood. Tidings were brought by Thorondor, Lord of Eagles of the fall of Nargothrond, and after of the slaying of Thingol and of Dior his heir, and of the ruin of Doriath; but Turgon shut his ear to the word of the woes without, and vowed to march never at the side of any son of Fëanor; and his people he forbade ever to pass the leaguer of the hills.’ - Of Tuor and the Fall of Gondolin, The Silmarillion.

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Crissaegrim
Art: Eagles of Manwë, by jonathanguzi

The Crissaegrim were a mountain range, forming a part of the southern Echoriath, the Encircling Mountains of Gondolin, and were inaccessible from the ground. However they were home to the great Eagles, and from here Thorondor, Lord of the Eagles, watched for spies in the vale of the River Sirion. Indeed, the Eagles were the chief source of information to Turgon and the Gondolindrim.

Crissaegrim is a Sindarin name that includes the root kris-. meaning “Cleft Mountain Peaks”. It is usually referred to as the “Abode of Eagles”.

It was from the Crissaegrim that Thorondor espied Húrin and Huor when they were lost in Dimbar. The Lord of the Eagles sent two great birds to carry the men above the Crissaegrim into Tumladen, when King Turgon of Gondolin welcomed them.