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Rhun charioteer 04-16-2018 06:37 PM

Gondorian or Numenorian settlements/ports at Tolfalas
So there was an island in the bay of Belfalas known as Tolfalas. My question is was it inhabited by numenorians or gondorians and if so was it important and if not why not? Why would a strategically located island between Gondor and Umbar be left uninhabited.


Rhun charioteer 04-17-2018 11:10 PM


Inziladun 04-18-2018 05:49 PM

I know of no mention of Tol Falas in the published LOTR.
The HOME volume The Treason of Isengard has an outlined plot potential which states:


The fierce dark men of the South...have come in many ships and fill the Bay of Belfalas, and [have] taken the isle of Tolfalas.
Since the Southrons "took" the isle, it must have been in the hands of Gondor previously, and that would seem logical.

As to its number of inhabitants and strategic importance, it's all guesswork. Fisher-folk, maybe, and a garrison of troops and small ships, for the purpose of watching the seas for invaders?

Huinesoron 04-18-2018 11:51 PM

HoME XII provides this, in the Tale of Years of the Second Age:


They were much changed in the tumult of the winds and seas that followed the Downfall [of Numenor]; for in some places the sea rode in upon the land, and in others it piled up new coasts. Thus while Lindon suffered great losses, the Bay of Belfalas was much filled at the east and south, so that Pelargir which had been only a few miles from the sea was left far inland, and Anduin carved a new path by many mouths to the Bay. But the Isle of Tolfalas was almost destroyed, and was left at last like a barren and lonely mountain in the water not far from the issue of the River.
There's an attached note saying that, other than the one Inziladun found, this appears to be the only reference to the island in any text.

The word 'barren' in particular means that there could be no farming on the Rock, not even subsistence farming. Are there people who subsist entirely on fish? Assuming not, the most likely occupation would be purely military, though perhaps small fishing settlements could have sprung up to support the garrison. Basically the same as Inzil's answer, but coming at it from the far side.


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