When the Valar defeated Morgoth, the sea destroyed Beleriand. Was this a result of what the Valar were doing to Morgoth or was it some kind of reaction by Arda to Morgoth's defeat?

  • 2
    i thought because of the valar fighting it ripped the area of the world apart. since they were essentially a group of gods having a brawl.
    – Himarm
    Oct 13, 2014 at 13:03

1 Answer 1


It is not exactly specified why Beleriand sunk under water.

Tolkien was a bit contradictory in his story because he specified that the elves and humans fought against Morgoth armies of orcs and balrogs which is obviously not possible if fighting does not occur at land. If the sinking of Beleriand would have been already caused by the War of Wrath as implied by him, the victorious elves and humans would have drowned with it. This is not mentioned so we can assume that the sinking is not a cause of the War of Wrath until the final victory and the necessary time to evacuate Beleriand.

What we know is that the last and desperate defense was an army of flying dragons, with Ancalagon the Black as leader. This one was so big that when he finally fell he crushed Thangorodrim (which are mountains 10 000 m / 30 0000 ft high). So he must be pretty big. (Nasty question: Where did Morgoth store and feed his dragons ? Obviously not in Angband. Never mind). Given that an army of flying dragons was involved, we can assume that every slain dragon flattened down a whole area in Beleriand. Oh, and then there was that the War of Wrath with a duration of fifty years. We can assume Beleriand to be plastered with hundreds of thousands corpses of elves, humans, orcs and balrogs. As both Morgoth and Sauron were not known as masters of sustainable development, we can also assume that under Morgoth reign forests were cleared, fields and mountains poisoned and towns burnt and pillaged.

While not specifically mentioned, I think that given the circumstances the Valar came to the conclusion that the tainted land needs to be cleaned by the sea and therefore sank Beleriand after the remaining survivors reached Ered Luin, the Blue Mountains.

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    +1; this seems credible and your final conclusion (which didn't occur to me) is definitely possible. Tolkien did change his mind on the Drowning of Beleriand; in one earlier variant text it was only partially drowned at the end of the First Age but the job was completed at the Fall of Númenor.
    – user8719
    Oct 13, 2014 at 19:57
  • @DarthSatan Interesting, where is the earlier variant text ? Oct 13, 2014 at 19:59
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    I came to the idea because as Frodo came to the Black Gate the narrator mentioned that the environment is so unbelievably tainted that only if the Big Sea would flood it it could be cleaned by falling into oblivion. Oct 13, 2014 at 20:04
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    Checking my books, I see it in the early Fall of Numenor texts in HoME5, particularly the "further development" text: "and Beleriand fell into the sea in that time, all save the land where Beren and Luthien had dwelt for a while".
    – user8719
    Oct 13, 2014 at 20:28

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