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Region in the far northwest of Middle Earth in the First Age. Its history is recounted in Tolkien's epic work "The Silmarillion". Being the closest region to Valinor, this was the region peopled by elves who returned from Valinor or who didn't quite reach it; it is also the nearest region to Morgoth's fortress at Angband. The Wars of Beleriand - including five major battles and innumerable skirmishes - and the tales of Beren and Luthien, Turin and Nienor, and Tuor and Idril all take place in the setting of Beleriand.

The realms of Beleriand include Doriath, Nargothrond, Gondolin, Thargelion, Ossiriand, Himring,Falas, Mithrim, Dor-lomin and Dorthonion.

Beleriand is destroyed at the end of the Silmarillion in a massive battle in which the forces of Valinor join those of the elves of Beleriand in finally destroying Morgoth's forces; the realm is destroyed in the conflict and sinks into the sea (except Himling Island and Tol Fuin, which appear on later maps).
The Noldor returned to Beleriand after the tragic events of the Kinslaying, whereas the Sindar remained in Beleriand all along.

Of all the battles of Beleriand, Nirnaeth Arnoediad, the Battle of Unnumbered Tears, was the most disastrous for the elves.
by Andy April 24, 2004
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