Reading The Silmarillion, you would be forgiven for thinking that Himring, where Maedhros sets up his fortress in the northeast of Beleriand, has nothing to do with the isle of Himling in The Lord of the Rings.
Before I knew much about Tolkien, looking at the map of Middle-earth, I was always intrigued by that lonely island just off the coast of Lindon. What was its meaning there? Why would the author give it a name and not mention it during the events of the War of the Ring?
It would be years later when I realsied that Maedhros’ abode in the First Age was none other than this piece of rock surrounded by the sea. But how did it get there?
During the First Age, when the Noldor where exiled from Aman and came back to Middle-earth, Maedhros – son of Fëanor – settled the northeastern part of Beleriand. The land was surrounded by smaller hills, and on Himring – the tallest of these – the Elf lord built his fortress.
Following the cataclysmic events of the War of Wrath and the end of the First Age, Beleriand was destroyed and washed over by the Great Sea. The Hill of Himring remained standing above the surface of the water and became a lonely isle a few miles northwest from the coast of Lindon.
Following the disaster of the Nirnaeth Arnoediad, the fifth battle in the Wars of Beleriand, Maedhros abandoned Himring and was eventually occupied by orcs.
Its name was then changed to Himling, “ever-cold”. Whether Maedhros’ fortifications survived the flooding of Beleriand, is up for debate.
It’s also worth nothing that Himling was not the only isle to be found beyond the lands of Middle-earth. Tol Morwen, the mound where Morwen and her son, Túrin, were buried, was said to have survived the flooding of the First Age.
The mountain of the Meneltarma, situated at the heart of Númenor, also remained visible following the drowning of the island during the Second Age.