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postcards from the edge: Dunland & the Dunlendings / part I


May 17, 11:32pm

Post #1 of 10 (2203 views)
postcards from the edge: Dunland & the Dunlendings / part I Can't Post

Welcome to a postcard from the margins of Middle-earth! I’ve been inspired by some discussion about the Dunlendings on the Main board, linked to the forthcoming ‘The War of the Rohirrim’ film, to take a closer look at that people. Those Rohirrim of course are an interesting bunch, worthy of a film (and I’m very excited by the potential there), but what about their historic foes, the Dunlendings? What did Tolkien, and his various feigned historians, Author’s Notes and so on have to say about them? Are they just narrative spear-fodder for the Rohirrim? Mere cardboard cut-out pawns for the likes of Saruman? Written as classically misunderstood? All, some or even none of the above? Just a few of the questions I posed to myself as I was researching this essay.

My structure will reflect an assumption that a study of the Dunlendings can neither be confined to the region called ‘Dunland’ on the standard Third Age map of Middle-earth; and nor to their long and often violent interaction with the Kingdom of Rohan. The long-lost forests of Enedwaith and Minhiriath, and the ancient, pre-Exilic Númenóreans are as much part of their story as the events concentrated in The Lord of the Rings. I will draw out some themes, such as environmental depredations and catastrophe, colonialism and the limitations of (feigned) histories written by colonisers. But I freely acknowledge in advance that these aren’t themes that Tolkien necessarily or consistently associated with his own largely fragmented telling of the story of the Dunlendings. And on the subject of fragments, yes this is going to feature a bit of syncretism, from time to time. Respectfully, as ever though!

Feigned ethnography, geography and history: ‘where’ is Dunland and ‘who’ are the Dunlendings?

Firstly, let’s examine some basics about the Dunlendings and their homeland. Most readers meet the Dunlendings for the first time during the chapters of LotR covering the war between Rohan and Isengard, and again in the ‘Appendices’. Skipping ahead to ‘Appendix F’, we have this explanation of the toponym and ethnonym:

Dunland and Dunlending are the names that the Rohirrim gave to them, because they were swarthy and dark-haired; there is thus no connection between the word dunn in these names and the Grey-elven word Dún ‘west’.”

Here we simultaneously have Tolkien recycling an Old Saxon and Old English word dun/dunn (‘brown, dark’) – not uncommon in his representation of Rohan and the Rohirrim – and reinforcing the feigned historiographical status of the ‘Appendices’. ‘Historical’ references to the Dunlendings are not written from a Dunlending point of view. Even the name given to them, and that of their homeland, are effectively colonial constructs provided for us by the incoming Rohirrim – a people that the Dunlendings clashed with soon after their arrival, and remained hostile towards thereafter.

As introduced in LotR, in the chapter covering the main battle between the forces of Isengard and Rohan, the Dunlendings are variously described as “wild men of the hills” and “wild men of the Dunland fells” (‘Helm’s Deep’). As per the standard map of Third Age Middle-earth, these hills and fells of Dunland are situated on the western side of the southern end of the Misty Mountains, north-west of Isengard and running north towards the Glanduin River. A little bit more of the country, and in particular its northern borders, can be discerned from the journey undertaken by Gandalf, Galadriel, Elrond and the four hobbits of the Fellowship from Rohan to Rivendell, after the coronation of King Elessar. This company appears to have traversed the entirety of Dunland, from south to north (‘Many Partings’, LotR). After about a week’s travelling through Dunland, minus however long it took to travel from the Gap of Rohan, the company arrive in “northern Dunland, where no men now dwelt, though it was a green and pleasant country”. Leaving Dunland, and therefore marking its northernmost point, the company cross the fens of the Swanfleet into Eregion. Dunland’s western boundaries aren’t marked or elsewhere described but appear to run towards the great North-South Road. More generally, Dunland is described as being part of Enedwaith, occupying “the foothills of the Misty Mountains” (‘The History of Galadriel & Celeborn’, UT).

Of the inhabitants themselves, ‘wild’ is used at least twice, as cited above – essentially establishing them from their very first appearances in LotR as outside the civilisation, read: ‘the West’. This status-stereotype is reinforced in Tolkien’s essay-vignette, ‘The Battles of the Fords of Isen’ (UT), where they are described as “a sullen folk” with “little love for Gondor”, and though “hardy and bold enough were too few and too much in awe of the might of the Kings [of Gondor] to trouble them”. Technological inferiority, at least in terms of war gear, is also apparent: in an Author’s Note (Note #11) to the same essay, it is remarked that the Dunlendings “were without body-armour” unless otherwise “gained by theft or loot”. This is in contrast to the Rohirrim, who benefited from “being supplied by the metal-workers of Gondor”. The Rohirrim may not have manufactured armour of their own but, being within the orbit of the West they were in a technologically superior position to the ‘wild men’.

In ‘Appendix F’ of LotR, another important theme, building on the ‘outside civilisation’ one, is introduced: the Dunlendings as a ‘remnant people’, ethnically and linguistically. Specifically:

“These were a remnant of the peoples that had dwelt in the vales of the White Mountains in ages past. The Dead Men of Dunharrow were of their kin. But in the Dark Years others had removed to the southern dales of the Misty Mountains; and thence some had passed into the empty lands as far north as the Barrow-downs. From them came the Men of Bree…”

The passage goes on to say that the people of Dunland were outliers, retaining “their old speech and manners” in a world that had otherwise embraced Westron as the lingua franca; and that they were “a secret folk, unfriendly to the Dúnedain, hating the Rohirrim”. A similar isolationism is apparent in the aforementioned journey through Dunland, when the Dunlendings are described as “afraid of Elvish folk, though few indeed ever came to their country”, and therefore “fled and hid themselves”. This isolation actually served the Dunlendings well during the Great Plague (III.1636-7), when they suffered “less than most, since they dwelt apart and had few dealings with other men” (‘The Battles of the Fords of Isen’). To mildly complicate the ‘splendid isolation’ narrative, however, there are in fact two known prolonged interactions with Dunland by ‘outsiders’, by the Stoors, who settled in or adjacent to Dunland around III.1150; and the dwarves of Durin’s Folk, who, under Thrór and Thráin II were living in Dunland by III.2790 until c. III.2799 (‘Appendix A’). Of the nature of these respective interactions with the Dunlendings, Tolkien doesn’t appear to have written anything.

After the publication of LotR, Tolkien continued to develop, albeit in the margins of other projects rather than as the focus, some further history of this people. The great philological essay concerning the names of rivers, published (as I understand it) in two segments across ‘The History of Galadriel & Celeborn’ (UT) and ‘The Rivers and Beacon-hills of Gondor’ (NoMe), is a significant source in this regard. There, the Dunlendings are described again as a ‘remnant’ population; and as an “unfriendly people”. The latter is in the context of the ancestors of the Dunlendings living south of the Glanduin River, this being the border, in the Second Age, between Eregion and Dunland – another take on the ‘fear of Elves / dislike of outsiders’ theme. In the same essay, the earliest history of this people is intertwined with pre-Exilic Númenórean interventions in Middle-earth. At some point during the long years between the late 8th century of the Second Age (the foundation of Vinyalondë) and the outbreak of War of the Elves and Sauron in II.1693, the Númenóreans began the massive, systematic deforestation of Minhiriath and Enedwaith (“The devastation wrought by the Númenóreans was incalculable.”). This brought them into conflict with the local population, who were “forest-dwellers, scattered communities without central leadership” and “fairly numerous and warlike”. Yet, “they did not become hostile until the tree-felling became devastating”. Against the rapacious and technologically-superior Númenóreans, the locals were driven back, with those in Minhiriath fleeing to the Cape of Eryn Vorn while those in Enedwaith “took refuge in the eastern mountains where afterwards was Dunland”. Here then, we have the origins of the Dunlendings. Interestingly, in the context of the Minhiriath remnant, desperate migration choices were made on the basis of “fear of the Elvenfolk”, which meant these people felt they could not venture north of the Baranduin River.

In what appears to have been a slightly later take on this subject, Tolkien uses the ancestors of the Dunlendings as something of a proxy to scrutinise the assertions and beliefs held by what I’ll call feigned ethnographers and historians of Númenor and, later, Gondor. In particular, the overly neat Númenórean typology of humankind into ‘High Men’, ‘Middle Men’ and ‘Men of Darkness’, famously espoused by Faramir in LotR (‘Window on the West’), is put under the spotlight. In devising and applying this typology, the Númenóreans effectively measured the Men of Middle-earth by their “friendliness towards the West (to Elves and to Númenóreans)”, combined with a sense, whether actual or constructed, of ethno-linguistic kinship.

The ancestors of the Dunlendings provide a unique case study in this context. They demonstrate that ‘unfriendliness’ towards the West didn’t necessarily or solely arise from the influence of the ‘Shadow’, thereby putting under pressure the aforementioned typological neatness. Specifying the inhabitants of Minhiriath, we have this very comprehensible reason as to why an entire people might harbour ill-will against the Númenóreans:

“they became bitter enemies of the Númenóreans, because of their ruthless treatment and their devastation of the forests, and this hatred remained unappeased in their descendants , causing them to join with any enemies of Númenor. In the Third Age their survivors were the people known in Rohan as the Dunlendings.”

Interestingly, attention is drawn to long-term consequences arising from this one-sided conflict between the Númenóreans and these ancestors of the Dunlendings, in addition to the environmental damage, which left the lands either side of the Gwathló River “a desert, treeless but untilled” (‘The History of Galadriel & Celeborn’). Yes, in the shorter term, the peoples of Minhiriath and Enedwaith desperately threw in their lot with Sauron during his war with the Númenóreans, serving as “spies and guides for his [Sauron’s] raiders” (‘The History of Galadriel & Celeborn’) – presumably reinforcing, in the eyes of the Númenóreans, the ‘Men of Darkness’ label. However, with this passage being rounded out with a reference to the Dunlendings’ interaction with the Rohirrim, the “hatred remained unappeased in their descendants” is as ominous as it is obvious that this would be an antipathy towards the West and its representatives that would last millennia.

The durability of this hostility is further underscored later in a note to the ‘Of Dwarves & Men’ essay, pertaining to the Exilic era of Númenórean intervention in the region:

“The Enedhwaith [sic] (or Central Wilderness) was shared by the North and South Kingdoms, but was never settled by Númenóreans owing to the hostility of the Gwathuirim (Dunlendings), except in the fortified town and haven about the great bridge over the Greyflood at Tharbad.”

In its deforested state, Enedwaith had become a liminal wilderness zone, with the Dunlendings confined to the eastern fringe but with sufficient threat and range to make the remainder of the territory to the west of Dunland unappealing to the Númenóreans of Gondor and Arnor. Intriguingly, we get a ‘singular reference’ to a likely Sindarin name for the Dunlendings: Gwathuirim. The name can reasonably enough be translated as ‘Shadow-people’ or thereabouts and can be interpreted in a variety of ways. It could be a reference to the ‘Men of Darkness’ category that the Númenóreans had dumped this people into, although this strikes me as the least likely, given there are more appropriate Sindarin stem words for ‘darkness’, such as dûr, mor or perhaps thû. An alternative is that it was a reference to the predominant complexion and hair colour of the people in question – a ‘methodology’ the Rohirrim later also applied, “because they [the people the Rohirrim called Dunlendings] were swarthy and dark-haired” (‘Appendix F’, LotR). Again, I reckon this in an unlikely candidate.

Turning back to the aforementioned philological essay – that part published in ‘The History of Galadriel & Celeborn’ – a study on the etymology of the Gwathló River is, in my view, most revealing in the search for the origins of the ethnonym Gwathuirim, even though there isn’t a single reference to the term in that essay. The Sindarin stem gwath is used “in the sense of dim light”, and the naming of the river in question harked back to the time of the earliest Númenórean exploration of this region, in the reign of Tar-Aldarion (II.883-1075). The Gwathló was so-named by “hardy [Númenórean] explorers who ventured to pass up the river in small boats”, where, far inland:

“the forest drew down to the river-banks, and wide though the waters were the huge trees cast great shadows on the river, under which the boats of the adventurers crept silently up into the unknown land. So the first name they gave to it was ‘River of Shadow’, Gwath-hîr, Gwathir.”

This later became the Gwathló, the ‘Shadowy river from the fens’, when the Númenóreans later mistook the Swanfleet fens for that river’s source. Back to the Gwathuirim, I suspect this term was used by the Númenóreans and their Exilic successors simply to refer to the peoples who dwelt on either bank of the Gwathló, the river that bisected the lands the Númenóreans later called Minhiriath and Enedwaith.

The ‘Of Dwarves & Men’ analysis introduces a further tragic element to this ancient history of the Dunlendings – with a particularly bitter and ironic twist. In another ‘singular reference’, it is established that their Minhiriath and Enedwaith ancestors were related to the Folk of Haleth – the Second House of the Edain – and therefore, remotely, to the Númenóreans themselves. In other words, what we have is a belated recognition by the aforementioned feigned historians that the Númenóreans had persecuted and dispossessed their own distant kin.

To sign off this postcard, we have seen that in the Dunlendings we have a ‘remnant’ people, living in marginal ‘hill country’. But this is not their original homeland but rather a place of exile, on the edge of their earlier homeland to the west, itself once a densely-forested, now environmentally devastated wilderness. They are also regularly cast as existing on the margins of civilisation: described as ‘wild’ and violently opposed to, or just plain afraid of, the West and its various representatives – be they Númenóreans, Elves or, later, the Rohirrim. They meet the sharp end of Númenórean colonisation, in its extractive form, earlier than most inhabitants of Middle-earth – certainly long before the Númenóreans adopted a more formal imperialist and territorial agenda, apparent from the days Tar-Ciryatan (II.1869-2029) and Tar-Atanamir the Great (II.2029-2221) onwards. The Dunlendings, in short, had good reason to be afraid, and reason enough to resent being shoved to the margins. As the next ‘postcard’ will cover, sadly this was not to be the end of their travails.

Welcome to the Mordorfone network, where we put the 'hai' back into Uruk

Tol Eressea

May 18, 12:13am

Post #2 of 10 (2186 views)
Excellent! [In reply to] Can't Post

I've been looking forward to this essay since you teased it recently, and part I fully lives up to my inner hype! Cool I'll be back with some comments on this part specifically, but I'm off to read the other two, now. Thank you for such an outstanding contribution to the Reading Room, Felagund!


May 18, 12:42pm

Post #3 of 10 (2156 views)
Seconded! I'd like to say 'wow' and 'thanks' given that anything more thoughtful might take a while :) // [In reply to] Can't Post




May 19, 9:00pm

Post #4 of 10 (2107 views)
thank you :) [In reply to] Can't Post

You and noWizardme are both very kind, especially about these long read posts - thank you. And indeed, both of you are excellent writers of them too!

Welcome to the Mordorfone network, where we put the 'hai' back into Uruk


May 21, 8:18pm

Post #5 of 10 (2048 views)
Excellent work, which raises the usual questions about Tolkien's methods [In reply to] Can't Post

My main impression here, besides sheer pleasure at reading such a coherent resume of the scattered sources, is how static Tolkien's millennia-long cultures and histories are. Nothing really changes among peoples, and languages, and customs, such that it is easy to say X people 'hated or feared' Y people, in later times and other lands, many thousands of years and hundreds of human generation later.

I know why he does this - basically, otherwise the legendarium would be impossible to keep under control, thematically - but when compiled from a mock-historical point of view rather than as some offhand remark by a character in one of the tales - it gets tired real soon.

Likewise, I remain baffled by the idea that Numenor could permanently deforest an entire temperate wooded region. The idea of cutting down trees for a naval enterprise to the point where no trees remain is taken from European history, particularly the English experience - but it only works when the time-span is short and the activity intense.

In fact trees grow back where trees like to grow, and only a century or two after Numenor ceased forestry operations the Dunlendings' homeland would have been satisfactorily restored, even if their cultural psyches were permanently disrupted. But the story you recount has the area still uninhabitable as a devastated 'desert' millennia later, to the Dunlendings' everlasting bitterness.

(Granted that in Middle-earth the 'Darkness' of Morgoth and his lieutenant Sauron is documented as being able to turn fertile land into desert waste for good, that's not what was happening in this neck of the woods. It was just cutting down trees faster than they could normally regrow.)

Again, one can forgive Tolkien his unnatural and exaggerated quirks of ecological and cultural devastation, in service of Age-spanning epic themes. But only if he buries them in little-read appendices and essays. To see them laid out here fair and square, as the hobbits put it, is disconcerting or even annoying to me. Tolkien I think usually tried to avoid traps like this because there's no winning when you add too much detail to a sub-created world - it quickly gets away from you and takes over the creative process which should focus on the tales.

I am looking forward to reading your following posts on the unhappy Dunlendings.

squire online:
RR Discussions: The Valaquenta, A Shortcut to Mushrooms, and Of Herbs and Stewed Rabbit
Lights! Action! Discuss on the Movie board!: 'A Journey in the Dark'. and 'Designing The Two Towers'.
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Dr. Squire introduces the J.R.R. Tolkien Encyclopedia: A Reader's Diary

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Tol Eressea

May 21, 9:27pm

Post #6 of 10 (2036 views)
Dunlending origins [In reply to] Can't Post

Having left my general comments in the thread for Part III and (for the moment) gotten my Orcish ramblings out of my system in Part II, I can finally come back to make the last few comments I'd originally intended on. I particularly enjoyed your linguistic analysis of Gwathló and Gwathuirim—consider me convinced of your theory about the connection between the two words! The main thing I want to comment on is not necessarily a criticism, but an observation of what I think is a (perhaps minor) inconsistency between different texts, and my own theory on how it can be resolved.

My quibble concerns the precise origins of the Dunlendings. As you note, the survivors of the Enedwaith took refuge in the region later known as Dunland (UT, p. 263), and a direct descent is established in Of Dwarves and Men: "In the Third Age, their [the forest-dwellers of the Minhiriath] descendants were the people known in Rohan as the Dunlendings" (HoMe XII, p. 314). Yet in LOTR Appendix F, we're told the Dunlendings "were a remnant of the peoples that had dwelt in the vales of the White Mountains in ages past. The Dead Men of Dunharrow were of their kin. But in the Dark Years others had removed to the southern dales of the Misty Mountains..." (p. 1129). If we only had the first two sentences, this wouldn't necessarily mean much: the Enedwaith encountered by Aldarion and the Men of Dunharrow cursed by Isildur were, most likely, both from the same family of peoples as the Folk of Haleth.[1] But the statement that the Dunlendings lived in the White Mountains until the Dark Years would preclude them being the remnant of the Enedwaith known to Aldarion, who fled to the foothills of the Hithaeglir before the War of the Elves and Sauron.[2]

My proposed explanation, which I admit is morbid, is that the Enedwaith people had undergone catastrophic population loss by the middle of the Second Age, and the region's population was replenished by migration from the White Mountains after the War. They'd apparently already died in significant numbers during their first conflict with the Númenóreans centuries earlier: only those of "the native folk that survived fled" to Eryn Vorn and not-yet-Dunland (UT, pp. 262–63).[3] If the Númenóreans were that ruthless in their first colonial war, I can only imagine they were even worse after a much larger war in which their human enemies were effectively in league with the Devil. I don't think the Enedwaith were completely wiped out—Appendix F distinguishes "the southern dales of the Misty Mountains" from "the empty lands" to the north—but their numbers may have been reduced enough that the new arrivals from the White Mountains substantially and permanently changed the demographics of the region.

These sort of syncretic explanations in the interest of keeping multiple texts in continuity with one another are always a risky endeavor, as it's often better to simply accept that they are in contradiction. But in this case, I think it's worth making the effort. The common thread of imperialism from the Númenóreans, Gondorians, and Rohirrim is a vital thematic element (and the biggest reason I'm so pleased you wrote this essay), so maintaining the connection between the Third Age Dunlendings and Second Age Enedwaith is desirable. But LOTR, not just Appendix F, firmly establishes the Dunlendings as in origin one of the White Mountains cultures, and I think it's worth retaining that, too—especially their relation to the Dead Men of Dunharrow. It's worth noting that Appendix F's Dark Years migration of the Dunlendings predates their removal from Calenardhon by thousands of years, but as you established in Part II, there's a long history of migration back and forth through the Gap of Rohan.


[1] See also UT, p. 370. I was not able to find an explicit statement of the Haladin-related status of the Dead Men, but Of Dwarves and Men implies that the "Men who dwelt in the valleys on either side of the White Mountains" in the late Second Age enjoyed Middle Men status (HoMe XII, p. 313). This status was given inconsistently by Númenórean colonists, but it suggests they recognized a given people as related to the Edain of the First Age. Although Rivers and Beacon-hills notes that "the Númenóreans evidently found many layers of mixed peoples [in Gondor], and numerous islands of isolated folk either clinging to old dwellings, or in mountain-refuges from invaders" (NoMe, p. 387).

[2] Of the Rings of Power uses the term Black Years rather than Dark Years, but dates their beginning to the aftermath of the War of the Elves and Sauron (TS, p. 289), which ended in II.1701. Before then, Sauron had been busy playing nice with the Elves of Eregion, and therefore "could not risk any rumour that he was gathering armies" (NoMe, p. 369). When he found he did need an army, it took him almost a century to build up a sufficient force.

[3] Squire makes a very relevant point in the post directly above this one; both the trees and the people of the Enedwaith should have had ample opportunity to recover in the half-millennium or more between their conflict with the Aldarion-era Númenóreans and the War of the Elves and Sauron. There doesn't seem to have been a continuous Númenórean colonial presence in the area, as Aldarion's port of Vinyalondë fell into ruin before being rebuilt as Lond Daer Enedh, and (most of) the Enedwaith was never subject to Númenórean settler colonialism.

Tol Eressea

May 21, 10:11pm

Post #7 of 10 (2028 views)
Clarification [In reply to] Can't Post

In Reply To
Aldarion's port of Vinyalondë fell into ruin before being rebuilt as Lond Daer Enedh

Aldarion and Erendis' precise wording is: "But all Aldarion's labours were swept away. The works that he began again at Vinyalondë were never completed, and the sea gnawed at them" (UT, p. 206). This could be interpreted a few different ways. In Christopher Tolkien's view, "[t]his probably means no more than that they were never completed by him, for the later history of Lond Daer presupposes that the haven was at length restored, and made secure from assaults of the sea" (p. 265). I'm inclined to view the misfortune of Vinyalondë as one of the consequences of Tar-Ancalimë's "neglect [of] all her father's policies" (p. 212), but it's possible that my above word choice of "ruin" was too strong. I should have checked the exact quote before making my earlier post, but honestly, I just wanted it to be over with. :V



May 22, 11:05am

Post #8 of 10 (1994 views)
more origin story musings [In reply to] Can't Post

I agree, the origin stories for the Dunlendings don't easily mingle, and I like your syncretic theory, caveats and all - thank you for sharing it!

Your theory and your first footnote brought to mind a snippet I hadn't noticed in previous readings, but which certainly piqued my interest during the research phase for my essay. In the drafts for 'The Muster of Rohan' (HoMe 8). It's an early, and ultimately abandoned, reference to the Men of the Mountains:

"What had become of them? Vanished, gone away, to mingle with the people of Dunland or the folk of Lebennin by the sea."

Although this is cutting room floor stuff it accords with the layered ethnographic situation, either side of the White Mountains - as you draw attention to via 'Of Dwarves & Men' (HoMe 12) and 'The Rivers & Beacon-hills of Gondor' (NoMe). Incidentally, it's the only direct reference I can think of that draws an explicit link between the Men of the Mountains and the people of Lebennin. It's (possibly) implied in Faramir's ethnographic lecture series delivered to Frodo and Sam ('The Window on the West', LotR), when he lumps together "the sturdy folk of the sea-coast" and the "hardy mountaineers of Ered Nimrais". The former are possibly the folk of Lebennin and the latter could be any or all of the folk out of Lamedon, Lossarnach, Ringló Vale or Blackroot Vale - some or all of whom, in turn, may have been related to the Men of the Mountains.

The very sparkly feature of the above brief passage is that it can be read as some of the Men of the Mountain joining a pre-existing population in Dunland. Which is at the heart of your own syncretic reading, independent of this passage. I'll attempt to resist the temptation to draw a sweeping conclusion from abandoned draft text but at the same time it does offer up another insight into how Tolkien was imagining how these various pieces fitted (or not, as the case may be) together. And a nice feather in the cap of your theory too, in my view!

I too can't find a direct reference to the Men of the Mountains being related to the Folk of Haleth. To your own trawl for indirect references, I'll add that the Bree-landers were considered to be 'Middle Men' ('The Rivers & Beacon-hills of Gondor'), and their descent from the Men of the Mountains and the Dunlendings is well-attested ('Appendix F', LotR).

Welcome to the Mordorfone network, where we put the 'hai' back into Uruk


May 22, 11:49am

Post #9 of 10 (1990 views)
postscript! [In reply to] Can't Post

I meant to include another passage from the same draft, published in HoMe 8, and hastily append it now!

At one point Tolkien envisaged the Rohirrim of Dunharrow as a 'mixed' population:

"There still dwelt some folk reckoned as Rohir, and the same in speech, but dark with grey eyes. The blood of forgotten men ran in their veins"

By the linguistic definition used in 'Appendix F' (LotR), the above physical features of this population could be cause to call them 'Dunlendings'. The draft text certainly can be read as foreshadowing an ethnic link to the developing idea of the Men of the Mountains - forebears of the Dunlendings. As remarked in my post to which this one is but a postscript, this is cutting room floor material, however - but no less fascinating for it.

Welcome to the Mordorfone network, where we put the 'hai' back into Uruk

Tol Eressea

May 22, 8:42pm

Post #10 of 10 (1970 views)
Much obliged [In reply to] Can't Post

I appreciate you digging up some additional quotes, especially from HoMe VIII, since my familiarity with the three principal volumes The History of the Lord of the Rings is sadly limited. I think the native people of Lossarnach were almost certainly related to the Men of Dunharrow. In fact, they were probably among "the wild men of the dales" that Minas Anor was built as a shield against (TS, OTROP). As you noted in a post in the Part III thread, the men of Lossarnach were "swarthier" than the average inhabitant of Minas Tirith, which is suggestive of their descent, in part, from the Haladin–Enedwaith–Dunlending–Men of the Mountains family of peoples. In that same chapter (ROTK, V 1), it's said of the men of Lebennin that "their blood was mingled, and there were short and swarthy folk among them whose sires came more from the forgotten men who housed in the shadow of the hills in the Dark Years ere the coming of the kings."

I'm thus inclined to view the native peoples of both the northern and southern parts of the White Mountains as part of this continuum of Haladin-related Middle Men, despite their repeated clashes with Gondorian (and Rohirric) colonizers. Even "between the mountains and the sea," these conflicts continued well into the Third Age. Tarannon Falastur (r. III.830–913) "extended the sway of Gondor along the coasts west and south of the Mouths of Anduin" (Appendix A). He's most remembered for the southward expansion, which set the stage for the future conquests of Umbar and Near Harad, but that westward expansion (which I interpret to mean Anfalas, the region to the west of Edhellond and Dol Amroth) was, presumably, a campaign against Middle Men.


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