27 October 2011

365 Days of Middle-earth ~ Day 119: Dunlendings

A Dunlending, as portrayed in the films

The Dunlendings, the Hill-folk of Dunland, were a dispirited and uncultured race of Men during the time of the War of the Ring. It was said that they were remotely descended from the Haladin (the People of Haleth) of the First Age. 

They had initially inhabited the valleys of the Ered Nimrais before being driven out. Some assimilated with Gondor, forming the group known as the Dead Men of Dunharrow. By the Second Age, a remnant of their race dwelled in the woods of Minhiriath, and gradually there arose hatred towards the DĂșnedain. Many left and migrated to Eriador; others remained in the White Mountains, slowly dwindling away, until Gondor, then Rohan, drove them out completely. By the late Third Age, the largest surviving group of Dunlendings settled in the hills of Dunland. The Men of Bree were the northernmost surviving group during this time. 

The Dunlendings were tall and dark-haired. They were wild and primitive, but fierce fighters when roused. Their chief enemies were the Men of Rohan (Forgoil , or ‘Strawheads,’ as they called them). They led two great attacks on Rohan: first in 2758, when Dunlendings led by Wulf overran the Mark. Though at first they seemed victorious, Wulf was ultimately slain, and the Dunlendings driven out again.  The second occurred during the War of the Ring, when the Dunlendings were aroused by Saruman.

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