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Dark Land

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"there are Tolkien's latest thoughts, his best thoughts, and his published thoughts and these are not necessarily the same." — Tolkien's Legendarium
This article is non-canon.

Dark Land, also referred to as Southland, was a mysterious continent far south-east of the landmass of Middle-earth was part. It laid east of the East Sea.[1]


No inhabitants and no history of the Dark Land was ever recorded.


The position of the Dark Land is reminiscent of the idea of Lemuria. The Dark Land has no role in the legendarium and appears only in few early maps by Tolkien.

Portrayal in adaptations

1982-97: Middle-earth Role Playing:

Although never fleshed out in much detail, a "dark continent" called Mórenorë is said to be situated south of Middle-earth, separated by the sea of Haragaer.[2] A few glimpses of this remote continent, however, were provided:
  • A black cold-drake, Naikamil, is said to have fled from mountains in the south of Endor to Mórenorë after killing its mate.[3]
  • Ungoliant, a monster of the Elder Days, is said to have "settled in the shadowy reaches of Morenórë, the Dark Contintent",[note 1] according to tales of the Avari Elves.[4]
  • Ninko Goldmaster, a mysterious merchant appearing as a character in an adventure setting, is rumoured to have visited distant lands, including Mórenorë.[5]


  1. This fanon lore was inspired by a passage in The Silmarillion, which says that Ungoliant went "into the forgotten south of the world", after having dwelt at Nan Dungortheb (cf. "Of the Flight of the Noldor").


  1. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Shaping of Middle-earth, "The Ambarkanta"
  2. Peter C. Fenlon, Jr., Jessica M. Ney-Grimm, Terry K. Amthor (1993), Middle-earth Campaign Guide (#2003), pp. 7, 9
  3. Ruth Sochard Pitt, Jeff O'Hare, Peter C. Fenlon, Jr. (1994), Creatures of Middle-earth (2nd edition) (#2012), p. 102
  4. Peter C. Fenlon, Jr. (1993), Valar and Maiar (#2006), p. 117
  5. Peter C. Fenlon, Coleman Charlton, Jessica Ney, John Croudis, Keith Robley, Anders Blixt (1990), Gorgoroth (#3112), p. 117