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Revision as of 13:05, 12 August 2012 by (Talk)
General Information
LocationThe west-skirts of the southern Misty Mountains, south of Glanduin, north of Isen
DescriptionFoothills of the Misty Mountains
RegionsNominally Gondor
Land of the Dunlendings
For a time - Stoors and Dwarves

Dunland was a part of Enedwaith east of the North-South Road, well south of the Glanduin and north of the Isen. It was a foothill region that fronted the western slopes of the southern Misty Mountains.[1] Far from the centers of population of Arnor and Gondor, its inhabitants at times included wandering Hobbits and Dwarves but it was mostly known (and named) for the Men known as Dunlendings.



The First Men in Dunland

In the early Second Age, Dunland first acquired a significant population of Men when those who had dwelt in the forests of Enedwaith south of the Gwathló fled from the Númenóreans after they began to cut down all of the trees.[2]

When the kingdoms of Arnor and Gondor were established early in the Third Age the land of Enedwaith (and the region of Dunland) were largely ignored, although the inhabitants were nominally subjects of Gondor.[3]

The Stoors Stay in Dunland

About T.A. 1150 the Hobbit-breed known as the Stoors left their early homeland in the upper vales of the Anduin and crossed the Redhorn Pass. Some settled in the Angle and other traveled down the Loudwater and settled in Dunland. While the Stoors in the Angle vacated that area in 1356, those living in Dunland remained until around 1630 when they migrated to the newly founded Shire.[4]

The Middle Years of the Third Age

The Great Plague swept through the northwest of Middle-earth in the years T.A. 16361637.[4] In Dunland the Dunlendings suffered, but to a lesser extent than in other regions due to their self-isolation. After the end of the royal line in Gondor the Dunlendings ceased to be subjects of the realm. During the years of the Watchful Peace (19752050), as the people of Calenardhon dwindled the Dunlendings began drifting across the Isen.

The expansion of the Dunlendings to the southeast of Dunland was checked when the new realm of Rohan was established in 2510. The second and third Kings, Brego and Aldor, successfully expelled the Dunlending from western Rohan.[3] For many years there was peace, but the Dunlendings began raiding over the Isen during the reign of King Déor, and in 2710 they occupied Isengard (then deserted) and could not be dislodged.[5]

Still, open war was not waged until the reign of Helm Hammerhand. During the Long Winter of 27582759, the Dunlendings captured Edoras and besieged the Hornburg. They were ultimately unsuccessful and were driven back into Dunland by Fréaláf, Helm's sister-son.[5]

The Dwarves in Dunland

In T.A. 2770, Smaug the Dragon destroyed the Kingdom Under the Mountain.[4] Dwarves fleeing from this disaster settled in Dunland, from where Thrór departed when he and his companion Nár journeyed to Moria in T.A. 2790. After the Battle of Azanulbizar, provoked by the Orcs' brutal slaying of Thrór, Thráin II and Thorin led the remnants of their followers back to Dunland but soon left (to eventually settle in the Ered Luin).[6]

The Later Third Age

Guarding the Gap of Rohan was the fortress of Isengard, where a hereditary guard watched for Gondor. However, by the time of the Beren, Steward of Gondor, these guards had mixed with Dunlendings, and it had become hostile to Gondor. To remedy this situation, in T.A. 2759[4] Beren gave Saruman the keys to Orthanc, to guard Isengard for Gondor.[7]

During the Battle of the Hornburg the enmity of the Dunlendings for the people of Rohan was explained thusly:

"Not in half a thousand years have they forgotten their grievance that the lords of Gondor gave the Mark to Eorl the Young and made alliance with him. That old hatred Saruman has inflamed."

After the battle at Helm's Deep, the Rohirrim allowed the surviving Dunlendings to return to their homes. The Rohirrim required that all hostilities cease, and that the Dunlendings retreat behind the Isen river again.[9]

After the War of the Ring the four Hobbits, Frodo, Sam, Merry, and Pippin, with the company of Gandalf, Celeborn, Galadriel, and others journeyed through Dunland on their way home. While traversing the region they met two beggars, Saruman and Gríma Wormtongue.[10]


Dunland meant "Hill Land" in the language of neighbouring Rohan, whose people named it after arriving in nearby Calenardhon in the later Third Age. Dunland is understood as "Brownland" (Old English dunn means "brown, dusky, dull"), referring to its inhabitants being swarthy and dark-haired . The element dunn had no relation to the Elvish root dûn meaning "west".[11]

Region of Dunland
Tharbad, Gwathló.
Glanduin, Eregion Moria, Misty Mountains, Lórien
Lond Daer, Gwathló,
WindRose3.pngMisty Mountains, Fangorn Forest
Enedwaith, Drúwaith Iaur, River Isen River Isen Isengard, Gap of Rohan.


  1. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), Unfinished Tales, "The West of Middle-earth at the End of the Third Age" [map]
  2. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), Unfinished Tales, "The History of Galadriel and Celeborn", "Appendix D: The Port of Lond Daer"
  3. 3.0 3.1 J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), Unfinished Tales, "The Battles of the Fords of Isen", Appendix (ii)
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix B, "The Third Age"
  5. 5.0 5.1 J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix A, "The House of Eorl", "The Kings of the Mark"
  6. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix A, "Durin's Folk"
  7. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), Unfinished Tales, "The Battles of the Fords of Isen"
  8. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Two Towers, "Helm's Deep"
  9. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Two Towers, "The Road to Isengard"
  10. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Return of the King, "Many Partings"
  11. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix F, "The Languages and Peoples of the Third Age", "Of Men"