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For those living in the Westlands, the East refers to Rhûn (which name indeed means "east" in Sindarin) and all unknown lands beyond.

Not much is known about the lands or peoples outside the Westlands. Cuiviénen, the lake where the Elves awoke, was somewhere in the East of Middle-earth[1]. The eastern parts of the continent also featured two great mountain ranges, the Red and Yellow Mountains where some of the Fathers of the Dwarves awoke[2]. And Hildórien, the origin of Men, was also somewhere in the east[3]. Beyond these, the continent ended on the shores of the East Sea.

But the stories follow only the Eldar and the Edain who migrated West.

In the Second or Third Ages the Blue Wizards went into the East, never to return[4]. Saruman also joined them before returning and occupying Isengard. During the Watchful Peace, Sauron went to hiding in the East for 400 years and gathered the Easterlings to his service; the Blue Wizards failed to discover him[4].



The Avari remained in the East, and other Elves who abandoned the Great March to the West. Eventually some of the Avari would also migrate West.[5][6]

The Men living in the East were known as Easterlings, being various tribes of Men of Darkness, such as the Wainriders, the Balchoth and the Variags.

To the further east, the Red Mountains were occupied by the Dwarven clans of Ironfists, Stiffbeards, Blacklocks and Stonefoots.[7]

Other notes

Unlike the Elven maps, the maps drawn by the Dwarves displayed the East on the top, as can be seen on the Thrór's Map.

See also


  1. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Peoples of Middle-earth, "Of Dwarves and Men"
  2. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Quenta Silmarillion: Of Men"
  3. 4.0 4.1 J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Peoples of Middle-earth, "Last Writings", pp. 384-85
  4. J.R.R. Tolkien, "Words, Phrases and Passages in Various Tongues in The Lord of the Rings", in Parma Eldalamberon XVII (edited by Christopher Gilson), p. 53
  5. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The War of the Jewels, "Part Four. Quendi and Eldar: Author's Notes to Quendi and Eldar", Note 9
  6. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Peoples of Middle-earth, "Of Dwarves and Men", pp. 301, 322 (note 24)