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Easterlings

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[[File:John Howe - Easterlings.jpg|thumb|''Easterlings'' by [[John Howe]]]]
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[[File:John Howe - Easterlings.jpg|thumb|[[John Howe]] - ''Easterlings'']]
'''Easterlings''' were [[Men]] who lived in the east of [[Middle-earth]], and were enemies of the Free Peoples.  
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'''Easterlings''' were [[Men]] who lived in the [[East]] of [[Middle-earth]], and were enemies of the [[Free peoples]].  
  
== Easterlings of the First Age ==
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The Easterlings were a significant threat to [[Gondor]]; they were a more regimented force than the [[Orcs]] or even the [[Haradrim]]. It is likely that Sauron drew much of his inspiration for his Orc armies from these wicked men. Sauron suffered a harsh and heavy defeat from the Last Alliance, who vanquished his numerically superior Orcs with a ranked and ordered army. The Easterlings were all this and more, so Sauron greatly valued his alliance with the men of Rhûn.{{fact}}
<!--"Easterlings" in Eriador#First Age links here-->
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During the [[First Age]], the term was applied to the sons of [[Bór]] and [[Ulfang the Black|Ulfang]], or the ''Swarthy Men'', who came into [[Beleriand]] much later than the [[Edain]], and who were for a part secretly in league with [[Morgoth]].  
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The Easterlings of the First Age should not be confused with those of later ages. The term in the First Age was used to refer to any peoples who came from the east of the [[Ered Luin]], and as such, the Easterlings of the First Age could well have come from [[Eriador]], rather from the further east in the [[Wilderland]] of the area of the [[Sea of Rhûn]].
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== History==
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In the [[First Age]], Men [[Awakening of Men|awoke]] in [[Hildórien]] the [[East]]. Some of them were early corrupted by [[Morgoth]], enabling others (the [[Edain]]) to migrate westwards.<ref name=dm>{{PM|Dwarves}}</ref>
  
===Sons of Bór===
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Centuries later, after [[Dagor Bragollach]], tribes of [[Men]] joined the Edain in [[Beleriand]], long after their arrival. These [[Swarthy Men]] came from the east, probably [[Eriador]] and were also called "Easterlings". Two of their leaders were [[Bór]] and [[Ulfang]].<ref>{{S|Fingolfin}}</ref>
[[File:Angus McBride - Easterlings.jpg|thumb|left|''Easterlings'' by [[Angus McBride]]]]
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[[Bór]] was a leader of Men who came into Lothlann, Beleriand, in the year 463. His sons were [[Borlach]], [[Borlad]] and [[Borthand]]. Bór was welcomed by [[Maedhros]], who gave him and his followers land north of the [[March of Maedhros]], and south of it. Bór and his sons swore allegiance to Maedhros, and remained faithful, though he was told by Morgoth to betray the banner of [[Caranthir]]. All of them were wiped out during the [[Nirnaeth Arnoediad]].
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===Sons of Ulfang "the Accursed"===
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[[File:Easterling.jpg|thumb|right|An Easterling in ''[[The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers]]'']]
[[Ulfang]] also came in Lothlann, Beleriand, in 463, shortly after Bór. He was the father of [[Ulfast]], [[Ulwarth]], and [[Uldor]]. Ulfang was welcomed by the sons of [[Fëanor]], and he and his sons swore allegiance to Caranthir. They were given lands to dwell in the north and south of the March of Maedhros. Ulfang and his sons were secretly in the employ of Morgoth, and betrayed the [[Eldar]] and Edain during the Nirnaeth Arnoediad in what is now known as the [[Treachery of Men]].
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In the East, as well as in the [[South]] of [[Middle-earth]], wild and barbaric Men multiplied. In the [[Second Age]] [[Sauron]] escaped the judgment of the [[Valar]] and continued his former master's work, turning those Men to evil and dominating them.<ref>{{S|Rings}}</ref><ref name=dm/> During the [[Dark Years]] Sauron dominated most of the [[Westlands]], and when Sauron was driven back to [[Mordor]], he continued his expansions eastwards gaining servants and worshippers.<ref name=dm/><ref>{{UT|Amroth}}</ref>
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===Third Age===
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After Sauron's defeat in the [[War of the Last Alliance]], these "Wild Men" were released by his tyranny but they still had [[darkness]] in their hearts. Evil and restless, they battled against each other and some withdrew to the hated west.<ref>{{UT|6b}}</ref> Thus they encountered the lands of [[Gondor]] and since then, tribes brought trouble periodically with several attacks and migrations. Even some [[Northmen]] joined forces with the Easterlings because of greed or because of feuds with their kinsmen.{{fact}}
  
The Easterlings were betrayed by their lord Morgoth, and confined to [[Hithlum]]. After the [[War of Wrath]], those that survived fled back over the [[Ered Luin]] to [[Eriador]] and beyond.
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Easterlings first enter the records of [[Gondor]] in {{TA|490}} and [[Tarostar]] managed a first victory against them in {{TA|500}}. In {{TA|541}} they invaded [[Ithilien]] but [[Turambar (King of Gondor)|Turambar of Gondor]] destroyed the horde and conquered a new territory in [[Rhûn]] for Gondor.<ref name=gondor/>
  
==Easterlings of the Third Age==
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In the following centuries the Easterlings cease, while Gondor was free to extent its borders to [[South Gondor|the south]]. That was until the days of [[Narmacil I]] when the Easterlings resumed their attacks. In {{TA|1248}} an Easterling army marched in the lands between [[Rhovanion]] and the [[Sea of Rhûn]]. Forces from Gondor - aided by Northmen of [[Rhovanion]] - defeated them and destroyed their camps and settlements east of the Inland Sea.<ref name=gondor/>
[[File:Easterling.jpg|thumb|right|An Easterling in ''[[The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers]]'']]
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In the third age, the Easterlings were a significant threat to Gondor; they were a more regimented force than the Orcs or even the Haradrim. It is likely that Sauron drew much of his inspiration for his Orc armies from these wicked men. Sauron suffered a harsh and heavy defeat from the Last Alliance, who vanquished his numerically superior Orcs with a ranked and ordered army. The Easterlings were all this and more, so Sauron greatly valued his alliance with the men of Rhûn.
+
After this defeat the Easterlings disappeared from the Gondorian records for some period, during which Gondor was again occupied with the south and the [[Corsairs of Umbar]].
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===The Wainriders===
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During that time tribes of Easterlings form the confederacy known as the '''[[Wainriders]]''' (q.v.) who would trouble the Kingdom and the Northmen.<ref name=gondor>{{App|Gondor}}</ref>
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Gondor was weakened by the [[Great Plague]] and the Wainriders defeated the Gondorian army in {{TA|1856}}, raided the lands of [[Rhovanion]] and enslaved its people. Some of these lands eventually were reclaimed by King [[Calimehtar (King of Gondor)|Calimehtar]].
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In {{TA|1944}} the Wainriders, allied with the [[Haradrim]] of [[Near Harad]] and the [[Variags]] of [[Khand]], managed a brief victory against Gondor, despite the assistance by the [[Éothéod]]; eventually they were [[Battle of the Camp|defeated]] in their camp during their celebrations.  
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After this defeat the might of the Wainriders was broken although still held Rhovanion, and they retreated east.  
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In {{TA|2063}} Sauron retreated from [[Dol Guldur]] to the east. During the [[Watchful Peace]] he managed to create a strong alliance between the various tribes of Easterlings.  
  
The weapons that the Easterlings used were primarily jagged spears, making them especially effective against cavalry, as well as a shorter, odd, glaive-like version used for close combat. They also were known to run their foes down in great Wains, or wagons.  
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===The Balchoth===
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The '''[[Balchoth]]''' were a fierce race southeast of [[Mirkwood]], under orders of [[Dol Guldur]]<ref name=A1ivS>{{App|A1ivS}}</ref> and no doubt related to the [[Wainriders]].<ref name=cirion/> In {{TA|2510}} they and [[Orcs]] overran the plains of [[Calenardhon]] and almost destroyed the army of Steward [[Cirion]], but were defeated by the [[Éothéod]].<ref name=A1ivS/><ref name=cirion>{{UT|Cirion}}</ref>
  
===Wainriders===
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In {{TA|2545}} some Easterlings renewed their attacks and entered the new-founded [[Rohan]]. Thus [[Eorl]] fell fighting in [[the Wold]].<ref>{{App|Mark}}</ref>
{{Main|Wainriders}}
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The ''Wainriders'' were a confederation of Easterling tribes who were united by their hate of Gondor, fueled by the dark lord Sauron. Following the Great Plague which weakened Gondor, they started their attacks in Third Age 1856, defeating the Gondorian army and killing king [[Narmacil II]]. They rode in great wagons and chariots (which gave them their name), and raided the lands of [[Rhovanion (Realm)|Rhovanion]], destroying or enslaving its people. Gondor gradually lost all of its possessions east of [[Anduin]] to them. The thirtieth king of Gondor, [[Calimehtar (King of Gondor)|Calimehtar]] son of Narmacil, defeated the Wainriders at the [[Field of Celebrant]], buying some rest for his land. However the Wainriders struck back in 1944, allying themselves with the [[Haradrim]] of Near Harad and the Variags of Khand. They managed to kill king [[Ondoher]] and both his sons, but instead of riding on to [[Minas Anor]] and taking the city, they paused to celebrate.  Meanwhile, general [[Eärnil II|Eärnil]] of Gondor's southern army had defeated the Haradrim and rode north to defend his king. He came too late to rescue Ondoher, but managed to decisively defeat the Wainriders. Eärnil was later crowned king.  After this defeat the might of the Wainriders was broken, and they retreated east. They still held Rhovanion, but never troubled Gondor again. It later turned out that their attacks were staged by Sauron to allow him to reclaim [[Mordor]] while Gondor's watch was diverted.
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During these struggles Sauron reclaimed Mordor unnoticed in {{TA|2941}}.
  
===Balchoth===
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===War of the Ring===
{{Main|Balchoth}}
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Easterlings serving Mordor fought in the [[War of the Ring]] alongside the [[Haradrim]] and [[Variags]]. They appeared in the [[Battle of the Pelennor Fields]] and the [[Battle of Dale]].
  
The ''Balchoth'' were a fierce race of Easterlings, who attacked Gondor while under orders of [[Dol Guldur]]. In 2150 they overran the plains of [[Calenardhon]] and almost destroyed the army of the Ruling Steward [[Cirion]], but were defeated by the [[Éothéod]] under [[Eorl]] the Young. Like the Wainriders they rode in chariots and wagons, and they may have been descendants of this people.
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In the [[Fourth Age]] some Easterlings were subdued by [[Aragorn|King Elessar]] and King [[Éomer]].<ref>{{App|Eorl}}</ref>
  
===Variags===
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==Culture==
{{Main|Variags}}
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The Easterlings were in general more primitive than [[Gondor]]. They were motivated by [[Sauron]] to hate Gondor and seek its riches.
  
The ''Variags'' (in the real world, this is another name for the Varangians) were from [[Khand]], and they first appeared in the West in 1944 of the [[Third Age]], fighting alongside the Wainriders. They later appeared during the battle of the [[Pelennor Fields]]. Little was known about them, but they appeared to be a race of horse-men much like the [[Rohirrim]], although they were fiercely loyal to [[Mordor]].  
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The weapons that the Easterlings used were primarily crude,<ref name=cirion/> jagged spears, making them especially effective against cavalry, as well as a shorter, odd, glaive-like version used for close combat.  
  
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Some like the Wainriders and the Balchoth had large chaiots, wagons and wains <ref name=cirion/> which they used to run their foes down. Easterlings (such as those of the [[Pelennor Fields]]) were bearded and used axes.
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{{references}}
 
[[Category:Men]]
 
[[Category:Men]]
 
[[Category:Easterlings]]
 
[[Category:Easterlings]]
 
[[de:Ostlinge]]
 
[[de:Ostlinge]]
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[[fi:Itäläiset]]

Latest revision as of 14:22, 15 December 2014

John Howe - Easterlings

Easterlings were Men who lived in the East of Middle-earth, and were enemies of the Free peoples.

The Easterlings were a significant threat to Gondor; they were a more regimented force than the Orcs or even the Haradrim. It is likely that Sauron drew much of his inspiration for his Orc armies from these wicked men. Sauron suffered a harsh and heavy defeat from the Last Alliance, who vanquished his numerically superior Orcs with a ranked and ordered army. The Easterlings were all this and more, so Sauron greatly valued his alliance with the men of Rhûn.[source?]

Contents

[edit] History

In the First Age, Men awoke in Hildórien the East. Some of them were early corrupted by Morgoth, enabling others (the Edain) to migrate westwards.[1]

Centuries later, after Dagor Bragollach, tribes of Men joined the Edain in Beleriand, long after their arrival. These Swarthy Men came from the east, probably Eriador and were also called "Easterlings". Two of their leaders were Bór and Ulfang.[2]

In the East, as well as in the South of Middle-earth, wild and barbaric Men multiplied. In the Second Age Sauron escaped the judgment of the Valar and continued his former master's work, turning those Men to evil and dominating them.[3][1] During the Dark Years Sauron dominated most of the Westlands, and when Sauron was driven back to Mordor, he continued his expansions eastwards gaining servants and worshippers.[1][4]

[edit] Third Age

After Sauron's defeat in the War of the Last Alliance, these "Wild Men" were released by his tyranny but they still had darkness in their hearts. Evil and restless, they battled against each other and some withdrew to the hated west.[5] Thus they encountered the lands of Gondor and since then, tribes brought trouble periodically with several attacks and migrations. Even some Northmen joined forces with the Easterlings because of greed or because of feuds with their kinsmen.[source?]

Easterlings first enter the records of Gondor in T.A. 490 and Tarostar managed a first victory against them in T.A. 500. In T.A. 541 they invaded Ithilien but Turambar of Gondor destroyed the horde and conquered a new territory in Rhûn for Gondor.[6]

In the following centuries the Easterlings cease, while Gondor was free to extent its borders to the south. That was until the days of Narmacil I when the Easterlings resumed their attacks. In T.A. 1248 an Easterling army marched in the lands between Rhovanion and the Sea of Rhûn. Forces from Gondor - aided by Northmen of Rhovanion - defeated them and destroyed their camps and settlements east of the Inland Sea.[6]

After this defeat the Easterlings disappeared from the Gondorian records for some period, during which Gondor was again occupied with the south and the Corsairs of Umbar.

[edit] The Wainriders

During that time tribes of Easterlings form the confederacy known as the Wainriders (q.v.) who would trouble the Kingdom and the Northmen.[6]

Gondor was weakened by the Great Plague and the Wainriders defeated the Gondorian army in T.A. 1856, raided the lands of Rhovanion and enslaved its people. Some of these lands eventually were reclaimed by King Calimehtar.

In T.A. 1944 the Wainriders, allied with the Haradrim of Near Harad and the Variags of Khand, managed a brief victory against Gondor, despite the assistance by the Éothéod; eventually they were defeated in their camp during their celebrations.

After this defeat the might of the Wainriders was broken although still held Rhovanion, and they retreated east.

In T.A. 2063 Sauron retreated from Dol Guldur to the east. During the Watchful Peace he managed to create a strong alliance between the various tribes of Easterlings.

[edit] The Balchoth

The Balchoth were a fierce race southeast of Mirkwood, under orders of Dol Guldur[7] and no doubt related to the Wainriders.[8] In T.A. 2510 they and Orcs overran the plains of Calenardhon and almost destroyed the army of Steward Cirion, but were defeated by the Éothéod.[7][8]

In T.A. 2545 some Easterlings renewed their attacks and entered the new-founded Rohan. Thus Eorl fell fighting in the Wold.[9]

During these struggles Sauron reclaimed Mordor unnoticed in T.A. 2941.

[edit] War of the Ring

Easterlings serving Mordor fought in the War of the Ring alongside the Haradrim and Variags. They appeared in the Battle of the Pelennor Fields and the Battle of Dale.

In the Fourth Age some Easterlings were subdued by King Elessar and King Éomer.[10]

[edit] Culture

The Easterlings were in general more primitive than Gondor. They were motivated by Sauron to hate Gondor and seek its riches.

The weapons that the Easterlings used were primarily crude,[8] jagged spears, making them especially effective against cavalry, as well as a shorter, odd, glaive-like version used for close combat.

Some like the Wainriders and the Balchoth had large chaiots, wagons and wains [8] which they used to run their foes down. Easterlings (such as those of the Pelennor Fields) were bearded and used axes.

[edit] References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 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 the Ruin of Beleriand and the Fall of Fingolfin"
  3. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Of the Rings of Power and the Third Age"
  4. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), Unfinished Tales, "The History of Galadriel and Celeborn", "Amroth and Nimrodel"
  5. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), Unfinished Tales, "The History of Galadriel and Celeborn", "Appendix B: The Sindarin Princes of the Silvan Elves"
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix A, "The Númenorean Kings", "Gondor and the Heirs of Anárion"
  7. 7.0 7.1 J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix A, "The Númenorean Kings", "Gondor and the Heirs of Anárion", "The Stewards"
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), Unfinished Tales, "Cirion and Eorl and the Friendship of Gondor and Rohan"
  9. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix A, "The House of Eorl", "The Kings of the Mark"
  10. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix A, "The House of Eorl"