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Rangers of the North

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Rangers of the North were the northern people more commonly known simply as the Rangers, the last remnant of the Dúnedain of Arnor who had once peopled the North-kingdom of Arnor.

The term 'Rangers of the North' was used most often by those who lived in the southern lands of Rohan and Gondor, perhaps to distinguish this people from their distant cousins, the Rangers of Ithilien. Like the Rangers of the North, these were also Dúnedain, but they belonged to the South-kingdom of Gondor, and their ancestors had been divided from the Northern Dúnedain for some three thousand years.

History

The Dúnedain of Arnor dwindled after the breaking of Arnor into three kingdoms and the wars with Angmar. Cardolan and Rhudaur soon fell and only the petty-kingdom of Arthedain maintained the noble line of the West. Finally however, that too was destroyed in the Battle of Fornost and Arvedui, the last King of Arthedain was lost in the sea.

Arvedui's son and heir, Aranarth claimed the title of the Chieftain, who would rule the remnants of his people. Each of the Chieftains could trace his descent back to the Kings of Arnor and ultimately to Isildur himself. Each Chieftain would be born and grow in Rivendell with Elrond, who also kept in his keeping the heirlooms of their house: the Ring of Barahir, the shards of Narsil, the Star of Elendil, and the Sceptre of Annúminas. Eac

The Rangers became a wandering and nomadic people around Eriador, little remembered and their deeds were seldom recorded. Their first years were uneventful since they arose during the Watchful Peace and after its end, the enemies concentrated mostly against Rhovanion and Gondor. The Rangers fought minor battles and skirmishes against orcs and wolves in order to keep the region safe. The hobbits of the Shire flourished under their protection.

During the rule of Arassuil, the Orcs of the Misty Mountains became more bold, daring to invade Eriador. The Rangers fought many battles trying to hold them back, but one party managed to reach the Shire, but were fought off by a party of brave Hobbits under Bandobras Took in Third Age 2747. Soon after, the Long Winter arrived and many lives were lost, and Gandalf and the Rangers had to help the Hobbits of the Shire survive.

In Third Age 2911, during Argonui's rule, the Fell Winter began with the Brandywine freezing over. This was a catalyst for White Wolves invading Eriador from the North which must have harassed the Rangers.

At the time of the War of the Ring, the Chieftain was Aragorn II, but the people he led were scattered and diminished. When Halbarad led a troop of the Rangers into the south to Aragorn's aid in the War, he could muster no more than thirty in this company.

Portrayal in Adaptations

2007: The Lord of the Rings Online:

The Rangers of the North are called simply Rangers in the game. They were some scattered about Middle-earth, but there were also many who were organized. There was a group that Aragorn led to keep track of the Enemy's movement during Stirrings in the Darkness.