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General Information
Other namesThe East
LocationEastern Lands of Middle-earth, East of Mordor and Rhovanion, northeast of Khand
DescriptionEast of the Sea of Rhûn and Mordor.
GalleryImages of Rhûn

Rhûn refers to the little-known lands to the east of Middle-earth inhabited by peoples known as the "Easterlings", from whom many attacks on Gondor and its allies came during the Third Age.



Almost nothing of the lands beyond the great Sea of Rhûn is known (see Uttermost East).

Far beyond the Sea of Rhûn was another inland sea, the Sea of Helcar, and beyond that the range of Orocarni, the Red Mountains. Somewhere in the lost east, too, lay Cuiviénen and Hildórien, where Elves and Men first awoke: all the Children of Ilúvatar could trace their ancestries back to the eastward regions of Middle-earth. We know also that it was a wide and vast land with many kingdoms, and strange and unexplored places.

Rhûn was the domain of the Easterlings, Men of Darkness who were ready to follow both the Dark Lords and fought as their allies in war. These lands, too, were peopled by lost Elves, Avari and Úmanyar, and by four of the seven clans of the Dwarves who dwelt in the Orocarni.

Sauron himself journeyed into the eastward lands, in hiding from the White Council during the centuries of the Watchful Peace.

Rhûn was conquered by Gondor twice: under the Kings Rómendacil I and Rómendacil II, but the Númenóreans never had full control over it. The lands of Dorwinion and those around the Sea of Rhûn was finally subdued in the Fourth Age under King Elessar and his son Eldarion. However, it is not known if any Easterling nations further east ever attacked the West again, or if there was a mutual peace after the Easterlings were freed from Sauron's grasp.


Rhûn by Stefano Baldo

The western part of Rhûn is shown on the Lord of the Rings map. It contains the great Sea of Rhûn, connected with three rivers, one northeast, a part of River Running, one northwest and one running south to Mordor. It also shows a small mountain range southeast of the sea and a forest northwest of it. Northwest of the Sea of Rhûn lays also the land of Dorwinion.

The inland Sea of Rhûn was located in western Rhûn on the border between Rhûn and Wilderland. There were mountains on the southwest side of the Sea of Rhûn and a forest on the northeast side. Wild white Kine of Araw, or oxen, lived near the shores of the Sea of Rhûn.

Rhûn's ancient geography can be gleaned a little from The Silmarillion; throughout most of the First Age the vast Sea of Helcar was located there and beyond that the Orocarni ('red mountains').

The rest of Rhûn lay beyond the eastern borders of the maps of Middle Earth drawn by Tolkien. Almost nothing is written about these lands. It is known, however, that they were supposedly immense like the southern extents of Harad, and were home to many kingdoms, nations, and tribes. As the world was made round in the Third Age, the landmass of Rhun must have ended in an ocean somehwere, though it is not known how far out these lands extended.


The word rhûn means "east" in Sindarin. Compare Quenya rómen.[1]


  1. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix E, "Writing", "The Fëanorian Letters"