Tolkien Gateway

Woses

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Revision as of 00:58, 19 January 2013

Merge-arrows.gif This page should be merged with Drúedain.
Ted Nasmith - The Aid of the Wild-men.jpg
Drúedain
Race
DominionsDrúadan Forest
LanguagesDrúadan language
Average heightShort
Hair colorDark
DistinctionsGood stoneworkers, mysterious powers, glowing red eyes
LifespanShorter than most Men
MembersAghan, Ghân, Ghân-buri-Ghân

Woses is a name for the Drúedain, used mainly by the Rohirrim. They were the race of Men that lived in the Drúadan Forest at the end of the Third Age. They were one of the least numerous and most mysterious races in Middle-earth.

Their most significant contribution to the Free peoples was showing the Rohirrim paths through the Drúadan Forest. Without their aid, the Rohirrim would have arrived at the Pelennor Fields much later, suffering losses from an Orc army that was waiting for them. The Woses then used poison-darts and arrows to hold off an army of Orcs searching for the Rohirrim.

After the War of the Ring, when King Elessar granted the Drúadan Forest to be theirs forever, they never showed their faces again, nor was any alliance or trading system struck up between them and Gondor in the Fourth Age. It is clear that they never mingled with the Free Peoples, content to live their mysterious life in the Drúadan Forest, until they faded away into the mists of history and legend.

Contents

Characteristics

In appearance, the Woses were short, stumpy-bodied men, possibly related to the Pukel-men of ancient Rohan. They had disproportionate bodies and small, sunken eyes that glowed red when they were angry or suspicious.

Etymology

The word Wose represents Tolkien's translation of the actual word róg of the Rohirrim into archaic English.

"Woses" is Anglicized (modernized) from the Old English word wāsan meaning "wild, neglected". It is seen in the name Wuduwasas (who are the direct inspiration of the Woses) and means "Wild men of the woods".

Inspirations

In Western folklore, the "wuduwasa" or "wood man" is a hairy, troll-like being supposed to inhabit woods and forests; the figure was used on coats-of-arms and illuminations during the middle-ages up to the renaissance.

Both the description of Woses, as well as the word "Wose" itself, derives from this folkloric figure. According to Tolkien his idea was to show the actual existence of wild folk, remnants of former peoples driven out by invaders, living a debased and savage life in forests and mountains.[1]

See Also

External links

References

  1. J.R.R. Tolkien, "Nomenclature of The Lord of the Rings" in Wayne G. Hammond and Christina Scull (eds), The Lord of the Rings: A Reader's Companion, pp. 764-5