Tolkien Gateway

Category talk:Dúnedain

Epistemological question for y'all: how do you define a Dúnedain? Defining an Edain is simple; a human elf-friend in Beleriand during the First Age. Númenórean is just as easy; an Edain that immigrated to Elenna or was born there. Dúnedain is much trickier since the long-lived descendants of Númenor interbred with regular Men. All of the Chieftains of the Dúnedain belong to the Dúnedain of the North, but what about other rangers, such as Anborn? Should we consider all the Kings of Gondor to be Dúnedain, even after the Kin-strife? How do you all want to handle this? Thanks. --Ebakunin 20:11, 19 June 2006 (EDT)

Just so everyone knows, Epistemology is the branch of philosophy dealing with the study of the limits of knowledge. As to the question itself I would say the Dúnedain would be those of at least partial Númenorian descent dwelling in Middle-earth, particularly those in Arnor and Gondor during the Third Age. Then provide a description of how the Dúnedain are generally taller, longer lived, etc. --Narfil Palùrfalas 20:23, 19 June 2006 (EDT)
So what should we do about poor Anborn? --Ebakunin 20:26, 19 June 2006 (EDT)
Well, he did have at least a small portion of Númenorian blood in him. I'd like to hear Hyarion's and Earendilyon's comments. --Narfil Palùrfalas 20:35, 19 June 2006 (EDT)


This is a hard question, indeed, so I scanned through the LotR for some clues. Often, Dúnedain is used specifically for the Rangers, as for example by Gandalf: "I called for the help of the Dúnedain, and their watch was doubled" or by Aragorn: "What roads would any dare to tread (....) if the Dúnedain were asleep, or were all gone into the grave?". But on the other hand, they are also often named "Dúnedain of the North" or, as Aragorn says, "for the present I am but the Captain of the Dúnedain of Arnor".
On the other hand, the Gondorians are also named Dúnedain, once and a while, e.g. by Merry in the introduction to his Herblore of the Shire: Dúnedain of Gondor or by the story teller: "[Frodo] knew then that they must be Dúnedain of the South, men of the line of the Lords of Westernesse" (about Mablung and Damrod).
I think we may conclude, that Dúnadan may be used for any descendant of the Númenóreans, how far (s)he may be removed from the "true" bloodlines, but that the term may be used more specifically for descendants of the Númenóreans with purer blood and in special contexts for the small group of the Rangers of the North. --Earendilyon 03:57, 20 June 2006 (EDT)