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Dúnedain

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Ted Nasmith - The Ships of the Faithful

The Dúnedain (S: "west-men", pron. [ˈduːnedaɪn]), singular Dúnadan (pron. [ˈduːnadan]), were the the Men of Númenor and their descendants who peopled Middle-earth in the Second and Third Ages.

Some Númenóreans had settled around the haven of Pelargir, but others, who belonged to the Faithful, fled Númenor just before its destruction, led by Elendil and his sons. However there were also other colonies in Middle-earth by hostile survivors of the Downfall, known as the Black Númenóreans.

The Dúnedain formed the Realms in Exile of Arnor and Gondor, around the Middle Men who were ruled by Númenórean lords. Originally ruled by the High King of the Dúnedain, they were divided as the Dúnedain of Arnor and the Dúnedain of Gondor. Their lords and rulers communicated and surveyed their realms with the seven Palantíri they brought from Númenor, distributed around their lands.

After the fall of Arnor and then Arthedain, some of the northern Dúnedain became the Rangers of the North. The surviving Dúnedainic population of Arnor retreated to the Angle south of Rivendell. In the mean time the southern Dúnedain, the Men of Gondor, intermarried more and more with so-called Middle Men, except in some regions (such as Dol Amroth).

In the Fourth Age, the Dúnedain of Gondor and Arnor were reunited under king Aragorn II Elessar (who was also called the Dúnadan).

[edit] Etymology

"I thought you knew enough Elvish at least to know dún-adan: Man of the West, Númenórean."
Bilbo Baggins[1]

They are also called the Men of the West and the Men of Westernesse (direct translations of the Sindarin term) and comes from dûn and adan.

The Quenya name was Núnatan (pron. [ˈnuːnatan]), pl. Núnatani (pron. [nuːˈnatani]).

The Westron name for Dúnadan was simply Adûn, "westerner", but this name was seldom used.

[edit] References

  1. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Fellowship of the Ring, "Many Meetings"