Tolkien Gateway


Angelo Montanini - Woodmen.jpg
"Woodmen" by Angelo Montanini
General Information
Physical Description
Lifespanshorter than Númenórean
GalleryImages of Woodmen

The Woodmen were those Northmen who dwelt in the forests of Middle-earth, and especially Greenwood the Great in the Third and Fourth Ages.

[edit] Origins

See also: Northmen

They were descended from the Men of the First Age who migrated to the West, therefore being related to the Edain and their descendants, the Dúnedain. In the Second Age many Men had settled in the northern and eastern borders of Greenwood.[1]

[edit] History

A band of Woodmen came and drove away some Orcs who killed Isildur's band in the Disaster of the Gladden Fields, before they could mutilate the bodies of the dead.[2]

In T.A. 1636 the Great Plague affected Mirkwood[3] but it is not recorded how the Woodmen fared.

The Eagles used to feed on men's sheep of the north, who defended them with their bows of yew; thus they were afraid to fly anywhere near where men lived. The Wargs and the Orcs of the Misty Mountains also usually did not dare to approach as they were brave and well-armed.[4]

At some point the Woodmen had migrated to the South.[4]

Around T.A. 2941 some bold Woodmen and their families were attempting to make their way back to the north, cutting down trees, and building settlements among the woods in the valleys and along the river-shores. This time Orcs and Wargs started planning a joint raid against them to capture slaves. When the Orcs discovered Thorin and Company, they thought they were spies of those Woodmen and hunted them down, fearing they would warn their people.[4]

Obviously the raid never took place, thanks to the subsequent events, including the Battle of Five Armies where Orcs and Wargs were devastated. After the Battle, Men could travel without fear and many came to Beorn's home to celebrate Yule, and some gathered under him as a chieftain.[5]

A couple of years later, Gollum traversed Mirkwood in search for his Ring and its thief; this terrified the Woodmen who talked about "a ghost that drank blood", that even crept into houses to steal babies.[6]

Despite being troubled by evil creatures of Dol Guldur such as Orcs and Spiders, they survived until the War of the Ring and the Fourth Age.

After the cleansing of the forest, they and the Beornings were given the central portion of Eryn Lasgalen, between the Narrows of the Forest and the Woodland Realm.[7]


  1. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Peoples of Middle-earth, "X. Of Dwarves and Men", "The Atani and their Languages"
  2. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), Unfinished Tales, "The Disaster of the Gladden Fields"
  3. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix B, "The Third Age"
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit, "Out of the Frying-Pan into the Fire"
  5. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit, "The Return Journey"
  6. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Fellowship of the Ring, "The Shadow of the Past"
  7. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix B, "The Great Years"