Cardolan

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Cardolan
General information
LocationSouthern Eriador; south of the East Road between the Brandywine and Greyflood
Major townsTharbad
RegionsMinhiriath
People
PopulationDúnedain
Hobbits
LanguageWestron, Sindarin, Hobbitish
GovernanceKing of Cardolan
Prince of Cardolan (vassal of Arthedain)
History
Preceded byArnor
Dissolution of ArnorT.A. 861
AbandonedT.A. 1636

Cardolan was a breakaway realm of the Dúnedain kingdom of Arnor. After the death of Arnor's King Eärendur, his sons divided the realm into the kingdoms of Arthedain, Rhudaur and Cardolan.

Description[edit]

The borders of Cardolan were the river Brandywine from the Brandywine Bridge down to the Sea in the west, the river Hoarwell from the Last Bridge down to the river Gwathló and down to the Sea in the east, the Great East Road in the north and the coast of Minhiriath from the mouth of the Brandywine to the mouth of the Gwathló in the south. The possession of the Weather Hills and the land westwards towards Bree was disputed between Cardolan, Rhudaur and Arthedain.[1] Notable features within Cardolan were the Old Forest, the Barrow-downs, the South Downs, the Greenway and the deep dike with a steep wall on the further side at the northern boundary of Cardolan[2] just to the south of the Great East Road[3].[4]

History[edit]

In T.A. 861 Arnor's tenth King, Eärendur, died.[5] Due to dissensions between his sons the realm was split into Arthedain, Rhudaur and Cardolan. There was often stife among the three kingdoms, because Rhudaur and Cardolan desired to possess the Weather Hills and the land westwards towards Bree, especially Weathertop, because the tower on it contained the most important Palantír of the North and the other two palantíri of the North were also held by Arthedain.[1] While the line of Isildur continued in Arthedain, it soon failed in Rhudaur and Cardolan.[1]

In 1050 the Harfoots came into Eriador[6] and in 1150 they were joined by the Fallohides.[7] It is possible that some of these Hobbits settled in Cardolan.

War with Angmar[edit]

Around 1272[8] Orcs began to trouble the region[9] and around T.A. 1300, the Witch-king founded the kingdom of Angmar north of the Ettenmoors. This event caused many Hobbits to move to Bree.[10]

Argeleb I of Arthedain claimed lordship over all of former Arnor, because no descendants of Isildur remained in Cardolan and Rhudaur. Rhudaur resisted this claim and made a secreat league with Angmar.[1] It is possible that Cardolan acceped Arthedain’s claim and that the vassal ruler of Cardolan had the title prince of Cardolan.[note 1] Argeleb I fell in battle with Rhudaur and Angmar in 1356.[11] Cardolan, and Lindon, assisted his son, Arveleg I, to avenge his father by pushing the enemy from the Weather Hills. For many years Arthedain and Cardolan held a frontier along the Hills, the East Road and the lower Hoarwell.[1]

However, in T.A. 1409 a great host issued from Angmar and invaded Cardolan, took Weathertop and destroyed the tower of Amon Sûl. The last prince of Cardolan was interred in the Barrow-downs that year. Some say that he was interred in the tomb where Frodo Baggins was trapped during the War of the Ring.[12] It is likely that Merry saw the last memories of the last prince of Cardolan in his dreams in the tomb,[13] because he mentioned an attack by the "men of Carn Dûm" and a spear in his heart.[14] A remnant of the Dúnedain of Cardolan held out in the Barrow-downs and the Old Forest.[15]

In T.A. 1636[16] most of the people of Cardolan died from the Great Plague, especially in Minhiriath. Angmar then sent Barrow-wights to infest and haunt the Barrow-downs.[17] In T.A. 1851 King of Arthedain Araval attempted to re-occupy Cardolan, but the Barrow-wights terrified anyone who attempted to dwell near the Barrow-downs.[18]

Legacy[edit]

The region remained unpopulated even after the final fall of Arnor and destruction of Angmar (1974.[19]).

During the War of the Ring (T.A. 3018) the Black Riders entered Cardolan around September 24. Their chief, the Witch-king, moved to Andrath and visited the Barrow-downs, where he stayed for three days in order to rouse the Barrow-wights. According to the rare manuscript The Hunt for the Ring: Time Scheme - Black Riders, the Witch King empowered the Barrow-wights and slew the Rangers in order to trap the Ring-bearer - a strategy that would almost work; he left on September 27.[20][21][22]

Presumably the area remained deserted until the reestablishment of the northern kingdom under king Elessar at the end of the Third Age.

Tom Bombadil was seemingly involved (at least as a spectator) in the wars between Cardolan and Angmar, although it is unknown at which extent. After freeing the hobbits from the barrow, he took a brooch for Goldberry and showed grief discovering it belonged to a “fair” woman he met long ago, usually identified with the wife of the last prince of Cardolan.[23]

Other versions of the legendarium[edit]

In the earlier versions of the story, Cardolan was an unnamed ancient kingdom that “fought against the evil foes” long ago. The cairn where the Hobbits were trapped was the barrow of a prince who died during the war (the identification with the last prince and the occurrence of Cardolan, Angmar and Carn Dûm are only subsequent).[24][25]

Also, in the earlier versions of Tom Bombadil’s statement regarding the blue-jewelled brooch he took for Goldberry, and the mysterious lady that once wore it, he mentioned that “they shall not forget” the kings, the warriors, the children and the fair maidens of the disappeared kingdom, suggesting Bombadil had personally met the men of Cardolan.[26]

Etymology[edit]

Cardolan is a Sindarin name. Its meaning is not glossed, but several authors suggest it means "Red Hill Land" and is a compound of caran ("red"), dol ("hill") and -(i)an(n) ("land").[27][28][29][30] It is possible that the reference to red hills in the name Cardolan is based on the presence of red rock similar to the red stone just west of the ford over the river Loundwater[31] in Rhudaur.[32]

An alternative etymology has been suggested by Roger Clewley: Cardolan deriving from Noldorin car ("house"), dolen ("hidden) ("secret"), and the toponymical ending -and, thus meaning "place/land of hidden houses" (a reference to the "dead entombed there").[30]

Notes

  1. In the entry for the year 1356 of manuscript T4 of J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Peoples of Middle-earth, "VIII. The Tale of Years of the Third Age" king Argeleb is slain in battle with Cardolan and Rhudaur and both realms resist his claim to overlordship, but the section The North-kingdom and the Dúnedain in J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix A, "The Númenorean Kings", "Eriador, Arnor, and the Heirs of Isildur" only mentions that his claim was resisted by Rhudaur and that he was slain in battle with Rhudaur and Angmar without mentioning that Cardolan resisted the claim or that he died in battle with Cardolan. In addition Cardolan later helps Arthedain in the wars with Rhudaur and Angmar. Furthermore, a prince of Cardolan, rather than a king of Cardolan is mentioned later.

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix A, "The Númenorean Kings", "Eriador, Arnor, and the Heirs of Isildur", The North-kingdom and the Dúnedain, p. 1039
  2. Wayne G. Hammond and Christina Scull (eds), The Lord of the Rings: A Reader's Companion, p. 148
  3. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Fellowship of the Ring, "Fog on the Barrow-downs", pp. 146
  4. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), Unfinished Tales, "The West of Middle-earth at the End of the Third Age" [map]
  5. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix B, "The Third Age", entry for the year 861, p. 1085
  6. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix B, "The Third Age", entry for the year 1050, p. 1085
  7. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix B, "The Third Age", entry for the year 1150, p. 1085
  8. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix A, "The Númenorean Kings", "The Realms in Exile", "The Northern Line: Heirs of Isildur"
  9. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Peoples of Middle-earth, "VII. The Heirs of Elendil"
  10. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix B, "The Third Age", entry for the year c. 1300, p. 1086
  11. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix B, "The Third Age", entry for the year 1356, p. 1086
  12. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix A, "The Númenorean Kings", "Eriador, Arnor, and the Heirs of Isildur", The North-kingdom and the Dúnedain, p. 1041
  13. Wayne G. Hammond and Christina Scull (eds), The Lord of the Rings: A Reader's Companion, "Fog on the Barrow-downs", pp. 144-5; Index, 'Cardolan, last prince of'
  14. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Fellowship of the Ring, "Fog on the Barrow-downs", p. 143
  15. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix A, "The Númenorean Kings", "Eriador, Arnor, and the Heirs of Isildur", The North-kingdom and the Dúnedain, p. 1041
  16. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix B, "The Third Age", entry for the year 1636, p. 1086
  17. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix A, "The Númenorean Kings", "Eriador, Arnor, and the Heirs of Isildur", The North-kingdom and the Dúnedain, p. 1041
  18. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Peoples of Middle-earth, "VII. The Heirs of Elendil" manuscript C with corrections and expansions, The Northern Line of Arnor: the Isildurioni, 23. Araval, pp. 195, 209-210
  19. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix B, "The Third Age" entry for the year 1974, p. 1086
  20. Wayne G. Hammond and Christina Scull (eds), The Lord of the Rings: A Reader's Companion, "Fog on the Barrow-downs", p. 145-6
  21. Wayne G. Hammond and Christina Scull (eds), The Lord of the Rings: A Reader's Companion, "Flight to the Ford", p. 180
  22. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), Unfinished Tales, "The Hunt for the Ring", "(ii) Other Versions of the Story"
  23. Wayne G. Hammond and Christina Scull (eds), The Lord of the Rings: A Reader's Companion, "Fog on the Barrow-downs", pp. 146-7
  24. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Return of the Shadow, "The First Phase: VII. The Barrow-wight", p. 127-8
  25. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Treason of Isengard, From Bree to the Ford and Rivendell, p. 37
  26. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Return of the Shadow, "The First Phase: VII. The Barrow-wight", p. 128
  27. Wayne G. Hammond and Christina Scull (eds), The Lord of the Rings: A Reader's Companion, p. 690
  28. David Salo (2004), A Gateway to Sindarin, p. 371
  29. Paul Strack, "S. Cardolan loc.", Eldamo - An Elvish Lexicon (accessed 8 February 2022)
  30. 30.0 30.1 Roger Clewley, "On the Name Cardolan (363.63)" dated 7 September 2012, Elfling (accessed 11 September 2012)
  31. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Fellowship of the Ring, "Flight to the Ford". p. 213
  32. Mark Fisher, "Cardolan", The Encyclopedia of Arda (accessed 3 March 2022)