Dúnedain of Arnor
|Dúnedain of Arnor|
|"Aranarth" by Elena Kukanova|
|Other names||Dúnedain of the North, Northern Dúnedain, Rangers or Rangers of the North|
|Origins||Descendants of the Númenóreans in Arnor|
|Affiliation||Last Alliance of Elves and Men, Host of the West, Grey Company|
|Languages||Westron, Sindarin, Quenya|
|Members||Argeleb I, Aragorn II, Gilraen|
|Distinctions||Retained their pure Númenórean blood|
|Gallery||Images of Arnorians|
The Dúnedain of Arnor, also known as the Dúnedain of the North or the Northern Dúnedain, constituted the ruling class and nobility of Arnor being descendants of the Exiles of Númenor who established the North-Kingdom.
"Men of Arnor" was a term used to define the inhabitants of Arnor and its successor kingdoms, both of Númenorean and non-Númenorean descent. The history of the Men of Arnor is extensively dominated by the actions of the Dúnedain of the North.
After the Downfall of Númenor, the Exiles of Númenor, led by Elendil, established the Realms in Exile of Arnor and Gondor. After passing up the River Lhûn and into Eriador, he established the realm of Arnor.
The Exiles dwelt throughout Eriador, especially along the Lhûn and the Baranduin; but their "chief city was at Annúminas beside Lake Nenuial. At Fornost upon the North Downs also the Númenóreans dwelt, and in Cardolan, and in the hills of Rhudaur; and towers they raised upon Emyn Beraid and upon Amon Sûl".
When Valandil, Isildur's youngest son, took up his rule in Annúminas, the Men of Arnor were diminished; there were too few Númenóreans and Men of Eriador to populate and maintain the land developed and built by the Exiles. This is because many Men of Arnor had died in the War of the Last Alliance and at the Disaster of the Gladden Fields.
Conflicts with Angmar
- Main article: Angmar War
During the reign of Argeleb I, the House of Isildur had failed in the other kingdoms and so, the Kings of Arthedain claimed the lordship of all the Northern Dúnedain. This claim was resisted in Rhudaur; there, the Dúnedain were few, and a lord of the Hill-men, whose allegiance secretly lay with Angmar, had seized power.
A great host came out of Angmar in T.A. 1409 and entered Cardolan, besieging the Tower of Amon Sûl. The Dúnedain were defeated and Arveleg I, as well as the last prince of Cardolan, were slain. Henceforth, Rhudaur was occupied by evil men allied with Angmar, and the Dúnedain that remained there were killed or fled west. Although Cardolan was destroyed, a remnant of the Dúnedain there held out in the Barrow-downs and others took refuge in the Old Forest.
Although the northern parts of Arthedain were little affected, the Dúnedain were affected by the Great Plague; the joint garrison (of the North and South Kingdoms) at Tharbad ceased to exist, and the last of the Dúnedain of Cardolan died.
In T.A. 1974, the Witch-king, with his army from Angmar, invaded Arthedain and captured Fornost Erain, driving most of the Dúnedain over the Lune. The remnants of the Men of Arnor later joined the great Host of the West which overthrew Angmar.
- Main article: Rangers of the North
After the Angmar War, all the people of Arnor were diminished. The Dúnedain of the North were reduced to a few Rangers wandering secretly in the wild, and their heritage was forgotten. It was only in Imladris where they were remembered and it was there that the Heirs of Isildur were harboured.
By the time of the War of the Ring, Halbarad, a kinsman of Aragorn, mustered 30 Dúnedain, and this Grey Company rode to the aid of Aragorn in Rohan and went on to fight in the War of the Ring as representatives of the fallen Northern Dúnedain.
The Dúnedain of Arnor, unlike their kin to the South, were of unmingled Númenórean blood. By the time Hobbits entered Eriador in the mid-Third Age, Men were still numerous: Númenóreans, Men akin to the Edain, and evil Men hostile to the House of Isildur.
In Arnor, the native Men of Eriador accepted the Númenórean kingdom and helped to populate and maintain the places that the Exiles of Númenor initially built. When Elendil led the Men of Arnor to battle against Sauron, the Men of Eriador fought alongside the Dúnedain. After the War, many of these Men perished in battle and their population became diminished.
The Dúnedain of Arnor were tall, pale-skinned, with dark hair, shining grey eyes, and proud faces. They were taller and darker than the Men of Bree. The Rangers that followed Aragorn were described as being stout and lordly men in comparison to the Rohirrim.
The Dúnedain, including those of Arnor, were lords of long life, great power, and wisdom; far superior to the Men of Middle-earth among whom they dwelt and whom they ruled. They were from the beginning far fewer in number than the lesser men.
In the beginning of their history, the Dúnedain were blessed with a lifespan thrice the life of lesser men, yet this ever-diminished over the course of the Third Age. "More swift was the waning in the North-kingdom, for Eriador became colder and there, the Dúnedain became ever less".
In Arnor, the strife and dissensions between the kingdoms of Arthedain, Cardolan, and Rhudaur hastened the waning of the Dúnedain. Although, their lifespans ever-continued to shorten, the Dúnedain, especially the Chieftains of the Dúnedain, maintained significant longevity living to twice the age of lesser men. The Heirs of Isildur even lived up to 160 years or more.
Skills and Customs
The Rangers were believed to have strange powers of sight and hearing, and to understand the language of beasts and birds.
The Heirs of Isildur, being men of long life, were "not accustomed to wed until they had laboured long and journeyed in the world". For women, the age of 22 is considered too early, according to the customs of the Dúnedain, to be wed.
Westron was the native language of the people of Arnor. Among the Dúnedain however, including those of Arnor, "the kings and high lords, and indeed all those of Númenórean blood in any degree," for long used Sindarin. Quenya was known to the learned of Arnor, a tradition which has continued from the loremasters of Númenor, to be used for places of fame and reverence in addition to the names of royalty and men of great renown. All the royal names of the Kings of Arnor were Quenya names. The Kings of Arthedain and later the Chieftains of the Dúnedain, however, took Sindarin names.
- J.R.R. Tolkien, "The Rivers and Beacon-hills of Gondor" (edited by Carl F. Hostetter), in Vinyar Tengwar, Number 42, July 2001, pp. 11-3
- J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Fellowship of the Ring, "At the Sign of the Prancing Pony"
- J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Of the Rings of Power and the Third Age"
- J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Peoples of Middle-earth, "X. Of Dwarves and Men", "The Atani and their Languages"
- J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix B, "The Third Age"
- J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix A, "The Númenorean Kings", "Eriador, Arnor, and the Heirs of Isildur"
- J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), Unfinished Tales, "The History of Galadriel and Celeborn", "Appendix D: The Port of Lond Daer"
- J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix A, "The Númenorean Kings", "Gondor and the Heirs of Anárion"
- J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Return of the King, "The Passing of the Grey Company"
- J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Peoples of Middle-earth, "X. Of Dwarves and Men", "Notes", #59
- J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix F, "The Languages and Peoples of the Third Age", "Of Men"
- J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Peoples of Middle-earth, "VIII. The Tale of Years of the Third Age", p. 227
- J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Peoples of Middle-earth, "VI. The Tale of Years of the Second Age"
- J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Peoples of Middle-earth, "IX. The Making of Appendix A": (ii) "The Tale of Aragorn and Arwen", p. 263
- J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Peoples of Middle-earth, "VII. The Heirs of Elendil"
- J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix A, "The Númenorean Kings", "The Tale of Aragorn and Arwen"
- J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix F, "The Languages and Peoples of the Third Age"
- J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Peoples of Middle-earth, "II. The Appendix on Languages", p. 34
- J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix A, "The Númenorean Kings", "The Realms in Exile", "The Northern Line: Heirs of Isildur"