Drúedain

From Tolkien Gateway
Drúedain
People
Ted Nasmith - The Aid of the Wild-men.jpg
"The Aid of the Wild-men" by Ted Nasmith
General Information
Pronunciationdroo-eh-deyen
Other namesDrû, Drû-folk, Drúath, Drughu, Drûg-folk, Drûgs, Drúin, Oghor-hai, Púkel-men, Rógin, Rú, Rúatani, Wild Men of the Woods, Woses
LocationsBrethil, Númenor, Drúwaith Iaur, Drúadan Forest
LanguagesDrúadan language
MembersAghan, Ghân, Ghân-buri-Ghân
Physical Description
LifespanShorter than most Men[1]
DistinctionsGood stoneworkers, mysterious powers, glowing red eyes
Average height4 feet[1]
Hair colorDark
GalleryImages of Drúedain

The Drúedain (sg. Drúadan) or Drúath (sg. Drû) was a race of wild Men. The Rohirrim called them Woses or Wild Men of the Woods.

They were a clearly good-hearted people who suffered at the persecution by the malice of evil people; or by ignorance, as their "unlovely" (according to the Elves) appearance led many to believe they were savage beasts. Although some of their numbers joined the Edain and some briefly remained on Númenor, they largely held themselves apart from the troubles and calamities of Middle-earth, and possessed their own mysterious ways and magic.

History[edit]

First Age[edit]

The Drúedain were part of the Edain who left Hildórien for the West. They had been harried and persecuted by other Men as long as they could remember. This treatment turned them to be secretive and suspicious of other kinds of Men and made them migrate to the west to find a land where they could live hidden and in peace.[2]

Historians in Gondor believed that the Drúedain came from lands south of Mordor, and turned north into Ithilien before they reached the coasts of Haradwaith and were the first Men to cross the Anduin (probably near Cair Andros). They then settled in the vales on both sides of the White Mountains and in the wooded lands at the northern feet of the White Mountains.[2] The Drúedain carved statues of themselves of stone in Dunharrow, which were later called Púkel-men by the Rohirrim when the Rohirrim settled in Rohan in the Third Age.[3]

At the end of the First Age most of the Drúedain remained in the White Mountains despite attacks by Men from the East who had relapsed to the service of the Dark. A small branch of the Drúedain, which consisted of a few hundred people,[4] migrated to the west and accompanied the Haladin to Beleriand and settled in the forest of Brethil.[2] Few of the Drúedain ever left the Forest of Brethil,[4], but a few of them lived in the household of Húrin of the folk of Hador who was related to the lord of the Haladin and had lived with the Haladin in his youth.[5] When the Haladin fell into ruin and Morgoth had destroyed all the realms and strongholds of Elves and Men, the Drúedain of Brethil dwindled to a few families, mostly women and children, of which some found refuge at the Mouths of Sirion.[4]

Second Age[edit]

When the Dúnedain of Beleriand set forth for the island of Elenna, where they would establish the kingdom of Númenor, the Drúedain refugees who had dwelt at the Mouths of Sirion were permitted to join them, where their numbers increased again. However, they started leaving the island during the time of Tar-Aldarion, foreseeing the evil that would come. By the Downfall of Númenor, all Drúedain had left the island.[6]

The Drúedain were driven from the White Mountains by tall Men who were wicked at heart and had come from the East. Remnants of the Drúedain survived in Drúadan Forest in Anórien at the eastern end of the White Mountains and in Drúwaith Iaur in the mountains of the Cape of Andrast at the western end of the White Mountains.[2]

After the felling of trees in Enedwaith by the Númenóreans as a source of timber for the building of ships at ship-yards at Lond Daer and elsewhere in Middle-earth and in Númenor became devastating, the native Pre-Númenóreans who lived in the forests ambushed the Númenóreans and had to flee east to the foothills of the southern Misty Mountains to the region, which was later called Dunland.[7] They did not cross the river Isen to Drúwaith Iaur in the promontory between the Isen and the Lefnui, because they were afraid of the Drúedain who lived there and whom they regarded as a "fell people".[7][2]

Third Age[edit]

Ghan-Buri-Ghan by John Howe

After the Great Plague of the year 1636[8] and in the days of the Kings of Gondor a few tribes of Drúedain lived as fishers and fowlers in the marshlands of the mouths of the river Gwathló and the river Isen[9] and on the coasts between the mouths of those rivers.[8]

At the end of the Third Age a few Drúedain still lived in the Drúadan Forest in Anorien north of the White Mountains,[10] and in Drúwaith Iaur in the mountains of the cape of Andrast in the west of Gondor between the rivers Isen and Lefnui.[11]

During the War of the Ring the chieftain of the Drúedain of Drúadan Forest was Ghân-buri-Ghân. On March 14, T.A. 3019,[12] Ghân-buri-Ghân and the Drúedain helped the army of the Rohirrim that was led by king Théoden of Rohan to evade an army of more than six thousand Orcs and Men that was waiting for them along the North-South Road and that had built trenches with stakes across the road by leading the Rohirrim along a road through the Stonewain Valley in Drúadan Forest and by scouting for and hunting possible enemy spies in Drúadan Forest so that the Rohirrim could reach the Pelennor Fields without being ambushed. When king Théoden offered the Drúedain a rich reward and the eternal friendship of the Rohan for their offered help, Ghân-buri-Ghân asked king Théoden to leave the Drúedain alone in the woods and not to hunt them like beasts anymore in the future.[13]

After the War of the Ring, towards the end of July T.A. 3019,[14] King Elessar granted the Drúadan Forest to be theirs forever, forbidding anyone to enter without their permission.[15]

Characteristics[edit]

The appearance of the Drúedain was regarded as "unlovely" by Elves and Men. They were short with an average height of four feet,[1], very broad with heavy buttocks and thick short legs.[4]. In build, stature, and endurance, they resembled the Dwarves.[1]

They hade wide faces with deep-set eyes with heavy brows and flat noses. Their wide mouths were the most expressive of their usually impassive features. They had small, sunken eyes that were so black the pupils could not be distinguished, though their eyes glowed red when they were angry or suspicious. Their hair was sparse and lank, never growing below the eyebrows with the exception of some men who grew black tufts on their chins.[4]

The Drúedain spoke in deep, guttural voices, though their laughter was hearty and pleasantly contagious to other Men and even Elves.[4]

Culture[edit]

The Drúedain were primitive, but marvellously skilled trackers with a better sense of smell than other Men, knew all about plants, were skilled in the carving of wood or stone and had mysterious powers of clairvoyance[6] and magic related to the animation of statues made from stone in their likeness.[4]

The Drúedain were merry in temperament and character like Hobbits, but could be sardonic and ruthless on the grimmer side of their nature, but were less grim than Dwarves. They were frugal and ate sparingly and drank only water, even during peaceful or plentiful times.[1]

A hardy people, in the early First Age they used caves in the mountains as store-houses, which they used also as sleeping-places during severe weather. They maintained this custom in Beleriand (except the most hardy. These places were guarded and didn't allow even their Haladin friends to enter. Otherwise they were content to live in tents or makeshift shelters built round large trees.[1]

For weapons, the Drúedain used poisoned darts[2] and poisoned arrows.[16]

Language[edit]

The Drúedain of the Drúadan Forest spoke their own language,[17] which was completely alien to Westron.[18] The only known words in the lanuage of the Drúedain of Drúadan Forest are the name Ghân, the element buri ("son of")[19] and the name gorgûn ("orcs", "orc-folk").[20]

The Drúedain of the Forest of Brethil who lived there with the Folk of Haleth spoke the language of the Folk of Haleth after their own fashion, but retained a number of words of their own.[21] It is possible that they retained their own language and that they only used the language of the Folk of Haleth when they talked with the Folk of Haleth, because even the Folk of Haleth called them drûg, which was their name in the "own language" of the Drúedain.[22]

Etymology[edit]

Drúedain is a Sindarin name. It is the plural form of Drúadan[4] and means "wild men" or "woses".[23] The element Drû is an adaptation into Sindarin of Drughu, which is what the Drúedain call themselves in their own language. As the Elves came to know the Drû better, and to recognise their bitter enmity to the Orcs, they added the title Edain to their name.[4]

The word Wose represents Tolkien's translation of the actual word róg in the language of the Rohirrim. It means "wild man of the of the woods". It is a modernization of the Anglo-Saxon word wása.[24] The Old English element wasa originally meant a forlorn or abandoned person. It occurs in wudewasa meaning "wild, neglected". It is seen in the name Wuduwasas, which is the direct inspiration for the Woses and means "savage men" (of the woods).[25]

Other names[edit]

  • Drú/Drúin: the simple Sindarin name for the Drughu, singular and plural.[4]
  • Drúath: another Sindarin plural form of Drú.[4]
  • Drû-folk: rarely used collective term.[4]
  • /Rúatani: Quenya terms for the Drughu, derived from their Sindarin counterparts. Singular/plural respectively.[4]
  • Róg/Rógin: the name in the Rohan language, singular/plural respectively.[24]

Inspiration[edit]

In Western folklore, the "wuduwasa" or "wood man" is a hairy, troll-like being supposed to inhabit woods and forests; the figure was used on coats-of-arms and illuminations during the Middle Ages up to the Renaissance.

Both the description of Woses, as well as the word "Wose" itself, derives from this folkloric figure. According to Tolkien his idea was to show the actual existence of wild folk, remnants of former peoples driven out by invaders, living a debased and savage life in forests and mountains.[26]

In the Sir Gawain and the Green Knight poem, the word wodwos appears, which Tolkien translated as "wood-trolls".[27]

Portrayal in adaptations[edit]

Drúedain in adaptations
"Woses of the Eryn Vorn" in the Middle-earth Collectible Card Game  

1995-8: Middle-earth Collectible Card Game:

The card game features three different factions of the race: the "Woses of the Drúadan Forest" and the "Woses of Old Pûkel-land" in the set The Wizards, and the "Woses of the Eryn Vorn" in the expansion Against the Shadow.[28]

2016: The Lord of the Rings Online:

Other than the settlement in the Drúadan Forest, another group of Drúedain is found in Mordor where their ancestors stayed before migrating westward. At the end of the First Age, a cataclysm caused the mountains to rise and cut off the Nêbh Rûdh, the Red Sky Clan, from the valley which they shared with Easterlings. Separated from the Plateau of Gorgoroth to the west by an unreachable mountain pass, they were trapped within a small forest where they lived in peace and isolation for thousands of years, away from the Great Eye's reach. When the One Ring is destroyed, the eruption of Mount Doom causes a rockslide that makes the pass traversable again, exposing the Red Sky Clan to whatever evil still remains lurking in Mordor.

See also[edit]

External links[edit]

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Peoples of Middle-earth, "X. Of Dwarves and Men", "The Atani and their Languages", The Druedain (Pukel-men)
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), Unfinished Tales, "The Drúedain", "Further notes on the Drúedain"
  3. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), Unfinished Tales, "The Drúedain", "Notes", note 14
  4. 4.00 4.01 4.02 4.03 4.04 4.05 4.06 4.07 4.08 4.09 4.10 4.11 4.12 J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), Unfinished Tales, "The Drúedain" Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "Druedain" defined multiple times with different content
  5. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), Unfinished Tales, "The Drúedain", "Notes", note 8
  6. 6.0 6.1 J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), Unfinished Tales, "The Drúedain", "Notes", note 7
  7. 7.0 7.1 J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), Unfinished Tales, "The History of Galadriel and Celeborn", "Appendix D: The Port of Lond Daer", essay on the name Gwathló, third and fourth paragraph
  8. 8.0 8.1 J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), Unfinished Tales, "The History of Galadriel and Celeborn", "Appendix D: The Port of Lond Daer", essay on the name Gwathló, second paragraph
  9. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), Unfinished Tales, "The Battles of the Fords of Isen", "Appendix (ii)", first paragraph of the note
  10. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix F, "The Languages and Peoples of the Third Age", third paragraph, p. 1127
  11. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), Unfinished Tales, "The Drúedain", "Notes", note 13
  12. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix B, "The Great Years", entry for the year 3019 March 14
  13. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Return of the King, "The Ride of the Rohirrim", p. 831-836
  14. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix B, "The Chief Days from the Fall of Barad-dûr to the End of the Third Age", entry for July 22 of the year 3019
  15. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Return of the King, "Many Partings", p. 976
  16. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Return of the King, "The Ride of the Rohirrim", p. 830
  17. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix F, "The Languages and Peoples of the Third Age", third paragraph, p. 1127
  18. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix F, "The Languages and Peoples of the Third Age", "Of Men", penultimate paragraph, p. 1129
  19. J.R.R. Tolkien, "Words, Phrases and Passages in Various Tongues in The Lord of the Rings", in Parma Eldalamberon XVII (edited by Christopher Gilson), entry Ghân buri Ghân, p. 99
  20. J.R.R. Tolkien, "Words, Phrases and Passages in Various Tongues in The Lord of the Rings", in Parma Eldalamberon XVII (edited by Christopher Gilson), entry gorgûn and entry druadan, p. 99
  21. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), Unfinished Tales, "The Drúedain", "Notes", note 3
  22. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), Unfinished Tales, "The Drúedain", second paragraph
  23. J.R.R. Tolkien, "Words, Phrases and Passages in Various Tongues in The Lord of the Rings", in Parma Eldalamberon XVII (edited by Christopher Gilson), entry druadan, p. 99
  24. 24.0 24.1 J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), Unfinished Tales, "The Drúedain", "Notes", note 14
  25. J.R.R. Tolkien, "Nomenclature of The Lord of the Rings" in Wayne G. Hammond and Christina Scull (eds), The Lord of the Rings: A Reader's Companion, entry Woses, pp. 764
  26. J.R.R. Tolkien, "Nomenclature of The Lord of the Rings" in Wayne G. Hammond and Christina Scull (eds), The Lord of the Rings: A Reader's Companion, pp. 764-5
  27. Wayne G. Hammond and Christina Scull (eds), The Lord of the Rings: A Reader's Companion, p. 555
  28. "(Results from search for cards in the game Middle Earth)", Tradecardsoneline.com (accessed 27 March 2014)