Men of Darkness
Men of Darkness or Men of Shadow were the men of the east of Middle-earth who fell under the dominion of Morgoth in the First Age or were dominated by Sauron and worshipped him in the Second Age. In the Third Age they were moved by him against the Dúnedain.
The Dúnedain used the term with no account of race, culture or language; it was a generic term for all those peoples who were not simply barbaric plunderers or brigands, but fanatically opposed the Realms in Exile, the Free Peoples and their allies, as enemies of their "gods".
The following peoples can be considered Men of Darkness:
- Easterlings (Wainriders, Balchoth)
- Black Númenóreans and Corsairs of Umbar
In a note regarding the death of Baldor, Tolkien explains:
The Men of Darkness built temples, some of great size, usually surrounded by dark trees, often in caverns (natural or delved) in secret valleys of mountain-regions; such as the dreadful halls and passages under the Haunted Mountain beyond the Dark Door (Gate of the Dead) in Dunharrow. The special horror of the closed door before which the skeleton of Baldor was found was probably due to the fact that the door was the entrance to an evil temple hall to which Baldor had come, probably without opposition up to that point. But the door was shut in his face, and enemies that had followed him silently came up and broke his legs and left him to die in the darkness, unable to find any way out.
—Wayne G. Hammond and Christina Scull (eds), The Lord of the Rings: A Reader's Companion, "The Last Debate"