Rhudaur

From Tolkien Gateway
Ted Nasmith - View of Rhudaur.jpg
Rhudaur
General information
LocationBetween the Weather Hills and the Misty Mountains
People
PopulationPrimarily Men
LanguageWestron, Sindarin
History
Preceded byArnor
FoundationT.A. 861
Allied with AngmarBy T.A. 1349
GalleryImages of Rhudaur

Rhudaur was the hilly kingdom that originated from the break-up of Arnor in T.A. 861.

Geography[edit]

Rhudaur was a region in the North-east of Eriador, lying between the Ettenmoors, the Weather Hills, and the Misty Mountains. The land between the rivers Loudwater and Hoarwell, forming the the Angle, where the Trollshaws were located,[1] was also a part of Rhudaur.[2][3]

Characterized by dreary and rising hills, dark trees with twisted roots hanging off of cliffs, and gloomy weather, Rhudaur was a sombre, threatening, and unfriendly country.[3]

Upon many heights and ridges were ancient stone walls, ruined towers, and ominous, evil-looking castles.[3]

History[edit]

When the Exiles of Númenor established Arnor in the Second Age, they spread out throughout Eriador and many Númenóreans settled the hills of Rhudaur.[4]

From the start of its existence as an independent kingdom, Rhudaur was unfriendly towards the two other successor states; the kingdom came into strife with Cardolan over the Tower of Amon Sûl and the Palantír associated with the tower.[2]

The first Stoor Hobbits entered Rhudaur, specifically the Angle around T.A. 1150.

By T.A. 1349, a lord of the Hill-men had seized power and had secretly allied with Angmar; few Dúnedain remained in Rhudaur and the only remaining descendant of the House of Isildur was Argeleb I, the King of Arthedain. As the Heir of Isildur, Argeleb claimed the lordship of all former Arnor which Rhudaur resisted. In 1356, Rhudaur and Angmar attacked the Weather Hills, and Argeleb was killed.[2]

By T.A. 1409, Rhudaur was occupied by evil Men subject to Angmar and the Dúnedain that remained there were slain or fled west. These peoples also worked with sorcery and built dark castles in the hills.[5] It was because of this hostile nature and climate of Rhudaur that the Stoors fled the Angle, with some of them moving west to Arthedain, and others moving back to Rhovanion.[2][6] Rhudaur and Angmar attacked and ravaged Cardolan in T.A. 1409, destroying Weathertop and slaying the last prince of Cardolan (later interred in the Barrow-downs).[7].

In the days of Argeleb II, the Witch-king sent many wights from Angmar and Rhudaur to inhabit the deserted mounds of the Barrow-downs.[2]

When war brought the North-kingdom to an end, all the evil Men who inhabited Rhudaur were killed but a shadow remained in the land. During the War of the Ring, Rhudaur was completely uninhabited.[8]

Etymology[edit]

Rhudaur is a Sindarin name. According to J.R.R. Tolkien it means "Troll shaw" and contains the element rhû ("evil, wicked"). Christopher Gilson suggests in his editorial annotation within brackets that the second element is taur ("forest").[9] Shaw is an archaic word meaning "thicket, small wood, copse, or grove".[10] The Trollshaws were located in Rhudaur.[11]

J.R.R. Tolkien's translation was published in Parma Eldalamberon 17 in 2007. Wayne G. Hammond and Christina Scull suggested in 2005 that Rhudaur is a Sindarin name, which means "east forest" and that is is a compound of rhu- ("east") and taur ("forest").[12]

Portrayal in adaptations[edit]

2012: The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey:

Galadriel mentions the High Fells of Rhudaur as the place where the Witch-king was buried following the fall of Angmar.

2013: The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug:

Gandalf and Radagast travel to the High Fells to examine the whereabouts of Nazgûl, only to discover that they have all escaped.

References

  1. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, "The West of Middle-earth at the End of the Third Age" [map]
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 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
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Fellowship of the Ring, "Flight to the Ford"
  4. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Of the Rings of Power and the Third Age"
  5. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Peoples of Middle-earth, "VII. The Heirs of Elendil"
  6. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix B, "The Third Age"
  7. 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'
  8. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Fellowship of the Ring, "Flight to the Ford"
  9. 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 "S Rhudaur and entry S rhû, p. 115 and entry OKO, p. 170
  10. Wayne G. Hammond and Christina Scull (eds), The Lord of the Rings: A Reader's Companion, p. Ixiii
  11. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Peoples of Middle-earth, "VII. The Heirs of Elendil", Commentary, manuscript B entry Earendur "Rhudaur north of the R. Bruinen (where later were the Trollshaws)"
  12. Wayne G. Hammond and Christina Scull (eds), The Lord of the Rings: A Reader's Companion, p. 690