Rhudaur

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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]

Rhudaur was 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]

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 strife 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. While the line of Isildur continued in Arthedain, it soon failed in Rhudaur and Cardolan.[2]

The first Stoor Hobbits moved to the Angle in Rhudar around T.A. 1150.[6]

During the reign of King Argeleb I of Arthedain, which started in T.A. 1349,[7] Argeleb claimed the lordship over all former Arnor, because no descendants of Isildur remained in Cardolan and Rhudaur, but Rhudaur resisted his claim. In Rhudaur an evil lord of the Hill-men who had a secret alliance with Angmar had seized power and there were only few Dúnedain in Rhudaur. As a consequence, Argeleb fortified the Weather Hills, which were on the border between Arthedain and Rhudaur.[8] In T.A. 1356,[9] Argeleb was killed killed in a battle with Rhudaur and Angmar. Around this time the Stoors left the Angle and some of them returned to Rhovanion.[8]

In T.A. 1409 Angmar attacked and ravaged Cardolan and surrounded and destroyed Weathertop. Angmar defeated the Dúnedain of Cardolan and Arthedain and the last prince of Cardolan (later interred in the Barrow-downs)[10] and King Arveleg of Arthedain were killed. Rhudaur was occupied by evil men who were subject to Angmar. The Dúnedain that had remained in Rhudaur were killed or fled westwards.[11]

In the days of Argeleb II, the Witch-king sent wights from Angmar and Rhudaur to inhabit the deserted mounds of the Barrow-downs.[12]

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.[3]

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").[13] Shaw is an archaic word meaning "thicket, small wood, copse, or grove".[14] The Trollshaws were located in Rhudaur.[15]

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").[16]

Other versions of the legendarium[edit]

An earlier manuscript version of what would later become the Annals of the Kings and Rulers mentions that an evil people who are workers of sorcery and subjects of Angmar kill the remnants of the Dúnedain in Rhudaur and build dark forts in the hills.[17]

An earlier manuscript version of the the Tale of Years of the Third Age mentions that the Witch-king destroyed the remmants of the Dúnedain that lived in Rhudaur and that an evil people from the north that was much given to sorcery lived in Rhudaur for a long time.[18]

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 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, pp. 1039-1040
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Fellowship of the Ring, "Flight to the Ford", pp. 201-202
  4. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Of the Rings of Power and the Third Age"
  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 c. 1150, p. 1085
  7. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix A, "The Númenorean Kings", "The Realms in Exile", "The Northern Line: Heirs of Isildur", Arthedain, date after Malvegil, p. 1038
  8. 8.0 8.1 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, paragraph about King Argeleb son of Malvegil, p. 1040
  9. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix B, "The Third Age", entry for the year 1356, p. 1086
  10. 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'
  11. 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, paragraph about King Arveleg, p. 1040
  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, paragraph about King Argeleb II, p. 1041
  13. 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
  14. Wayne G. Hammond and Christina Scull (eds), The Lord of the Rings: A Reader's Companion, p. Ixiii
  15. 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)"
  16. Wayne G. Hammond and Christina Scull (eds), The Lord of the Rings: A Reader's Companion, p. 690
  17. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Peoples of Middle-earth, "VII. The Heirs of Elendil", manuscript C, the Northern Line of Arnor: the Isildurioni, entry 18. Arveleg I
  18. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Peoples of Middle-earth, "VIII. The Tale of Years of the Third Age", manuscript T4, entry for the year 1409