Wainriders

From Tolkien Gateway
Wainriders
People
Stefano Baldo - Wainriders.jpg
"Wainriders" by Stefano Baldo
General Information
OriginsEasterlings
Locationslands east of and around Rhûn; Rhovanion
RivalriesGondorians
Languagesvarious Easterling tongues

The Wainriders were a people, or confederacy of Men from the East.[1]

They traveled in great wagons (wains) and their chieftains rode chariots in battle. In addition, they were better armed and stronger than previous invaders from the East.[1] They camped in fortified camps of wagons. Their young women were also trained in arms, and they, along with old men and youths, stayed behind, able to defend their homes from attackers.[2]

The Wainriders were stirred by Sauron to descend upon Gondor and its allies, some two centuries after the time of the Great Plague[3] and remained a dire threat for nearly a hundred years.

History[edit]

The Wainriders entered history in T.A. 1851 during the reign of King Narmacil II of Gondor[4] when they began their attack on Gondor.[5] They quickly overran and scattered the Northmen,[6] who were living in the plains between the forest of Mirkwood and the River Running with permanent homes on the eaves of the forest, especially in the East Bight.[7]

In T.A. 1856[1] King Narmacil went north to the plains south of Mirkwood with a large army and assembled as many of the scattered remnants of the Northmen as he was able to. The Wainriders defeated the army of Gondor and the Northmen and killed King Narmacil in the Battle of the Plains. The defeated army of Gondor retreated over the Dagorlad to Ithilien. Gondor had to retreat its borders to the Anduin and the Emyn Muil[1] and abandoned all its possessions east[8] of the Anduin except Ithilien[6]. It is believed that the Ringwraiths entered Mordor at this time.[1] A few of the Northmen fled over the River Running and joined the people of Dale near the Lonely Mountain, some fled to Gondor and some led by Marhwini fled north between Mirkwood and the river Anduin and settled in the Vales of Anduin. Most of the surviving Northmen were enslaved and their land was occupied by the Wainriders.[9].

Narmacil's son Calimehtar won a temporary reprieve in 1899[10] when the enslaved Northmen revolted against the Wainriders, and he took advantage to defeat the Wainriders on the plain of Dagorlad.[11]

After that defeat, the Wainriders allied themselves with the Men of Near Harad and Khand and made a simultaneous assault on Gondor from the north and the south. In T.A. 1944[12] King Ondoher was lost in the northern battles, but his general Eärnil defeated the southern invaders. The victorious Wainrider army in the north, celebrating their victory over Ondoher, suddenly found themselves set upon by Eärnil. In an encounter that became known as the Battle of the Camp, the Wainriders were put to rout out of Ithilien, and a great part of those who fled perished in the Dead Marshes.[13]

It was later seen that the invasions of the Wainriders, as so many of Gondor's perils, were engineered by the emissaries of Sauron.[1]

Inspiration[edit]

Miryam Librán-Moreno points out that Jordanes, an Eastern Roman writer from the sixth century who is believed to be of Gothic descent, mentioned that the Huns, a nomadic people from Central Asia rode in chariots and that they invaded the steppes north of the Black Sea and defeated and enslaved the Goths who lived there.[14]

Andreas Moehn notes that some ancient peoples traveled in wagons, such as the Hamaxobioi from Greek sources, or the Wikipedia:Scythians.[15]

See also[edit]

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix A, "The Númenorean Kings", "Gondor and the Heirs of Anárion", entry for King Narmacil II, p. 1048
  2. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), Unfinished Tales, "Cirion and Eorl and the Friendship of Gondor and Rohan", "(i) The Northmen and the Wainriders", seventh paragraph
  3. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix B, "The Third Age", entry for the year 1636, p. 1086
  4. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix A, "The Númenorean Kings", "The Realms in Exile", "The Southern Line: Heirs of Anarion", Kings of Gondor, date of death following the name of Telumehtar Umbardacil, p. 1038
  5. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix B, "The Third Age", entry for the year 1851, p. 1086
  6. 6.0 6.1 J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), Unfinished Tales, "Cirion and Eorl and the Friendship of Gondor and Rohan", "(i) The Northmen and the Wainriders", fourth paragraph
  7. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), Unfinished Tales, "Cirion and Eorl and the Friendship of Gondor and Rohan", "(i) The Northmen and the Wainriders", second paragraph
  8. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix B, "The Third Age", entry for the year 1856, p. 1086
  9. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), Unfinished Tales, "Cirion and Eorl and the Friendship of Gondor and Rohan", "(i) The Northmen and the Wainriders", fifth paragraph
  10. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix B, "The Third Age", entry for the year 1899, p. 1086
  11. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix A, "The Númenorean Kings", "Gondor and the Heirs of Anárion", entry for King Calimehtar, p. 1048
  12. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix B, "The Third Age", entry for the year 1944, p. 1086
  13. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix A, "The Númenorean Kings", "Gondor and the Heirs of Anárion", entry for King Ondoher, p. 1049
  14. Miryam Librán-Moreno, "'Byzantium, New Rome!': Goths, Langobards, and Byzantium in The Lord of the Rings", in Tolkien and the Study of His Sources (edited by Jason Fisher, p. 99
  15. Andreas Moehn, "The Men of Darkness", Lalaith's Middle-earth Science Pages (accessed 7 February 2023) [Amaxoluoi is an error].