Northmen (Middle-earth)

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Men of Dale, Lake-men, Beornings, Woodmen, Éothéod, Rohirrim
Home world Middle-earth
Base of operations Rhovanion, Rohan
Language Westron, Dalish, Rohirric

J. R. R. Tolkien adopted the term Northmen in his fiction; his "Northmen" were Men that lived in the north of Rhovanion in Middle-earth, and were friendly to Gondor.

The Northmen who dwelt in Greenwood the Great and other parts of Rhovanion were friendly to the Dúnedain and were after the Dúnedain the most noble Men in Arda, counted as Middle Men by the Dúnedain, and believed to have been descended from the same group of Men as the Edain, the Atanatári (similar to how the Noldor viewed the Sindar in the First Age). The only difference was that they did not cross the Ered Luin into Beleriand and therefore did not go to Númenor. The result of them not participating in the War against Morgoth was their considerably shorter lifespan as compared to the lifespan of the Dúnedain, whose lifespan was enhanced by the Valar after the War of Wrath. They were important allies of Gondor and served as a buffer against the Easterlings, and in the Army of Gondor. For a time many of them even became subjects of Gondor, as the realm extended beyond the river Anduin.

East of Greenwood the Great was the kingdom of Rhovanion, and this became the most important nation of the Northmen. In the fourteenth century of the Third Age, King Rómendacil II of Gondor sent his son Valacar as an ambassador to Vidugavia, king of Rhovanion. Valacar loved Rhovanion and its king's daughter Vidumavi. He married her, and she bore him a son whom she called Vinitharya in her mother tongue. Vinitharya succeeded his father as Eldacar, the first king of Gondor who was not of pure Dúnadan descent; a civil war, the Kin-strife, resulted.

Shortly after the death of Vidugavia a small group of Northmen moved to the vales of Anduin between the Gladden Fields and Mirkwood, probably to flee from the Wainriders, who had enslaved Rhovanion. After the evil Kingdom of Angmar was defeated by Gondor and the remains of Arnor in 1977 T.A., these Northmen moved north and began to call themselves the Éothéod. They were skilled horsebreeders and horsemen. In 2510 T.A. they responded to a plea of help from the trapped Gondorian army at the Field of Celebrant. After they helped Gondor win this important victory they were rewarded the province of Calenardhon and became known as the Rohirrim.

The Men of Dale, Esgaroth and the Beornings were also counted under the Northmen, as were the woodsmen of Mirkwood. The woodsmen of Mirkwood may have been closely related to the Beornings as Aragorn said "and with the Beornings of the wood".[1] Also considered to be part of the Northmen were the Men from the distant place of Dorwinion. Most of Rhovanion had been depopulated after the wars of the Easterlings and the Great Plague.


  1. ^ Lord of the Rings, Chapter 2