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Easterlings

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[[File:Easterling.jpg|thumb|right|An Easterling in ''[[The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers]]'']]
 
[[File:Easterling.jpg|thumb|right|An Easterling in ''[[The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers]]'']]
 
In the East, as well as in the [[South]] of [[Middle-earth]], wild and barbaric Men multiplied, and in the [[Second Age]] [[Sauron]] was ever at work, turning them to evil and dominating them<ref>{{S|Rings}}</ref> continuing his former master's work.<ref name=dm/> During the [[Dark Years]], after being driven back to [[Mordor]], Sauron continued his expansions eastwards gaining servants and worshippers.<ref name=dm/><ref>{{UT|Amroth}}</ref>
 
In the East, as well as in the [[South]] of [[Middle-earth]], wild and barbaric Men multiplied, and in the [[Second Age]] [[Sauron]] was ever at work, turning them to evil and dominating them<ref>{{S|Rings}}</ref> continuing his former master's work.<ref name=dm/> During the [[Dark Years]], after being driven back to [[Mordor]], Sauron continued his expansions eastwards gaining servants and worshippers.<ref name=dm/><ref>{{UT|Amroth}}</ref>
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===Third Age===
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After Sauron's defeat in the [[War of the Last Alliance]], these "Wild Men" were released by his tyranny but they still had [[darkness]] in their hearts. Evil and restless, they battled against each other and some withdrew to the hated west.<ref>{{UT|6b}}</ref> Thus they encountered [[Gondor]] and since then, tribes brought trouble periodically with several attacks and migrations. Even some [[Northmen]] joined forces with the Easterlings because of greed or because of feuds with their kinsmen.{{fact}}
  
After Sauron's defeat in the [[War of the Last Alliance]], these "Wild Men" were released by his tyranny but they still had [[darkness]] in their hearts. Evil and restless, they battled against each other and some withdrew to the hated west.<ref>{{UT|6b}}</ref> Thus they encountered [[Gondor]].
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Easterlings first enter the records of [[Gondor]] in {{TA|490}} and [[Tarostar]] managed a first victory against the Easterlings in {{TA|500}}. In {{TA|541}} they invaded [[Ithilien]] but [[Turambar (King of Gondor)|Turambar of Gondor]] destroyed the horde and conquered new territory in [[Rhûn]] for Gondor.<ref name=gondor/>
 
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Easterlings first enter the records of [[Gondor]] in {{TA|490}} and since then, tribes of Easterlings brought trouble periodically with several attacks and migrations. Even some [[Northmen]] joined forces with the Easterlings because of greed or because of feuds with their kinsmen.{{fact}}
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[[Tarostar]] managed a first victory against the Easterlings in {{TA|500}}. In {{TA|541}} they invaded [[Ithilien]] but [[Turambar (King of Gondor)|Turambar of Gondor]] destroyed the horde and conquered new territory in [[Rhûn]] for Gondor.<ref name=gondor/>
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In the following centuries the Easterlings cease, while Gondor was free to extent its borders to [[Harondor|the south]]. That was until the days of [[Narmacil I]] when the Easterlings resumed their attacks. In {{TA|1248}} an Easterling army marched in the lands between [[Rhovanion]] and the [[Sea of Rhûn]] and forces from Gondor - aided by Northmen of [[Rhovanion]] - defeated them and destroyed their camps and settlements east of the Inland Sea.<ref name=gondor/>
 
In the following centuries the Easterlings cease, while Gondor was free to extent its borders to [[Harondor|the south]]. That was until the days of [[Narmacil I]] when the Easterlings resumed their attacks. In {{TA|1248}} an Easterling army marched in the lands between [[Rhovanion]] and the [[Sea of Rhûn]] and forces from Gondor - aided by Northmen of [[Rhovanion]] - defeated them and destroyed their camps and settlements east of the Inland Sea.<ref name=gondor/>
  
This victory was followed by a period when Gondor was again occupied with the south and the [[Corsairs of Umbar]]. During that time tribes of Easterlings form the confederacy known as the '''[[Wainriders]]''' (q.v.) who would trouble the Kingdom and the Northmen, until the disappearance of Gondor's [[Eärnur|last King]].<ref name=gondor>{{App|Gondor}}</ref> [[#Tribes of Easterlings|Tribes of Easterlings]] would continue to harass the [[Ruling Stewards of Gondor]], until the [[War of the Ring]].
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This victory was followed by a period when Gondor was again occupied with the south and the [[Corsairs of Umbar]].  
 +
===The Wainriders===
 +
During that time tribes of Easterlings form the confederacy known as the '''[[Wainriders]]''' (q.v.) who would trouble the Kingdom and the Northmen.<ref name=gondor>{{App|Gondor}}</ref>  
  
In the [[Fourth Age]] some Easterlings were subdued by [[Aragorn|King Elessar]] and King [[Éomer]].<ref>{{App|Eorl}}</ref>
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Gondor was weakened by the [[Great Plague]] and the Wainriders defeated the Gondorian army in {{TA|1856}}, raiding the lands of  [[Rhovanion]] and enslaving its people. Some of these lands eventually were reclaimed by King [[Calimehtar (King of Gondor)|Calimehtar]].  
  
==Tribes of Easterlings==
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In {{TA|1944}} the Wainriders, allied with the [[Haradrim]] of [[Near Harad]] and the [[Variags]] of [[Khand]], managed a brief victory, but they were defeated in their camp during their celebrations.  
{{cleanup}}
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===Wainriders===
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{{Main|Wainriders}}
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The ''Wainriders'' were a confederation of Easterling tribes who were united by their hate of Gondor, fueled by the dark lord Sauron. Following the Great Plague which weakened Gondor, they started their attacks in {{TA|1856}}, defeating the Gondorian army and killing king [[Narmacil II]]. They rode in great wagons and chariots (which gave them their name), and raided the lands of  [[Rhovanion]], destroying or enslaving its people. Gondor gradually lost all of its possessions east of [[Anduin]] to them. The thirtieth king of Gondor, [[Calimehtar (King of Gondor)|Calimehtar]] son of Narmacil, defeated the Wainriders at the [[Field of Celebrant]], buying some rest for his land. However the Wainriders struck back in {{TA|1944}}, allying themselves with the [[Haradrim]] of Near Harad and the Variags of Khand. They managed to kill king [[Ondoher]] and both his sons, but instead of riding on to [[Minas Anor]] and taking the city, they paused to celebrate.  Meanwhile, general [[Eärnil II|Eärnil]] of Gondor's southern army had defeated the Haradrim and rode north to defend his king. He came too late to rescue Ondoher, but managed to decisively defeat the Wainriders. Eärnil was later crowned king.  After this defeat the might of the Wainriders was broken, and they retreated east. They still held Rhovanion, but never troubled Gondor again. It later turned out that their attacks were staged by Sauron to allow him to reclaim [[Mordor]] while Gondor's watch was diverted.
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===Balchoth===
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After this defeat the might of the Wainriders was broken although still held Rhovanion, and they retreated east. During these struggles Sauron reclaimed Mordor unnoticed.
{{Main|Balchoth}}
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The ''Balchoth'' were a fierce race of Easterlings, who attacked Gondor while under orders of [[Dol Guldur]]. In {{TA|2150}} they overran the plains of [[Calenardhon]] and almost destroyed the army of the Ruling Steward [[Cirion]], but were defeated by the [[Éothéod]] under [[Eorl]] the Young. Like the Wainriders they rode in chariots and wagons, and they may have been descendants of this people.
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In {{TA|2063}} Sauron retreated from [[Dol Guldur]] to the east. During the [[Watchful Peace]] he managed to create a strong alliance between the various tribes of Easterlings.
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===The Balchoth===
 +
The '''[[Balchoth]]''' were a fierce race southeast of [[Mirkwood]]. Under orders of [[Dol Guldur]].<ref name=A1ivS>{{App|A1ivS}}</ref> no doubt related to the [[Wainriders]].<ref name=cirion/> In {{TA|2510}} they and [[Orcs]] overran the plains of [[Calenardhon]] and almost destroyed the army of Steward [[Cirion]], but were defeated by the [[Éothéod]].<ref name=A1ivS/><ref name=cirion>{{UT|Cirion}}</ref>
  
===Variags===
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===War of the Ring===
{{Main|Variags}}
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Easterlings serving Mordor fought in the [[War of the Ring]] alongside the [[Haradrim]] and [[Variags]]. They appeared in the [[Battle of the Pelennor Fields]] and the [[Battle of Dale]].
  
The ''Variags'' were from [[Khand]], and they first appeared in the West in {{TA|1944}}, fighting alongside the Wainriders. They later appeared during the battle of the [[Pelennor Fields]]. Little was known about them, but they appeared to be a race of horse-men much like the [[Rohirrim]], although they were fiercely loyal to [[Mordor]].
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In the [[Fourth Age]] some Easterlings were subdued by [[Aragorn|King Elessar]] and King [[Éomer]].<ref>{{App|Eorl}}</ref>
  
 
==Culture==
 
==Culture==
 
The Easterlings were in general more primitive than [[Gondor]]. They were motivated by [[Sauron]] to hate Gondor and seek its riches.  
 
The Easterlings were in general more primitive than [[Gondor]]. They were motivated by [[Sauron]] to hate Gondor and seek its riches.  
  
The weapons that the Easterlings used were primarily jagged spears, making them especially effective against cavalry, as well as a shorter, odd, glaive-like version used for close combat. They also were known to run their foes down in great Wains, or wagons. Easterlings (such as those of the [[Pelennor Fields]]) were bearded and used axes.
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The weapons that the Easterlings used were primarily crude,<ref name=cirion/> jagged spears, making them especially effective against cavalry, as well as a shorter, odd, glaive-like version used for close combat.  
 +
 
 +
Some like the Wainriders and the Balchoth had large chaiots, wagons and wains <ref name=cirion/> which they used to run their foes down. Easterlings (such as those of the [[Pelennor Fields]]) were bearded and used axes.
 
{{references}}
 
{{references}}
 
[[Category:Men]]
 
[[Category:Men]]

Revision as of 14:31, 22 November 2014

John Howe - Easterlings

Easterlings were Men who lived in the East of Middle-earth, and were enemies of the Free peoples.

The Easterlings were a significant threat to Gondor; they were a more regimented force than the Orcs or even the Haradrim. It is likely that Sauron drew much of his inspiration for his Orc armies from these wicked men. Sauron suffered a harsh and heavy defeat from the Last Alliance, who vanquished his numerically superior Orcs with a ranked and ordered army. The Easterlings were all this and more, so Sauron greatly valued his alliance with the men of Rhûn.[source?]

Contents

History

In the First Age, Men awoke in the East. Some of them were already corrupted by Morgoth, enabling others (the Edain) to migrate westwards.[1]

Centuries later, after Dagor Bragollach, tribes of Men joined the Edain in Beleriand, long after their arrival. These Swarthy Men came from the east, probably Eriador and were also called "Easterlings". Two of their leaders were Bór and Ulfang.[2]

In the East, as well as in the South of Middle-earth, wild and barbaric Men multiplied, and in the Second Age Sauron was ever at work, turning them to evil and dominating them[3] continuing his former master's work.[1] During the Dark Years, after being driven back to Mordor, Sauron continued his expansions eastwards gaining servants and worshippers.[1][4]

Third Age

After Sauron's defeat in the War of the Last Alliance, these "Wild Men" were released by his tyranny but they still had darkness in their hearts. Evil and restless, they battled against each other and some withdrew to the hated west.[5] Thus they encountered Gondor and since then, tribes brought trouble periodically with several attacks and migrations. Even some Northmen joined forces with the Easterlings because of greed or because of feuds with their kinsmen.[source?]

Easterlings first enter the records of Gondor in T.A. 490 and Tarostar managed a first victory against the Easterlings in T.A. 500. In T.A. 541 they invaded Ithilien but Turambar of Gondor destroyed the horde and conquered new territory in Rhûn for Gondor.[6]

In the following centuries the Easterlings cease, while Gondor was free to extent its borders to the south. That was until the days of Narmacil I when the Easterlings resumed their attacks. In T.A. 1248 an Easterling army marched in the lands between Rhovanion and the Sea of Rhûn and forces from Gondor - aided by Northmen of Rhovanion - defeated them and destroyed their camps and settlements east of the Inland Sea.[6]

This victory was followed by a period when Gondor was again occupied with the south and the Corsairs of Umbar.

The Wainriders

During that time tribes of Easterlings form the confederacy known as the Wainriders (q.v.) who would trouble the Kingdom and the Northmen.[6]

Gondor was weakened by the Great Plague and the Wainriders defeated the Gondorian army in T.A. 1856, raiding the lands of Rhovanion and enslaving its people. Some of these lands eventually were reclaimed by King Calimehtar.

In T.A. 1944 the Wainriders, allied with the Haradrim of Near Harad and the Variags of Khand, managed a brief victory, but they were defeated in their camp during their celebrations.

After this defeat the might of the Wainriders was broken although still held Rhovanion, and they retreated east. During these struggles Sauron reclaimed Mordor unnoticed.

In T.A. 2063 Sauron retreated from Dol Guldur to the east. During the Watchful Peace he managed to create a strong alliance between the various tribes of Easterlings.

The Balchoth

The Balchoth were a fierce race southeast of Mirkwood. Under orders of Dol Guldur.[7] no doubt related to the Wainriders.[8] In T.A. 2510 they and Orcs overran the plains of Calenardhon and almost destroyed the army of Steward Cirion, but were defeated by the Éothéod.[7][8]

War of the Ring

Easterlings serving Mordor fought in the War of the Ring alongside the Haradrim and Variags. They appeared in the Battle of the Pelennor Fields and the Battle of Dale.

In the Fourth Age some Easterlings were subdued by King Elessar and King Éomer.[9]

Culture

The Easterlings were in general more primitive than Gondor. They were motivated by Sauron to hate Gondor and seek its riches.

The weapons that the Easterlings used were primarily crude,[8] jagged spears, making them especially effective against cavalry, as well as a shorter, odd, glaive-like version used for close combat.

Some like the Wainriders and the Balchoth had large chaiots, wagons and wains [8] which they used to run their foes down. Easterlings (such as those of the Pelennor Fields) were bearded and used axes.

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Peoples of Middle-earth, "Of Dwarves and Men"
  2. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Quenta Silmarillion: Of the Ruin of Beleriand and the Fall of Fingolfin"
  3. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Of the Rings of Power and the Third Age"
  4. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), Unfinished Tales, "The History of Galadriel and Celeborn", "Amroth and Nimrodel"
  5. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), Unfinished Tales, "The History of Galadriel and Celeborn", "Appendix B: The Sindarin Princes of the Silvan Elves"
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix A, "The Númenorean Kings", "Gondor and the Heirs of Anárion"
  7. 7.0 7.1 J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix A, "The Númenorean Kings", "Gondor and the Heirs of Anárion", "The Stewards"
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), Unfinished Tales, "Cirion and Eorl and the Friendship of Gondor and Rohan"
  9. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix A, "The House of Eorl"