|Location||Southern Eriador; south of the East Road between the Brandywine and Greyflood|
|Language||Westron, Sindarin, Hobbitish|
|Governance||King of Cardolan|
|Dissolution of Arnor||T.A. 861|
The southeastern border of Cardolan followed the Gwathló and the Mitheithel to the Last Bridge. From there its boundary followed the Great East Road westward to the Brandywine Bridge, and then down the Baranduin to the Sea and thence to the mouth of the Gwathló. However, Cardolan also claimed the land between Bree and the Weather Hills. Notable features within Cardolan were the Old Forest, the Barrow-downs, the South Downs, and the Greenway.
In T.A. 861 Arnor's tenth King, Eärendur, died. Due to dissensions between his sons the realm was split into Arthedain, Rhudaur and Cardolan. While the line of Isildur continued in Arthedain, in both Rhudaur and Cardolan the line soon failed. The three kingdoms was led to strife because Arthedain held Weathertop and possessed its Palantír as well as two others.
 War with Angmar
No descendants of Isildur remained in Cardolan and Rhudaur and Argeleb I of Arthedain claimed lordship over all of former Arnor. Rhudaur resisted this claim and made league with Angmar. Argeleb I fell in battle with Rhudaur in 1356. Cardolan, and Lindon, assisted his son, Arveleg I, to avenge his father by pushing the enemy from the Weather Hills. For many years Arthedain and Cardolan held a frontier along the Hills, the East Road and the lower Hoarwell.
However, in T.A. 1409 a great host issued from Angmar and invaded Cardolan and took Weathertop. A remnant of the Dúnedain of Cardolan held out in the Barrow-downs and the Old Forest. The last prince of Cardolan was interred in the Barrow-downs in that year (some say that it was the tomb where Frodo Baggins was trapped during the War of the Ring).
In T.A. 1636 those people who remained in the Barrow-downs died from the Great Plague. Angmar then sent Barrow-wights to infest and haunt the downs. Arthedain managed to reconquer the land briefly, but few people wished to live there on account of the Barrow-wights, and Cardolan was soon lost again.
On 22 September 3018 the Black Riders entered Cardolan from the south. While hunting for the One Ring their chief established himself in Andrath on the Greenway and then visited the Barrow-downs. He stayed there for some days in order to rouse the Barrow-wights.
Presumably the area remained deserted until the reestablishment of the northern kingdom under king Elessar at the end of the Third Age.
It is not known if Tolkien ever explained the name Cardolan. The most common suggestion is that Cardolan likely is Sindarin for "red hill country". In that case, the name could be analyzed as carn "red", dol "hill, mount" and an(n) "land".
An alternative etymology has been suggested by Roger Clewley: Cardolan deriving from Noldorin car "house", dolen "hidden, secret", and the toponymical ending -and, thus meaning "place/land of hidden houses" (a reference to the "dead entombed there").
- ↑ 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", "Eriador, Arnor, and the Heirs of Isildur"
- ↑ J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), Unfinished Tales, "The West of Middle-earth at the End of the Third Age" [map]
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix B, "The Third Age"
- ↑ J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix A, "The Númenorean Kings", "The Realms in Exile", "The Northern Line: Heirs of Isildur"
- ↑ J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Peoples of Middle-earth, "The Heirs of Elendil"
- ↑ J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), Unfinished Tales, "The Hunt for the Ring", "(ii) Other Versions of the Story"
- ↑ Wayne G. Hammond and Christina Scull (eds), The Lord of the Rings: A Reader's Companion, p. 690
- ↑ 8.0 8.1 Roger Clewley, "On the Name Cardolan (#36363)" dated 7 September 2012, Elfling (mailing list) (accessed 11 September 2012)