Tolkien Gateway

Cardolan

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Cardolanrotwk.jpg
Cardolan
General information
LocationSouthern Eriador; south of the East Road between the Brandywine and Greyflood
Major townsTharbad
RegionsMinhiriath
People
PopulationDúnedain
Hobbits
LanguageWestron, Sindarin, Hobbitish
GovernanceKing of Cardolan
Prince of Cardolan (vassal of Arthedain)
History
Preceded byArnor
Dissolution of ArnorT.A. 861
AbandonedT.A. 1636

Cardolan was a breakaway realm of the Dúnedain kingdom of Arnor. After the death of Arnor's King Eärendur, his sons divided the realm into the kingdoms of Arthedain, Rhudaur and Cardolan.

Contents

[edit] Description

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.[1] Notable features within Cardolan were the Old Forest, the Barrow-downs, the South Downs, and the Greenway.[2]

[edit] History

In T.A. 861 Arnor's tenth King, Eärendur, died.[3] 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; despite accepting Arnor’s sovereignty, Cardolan seemingly retained a prince as its ruler.[4][5] The three kingdoms was led to strife because Arthedain held Weathertop and possessed its Palantír as well as two others.[1]

In 1050 the Harfoots came into Eriador and in 1150 they were joined by the Fallohides.[3] It is likely that some of these Hobbits settled in Cardolan.

[edit] War with Angmar

Around 1272[6] Orcs began to trouble the region[7] and around T.A. 1300, the Witch-king founded the kingdom of Angmar north of the Ettenmoors. This event caused many Hobbits to move to Bree.[3]

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.[1] Argeleb I fell in battle with Rhudaur in 1356.[3] 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.[1]

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 that year (some say that it was the tomb where Frodo Baggins was trapped during the War of the Ring, and it's likely that Merry saw his last memories in dreams, for he mentioned the "men of Carn Dûm").[1][8]

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. In T.A. 1851 King of Arthedain Araval[9] attempted to re-occupy Cardolan, but the "evil wights" terrified anyone who attempted to dwell there and Cardolan was soon lost again.[1]

[edit] Legacy

The region remained unpopulated even after the final fall of Arnor and destruction of Angmar (1974[3]).

During the War of the Ring (T.A. 3018) the Black Riders entered Cardolan around September 24. Their chief, the Witch-king, moved to Andrath and visited the Barrow-downs, where he stayed for three days in order to rouse the Barrow-wights. According to the rare manuscript The Hunt for the Ring: Time Scheme - Black Riders, the Witch King empowered the Barrow-wights and slew the Rangers in order to trap the Ring-bearer - a strategy that would almost work; he left on September 27.[10][11][12]

Presumably the area remained deserted until the reestablishment of the northern kingdom under king Elessar at the end of the Third Age.

Tom Bombadil was seemingly involved (at least as a spectator) in the wars between Cardolan and Angmar, although it is unknown at which extent. After freeing the hobbits from the barrow, he took a brooch for Goldberry and showed grief discovering it belonged to a “fair” woman he met long ago, usually identified with the wife of the last prince of Cardolan.[13]

[edit] Other versions of the legendarium

In the earlier versions of the story, Cardolan was an unnamed ancient kingdom that “fought against the evil foes” long ago. The cairn where the Hobbits were trapped was the barrow of a prince who died during the war (the identification with the last prince and the occurrence of Cardolan, Angmar and Carn Dûm are only subsequent).[14][15]

Also, in the earlier versions of Tom Bombadil’s statement regarding the blue-jewelled brooch he took for Goldberry, and the mysterious lady that once wore it, he mentioned that “they shall not forget” the kings, the warriors, the children and the fair maidens of the disappeared kingdom, suggesting Bombadil had personally met the men of Cardolan.[16]

[edit] Etymology

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") + an(n) ("land").[17][18]

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").[18]

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", "Eriador, Arnor, and the Heirs of Isildur"
  2. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), Unfinished Tales, "The West of Middle-earth at the End of the Third Age" [map]
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix B, "The Third Age"
  4. Wayne G. Hammond and Christina Scull (eds), The Lord of the Rings: A Reader's Companion, "Fog on the Barrow-downs", p. 145
  5. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Peoples of Middle-earth, "VII. The Heirs of Elendil"
  6. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix A, "The Númenorean Kings", "The Realms in Exile", "The Northern Line: Heirs of Isildur"
  7. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Peoples of Middle-earth, "VII. The Heirs of Elendil"
  8. 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'
  9. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Peoples of Middle-earth, "VII. The Heirs of Elendil", pp. 195, 209-210
  10. Wayne G. Hammond and Christina Scull (eds), The Lord of the Rings: A Reader's Companion, "Fog on the Barrow-downs", p. 145-6
  11. Wayne G. Hammond and Christina Scull (eds), The Lord of the Rings: A Reader's Companion, "Flight to the Ford", p. 180
  12. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), Unfinished Tales, "The Hunt for the Ring", "(ii) Other Versions of the Story"
  13. Wayne G. Hammond and Christina Scull (eds), The Lord of the Rings: A Reader's Companion, "Fog on the Barrow-downs", pp. 146-7
  14. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Return of the Shadow, "The First Phase: VII. The Barrow-wight", p. 127-8
  15. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Treason of Isengard, From Bree to the Ford and Rivendell, p. 37
  16. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Return of the Shadow, "The First Phase: VII. The Barrow-wight", p. 128
  17. Wayne G. Hammond and Christina Scull (eds), The Lord of the Rings: A Reader's Companion, p. 690
  18. 18.0 18.1 Roger Clewley, "On the Name Cardolan (#36363)" dated 7 September 2012, Elfling (mailing list) (accessed 11 September 2012)