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Physical Description
LocationEastern Lands of Middle-earth, east of Mordor and Rhovanion
DescriptionEast of Mordor and the Sea of Rhûn
General Information
Other namesThe East
EtymologyS. rhûn "east"

Rhûn refers to the little-known lands to the east of Middle-earth inhabited by peoples known as the "Easterlings", from whom many attacks on Gondor and its allies came during the Third Age.

It is known as a wide and vast land with many kingdoms, and strange and unexplored places. Almost nothing of the lands beyond the great Sea of Rhûn is known (see Uttermost East).


[edit] History

Far beyond the Sea of Rhûn was another inland sea, the Sea of Helcar, and beyond that the range of Orocarni, the Red Mountains. Somewhere in the lost east, too, lay Cuiviénen and Hildórien, where Elves and Men first awoke: all the Children of Ilúvatar could trace their ancestries back to the eastward regions of Middle-earth.

The first Men who were migrating to the West, pass from northern Rhûn where they met some Dwarves.[1] At the shores of the inland Sea, the tribes separated and their languages soon diverged.[2]

In the later Ages Rhûn was the domain of the Easterlings, Men of Darkness who were ready to follow both the Dark Lords and fought as their allies in war. These lands, too, were peopled by lost Elves, Avari and Úmanyar, and by four of the seven clans of the Dwarves who dwelt in the Orocarni.

Sauron himself journeyed into the eastward lands, in hiding from the White Council during the centuries of the Watchful Peace.

Rhûn was conquered by Gondor twice: under the Kings Rómendacil I and Rómendacil II, but the Númenóreans never had full control over it. Western Rhûn was finally subdued in the Fourth Age under King Elessar and his son Eldarion.

[edit] Geography

Rhûn by Stefano Baldo

The western part of Rhûn is shown on the Lord of the Rings map. It contains the great Sea of Rhûn, connected with three rivers, one northeast, a part of River Running, one northwest and one running north from Mordor. It also shows a small mountain range southwest of the sea and a forest northeast of it. Northwest of the Sea of Rhûn lays also the land of Dorwinion.

The inland Sea of Rhûn was located in western Rhûn on the border between Rhûn and Wilderland. There were mountains on the southwest side of the Sea of Rhûn and a forest on the northeast side. Wild white Kine of Araw, or oxen, lived near the shores of the Sea of Rhûn.

Rhûn's ancient geography can be gleaned a little from The Silmarillion; throughout most of the First Age the vast Sea of Helcar was located there and beyond that the Orocarni ('red mountains').

[edit] Etymology

The word rhûn means "east" in Sindarin. Compare Quenya rómen.[3]

[edit] References

  1. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The War of the Jewels, "Part Two. The Later Quenta Silmarillion: Concerning the Dwarves (Chapter 13)"
  2. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Peoples of Middle-earth, "The Problem of Ros"
  3. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix E, "Writing", "The Fëanorian Letters"