Tolkien Gateway

Woodmen

The Woodmen were those Northmen who dwelt in the forests of Middle-earth, and especially Greenwood the Great in the Third and Fourth Ages.

They were descended from the Men of the First Age who migrated to the West, therefore being related to the Edain and their descendants, the Dúnedain.[1]

A band of Woodmen came and drove away some Orcs who killed Isildur's band in the Battle of the Gladden Fields, before they could mutilate the bodies of the dead.[2]

In T.A. 1636 the Great Plague affected Mirkwood[3] but it is not recorded how the woodmen fared.

The Eagles used to feed on men's sheep of the north, who defended them with their bows of yew; thus they were afraid to fly anywhere near where men lived.

Around T.A. 2941 some bold woodmen and their families were attempting to make their way back to the north from the South, cutting down trees, and building settlements among the woods in the valleys and along the river-shores. The Wargs and the Orcs of the Misty Mountains usually did not dare to approach as they were brave and well-armed, until they started planning a joint raid against them to capture slaves. When they discovered Thorin and Company, they thought they were spies of those woodmen and hunted them down, fearing they would warn their people.[4]

Obvously the raid never took place, thanks to the subsequent events, including the Battle of Five Armies where Orcs and Wargs were devastated. After the Battle, Men could travel without fear and many came to Beorn's home to celebrate Yule, and some gathered under him as a chieftain.[5]

Despite troubled by evil creatures of Dol Guldur such as Orcs and Spiders, they survived until the War of the Ring and the Fourth Age.

After the cleansing of the forest, they and the Beornings were given the central portion of Eryn Lasgalen, between the Narrows of the Forest and the Mountains.[1]

[edit] References

  1. 1.0 1.1 Robert Foster, The Complete Guide to Middle-earth, entry "Woodmen of the western Mirkwood"
  2. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), Unfinished Tales, "The Disaster of the Gladden Fields"
  3. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix B, "The Third Age"
  4. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit, "Out of the Frying-Pan into the Fire"
  5. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit, "The Return Journey"