Tolkien Gateway


General Information
LocationThe west-skirts of the southern Misty Mountains, south of Glanduin
DescriptionFair, fertile hill-land
For a time - Stoors and Dwarves

Dunland was a part of Enedwaith east of the North-South Road, well south of the Glanduin and north of the Isen. It was a foothill region that fronted the western slopes of the southern Misty Mountains.[1] Far from the centres of population of Arnor and Gondor, its inhabitants at times included the Men known as Dunlendings as well as wandering Hobbits and Dwarves.

Dunland was a fair, fertile land. By the end of the Third Age being neither prosperous or civilised, it was sparsely inhabited by unorganised herdsmen and hillmen.[2]


[edit] History

[edit] First Men

In the early Second Age, Dunland first acquired a significant population of Men when those who had dwelt in the forests of Enedwaith south of the Gwathló fled from the Númenóreans after they began to cut down all of the trees.[3]

When the kingdoms of Arnor and Gondor were established early in the Third Age the land of Enedwaith (and the region of Dunland) were largely ignored, although the inhabitants were nominally subjects of Gondor.[4]

[edit] Stay of the Stoors

About T.A. 1150, the Hobbit-breed known as the Stoors left their early homeland in the upper vales of the Anduin and crossed the Redhorn Pass. Some settled in the Angle and others travelled down the Loudwater and settled in Dunland. While the Stoors in the Angle vacated that area in 1356, those living in Dunland remained until around 1630 when they migrated to the newly founded Shire.[5]

[edit] Middle Years of the Third Age

The Great Plague swept through the north-west of Middle-earth in the years T.A. 16361637.[5] Dunland suffered, but to a lesser extent than in other regions due to their self-isolation. After the end of the royal line in Gondor the Dunlendings ceased to be subjects of the realm. During the years of the Watchful Peace (19752050), as the people of Calenardhon dwindled, the Dunlendings began drifting across the Isen.

The expansion of the Dunlendings to the southeast of Dunland was checked when the new realm of Rohan was established in 2510. In the subsequent centuries there was tension between the Dunlendings and the Rohirrim.

[edit] Dwarves

After T.A. 2770,[5] Dwarves fleeing the Sack of Erebor settled in Dunland, from where Thrór departed when he and his companion Nár journeyed to Moria in T.A. 2790. After the Battle of Azanulbizar, provoked by the Orcs' brutal slaying of Thrór, Thráin II and Thorin led the remnants of their followers back to Dunland. They left soon after, to eventually settle in the Ered Luin.[6]

[edit] Later Third Age

Beren's decision to trust Saruman however had severe consequences, as before and around the War of the Ring, the Wizard inflamed the Dunlendings' grievance and enmity to the Rohirrim[7] and concentrated a great military force which besieged them at the Helm's Deep. After the Battle of the Hornburg, the Rohirrim allowed the surviving Dunlendings to return to their homes. The Rohirrim required that all hostilities cease, and that the Dunlendings retreat behind the Isen river again.[8]

After the War the four Hobbits, Frodo, Sam, Merry, and Pippin, with the company of Gandalf, Celeborn, Galadriel, and others journeyed through Dunland on their way home. While traversing the region they met two beggars, Saruman and Gríma Wormtongue.[9]

[edit] Etymology

The name Dunland contains the elements dunn (Old English "dark, dusky, dull-hued") + land: thus the meaning is "Dark Land", in reference to the swarthy and dark-haired appearance of its inhabitants. This name was given by the people of neighbouring Rohan after arriving in nearby Calenardhon in the later Third Age. The element dunn has no relation to the Elvish root dûn meaning "west".[10]

[edit] Portrayal in adaptations

2001: The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring:=

Dunland is mentioned when a flock of Crebain appears when the Fellowship is in Hollin; and Legolas identifies them as such and being from Dunland.[11] The crebain later report to Saruman at Isengard.[12]

2011: The Lord of the Rings Online:

Dunland is a massive region available for exploration, with three key areas: Dunland (proper), The Gap of Rohan, and Nan Curunír. Many tribes of the Dunlendings exist, with some warring against one another, or fighting against the White Hand. Dunland's largest and chief town/village is Galtrev.
Region of Dunland
Tharbad, Gwathló.
Glanduin, Eregion Moria, Misty Mountains, Lórien
Lond Daer, Gwathló,
WindRose3.pngMisty Mountains, Fangorn Forest
Enedwaith, Drúwaith Iaur, River Isen River Isen Isengard, Gap of Rohan.


  1. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), Unfinished Tales, "The West of Middle-earth at the End of the Third Age" [map]
  2. Robert Foster, The Complete Guide to Middle-earth, entry "Dunland"
  3. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), Unfinished Tales, "The History of Galadriel and Celeborn", "Appendix D: The Port of Lond Daer"
  4. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), Unfinished Tales, "The Battles of the Fords of Isen", Appendix (ii)
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix B, "The Third Age"
  6. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix A, "Durin's Folk"
  7. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Two Towers, "Helm's Deep"
  8. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Two Towers, "The Road to Isengard"
  9. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Return of the King, "Many Partings"
  10. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix F, "The Languages and Peoples of the Third Age", "Of Men"
  11. The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, "The Ring Goes South"
  12. The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, "The Fighting Uruk-hai"