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Easterlings (First Age)

Liz Danforth - Ulfang.png
"Ulfang" by Liz Danforth
General Information
LocationsMarch of Maedhros, Hithlum
AffiliationMorgoth (House of Ulfang)
Maedhros (House of Bór)
MembersUlfang, Uldor, Ulfast, Ulwarth, Brodda, Lorgan, Borlach, Borlad, Borthand, Bór
Physical Description
Lifespanshorter than Númenórean
Average heightshorter than Númenóreans
Hair colorDark
Skin colorSwarthy (dark)

The Easterlings also known as Swarthy Men, were primitive tribes of Men who roamed Middle-earth in the First Age.


[edit] History

Long after the Men awoke in Hildórien, some of them left that land to migrate to the West. Some of the ancestors of the Swarthy Men left their descendants in Eriador. Of those people came the indigenous Men that dwelt in the north in the later Ages.[1]

They made their way to Beleriand; others desired its rich lands, while others were instigated by the Enemy. They entered from east of Ered Luin after Dagor Bragollach, much later than the Edain who had already established themselves among the Noldor and the Sindar.

Some of them, like Bór, entered the service of the House of Feanor and fought with Maedhros in the Nirnaeth Arnoediad. Others, like Ulfang and his sons, were for a part secretly in league with Morgoth and betrayed Caranthir resulting in the defeat.

The Easterlings were betrayed by their lord Morgoth, and confined to Hithlum in the latter years of the First Age. Those Incomers enslaved the remaining Edain. Some, like Brodda, intermarried with the Edain.

After the War of Wrath, those that survived fled back over the Ered Luin to Eriador and beyond.[note 1] Some of them became Kings of the primitive Middle Men who had no contact with the Eldar or the Edain. For this the Middle Men were neglected by the Valar.[2]

[edit] Sons of Bór

Bór was a leader of Men who came into Lothlann, Beleriand, in the year F.A. 463. His people were worty, and tillers of the earth.[1]

His sons were Borlach, Borlad and Borthand. Bór was welcomed by Maedhros, who gave him and his followers land north of the March of Maedhros, and south of it. Bór and his sons swore allegiance to Maedhros, and remained faithful, though he was told by Morgoth to betray the banner of Caranthir. All of them were wiped out during the Nirnaeth Arnoediad.

[edit] Sons of Ulfang "the Accursed"

Ulfang also came in Lothlann, Beleriand, in 463, shortly after Bór. He was the father of Ulfast, Ulwarth, and Uldor. Ulfang was welcomed by the sons of Fëanor, and he and his sons swore allegiance to Caranthir. They were given lands to dwell in the north and south of the March of Maedhros. Ulfang and his sons were secretly in the employ of Morgoth, and betrayed the Eldar and Edain during the Nirnaeth Arnoediad.

[edit] Traits and culture

They are described as short and broad, with swarthy (dark) skin, eyes and hair. Some had greater liking for the Dwarves of the mountains than for the Elves.[3] Some of their women were proud and barbaric.[4]

It is seen that they were used to alliterate the names of father and sons/brothers, a custom also seen among the House of Beor.[5][note 2]

[edit] See also


  1. Karen Wynn Fonstad suggests that the Easterlings of the First Age were related to the Easterlings of the Third Age; during the deluge of Beleriand they fled to Rhûn and were the ancestors of the Easterlings as they appear in The Lord of the Rings; cf. Karen Wynn Fonstad (1991), The Atlas of Middle-earth, p. 40-41. Andreas Moehn suggests instead that they were ancestors to, or related to the Haradrim, also called "Swarthy Men". cf. The Men of Darkess
  2. Other than the name alliteration, a Germanic custom, Andreas Moehn also notes that their names have a strong Germanic flavor.


  1. 1.0 1.1 J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The War of the Jewels, "Part One. The Grey Annals"
  2. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Akallabêth: The Downfall of Númenor"
  3. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Quenta Silmarillion: Of the Ruin of Beleriand and the Fall of Fingolfin"
  4. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), Unfinished Tales, "Of Tuor and his Coming to Gondolin"
  5. "The Men of Darkness", Lalaith's Middle-earth Science Pages (accessed 9 December 2019)