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John Howe - Southrons.jpg
"Southrons" by John Howe
General Information
Other namesSouthrons
LocationsHarad, including Umbar, Near Harad and Far Harad
Languagespresumably numerous; different from Common Speech
Physical Description
Lifespanshorter than Númenórean
Average heightTall
Hair colorDark
Skin colorDark
GalleryImages of Haradrim

The Haradrim or the Southrons were the proud and warlike people of the Harad, in the south of Middle-earth. Ancient enemies of Gondor, they allied with Sauron during the War of the Ring.


[edit] History

The ancestors of the Haradrim were Men who awoke in the First Age, but stayed to the East of Middle-earth, not joining the migration of the Edain to the West. They eventually settled in Harad, where the Sun is fierce and there are no clouds. It is possible that they were relatives of the Swarthy Men who went to Beleriand after the Edain.

In the Second Age Sauron escaped the judgment of the Valar and continued his former master's work, turning the Men of the East and South to evil and dominating them. Under the authority of the Dark Lord, many towns and walls of stone were built, and those under his influence became numerous and armed with iron. To these men, Sauron was feared as a king and god.[1]

[edit] Second Age

During the Second Age the High Men of Númenor built a great city in the firth of Umbar, a vast natural harbour on the southern shores of the Bay of Belfalas, eventually turning the city into a fortified citadel from whose gates the Men of Númenor initially benefited the people in the lands they explored by teaching them many things about agriculture and craftsmanship.[2] After the reign of Tar-Ciryatan, the Númenóreans began to set themselves up as lords in Middle-earth as they demanded tribute of goods and wealth, causing the oppression of the Haradrim. Under Ar-Pharazon, the Númenóreans made war on the Men of Middle-earth, enslaving them and using them for human sacrifices.[3]

In the following centuries they were influenced by Sauron and Black Númenóreans, those evil High Men who stayed in Harad and survived the Downfall of Númenor.[4] The Haradrim became enemies of Gondor, as the Kingdom's southern borders were close to their lands. Shortly before the War of the Last Alliance, two Númenórean lords, Herumor and Fuinur, "rose to great power amongst the Haradrim".[1]

[edit] Third Age

The Haradrim did not trouble the Realms in Exile for many centuries. There were dealings between the southlands and Gondor in these days, though it is said that there was never friendship between the two realms.[5] When Gondor took the haven of Umbar from the Black Númenóreans, in the year T.A. 1015 they followed the Black Númenóreans against Umbar to recapture it. Their great power was not enough against the sea-power of Gondor. The attempts lasted for 35 years until, in T.A. 1050, Ciryaher defeated the Haradrim force by sending troops by land. They acknowledged the overlordship of Gondor; the kings of Harad did homage and their sons were given as hostages in the court of the King of Gondor.[6]

Later however kings of Harad who were in league with Umbar rebelled against Gondor. King Aldamir fell in battle against them and the Corsairs of Umbar (T.A. 1540); but his son Vinyarion won a great victory in Harad in T.A. 1551.[6][7]

The Haradrim later were allied with the Wainriders, a confederation of Easterlings, and the Men of Khand. During that time they conquered Umbar. The simultaneous assaults from the north and the south brought the South-kingdom close to destruction. The Haradrim crossed the river Poros into South Ithilien, but the Southern Army, destroyed them. The campaigns ended with the Wainriders' definite defeat in the Battle of the Camp in T.A. 1944.[6]

In the later years three great fleets were prepared in Umbar and Harad. Around the Long Winter they assailed the coasts of Gondor, even Rohan. It was Beregond who defeated the invaders.[8]

The Haradrim occupied Harondor and there was a long fight along the Poros. Stirred by emissaries of Sauron, they attempted once more to invade into Ithilien (T.A. 2885) but a combined force of Gondorians and Rohirrim defeated them at the Crossing of Poros.[8][9][10]

At the time of the War of the Ring, the Southrons were in league with Sauron and fought alongside his Orc army. The Haradrim were among the forces led by the Witch-king that attacked Osgiliath on June 20, T.A. 3018,[11] at the beginning of the War. They captured the eastern half of Osgiliath, but Boromir and Faramir cast down the bridge across the Anduin and defended the western half of the city.[12] More Haradrim continued to come up the Harad Road to Mordor. Faramir and the Rangers of Ithilien ambushed some companies of Haradrim, but they could not stop them all.[5]

In the Battle of the Pelennor Fields, they deployed cavalry and gigantic, elephant-like Mûmakil. Regiments of Haradrim joined the host from Minas Morgul marching to the Pelennor Fields. Sauron's forces besieged Minas Tirith, and the Mûmakil of Harad were used to bring forward war-towers and siege-engines to test the City's defences. One of the leaders of the Haradrim at this time bore the standard of the Black Serpent and was slain by King Théoden of Rohan at the Battle of the Pelennor Fields[13] on 15 March 3019.[11]

Once Sauron was destroyed, Southrons in the western lands of Harad submitted to the rule of King Elessar and were conquered. The Southrons in the East, however, remained independent.

[edit] Traits and culture

"Oliphaunt" by Alan Lee

The Haradrim were bold and grim men, fierce in despair. They were tall and dark-skinned with black hair and dark eyes, and for that they were called Swertings or Swarthy Men.[5] The men of Near Harad were brown-skinned, with black hair and dark eyes,[14] while the race known as "half-trolls" out of Far Harad had black skin.[13]

Many Haradrim warriors were seen in bright clothing, such as scarlet robes, and were decorated with golden ornaments, such as collars, earrings, corsets of overlapping brazen plates; they braided their hair with gold. Some tribes painted their bodies. Scarlet and red was also the color of their banners, tips of their spears, and body paint. Their shields were yellow and black with spikes.[5] It is also mentioned that at the end of the Second Age some of the Men in the south had weapons of iron.[1] At the Battle of the Pelennor Fields, the Haradrim bore scimitars that glittered like stars.[13]

The Haradrim had tamed the massive Mûmakil beasts and used them in warfare and, like their masters, were decorated with scarlet and gold. They even strapped towers on their backs, used by Haradrim archers and spearmen.[5]

Harad's tribes included into those of Near and Far Harad, although there were many tribes of the Haradrim, often mutually hostile. Some of the peoples of Far Harad were organized into kingdoms.[5]

[edit] Language

To the Gondorians their voices sounded harsh, like shouts of beasts.[15]

The only word which is stated to come from a southron language is "Mûmak", the name of the great war-oliphaunts of Harad.

Gandalf states that his name in "the south" is "Incánus" thought Inkā-nūsh (or possibly Inkā-nūs), meaning "North-spy".[16]

Despite having a meaning in Quenya ("fate"), the name Umbar is said to be adapted from the natives' language and not from Elvish or Adûnaic.

[edit] Etymology

Haradrim is a Sindarin name, consisting of the elements harad ("south") + rim ("host")[17] thus meaning "South-people".

Other names were Southerns, Southrons.

[edit] Other versions of the legendarium

Early variant names for this people were the Barangils,[18] the Haradwaith (from the name of their land) and Haradrians.[19]

Early Westron names include Harwan and Silharrows, which are derived from the Old English name of the Aethiopians, Sigelhearwan (See also: Sigelwara Land).[20]

[edit] Portrayal in adaptations

2001-03: The Lord of the Rings (film series):

The Haradrim appear briefly in The Two Towers when Frodo and Sam witness a raid on one of their columns by Faramir's rangers. They are featured more prominently in The Return of the King, in which the battle between the Rohirrim and the Mûmakil is a major action sequence.
While the book depicts the Southron army as primarily cavalry armed with scimitars, we see no horsemen in the movie: the Haradrim fight almost exclusively from platforms mounted on the backs of their monstrous oliphaunts. They have also adorned the animals' tusks with spikes and shafts that crush and impale numerous enemy horsemen.
The costumes of the Haradrim in the movie are Middle Eastern in style and dark brown or black in colour, while the Haradrim wore red livery in the book.

[edit] See also


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Of the Rings of Power and the Third Age"
  2. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix A, "The Númenorean Kings", "Númenor"
  3. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Akallabêth: The Downfall of Númenor"
  4. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Return of the King, "The Black Gate Opens"
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 5.5 J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Two Towers, "Of Herbs and Stewed Rabbit"
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix A, "The Númenorean Kings", "Gondor and the Heirs of Anárion"
  7. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix B, "The Third Age"
  8. 8.0 8.1 J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix A, "The Númenorean Kings", "Gondor and the Heirs of Anárion", "The Stewards"
  9. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix B, "The Third Age"
  10. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix A, "The House of Eorl", "The Kings of the Mark"
  11. 11.0 11.1 J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix B, "The Great Years"
  12. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Fellowship of the Ring, "The Council of Elrond"
  13. 13.0 13.1 13.2 J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Return of the King, "The Battle of the Pelennor Fields"
  14. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Two Towers, "The Black Gate is Closed"
  15. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Return of the King, "The Siege of Gondor"
  16. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), Unfinished Tales, "The Istari"
  17. J.R.R. Tolkien; Humphrey Carpenter, Christopher Tolkien (eds.), The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien, Letter 144, (dated 25 April 1954), p. 178
  18. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The War of the Ring, "Part Two: The Ring Goes East", "IV. Of Herbs and Stewed Rabbit"
  19. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), Sauron Defeated, pp. 16-7
  20. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Treason of Isengard, "XXV. The Story Foreseen from Fangorn", Note 4