The Wildmen

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Deagol77 15/Dec/2006 at 12:36 PM
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What was up with the wildmen of Dunland? What exactly did the Rohirrim do to them that made them join Saruman? I think it has something to do with the Rohirrim stealing their land. Was I right? I am a little confused on the subject and want to learn a little more about them.
Daywalker 15/Dec/2006 at 12:55 PM
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From LotR:

’Yet there are many that cry in the Dunland tongue,’ said Gamling. ’I know that tongue. It is an ancient speech of men, and once was spoken in many western valleys of the Mark. Hark! They hate us, and they are glad; for our doom seems certain to them. ’The king the king!’ they cry. ’We will take their king. Death to the Forgoil! Death to the Strawheads! Death to the robbers of the North!’ Such names they have for us. Not in half a thousand years have they forgotten their grievance that the lords of Gondor gave the Mark to Eorl the Young and made alliance with him. That old hatred Saruman has inflamed. They are fierce folk when roused. They will not give way now for dusk or dawn, until Théoden is taken, or they themselves are slain.’


Also there’s another quote that shows how Saruman had ’poisoned’ their minds


The men of Dunland were amazed, for Saruman had told them that the men of Rohan were cruel and burned their captives alive.


I think these quotes will answer atleast little to your question.

geordie 15/Dec/2006 at 12:57 PM
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I guess you meant the men in the employ of Saruman, as depicted in the movies? Nothing to do with the books; you can discount them. Forget ’em.

In the books, the men of Dunland were the ones who’d lived in Calenardhon before that land was given to Eorl and the Eotheod. After that, the land was called The Mark by Eorl’s folk, and its new inhabitants the Eorlingas. But they were known in Gondor and elsewhere as the Rohirrim; and the country was known as Rohan.

So where does this leave the displaced people, the original inhabitants? they were driven out; to what is known as Dunland; and they were called the Dunlendings. There was always friction between the two peoples; see App.A - esp. the bit about King Helm Hammerhand, and Freca and his son Wulf. That gives a general idea of the uneasy relationship.

At around the time of the War of the Ring, Saruman persuaded some of the Dunlendings to join with him; promising goodness knows what in return - prob. the land of Rohan returned to them. But as Gandalf said to Grima Saruman was apt to forget his bargains. Things would have gone ill with the duped folk of Dunland if Saruman had got his way.

Saruman told them lies, by the way - the Rohirrim were surprised when, after the Defence of the Hornburg [aka the Battle of Helm’s Deep] to find that the Dunlendings were terrified of them. Saruman had told them that the Rohirrim were cruel; and burned captives in wicker cages. The Rohirrim put them to work, repairing the damage they helped cause; then sent them home, after making them swear never again to come against Rohan in arms.

As for Wild Men - in the book - the only real reference point - - these were the Druadan; the Woses who lived in the Druadan forest on the border of Rohan and Gondor. Ghan-buri-Ghan was their chieftain. But that is another story.
geordie 15/Dec/2006 at 12:58 PM
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Rochir Mumakdacil 15/Dec/2006 at 01:32 PM
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"In the books, the men of Dunland were the ones who’d lived in Calenardhon before that land was given to Eorl and the Eotheod." geordie - are you sure on this? I thought the folk of Calenardhon had dwindled (and been victims of war), so that it was fairly empty when the Eotheod arrived. The Dunlendings had a grievance that Calenardhon was given to the Eotheod rather than to themselves, but I am not aware of anything in the books that attests to them being driven out from there to make way for the Eotheod. For me, the Dunlending homeland was Dunland, and men of simiar race probably once inhabited much of Enedwaith and Minhiriath (indeed, the Breelanders were of similar stock). So far as I can make out, the ’original’ folk of Calenardhon were much like the folk of Anorien and Ithilien.

Dunlendings seem to have encroached into the Wesfold after the establishment of Rohan (viz the trouble that Helm had with Freca), and I suppose there may have been earlier incidents, but I am not aware of them.

geordie 15/Dec/2006 at 02:00 PM
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Of course, I could be wrong..    But I’m going off the ’few men’ quote - it does’nt say who these ’few men’ were - and combining it with what Gamling says, translating the Dunlendish words they heard at Helm’s Deep. ’Death to the Forgoil. Death to the robbers of the North!’ etc. ’Not in half a thousand years have they forgotten their grievance that the lords of Gondor gave the Mark to Eorl the young’. I take that to mean that the Dunlendings were originally the inhabitants of Calenardhon. Like our lot - the Anglo-Saxons - chucked out the British - the Cymri - and drove them to live in the mountains in the West. Walesa the A-S called them, ’the foreigners’. That country’s called Wales now. Was Dunland called Dunland before the Dunlendings went there? Have I got hopelessly muxed ip??

Just re-read that part; and part of the next chapter. Don’t know where I got the idea that the Rohirrim were supposed to have burned their captives _in wicker cages_. Must have been thinking of something else. Tacitus and his description of the Germanic peoples perhaps? Never mind.

Rochir Mumakdacil 15/Dec/2006 at 02:17 PM
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Hm - I guess the issue of whether Dunlendings were driven out to make way for the Rohirrim is open to interpretation. Gamling doesn’t say that the Dunlendings complain of being driven from their ancestral home, he says that their grievance is that the land was given to the Rohirrim rather than to themselves. As closer neighbours, they could have expected to be invited in rather than the northern strangers.

However, the Index to UT says: Dunlendings Inhabitants of Dunland, remnants of an old race of Men that once lived in the valleys of Ered Nimrais; akin to the Dead Men of Dunharrow and to the Breelanders. (my underlining)

So kin of the Dunlendings (maybe, but not necessarily,  ancestors of the Dunlendings at the end of the Third Age) lived in valleys of the White Mountains - including, one presumes, mountain valleys that became part of Rohan, although there is no hint that they dwelled on the plains of Calenardhon.

elvenboy20 15/Dec/2006 at 02:28 PM
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they were wild men they are evil why wouldnt they saruman they live in the wild and i guess they hate regular people you always have to fight them in lord of the ring the third age but actually how did they originate they are not mentioned to much in the book the hobbit but im on page one hundred and sixty seven so i havent even gotten to the battle of the five armies so they could be mentioned by then
Deagol77 15/Dec/2006 at 03:26 PM
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Thanks guys! This is really useful. I knew a little bit of this stuff, but the rest has been helpful. If the Rohirrim were given the Mark when the Dunlanders lived there, it is likely that they were displaced into Dunland. If the Dunlanders lived in the Mark before the Rohirrim couldn’t they have learned how to be good horsemen, too? Or is the horsemanship just brought to the Mark by them? Hmm...
Qtpie 15/Dec/2006 at 04:53 PM
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’;and the Rohirrim, the Horsemen of the North, came and dwelt in the green land of Rohan,...’ The Silmarillion: Of the Rings of Power and the Third Age

From the quote it seems like the Rohirrim already had horses before they moved to the land Calenardhon, or Rohan. I’ll bet there was also some trade between Rohan and Gondor, so the Rohirrim may have introduced the horses to that area. Of course, this is is just my speculation for the people of those lands may have had horses before the Rohirrim came.
Kaulargorn 17/Dec/2006 at 01:55 AM
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About the trade, the Rohirrim loved their horses as they loved their people so I don’t think that there would be a mass trade of horses. Of course it is possible they gave good horses to their ally, ondor but I doubt a mass trade of these anaimals. Gandalf gave a new meaning to the word ’trade’ when he stole Shadowfax!
Battlehamster 17/Dec/2006 at 01:08 PM
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Kaulargon- You give me one of your horses and I’ll leave?  Does kind of sound like something a little kid would do- do this and I’ll stop bugging you.

I know that they say that the Rohirrim wouldn’t trade their horses in LotR, but isn’t that just in the context of paying a tribute to Mordor.  Though it does seem like giving Shadowfax to gandalf was a big deal, but he was one of the Mearas.

Qtpie 17/Dec/2006 at 05:14 PM
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But the Rohirrim denied paying any tribute to Mordor or selling their horses to Sauron.

’Then you do not pay tribute to Sauron?’ said Gimli. ’We do not and we never have,’ said Eomer with a flash of his eyes; ’though it comes to my ears that that lie has been told. Some years ago the Lord of the Black Land wished to purchase horses of us at great price, but we refused him, for he puts beasts to evil use.’ The Two Towers: The Riders of Rohan
Deagol77 18/Dec/2006 at 12:39 PM
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Actually, the Two Towers quote provided by Daywalker, shows the Dunlanders yelling "Death to the robbers of the North!" Could this mean that the Dunlanders were just ticked at the Rohirrim being awarded Calenardhon instead of them? This could mean that the Dunlanders went to Dunland under their own freewill, and there was no force involved with them living there.
Daywalker 18/Dec/2006 at 02:16 PM
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There’s one thing in Unfinished Tales that shows that there was also some actual ’bad blood’ between Rohirrim and Dunlendings caused by fight about place to live. In Battles of Ford Isen it tells how Rohirrim were unable to use certain passage because of history between them.

’The Isen came down swiftly from its sources above Isengard, but in the flat land of the Gap it became slow until it turned west; then it flowed on through country falling by long slopes down into the low-lying coast-lands of furthest Gondor and the Enedwaith, and it became deep and rapid. Just above this westward bend were the Fords of Isen. There the river was broad and shallow, passing in two arms about a large eyot, over a stony shelf covered with stones and pebbles brought down from the north. Only here, south of Isengard, was it possible for large forces, especially those heavily armed or mounted, to cross the river. Saruman thus had this advantage: he could send his troops down either side of the Isen and attack the Fords, if they were held against him, from both sides. Any force of his east of Isen could if necessary retreat upon Isengard. On the other hand, Théodred might send men across the Fords, either in sufficient strength to engage Saruman’s troops or to defend the western bridgehead; but if they were worsted, they would have no retreat except back over the Fords with the enemy at their heels, and possibly also awaiting them on the eastern bank. South and west along the Isen they had no way home, unless they were provisioned for a long journey into Western Gondor.’

This is what notes says about that bolded text:

Beyond the Gap the land between Isen and Adorn was nominally part of the realm of Rohan; but though Folcwine had reclaimed it, driving out the Dunlendings that had occupied it, the people that remained were largely of mixed blood, and their loyalty to Edoras was weak: the slaying of their lord, Freca, by King Helm was still remembered. Indeed at this time they were more disposed to side with Saruman, and many of their warriors had joined Saruman’s forces. ’UT, notes)

Deagol77 18/Dec/2006 at 02:56 PM
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Thanks again! This is good stuff.