Minas Tirith Forums Create a New Topic  Reply to this Topic
profile | register |
search | faq | avatars | citizens
donate | about | library
 
Minas Tirith Forums » Lord of the Rings » Race of the Easterlings?
Author Topic: Race of the Easterlings?
The Witch-King of Angmar
Guard of the Citadel
Citizen # 4899
posted      Profile for The Witch-King of Angmar   Email The Witch-King of Angmar   Edit/Delete Post 
We know that the Southrons were black (Africans), but what was the race of the Easterlings? Were they Asians, Semites (Arabic), etc?
From: Los Angeles, CA, USA | Registered: Oct 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Joe Stupid KingofBelfalas
Guard of the Citadel
Citizen # 5059
posted      Profile for Joe Stupid KingofBelfalas   Author's Homepage   Email Joe Stupid KingofBelfalas   New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post 
I always thought Arabic, just because of their armour,arms, and style of warfare.

[ 11-04-2006, 11:01 AM: Message edited by: Joe Stupid KingofBelfalas ]

From: Philly | Registered: Jan 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Elendil the Faithful
Guard of the Citadel
Citizen # 5033
posted      Profile for Elendil the Faithful   Email Elendil the Faithful   New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post 
I'd say Arabic, because they came out of the East, like the Arabs came out of the Middle East, and because the easterlings invasions of Gondor seem almost reminiscent of the Ottoman Empires attempts to invade Europe.

-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-
"Et Earello Endorenna utulien. Sinome maruvan ar Hildinyar tenn'Ambar-metta!"
"Out of the Great Sea to Middle-earth I am come. In this place will I abide, and my heirs, unto the ending of the world."

Registered: Jan 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Roll of Honor Silmahtar
Guard of the Citadel
Citizen # 4806

posted      Profile for Silmahtar   Author's Homepage   Email Silmahtar   New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post 
Based on this description from The Silmarillion (if they are to be seen as the same people), Easterlings appear to be more Asiatic than Semitic:
quote:
These Men were short and broad, long and strong in the arm; their skins were swart or sallow, and their hair was dark as were their eyes.
Although "swart" could mean "black", "sallow" is definitely "yellow". I've always likened them to the Mongols, but without the light cavalry.

I don't have the HoME volumes pertaining to LoTR; maybe the Professor left us something more in those books...

From: Vinya-Tárilos | Registered: Aug 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
The Witch-King of Angmar
Guard of the Citadel
Citizen # 4899
posted      Profile for The Witch-King of Angmar   Email The Witch-King of Angmar   Edit/Delete Post 
Yes, but this doesn't describe them as appearing facially different, as would Asiatics-- who likewise aren't particularly "broad" and strong, but tend to be smaller in body as well as height (at least among their native culture). Meanwhile Semitic warriors like the Mojahadeen and others out of the Middle East, were often legendary in strength, but shorter than traditional Englishmen.

Also Semites aren't considered "black," and so could be considered "sallow" as well (meaning more of a lighter color).

[ 11-04-2006, 01:50 PM: Message edited by: The Witch-King of Angmar ]

From: Los Angeles, CA, USA | Registered: Oct 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Snöwdog
Guard of the Citadel
Citizen # 15

posted      Profile for Snöwdog   Author's Homepage   Email Snöwdog   New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post 
From the Battle of the Pelennor Fields:

...Gothmog the lieutenant of Morgul had flung them into the fray; Easterlings with axes, and Variags of Khand , Southrons in scarlet, and out of Far Harad, black men like half trolls with white eyes and red tongues ...

Its pretty straightforward that the Southrons were different from the men from Far Harad, which were black and quite large. The Southrons were likely more nomadic and lighter-skinned. Easterlings I see as more Eurasiatic. So what is people's take on the Variags of Khand?

[ 11-04-2006, 05:53 PM: Message edited by: Snöwdog ]

From: In the Shadows of Annuminas | Registered: Aug 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Prince Imrahil
Guard of the Citadel
Citizen # 5425
posted      Profile for Prince Imrahil   Email Prince Imrahil   New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post 
I usually think of the Haradrim, at least those of Near Harad as being more Arabic-esque. The observation of the Haradrim from Far Harad being more Mongolian-esque seems to make a lot of sense to me, though I'll admit I'm no real historian (at least not very far back). This isn't so much about physical descriptions (though this plays a part) as far as I'm concerned, but from how the map of TA Middle-Earth corresponds with the map of Europe and the implied relation to Asia, the Middle-East, and Africa as well. [] [] []

I've wondered more about the Variags of Khand than anyother race in the story.

-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-
And last and proudest, Imrahil, Prince of Dol Amroth, kinsman of the lord, with gilded banners bearing his token of the Ship and the Silver Swan, and a company of knights in full harness riding grey horses...tall as lords, grey-eyed, dark-haired, singing as they came.

-Minas Tirith

From: Dor-En-Ernil, Belfalas (by way of VA) | Registered: May 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Roll of Honor Silmahtar
Guard of the Citadel
Citizen # 4806

posted      Profile for Silmahtar   Author's Homepage   Email Silmahtar   New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post 
quote:
So what is people's take on the Variags of Khand?

Could be a reference to Varangians. Apparently "variag" is Russian name for Scandinavians. Tolkien could be referring to some sort of renegade branch of Northmen.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Varangian

From: Vinya-Tárilos | Registered: Aug 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
The Witch-King of Angmar
Guard of the Citadel
Citizen # 4899
posted      Profile for The Witch-King of Angmar   Email The Witch-King of Angmar   Edit/Delete Post 
quote:
I usually think of the Haradrim, at least those of Near Harad as being more Arabic-esque.
This sounds about right, since Near Harad would corresponds to Northern African regions like Egypt, Libya, Morocco etc; meanwhile Far Harad corresponds to more equatorial regions like Ethiopia, Nigeria, etc. where people would naturally be darker and look traditionally more "African" due to the sunnier and hotter climate. Meanwhile These "half-trolls" would probably correspond to ancestors of the Watutsis, who are the tallest people in the world.

In contrast, Easterlings would probably be more Asiatic; Kamul, "The Dark Easterling," therefore could have been someone like Ghengis Khan prior to becoming a Ringwraith.

[ 11-05-2006, 07:03 PM: Message edited by: The Witch-King of Angmar ]

From: Los Angeles, CA, USA | Registered: Oct 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Hamfast Gamgee
Guard of the Citadel
Citizen # 5528

posted      Profile for Hamfast Gamgee   Author's Homepage   Email Hamfast Gamgee   New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post 
Why could Aragorn himself have not been black? After all it did say that the Dunedain were darker and swarthier than other men. Sorry if that particular theory upsets some of you race superemists out there
From: Bagshot Row, Hobbiton, The Shire! | Registered: Sep 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Prince Imrahil
Guard of the Citadel
Citizen # 5425
posted      Profile for Prince Imrahil   Email Prince Imrahil   New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post 
quote:
Why could Aragorn himself have not been black? After all it did say that the Dunedain were darker and swarthier than other men. Sorry if that particular theory upsets some of you race superemists out there
Let's go to the book shall we...
quote:
Frodo found that Strider was now looking at him, as if he had heard or guessed all that had been said. Presently, with a wave of his hand and a nod, he invited Frodo to come over and sit by him. As Frodo drew near he threw back his hood, showing a shaggy head of dark hair flecked with grey, and in a pale stern face a pair of keen eyes.

-At the Sign of the Prancing Pony



-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-
And last and proudest, Imrahil, Prince of Dol Amroth, kinsman of the lord, with gilded banners bearing his token of the Ship and the Silver Swan, and a company of knights in full harness riding grey horses...tall as lords, grey-eyed, dark-haired, singing as they came.

-Minas Tirith

From: Dor-En-Ernil, Belfalas (by way of VA) | Registered: May 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
The Witch-King of Angmar
Guard of the Citadel
Citizen # 4899
posted      Profile for The Witch-King of Angmar   Email The Witch-King of Angmar   Edit/Delete Post 
Also:

quote:
Then the old man looked up. Pippin saw his carven face with its proud bones and skin like ivory, and the long curved nose between the dark deep eyes; and he was reminded not so much of Boromir as of Aragorn.
So Aragorn, like most (if not all) direct Númenoreans, was very fair-complected-- like all Elves; meanwhile the "lesser men" were said to be "swarthier."
From: Los Angeles, CA, USA | Registered: Oct 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Snöwdog
Guard of the Citadel
Citizen # 15

posted      Profile for Snöwdog   Author's Homepage   Email Snöwdog   New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post 
I believe the reference to 'swarthy men' was made in the Silmarillion when they came west over the mountains later and allied themselves with Morgoth (how did that work out for you eh?)
From: In the Shadows of Annuminas | Registered: Aug 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Matoro
Soldier of Gondor
Citizen # 11404
posted      Profile for Matoro   Email Matoro   New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post 
Technically the Easterlings of The Silmarillion are different people than the Easterlings of Second and Third Age. Peoples of Ulfang and Bór lived in northenr Eriador and then in Beleriand. They may have been related to Dunlendings of later Ages. As you may remember, there was a "swarthy" people in Breeland, too.

The Easterlings of Second and Third Age live beyond and around Lake Rhûn. There is probably a lot of easterling states in the east. It's shame we don't really know much about the east. It has been a Sauron's playground for a long times, people probably worship Melkor. There may even been some sort of "faithful" easterlings, who were helpes by the Blue Wizards, but Sauron probably eventually wiped them out. Tolkien really didn't say much about what the Easterlings of Rhûn looked like, only thing I can find is that they were "cruel", which isn't surprising, since they were Sauron's servants.

The Southrons aren't one people, either. They are probably a common name for everyone living south of Gondor - Black Númenoreans of Umbar, peoples of Near Harad and Far Harad (only people of Far Harad were described black) and probably Variags of Khand. According some maps, Khand lies south-east of Mordor. They may be something between peoples of Near Harad and the Easterlings.

From: Finland | Registered: Feb 2014  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Snöwdog
Guard of the Citadel
Citizen # 15

posted      Profile for Snöwdog   Author's Homepage   Email Snöwdog   New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post 
I believe the Variags of Khand were separate and distinct, and not considered 'Southrons'.
From: In the Shadows of Annuminas | Registered: Aug 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Create a New Topic  Reply to this Topic Minas Tirith Forums » Lord of the Rings » Race of the Easterlings?
 - Printer-friendly view of this topic       The Red Arrow!       Admin Options: Make Topic Sticky   Close Topic   Move Topic   Delete Topic

About  ~ • ~  Contact  ~ • ~  Minas Tirith  ~ • ~  F. A. Q.  ~ • ~  Help

Powered by Infopop Corporation
UBB.classic™ 6.6.1