Dark Men of Middle-earth ~ Black Númenóreans ~ MelkoristsMen of Harad ~ Men of Khand ~ Men of Rhûn ~ Savage Easterlings ~ Wainriders
Corsairs of Umbar ~ Men of RhudaurWildmen of Dunland ~ Southlanders ~ Wormtongue ~ Bill Ferny


Dark Men of Middle-earth

“Not nice; very cruel wicked men they look. Almost as bad as orcs, and much bigger.”


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The Men of Beleriand and Middle-earth, who fell under the sway of the Dark Powers came primarily out of the Far East and Southern reaches, though not all, and these men were ever apt to evil during the Dark Years.

As far back as the First Age of Middle-earth, the East fell under the sway of Morgoth, because the Easterlings coveted the lush and fertile plains of Beleriand. Morgoth promised them dominion over these lands if they fought for him. These swarthy men came out of the East and helped Morgoth overthrow the northern realm of Hithlum, after which the Dark Lord granted them these lands to rule over as they will. However, in the end they were betrayed by Morgoth and became trapped within these mountains and were utterly destroyed in the War of Wrath. A very few escaped.

Darkmen1In the Second and Third Ages of Middle-earth, after Beleriand was broken and the lands settled once more in what became Middle-earth, men of the East and South were drawn now to Sauron in the Land of Shadow. Men under the thrall of the Dark Power of the Ring were varied and many, Sauron’s armies were often commanded by such. These Dark Men each have their own histories and so will be granted a page devoted to their ancient pasts. Here is a listing of each of the groups and you can discover more by laying your staff upon the menu above, under the dark window.

Black Númenórians, the Men of Harad, the Men of Khand, the Men of Rhún, the Savage Easterlings, the Wainriders from the East, the Corsairs of Umbar, the dark Men of Rhudaur and finally the Wildmen of Dunland, who were corrupted by the will of Saruman. Each of these people have their own stories and played a significant part in the wars against the West.

During the War of the Ring as written in the Red Book of Westmarch, Frodo, Sam and Gollum lay hid in a cleft among the rocks and saw for the first time the many roads leading into Mordor.

As he gazed Frodo became aware that there was a great stir and movement on the plain. It seemed as if whole armies were on the march, though for the most part they were hidden by the reeks and fumes drifting from the fens and wastes beyond. But here and there he caught the gleam of spears and helmets; and over the levels beside the roads horsemen could be seen riding in many companies. He remembered his vision from afar upon Amon Hen, so few days before, though now it seemed many years ago.
Then he knew that the hope that had for one wild moment stirred in his heart was vain. The trumpets had not rung in challenge but in greeting. This was no assault upon the Dark Lord by the men of Gondor, risen like avenging ghosts from the graves of valour long passed away. These were Men of other race, out of the wide Eastlands, gathering to the summons of their Overlord; armies that had encamped before his Gate by night and now marched in to swell his mounting power.
As if suddenly made fully aware of the peril of their position, alone, in the growing light of day, so near to this vast menace, Frodo quickly drew his frail grey hood close upon his head, and stepped down into the dell. Then he turned to Gollum.

From The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers in the Chapter ‘The Black Gate is Closed’


As they lay hid in a hollow upon the Dagorlad, they heard the rumor of an approaching army at the Black Gate.

Darkmen2A new fear was upon them. They heard singing and hoarse shouting. At first it seemed a long way off, but it drew nearer: it was coming towards them. It leaped into all their minds that the Black Wings had spied them and had sent armed soldiers to seize them: no speed seemed too great for these terrible servants of Sauron. They crouched, listening. The voices and the clink of weapons and harness were very close. Frodo and Sam loosened their small swords in their sheaths. Flight was impossible.
Gollum rose slowly and crawled insect-like to the lip of the hollow. Very cautiously he raised himself inch by inch, until he could peer over it between two broken points of stone. He remained there without moving for some time, making no sound. Presently the voices began to recede again, and then they slowly faded away. Far off a horn blew on the ramparts of the Morannon. Then quietly Gollum drew back and slipped down into the hollow.
‘More Men going to Mordor,’ he said in a low voice. `Dark faces. We have not seen Men like these before, no, Sméagol has not. They are fierce. They have black eyes, and long black hair, and gold rings in their ears; yes, lots of beautiful gold. And some have red paint on their cheeks, and red cloaks; and their flags are red, and the tips of their spears; and they have round shields, yellow and black with big spikes. Not nice; very cruel wicked Men they look. Almost as bad as Orcs, and much bigger. Sméagol thinks they have come out of the South beyond the Great River’s end: they came up that road. They have passed on to the Black Gate; but more may follow. Always more people coming to Mordor. One day all the peoples will be inside.’

From The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers in the Chapter ‘The Black Gate is Closed’


When the company of three went south toward Minas Morgul, along the western border of the Mountains of Shadow, they saw for the first time the battles of men.

He woke, thinking that he had heard horns blowing. He sat up. It was now high noon. The guards stood alert and tense in the shadow of the trees. Suddenly the horns rang out louder and beyond mistake from above, over the top of the slope. Sam thought that he heard cries and wild shouting also, but the sound was faint, as if it came out of some distant cave. Then presently the noise of fighting broke out near at hand, just above their hiding-place. He could hear plainly the ringing grate of steel on steel, the clang of sword on iron cap, the dull beat of blade on shield; men were yelling and screaming, and one clear loud voice was calling Gondor! Gondor!
`It sounds like a hundred blacksmiths all smithying together,’ said Sam to Frodo. ‘They’re as near as I want them now.’
Darkmen3But the noise grew closer. `They are coming!’ cried Damrod. `See! Some of the Southrons have broken from the trap and are flying from the road. There they go! Our men after them, and the Captain leading.’
Sam, eager to see more, went now and joined the guards. He scrambled a little way up into one of the larger of the bay-trees. For a moment he caught a glimpse of swarthy men in red running down the slope some way off with green-clad warriors leaping after them, hewing them down as they fled. Arrows were thick in the air. Then suddenly straight over the rim of their sheltering bank, a man fell, crashing through the slender trees, nearly on top of them. He came to rest in the fern a few feet away, face downward, green arrow-feathers sticking from his neck below a golden collar. His scarlet robes were tattered, his corslet of overlapping brazen plates was rent and hewn, his black plaits of hair braided with gold were drenched with blood. His brown hand still clutched the hilt of a broken sword.
It was Sam’s first view of a battle of Men against Men, and he did not like it much. He was glad that he could not see the dead face. He wondered what the man’s name was and where he came from; and if he was really evil of heart, or what lies or threats had led him on the long march from his home; and if he would not really rather have stayed there in peace-all in a flash of thought which was quickly driven from his mind.

From The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers in the Chapter ‘Of Herbs and Stewed Rabbit’



“These were Men of other race, out of the wide Eastlands,
gathering to the summons of their Overlord; armies that had encamped before his Gate by night
and now marched in to swell his mounting power.”


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 Posted by at 9:43 am