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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    USA Midwest
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    168

    Lesser races of men

    In re-reading Return of the King, it is mentioned that the lineage of men began to fall when noble men began to intermingle with the lesser wild men and such. It seems there is a clear distinction between noble men and lesser men. There are the Dunedain, which are the most noble men still in middle-earth, and those who share their blood. The "twilight men" I believe they are called, such as the Rohirrim, and I would imagin the Men of Dale, which are not as high up as the Dunedain, but are still noble. Then you have regular men, such as those in Bree and the like, and then even lesser men such as the Wild men and Easterlings and Haradrim.

    So we are told in Lord of the Rings that the noble blood of men got mingled with the blood of lesser men and thus was weakened.....but where did these lesser men come from? Is there any mention in the Silmarillion of their creation? If all men were noble at the start, and there were no seperate lesser men...then who did they "mingle" with to dilute their noble blood?

    There may be some Silmarillion quote that will totaly put this to rest, but it seems to me that Arda had two classes of race....lesser races, such as lesser men, the hobbit like creature that golem was, those Ghan-buri-Ghan people, ect, and then races of destiny, men, elves, and dwarves. (Hobbits might count as a lesser race themselves...I don't know).

    From what I understand the Gods (valar) put the Noble races in place....but the best I can figure is that other lesser races just naturaly evolved in Arda right along side those awoken by the Valar. Would this mean that those of lesser races do not get to travel to the undying lands? Or are not favored by the Valar (the notable exceptions being those that prove themselves such as Frodo and Bilbo)

    Just a thought.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South Dakota
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    2,884

    Re: Lesser races of men

    From my memory:

    There were clans of men just as there were clans of elves in the First age. Many/most of them fell under the influence of Morgoth, but the Edain stayed true to the Eldar and helped them in the wars of Beleriand. The Edain became the Dunedain/Numenoreans.

    After the defeat of Morgoth, most clans of men who were under his dominion reverted, and became those such as the Bree- and Dale-men. Some retained their earlier ways, however, and were easy for Sauron to bring back under his yoke (easterlings, haradrim, etc...)


    But maybe I'm wrong? It's been a while since I read the Silmarillion.
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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
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    Real Start Date: Mettarë, 2988 T.A.
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    1,426

    Re: Lesser races of men

    Quote Originally Posted by jimmie_smithers View Post
    In re-reading Return of the King, it is mentioned that the lineage of men began to fall when noble men began to intermingle with the lesser wild men and such. It seems there is a clear distinction between noble men and lesser men. There are the Dunedain, which are the most noble men still in middle-earth, and those who share their blood. The "twilight men" I believe they are called, such as the Rohirrim, and I would imagin the Men of Dale, which are not as high up as the Dunedain, but are still noble. Then you have regular men, such as those in Bree and the like, and then even lesser men such as the Wild men and Easterlings and Haradrim.

    So we are told in Lord of the Rings that the noble blood of men got mingled with the blood of lesser men and thus was weakened.....but where did these lesser men come from? Is there any mention in the Silmarillion of their creation? If all men were noble at the start, and there were no seperate lesser men...then who did they "mingle" with to dilute their noble blood?
    It's probably easiest to start at the top. The "noble men" are the Dunedain: descendents of the three houses of the Edain that migrated into Beleriand during the First Age, aided the Elves in their war against Morgoth, and the few survivors of which were rewarded with the island of Numenore, extended lifespans, and numerous other gifts.

    The "lesser men" are everybody else, the historical human race, or to put it a different way, just normal peeps, yo. Though they can be subdivided further, and frequently are by snooty Dunedain. For instance into "Men of Twilight", i.e., kindred of the Edain who either did not move into Beleriand, or decided to remain in Middle-earth rather than go to Numenore; and "Men of Darkness", i.e., everybody else, but particularly followers of Sauron. A -lot- more could be said about these and other subdivisions, but I'm short on time and verbiage at the moment, and maybe it's offtopic to your questions anyway.

    From what I understand the Gods (valar) put the Noble races in place....but the best I can figure is that other lesser races just naturaly evolved in Arda right along side those awoken by the Valar. Would this mean that those of lesser races do not get to travel to the undying lands? Or are not favored by the Valar (the notable exceptions being those that prove themselves such as Frodo and Bilbo)
    A couple of things. First, the Valar didn't awaken either Elves or Men. (And probably not Hobbits, either. ) Second, almost nobody besides Elves gets to reside in the Undying Lands. There are exceptions obviously, but they're so rare as to be the stuff of myth and epic.
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  4. #4

    Re: Lesser races of men

    Expanding upon what has been written above, it is not clear to me whether Tolkien intended that the three tribes of men who first migrated west into Beleriand (named the "Edain" by the Elves), as referenced by BIGeyedBUG, should be viewed as being of "noble blood" as compared to other Men of that Age. Certainly the Edain were accorded higher honor and standing by the Elves than was given to their brethren, but it is not clear to me whether this should be viewed as a matter of "blood" or rather simply a reflection of the noble deeds performed by those three tribes as clients of the Elves in their wars against Morgoth.

    However, after the conclusion of the War of Wrath, the Valar rewarded the deeds the Edain by granting the remnants of the three tribes the island of Valinor to dwell in as well as a longer span of life than Men normally enjoyed. I think we can safely conclude that at this point there was a clear difference in the "blood" of the Numenoreans as compared to that of other Men inhabiting Middle-earth. There was also at this point an intermingling of the blood of Men and Elves present in the royal line of Numenor via Elros (who had as his ancestors Luthien/Beren and Idril/Tuor).

    When the survivors of the fall of Numenor settled in Middle-earth, they would in fact have possessed a "nobility of blood" as compared to other Men due to the gifts of the Valar. It appears that at first the Dunedain generally did not intermarry with other Men, over time the numbers of pure-blooded Dunedain became sufficiently diminished due to war and plague that intermarriage with those of "lesser blood" became more common (or even an imperative).
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