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Thread: The Dunedain

  1. #1
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    The Dunedain

    How many were there during the War of the Ring? I recall Aragorn saying he could only muster about thirty. Had they really dwindled to so few?

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    Re: The Dunedain

    I am sure there were more than just 30 male Dunedain who were ready for combat; but not a lot more. I would say 100 at the most, and probably closer to 30 than 100; so yes, they had diminished that much.

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    Re: The Dunedain

    Aragorn was a member of the Company of the Ring, and could spare no time mustering his kinsmen. The passage you reference is Halbarad speaking:
    'I have thirty with me,' said Halbarad. 'That is all of our kindred that could be gathered in haste...'
    Source: J.R.R. Tolkien, 'The Passing of the Grey Company', The Return of the King, volume III of The Lord of the Rings.

    This refers only to fighting men of the Rangers of the North, not the entire population of Dúnedain. And there is no indication of what percentage of fighting men this number represented, although Halbarad's statement seems to indicate that it was a relatively small percentage.

    We do know that between wars against Angmar and plague, the Dúnedain residing in the lands that were once the North Kingdom of Arnor were very few in number. There were very likely a greater number of Dúnedain in the South Kingdom of Gondor, but even those who had not been co-mingled with other races of Men were few.

    The precise number of surviving members of pure Dúnedain race at the time of the War of the Ring is unknown. Denethor and his two sons, Boromir and Faramir, were certainly among them. Of course Aragorn is another (if you discount the small amount of Elvish blood acquired from Lúthien and other Elven ancestors). We do know, however, that there were far more than thirty.

    P.S. When a Man is described as being tall, dark-haired, and grey-eyed he is likely a Dúnadan .
    Last edited by oldbadgerbrock; Jan 03 2010 at 07:56 PM.
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  4. #4

    Re: The Dunedain

    Another group of Dunedain would be in Dol Amroth, the main port city/town of Gondor.

    I don't have the LOTR book handy right now so I'll use the Encyclopedia of Arda web site.
    http://www.glyphweb.com/arda/d/dunedain.html

    Dúnedain
    The Men of Númenor in Middle-earth

    A term used in Middle-earth for the Men of Númenor and (especially) their descendants in Arnor and Gondor after the Downfall in II 3319.

    Notes
    Not all the Dúnedain in Middle-earth were descended from the followers of Elendil. Others had settled there independently before the Downfall, and later allied themselves with the founders of the Kingdoms of the Dúnedain. The ancestors of the Princes of Dol Amroth were among the most prominent of these.
    Therina - Hobbit Guard Rongo - Hobbit Warden
    Frood - Man Minstrel Garmun - Man Captain
    Zorosi - Dwarf Champ Froodaroon - Elf Hunter
    Southern Defenders - Arkenstone (formerly Elendilmir)

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    Re: The Dunedain

    Aragorn lived to be 210, or something like that. Faramir didn't live nearly as long. If they are both Dunedain, what's the difference in life-expectancy about? Are there different 'types' of Dunedain?
    Last edited by aleczander; Jan 04 2010 at 04:41 PM. Reason: typo
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    Re: The Dunedain

    Quote Originally Posted by aleczander View Post
    Aragorn lived to be 210, or something like that. Faramir didn't live nearly as long. If they are both Dunedain, what's the difference in life-expectancy about? Are there different 'types' of Dunedain?
    Aragorn lived longer than a normal Dunadan would because he is a descendant of Elros, and Elros, and all of his line, are blessed with even longer life than a normal Dunadan would have. I think a normal Dunadan lives about half as long as someone of Elros' line.

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    Re: The Dunedain

    Quote Originally Posted by oldbadgerbrock View Post
    The passage you reference is Halbarad speaking

    Every time I talk to Halbarad in Esteldin, I want to tell him NOT to go to the Pellenor Fields. He won't like it very much.
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    Re: The Dunedain

    Quote Originally Posted by talonjendro View Post
    Every time I talk to Halbarad in Esteldin, I want to tell him NOT to go to the Pellenor Fields. He won't like it very much.
    Even if you could tell him what would happen to him, he'd still go.

    'This is an evil door,' said Halbarad, ' and my death lies beyond it. I will dare to pass it nonetheless.'


    Halbarad's the man.
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    Re: The Dunedain

    Quote Originally Posted by robertm90 View Post
    Aragorn lived longer than a normal Dunadan would because he is a descendant of Elros, and Elros, and all of his line, are blessed with even longer life than a normal Dunadan would have. I think a normal Dunadan lives about half as long as someone of Elros' line.
    Half of 210 is 105. A 'normal' man in ME could live that long, which would make the 'normal' Dunedain equal to common folk in terms of life expectancy.

    All Dunedain live long (And I think the definition of living long compared to normal men would have to be considerably longer than 105), so that doesn't make much sense to me.

    Where does it say that Faramir and his family are Dunedain? (they probably are, although I thought there was a difference between the family of the line of kings and the family of stewards)
    Is it his 'dunedain blood' is mixed with common blood, and therefore he will only live just a little bit longer than a normal man?

    I also remember reading somewhere that the reason the Dunedain are long-lived is because they are direct descendants of Numenorians. The people of numenor acquired there long lives because of living near valinor so close to the undying lands. (and something about the valar rewarding them for there efforts in the battles against morgoth) I don't remember the fact that being a descendant of Elros being a factor in the Numenorians long life expectancy. But hey, I didn't read everything
    Last edited by aleczander; Jan 05 2010 at 01:15 PM.
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    Re: The Dunedain

    Quote Originally Posted by aleczander View Post
    Half of 210 is 105. A 'normal' man in ME could live that long, which would make the 'normal' Dunedain equal to common folk in terms of life expectancy.

    All Dunedain live long (And I think the definition of living long compared to normal men would have to be considerably longer than 105), so that doesn't make much sense to me.
    Well, 105 is maybe half-again what one would expect a normal human life-span to be--see the Kings of Rohan for some evidence that real world common peeps and Middle-earth common peeps roughly match up--so I'm not sure I'd agree. Note also that this is slightly longer than Hobbits, who are also described as long-lived.

    Where does it say that Faramir and his family are Dunedain? (they probably are, although I thought there was a difference between the family of the line of kings and the family of stewards)
    Is it his 'dunedain blood' is mixed with common blood, and therefore he will only live just a little bit longer than a normal man?
    Yeah, they're different in that they're not directly connected by blood to Elendil so far as we know. However, though it's impossible to say how much "common" blood was in the House of the Stewards, they're said to be of high Numenorean race. FWIW, looking up some random late Stewards, it seems like late 90s lifespan is typical for them, btw. How much of this is because of their blood, and how much because of their awesome healthcare plans, I don't know.

    Looking at some of the later Chieftains of the Northern line, it doesn't seem uncommon for them to live to 150-160. If they didn't get eaten by wolves, that is.

    I also remember reading somewhere that the reason the Dunedain are long-lived is because they are direct descendants of Numenorians. The people of numenor acquired there long lives because of living near valinor so close to the undying lands. (and something about the valar rewarding them for there efforts in the battles against morgoth) I don't remember the fact that being a descendant of Elros being a factor in the Numenorians long life expectancy. But hey, I didn't read everything
    Tolkien explained nature of the long life of the Dunedain in many different ways. A reward for faithful service and a great deal of suffering during the wars against Morgoth, unmingled Numenorean blood, a vanishing attribute of their lost land, being sweet and good, healthy Elvish-style living, yadda yadda. Yeah, the blood of Elros carried some sort of distinction in lifespan, though Tolkien changed his mind about how much.

    I'd recommend reading note I in "The Line of Elros" for some perspective on this subject, though it's only background to the question of late Third Age Dunedain lifespans.
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    Re: The Dunedain

    hobbits were described as being able to live to be at least 100 as often as not, which makes them more 'durable' than their roheryn and real-life counterparts.

    the chieftans were all descendents of Elros, right? Aragorn was especially blessed with longer life because of his fate in the War of the Ring I think.

    I agree it's easy to forget that Faramir was also a "Man of the West"
    and carried Numenorian blood. (frodo 'sees' a semblance of old numenor in Faramir's countenance, or so Faramir speculates - I always liked that description)

    Yeah i wish there was a better description of the steward family and the 'lesser men' that inherited the rule of Gondor.

    Good question!
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    Re: The Dunedain

    Quote Originally Posted by aleczander View Post
    hobbits were described as being able to live to be at least 100 as often as not, which makes them more 'durable' than their roheryn and real-life counterparts.
    Sorry, I think I wasn't clear. I was trying get across that Hobbit lifespan was roughly on par or a little less than this purely hypothetical 105 year Dunedain average, not that they lived less long than common Men.
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    Re: The Dunedain

    Its hard to reconcile why a long life for elves and dunedain doesnt equate to having bucket loads of children, clearly Tolkien had better things to do in his spare time than procreate so he imbued his creations with a higher sense of purpose than what was normal for the rest of Middle earth, elves dont seem to sleep either so they have heeps of free time to breed, Elrond and celebrians' effort to have 3 children over 5 millenia was poor.

    He doesnt seem to have a fecundity problem with hobbits, they have large familys unless he chose you for an adventure then you are condemmed to batchelorhood, Ents have long lives too but he clevelry removed their oppurtunity to pollenate by chasing off the entwives, dwarves live long ages but they have trouble working out who is a girl before any action can take place.

    If on the the other hand you were a short lived southron, easterling or orc there seems to be no end of possiblities for procreating hence southrons with orcish feature encountered in the shire, I wonder what point he was trying to make.
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    Re: The Dunedain

    Quote Originally Posted by Morthaur View Post
    I wonder what point he was trying to make.
    "The Wise" don't have kids, maybe? Even with Hobbits, it's interesting that the two most learned that we read about, Bilbo and Frodo, don't have children either.

    Slightly more on-topic, it's always bugged me a little that on the one hand Men are told that death is a wonderful gift from Iluvatar, and outside the power of the Valar to change; and on the other, that the Numenoreans were initially rewarded with far longer lives than other Men, seemingly by the Valar. No wonder Ar-Pharazon was a little, uh, skeptical.
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    Re: The Dunedain

    Quote Originally Posted by Morthaur View Post
    Its hard to reconcile why a long life for elves and dunedain doesnt equate to having bucket loads of children, clearly Tolkien had better things to do in his spare time than procreate so he imbued his creations with a higher sense of purpose than what was normal for the rest of Middle earth, elves dont seem to sleep either so they have heeps of free time to breed, Elrond and celebrians' effort to have 3 children over 5 millenia was poor.

    He doesnt seem to have a fecundity problem with hobbits, they have large familys unless he chose you for an adventure then you are condemmed to batchelorhood, Ents have long lives too but he clevelry removed their oppurtunity to pollenate by chasing off the entwives, dwarves live long ages but they have trouble working out who is a girl before any action can take place.

    If on the the other hand you were a short lived southron, easterling or orc there seems to be no end of possiblities for procreating hence southrons with orcish feature encountered in the shire, I wonder what point he was trying to make.
    Tolkien was aware of the problem with fecund elves. Specifically, if you have a long lived race effectively immune to poison and disease, and they are fecund, then you will very quickly have a population explosion of mammoth proportions. Had elves been as fecund as humans, then Middle Earth would have been stacked a mile deep in elves long before the end of the first age.

    What is more, the lack of fecundity in elves has a biological justification. The longer lived a species, the fewer off spring they have each year. This is a standard pattern across all species. Taken to its natural limit, an immortal species would have as close to no off spring annually as makes no difference. It turns out that Elrond and Celebrian were just doing what comes naturally to immortal species.

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    Re: The Dunedain

    Returning to the original post, I want to make a couple of points.

    First, IMO, the original poster was asking how numerous were the descendant's of the Kingdom of Arnor (ie, those Dunedain who acknowldeged Aragonr as chief prior to the war of the ring). In fact, although the term Dunedain can strictly apply to any descendant of the Numenorians from either of the kingdoms of Gondor or Arnor; it was typically used by Tolkien and his characters to reffer only to those of the northern kingdom (see for example Galadriel's message to Aragorn (LotR p 491)). This is probably because the Dunedain of Gondor identified themselves more with their kingdom than with their distant ancestory, and also because in the south the Dunedain had intermarried with other people in the region, which they had not done in the North. Regardless, I shall only be adressing the issue of how numerous where the Northern Dunedain.

    Second, using known dates of events, known distances and travel times, and some reasonable estimates, it is possible to determine approximately what proportion of the Rangers of the North were in the gray company that met Aragorn at the fords of the Isen. It was Galadriel that sent the message that called for them, and it is reasonable to believe she sent it as soon as she knew Aragorn's desire, ie, on the evening when she met the company when they came to Lothlorien. That evening was January 17th, of the 3019th year of the third age of Middle Earth. Assuming the message was sent on the next morning, the 18th, and given that it was 250 miles from Lorien to Imladris, the message would have arrived in the 26th of January.

    We also know that the grey company met up with Aragorn on March 6th, a day after Theoden had left Isengard. As it is 350 miles from Imladris to the fords of the Isen, that means the grey company left Imladris on around February 22nd. That leaves 27 days to muster the company. Travelling at hast, Hobbiton is 12 days from Imladris, requiring a round trip of 24 days to inform a ranger in that vicinity of the muster, and for his return. It follows that with 27 days to muster, almost any ranger in Eriador could have been mustered if they could have been found.

    These travel times are for a mounted messenger travelling in haste. Assuming communications using birds, or other means of art, the communication times could have been significantly less, and the muster time correspondingly larger. From this, I think it is safe to assume that the 30 members of the grey company were a sizable proportion of the Rangers of the North. Some, of course, would have been wounded, or could not be found; etc. But even allowing for that, the 30 would have been a significant proportion of the rangers possibly even the majority of them.

    IN GAME TERMS, the muster would have included nearly all the rangers on the borders of the shire, and of Breeland, along with most of those at Esteldin and Tinnudir, and certainly those in the trollshaws and ettenmoors, but not those at Gath Forthnir (who would have been too far away to get the message). So in all those lands there would have been somewhere between 50 and a 120 rangers.
    Last edited by Cutholen; Jan 06 2010 at 11:55 AM.

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    Re: The Dunedain

    Quote Originally Posted by Cutholen View Post

    Second, using known dates of events, known distances and travel times, and some reasonable estimates, it is possible to determine approximately what proportion of the Rangers of the North were in the gray company that met Aragorn at the fords of the Isen. It was Galadriel that sent the message that called for them, and it is reasonable to believe she sent it as soon as she knew Aragorn's desire, ie, on the evening when she met the company when they came to Lothlorien. That evening was January 17th, of the 3019th year of the third age of Middle Earth. Assuming the message was sent on the next morning, the 18th, and given that it was 250 miles from Lorien to Imladris, the message would have arrived in the 26th of January.
    This whole theory regarding your second point depends entirely on your assumption that Galadriel know Aragorn's desire as soon as they met in lothlorien, and that rangers could be found in any area as soon as a rider passed through.
    First, what if Aragorn's 'desire' didn't manifest until he knew the exact situation in Rohan - which would have been much later. Did Galadriel read his thoughts at some later time?
    Second, if a Ranger in the north is scouting out enemy movements, it may take days for a newly arrived rider to locate them in the wilds, else the rider wouldn't waste time looking (as there in 'haste') and move on to another area.

    So, one could speculate that there was infact many more rangers, but they couldn't be found in haste due to the above two points I just mentioned. All theories seem to be 'reasonable'.

    I like this debate, and I've always thought that the statement "All that could be gathered in haste" was pointing to the fact that there were indeed many other rangers that couldn't be gathered in time.
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    Re: The Dunedain

    To answer your points:

    *It is probable that Aragorn desired the presence of the Grey Company from the time he had decided to go with Boromir to Minas Tirith, which he had wanted to do before Gandalf fell in Moria (and hence the desire would have been present on his mind in Lorien).

    * It is far more likely that Galadriel read Aragorn's desire when he was in Lorien rather than at a distance, and most likely on that first night when she examined the hearts of the fellowship.

    * Although rangers on patrol would be hard to find, it is likely that their camps were known to each other. A message bearer could find a camp and leave a sign, thus getting the message through. What is more, the rangers were not independant agents, and their likely patrols would have been known to those commanding them.

    * Further, except at times of active war, which it was not yet, the majority of the rangers would have been living at their settlements rather than on patrol.

    * And it is also likely that when Aragorn left Bree with the Hobbits, some message was sent to those Ranger's on watch around the Shire, so that they returned home, or to other tasks. It is certainly probable that his happened once he reached Rivendell. So at the time of the summons, the Rangers are likely to be less scattered rather than more scattered.

    *Finally, although Halbarad explains the number of Rangers as being due to the haste with which they mustered, Aragorn does not express any surprise or disapointment that they were so few. He had wished for the grey company, and the arrival of 30 of them satisfied that wish. Had there been multiple hundreds of Rangers, one cannot help but feel he would have been disappointed at the paltry muster.

    Having said that, certainly this analysis is conjectural and I can quite understand people reaching other conclusions. However, there ares severe restrictions on the range of conclusions that are plausible. For instance, given my estimate of overland speed (approx 30 miles per day on horse), the grey company must have left Rivendell on the same day the Fellowship left Lorien for them to meet at the fords of the Isen. The message, then, cannot have been sent after the fellowships departure from Lorien.

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    Re: The Dunedain

    some good points.

    How did you come up with 30 miles a day on horse? (just curious)

    the statement "..all that could be gathered in haste" still itches me - why say something like that at all if 30 men did in fact already make up the vast majority of Northern Dunedain?

    Aragorn often refrained from showing an outward reaction to news (as was deemed wise in most cases), but the expectation of 'disappointment' on the part of the ranger delivering the news (as shown in the above statement) would lead the normal observer to venture a guess that 30 was in fact only a fraction of the total.

    When it comes to speculating on lore-based history, I tend to give just as much weight to written dialog (as in above statement) as I do to extrapolated data-assumptions like '30 miles a day'.

    I don't disagree about the time it took to travel from Rivendell, only about the conclusion you made about the very small number of remaining Dunedain.
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    Re: The Dunedain

    To come up with the figure of 30 miles a day I compared travel times for known distances in different circumstances. In the end the most decisive figure was the 45 leagues in less than four days on foot by Aragorn, Legolas, and Gimli (LotR p430). A league is 3 miles, so that represents 135 miles in four days, or approx 34 miles per day on foot. Although long distance travel speeds mounted are not very much greater than on foot (horses mostly walk too), in haste a mounted speed of 30 miles a day should be accomplishable mounted if 35 can be achieved on foot.

    For comparison, at that speed it is 3 days from Bree to Weathertop mounted, a distance Gandalf took two days to cover on Shadowfax (LotR p257), while he took 14 days from Weathertop to Imladris via a round about root through the Ettenmoors on foot (7 days direct using my calculated speeds). Also for comparison, Bilbo and the dwarves took nearly a month from Hobbiton to Imladris at their leasure (compared to 12 days at haste by my calculation), and Frodo took five days, and should have taken four to get from Hobbiton to Bree via the Old Forest and Barrow Downs (two mounted in haste by my calculations). I thnk the comparisons show the 30 miles a day figure to be conservative, but reasonable.

    I would agree that 30 is unlikely to be the "vast majority" of Rangers, but that does not prevent it from being a majority (30 out of 50 perhaps), or even just a significant proportion (30 out of 120). For the reasons given, I doubt it was a smaller proportion than that.

    As an aside, if there were 50 active rangers, then there are likely to have been about (and this is a very loose approximation) 500 northern Dunedain, and with 120, about 1,200. Actual figures would have been anywhere between half and double these amounts - ie, 250 to 2,400 northern Dunedain. The larger figures would be more probable than the smaller. This assumes the Rangers were drawn from the whole population of the Dunedain, not just a noble elite. If we assume the later, then you need to multiply those estimates by 10 to 20 again to accord with historical parallels, but I think that most unlikely.

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    Re: The Dunedain

    Quote Originally Posted by Cutholen View Post
    * Further, except at times of active war, which it was not yet, the majority of the rangers would have been living at their settlements rather than on patrol.
    Apologies for butting in, but I would like to note that although they were not actively at war, wasn't there something about how Aragorn had put extra watchers on the Shire borders to guard Frodo while the Ring was there, and then also how he noted to Boromir about how the Rangers guard the northlands? (sorry I don't have any of my books at hand)...which implies to me that actually the majority probably were on patrol as often as not...I might be wrong though.

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    Re: The Dunedain

    Butt in by all means. When people challenge my ideas I am forced to think about them in greater depth, or change them for the better, so I always welcome reasoned objections.

    Turning to those objections, while the Rangers were watching the Shire while Frodo was in it, it is likely that they returned to other activities after Frodo had left it. In particular, between the Council of Elrond (October 25) and the departure of the Fellowship from Imladris (December 25), it is almost certain that most of them were withdrawn, as Aragorn knew that Sauron knew that the Ring was in Imladris. (Nor did he yet know of Saruman's designs for the Shire.)

    In fact, it is quite possible that those Rangers participated in the search for the Nazgul that occured in that period. If they did, that would have placed them at Imladris, or quite close to it around December 25th.

    Second, it is also true that the Rangers watched over, and guarded the North lands throughout their existence. However, it is just such a situation which I envisioned when I suggested that a majority would be at their settlements rather than on active patrol. Just becaue the Guard had been continiuos since the death of Arvedui in 1975 of the Third Age, ie, for over a thousand years, it was the normal course of events. As the normal course of events, their activities must have allowed for their normal life, ie, for the Rangers to be husbands and fathers, and to live in their community. They would also probably have had to help in the economic life of the community, farming, hunting, trapping or fishing (unless they were a noble elite).

    A comparison might be made with the peace time deployment of the US military, for though a large portion of its force is overseas, the majority is on US soil, and those overseas are rotated back to US soil on a regular basis so that they have some chance of a normal familly life. In peace time, I believe, only around 10% of the US army are deployed overseas. Even in 2005 at the height of the Iraq war, only just under a third (12 of 36 brigades) were deployed overseas. They are a fulltime professional army who do not need to support themselves or their dependants economically other than with the wages they are paid for their service in the army. Therefore, it seems improbable to me that more than a third of the Rangers would have been on active patrol at any time in time of peace, and probably less than 10%.

    As a final note, the idea that a significant number of rangers still remained in the North, ie, more than a hundred, is does not cohere well with the fact that after Frodo left the shire, only 300 ruffians were needed to invade and capture it (LotR p 986); and probably no more than 50 attacked Breeland and became brigands. I do not think they would have been able to achieve that success against even a small force of Rangers, so presumably, not even that small force was still present to prevent it.

  23. #23
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    Re: The Dunedain

    Quote Originally Posted by Cutholen View Post
    Butt in by all means. When people challenge my ideas I am forced to think about them in greater depth, or change them for the better, so I always welcome reasoned objections.

    Turning to those objections, while the Rangers were watching the Shire while Frodo was in it, it is likely that they returned to other activities after Frodo had left it. In particular, between the Council of Elrond (October 25) and the departure of the Fellowship from Imladris (December 25), it is almost certain that most of them were withdrawn, as Aragorn knew that Sauron knew that the Ring was in Imladris. (Nor did he yet know of Saruman's designs for the Shire.)

    In fact, it is quite possible that those Rangers participated in the search for the Nazgul that occured in that period. If they did, that would have placed them at Imladris, or quite close to it around December 25th.

    Second, it is also true that the Rangers watched over, and guarded the North lands throughout their existence. However, it is just such a situation which I envisioned when I suggested that a majority would be at their settlements rather than on active patrol. Just becaue the Guard had been continiuos since the death of Arvedui in 1975 of the Third Age, ie, for over a thousand years, it was the normal course of events. As the normal course of events, their activities must have allowed for their normal life, ie, for the Rangers to be husbands and fathers, and to live in their community. They would also probably have had to help in the economic life of the community, farming, hunting, trapping or fishing (unless they were a noble elite).

    A comparison might be made with the peace time deployment of the US military, for though a large portion of its force is overseas, the majority is on US soil, and those overseas are rotated back to US soil on a regular basis so that they have some chance of a normal familly life. In peace time, I believe, only around 10% of the US army are deployed overseas. Even in 2005 at the height of the Iraq war, only just under a third (12 of 36 brigades) were deployed overseas. They are a fulltime professional army who do not need to support themselves or their dependants economically other than with the wages they are paid for their service in the army. Therefore, it seems improbable to me that more than a third of the Rangers would have been on active patrol at any time in time of peace, and probably less than 10%.

    As a final note, the idea that a significant number of rangers still remained in the North, ie, more than a hundred, is does not cohere well with the fact that after Frodo left the shire, only 300 ruffians were needed to invade and capture it (LotR p 986); and probably no more than 50 attacked Breeland and became brigands. I do not think they would have been able to achieve that success against even a small force of Rangers, so presumably, not even that small force was still present to prevent it.
    I agree about rangers moving east behind the ring - no one left to defend the shire from Saruman's brigands.

    I would venture, though, that they were spread between the Lone Lands and Rivendell, and the vast majority were on increased patrol and such directly because of the ring and the nazgul movements. That would make it increasingly difficult to find them 'in haste'... don't ya think?

    Cutholen, you also said 120 rangers as a guess - I think that's a pretty good number. (meaning rangers, not other lesser dunedain)
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  24. #24
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    Re: The Dunedain

    Quote Originally Posted by aleczander View Post
    I agree about rangers moving east behind the ring - no one left to defend the shire from Saruman's brigands.

    I would venture, though, that they were spread between the Lone Lands and Rivendell, and the vast majority were on increased patrol and such directly because of the ring and the nazgul movements. That would make it increasingly difficult to find them 'in haste'... don't ya think?

    Cutholen, you also said 120 rangers as a guess - I think that's a pretty good number. (meaning rangers, not other lesser dunedain)
    I'm happy to concede that there may have been increased Ranger patrols in the Rivendell surrounds (Trollshaws, Ettenmoors and Lone Lands). Having the patrols in that area, however, halves the time it takes to get to the patrollers, or put differently, doubles the time available to get the message through compared to my initial assumption that they were spread as far as the Shire. Further, Rangers on patrol would have had a clear and frequent means of communication so that they information they gathered could be reported back to who ever needed it. This may have been in the form of a Ranger that went between patrolers acting as a messenger (or officer), or it may have involved Rangers reporting back to particular locations regularly (say once a week). What ever the means, the method used by Rangers to communicate back to base could also have been used to communicate with them.

    I agree that 120 Rangers is a reasonable guesstimate, although on the high end to my mind. As you recall, I have quoted a figure between 50 and 120. Less than 50 seems very unlikely to me; more than 120 up to 240 is improbable, but not absurd. More than 500, I think, is absurd given the evidence we have. Going from those figures to actuall numbers of northern Dunedain depends on assumptions about social structures for which we have little or no evidence.

  25. #25
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    Re: The Dunedain

    Another question: Why were they called the 'grey' company?
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