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  1. #1

    Cool Dunedain: Blood, Speculation and Two Kingdoms

    Hello there! New around these parts (and the game), novice Tolkienite so, please, do not loose to many of your arrows into me if I mess up a post here or there :}. As and aside The line of Hurin, Numenor and the High Kingdom of the Dunedain are my particularly favorite part of all that Tolkien wrote. Obviously there is quite a lot, hence why I ask not to become a pin cushion if I muddle something, if only because I do sincerely love Tolkien's take on Atlantis and its People.

    I was having a conversation some days ago (in game in a friend's chat channel) about the Dunedain of the North and those in the south, specifically about Numenorean Blood Quantum for either. I've often found that a lot of folks assume (incorrectly, I'm fairly certain) Aragorn's long life was indicative of the average Dunedain. Citing one of the appendices and forgetting that Aragorn is the descendant of of two extremely rare unions that happened many, many thousands of years before his birth: One between Elf and Maiar and the other Elf and Man.

    There has been, I thought, a consensus that the Dunedain in the lands of the lost kingdom of Arnor had a purer Numenorean Blood Quantum due to being a secretive, wandering and, ultimately, hidden people during the time of the Third Age that followed the destruction of Arthedain.

    This quote from the Sil.

    " Yet, at last, in the wearing of the swift years of Middle Earth, Gondor waned, and the line of Meneldil son of Anarion failed. For the blood of the Numenoreans became much mingled with that of other Men, and their power and wisdom was diminished, and their lifespan was shortened'- Silmarillion, On the Rings of Power and the third age. Page 296 in my paperback copy.

    So this is a fairly solid bit of chewy (mint flavored) text from the Silmarillion, however one fellow said something along the lines of "Well we don't know how intermingled the Northern Bloodline was, as Tolkien never said anything about it"

    So it begs a question when faced with this: Did the Dunedain of the North intermingle with 'Middle-Men'?

    Now I would think not if we take into account the way Strider--the evil Bree Man Bill Ferny not withstanding, but more so Barliman Butterbur's apprehensiveness about having Strider in the pony and about Rangers in general--is regarded by Bree folk.


    Dol Amroth's bloodline was apart of the conversation as well, as it was noted that the Men of Dol Amroth had more Numenorean blood quantum to their people than the rest of the Gondorim. How much is this quantum do any of you reckon? Imrahil was a descendant of Imrazor (Numenorean) and Mithrellas (Sylvan Elf) yet he only lived to be 100 where as Faramir lived a good age of 120, so what does this exactly tell us as it relates to Dol Amroth's royal house hold and its people when it comes to the span of their lives as related to Numenorean blood?

    By my own reckoning what I could guess is the average ( keep in mind that when I say average I mean not of any kingly line) Northerner during the war of the ring would have lived to around 120 to 150 or so, where as Nobility (who probably had the more Numenorean blood) of Gondor lived to around 90 to 120. By your estimates is my reckoning off?

    -Sir Alleyne the Curious
    Last edited by Sir_Alleyne; Jun 21 2013 at 11:54 AM.
    [color=darkturquoise]'Look!' said Pippin. 'Strider The Ranger has come back!'
    'He has never been away,' said Aragorn 'I am Strider and Dúnedan too, and I belong to both Gondor and the North.'[/color]

  2. #2
    Generally speaking, by the end of the Third Age dunedain lifespan almost uniformly equalized at about 100 years or a bit above, there were no 'pure' numenorean bloodlines left by that time anyway. The only notable exception we know of is the direct line of Elendil which seemed to hold at about 200 throughout the Third Age.
    Last edited by Egorvlad; Jun 21 2013 at 06:23 PM.

  3. #3
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    Most of the pure blood numenorians were living in Gondor, Aragorn was an exception he reached his prime around the war of the ring, he fought battles for both Denethor and Theoden's father.

    The majority gondorim probably still retained the extended lifespan but in some houses like nobles of gondor, like Denethor for example. Basically in the South you would find people that were direct decendants of Numenor.

    Anor of the North was mostly wiped out, besided rangers those were also decedants of Numenor and probably lived long but not as long as Aragorn their chieftain and heir.
    Last edited by Al.; Jun 21 2013 at 10:19 PM.

  4. #4
    Can we say any of the Dunedain bloodlines were pure? Aragorn had one Northman ancestor in Vidugavia for instance.

    In Gondor, we know that with Eldacar's (whose mother was Northman) victory in the Kinstrife, there was intermarriage between Northmen and Dunedain in the south. We can also speculate with the establishment of Rohan in the Gondorian province of Calenardhon there may have been a great deal of intermarriage between the two countries. After all, Eomer married Imrahil's daughter, Faramir married Eowyn, and Theoden's mother was Gondorian as well.

  5. #5
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    Bergil speaking to Pippin...

    'Twenty-nine!' said the lad and whistled. 'Why you are quite old! As old as my uncle Iorlas.'
    Dunno if this contributes much of anything. Just a part that made me chuckle. Them city kids are fulla sass ain't they?
    Today is a good day for Pie.

    Do not meddle in the affairs of Burglars, for they are subtle and quick to shank you.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Ceredig View Post
    Can we say any of the Dunedain bloodlines were pure? Aragorn had one Northman ancestor in Vidugavia for instance.

    In Gondor, we know that with Eldacar's (whose mother was Northman) victory in the Kinstrife, there was intermarriage between Northmen and Dunedain in the south. We can also speculate with the establishment of Rohan in the Gondorian province of Calenardhon there may have been a great deal of intermarriage between the two countries. After all, Eomer married Imrahil's daughter, Faramir married Eowyn, and Theoden's mother was Gondorian as well.
    Being more specific you are, of course, right in so far as the Northmen blood that is to be found in the House of Isilidur in the Third Age. Gonodrrim and Rohirrim intermingling by the early Fourth Age was probably not unheard of and at the very least we know for certain that many of the Royal Households in Rohan and Gondor by the beginning of Aragorn Elssar's reign ,in the Fourth Age, would have been related by marriage and ,in a generation, by blood. Which, you know, makes sense when you look at a lot of the royal houses of Europe, how many of them are related to each-other in some way.

    The Image of Dunedain Knight's clashing with Rhun Swordsman and Rohirrim charging on horseback to give support to the Knights is kind of a fun one to have.


    What I'm specifically wondering about, however, is whether or not by the War of The Ring your average Northern Dunedain's lifespan. Because while the House of Anarion/Isildur had a little Northmen blood it it certainly didn't prevent Aragorn to living past 200--bearing in mind his Maiar and Half-Elven ancestry, of course. But its also important to remember that good Ol' Vidugavia was something of a noble himself, and this was before Arthedain was crushed by the Witch-King.

    So to be concise my wondering is about Northern Dunedain and exactly how long do we think they lived? As long as Aragorn, seems to me at least, a little off point because of Aragorn's extaoridinary Ancestry. (As an aside: I liked and still do read Roger Lancelyn Green's books. He was an Inkling and published the Great World Myths and legends --Greek, Troy, Egyptian, Norse, The Arthurian Cycle-- into self contained volumes, aimed at children, that had a cohesive narrative. He remarked that the then current Queen can trace her own ancestry back to Odin!)

    As said I estimate, due to isolation, generally being careful and what not, the Dunedain of the North by the late Thrid Age probably had a life span of about 120-150? Faramir lived to be 120 we know, but I'm still curious about Imrahil's living to be 100 despite his Sylvan ancestry.

    Also, what do you all think of this Article? Its interesting speculation but I'd like to hear some different thoughts on it.

    http://www.theonering.com/reading-ro...-by-melthavron

    -Sir Alleyne, Milo Thatch is to Atlantis as I wish I was to Numenor.
    [color=darkturquoise]'Look!' said Pippin. 'Strider The Ranger has come back!'
    'He has never been away,' said Aragorn 'I am Strider and Dúnedan too, and I belong to both Gondor and the North.'[/color]

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sir_Alleyne View Post

    So to be concise my wondering is about Northern Dunedain and exactly how long do we think they lived? As long as Aragorn, seems to me at least, a little off point because of Aragorn's extaoridinary Ancestry. (As an aside: I liked and still do read Roger Lancelyn Green's books. He was an Inkling and published the Great World Myths and legends --Greek, Troy, Egyptian, Norse, The Arthurian Cycle-- into self contained volumes, aimed at children, that had a cohesive narrative. He remarked that the then current Queen can trace her own ancestry back to Odin!)

    As said I estimate, due to isolation, generally being careful and what not, the Dunedain of the North by the late Thrid Age probably had a life span of about 120-150? Faramir lived to be 120 we know, but I'm still curious about Imrahil's living to be 100 despite his Sylvan ancestry.

    Also, what do you all think of this Article? Its interesting speculation but I'd like to hear some different thoughts on it.

    http://www.theonering.com/reading-ro...-by-melthavron

    -Sir Alleyne, Milo Thatch is to Atlantis as I wish I was to Numenor.
    Yep, also Nothern Dunedain or Rangers seems they are few compared to other lines in the south like rangers of Ithilien or Even Dol Amroth Knights, they should be able to live roughly 200 years or more give or take.

    But South even with kinstrife and intermarrige with common people some noble houses still exist mainly the ones that speak elvish that's a hint that they are noble gondorrim.

    Interesting read about Rangers, I think LOTRO did a good job portraying them in the game, possibly they are as stubborn as they look, Aragorn ancestry is incredible only surpassed by his son Eldarion, note: Also denethor could have lived as long as Aragorn in the South.
    Last edited by Al.; Jun 22 2013 at 11:45 PM.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Sir_Alleyne View Post
    What I'm specifically wondering about, however, is whether or not by the War of The Ring your average Northern Dunedain's lifespan. Because while the House of Anarion/Isildur had a little Northmen blood it it certainly didn't prevent Aragorn to living past 200--bearing in mind his Maiar and Half-Elven ancestry, of course. But its also important to remember that good Ol' Vidugavia was something of a noble himself, and this was before Arthedain was crushed by the Witch-King.

    So to be concise my wondering is about Northern Dunedain and exactly how long do we think they lived? As long as Aragorn, seems to me at least, a little off point because of Aragorn's extaoridinary Ancestry. (As an aside: I liked and still do read Roger Lancelyn Green's books. He was an Inkling and published the Great World Myths and legends --Greek, Troy, Egyptian, Norse, The Arthurian Cycle-- into self contained volumes, aimed at children, that had a cohesive narrative. He remarked that the then current Queen can trace her own ancestry back to Odin!)

    As said I estimate, due to isolation, generally being careful and what not, the Dunedain of the North by the late Thrid Age probably had a life span of about 120-150? Faramir lived to be 120 we know, but I'm still curious about Imrahil's living to be 100 despite his Sylvan ancestry.
    Hello Sir Alleyne, and welcome to this forum! I am by no means a Tolkien scholar, but really admire his work and enjoy learning more about it. You’re not going to get any ‘arrows’ from me.

    You have brought up an intriguing question, and one which doesn’t have a lot of source info to go off of AFAIK, so while we can’t fully resolve it, the discussion so far has been interesting. The additional points that I would like to bring up:

    - Your hypothesis that the Numenorians of Gondor by the end of the Third Age were more ‘mixed’ or ‘watered down’ seems reasonable to me at first thought. However, when one considers the perspective of the Northern Faction, I would think it would be quite hard to simply interbreed among your fellow Dunedain for over 1000 years. You’d be ending up with a few three-eyed inbreds wouldn’t you?
    - One of the few members of the Dunedain that we know the lifespan of is Gilrean, mother of Aragorn, who lived to be 100. However, there is a sense of her despairing near the end of her life, so possibly 100 years is the shorter of the expected range for her people?
    - From the lifespan of the Stewards of Gondor, it seemed that 100 was a pretty fair life expectancy towards the end of the TA (Ecthelion II – 98, Turgon – 98, Turin II – 99, Thorondir – 100).

    So maybe the life expectancy of a Dunedan wasn’t that different from their Southern counterparts? Or that, at best, it was only a decade or two longer?

    I do fully agree with you that Aragorn's lifespan may have been exceptional, not the norm for his people.
    "I do not love the bright sword for its sharpness, nor the arrow for its swiftness, nor the warrior for his glory. I love only that which they defend," Faramir in TTT by JRRT.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sir_Alleyne View Post
    So it begs a question when faced with this: Did the Dunedain of the North intermingle with 'Middle-Men'?
    Of course they did. How do you think Hobbits came about?
    Faërie is a perilous land, and in it are pitfalls for the unwary and dungeons for the overbold. – J.R.R. Tolkien, ‘On Fairy-Stories’.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by oldbadgerbrock View Post
    Of course they did. How do you think Hobbits came about?
    Of course! It's all so clear now! Wonder which side the hairy feet came from?
    Today is a good day for Pie.

    Do not meddle in the affairs of Burglars, for they are subtle and quick to shank you.

  11. #11
    What I love is what the Hobbits remember of Fornost. Norbury they called it, that is so funny to me for some reason. And you're all silly. EVERYONE knows that Hobbits are the descendants of Giants and Beornings. :P

    Quote Originally Posted by Al. View Post
    Yep, also Nothern Dunedain or Rangers seems they are few compared to other lines in the south like rangers of Ithilien or Even Dol Amroth Knights, they should be able to live roughly 200 years or more give or take.

    But South even with kinstrife and intermarrige with common people some noble houses still exist mainly the ones that speak elvish that's a hint that they are noble gondorrim.

    Interesting read about Rangers, I think LOTRO did a good job portraying them in the game, possibly they are as stubborn as they look, Aragorn ancestry is incredible only surpassed by his son Eldarion, note: Also denethor could have lived as long as Aragorn in the South.
    I'm going to have to disagree about Denthor potentially living as long as Aragorn. I'm almost certain that when Aragorn mentions 'graced with thrice the life of that of other men' he isn't speaking of the entirety of the Dunedain race. What many, and I've mentioned it a few times noe, seem to often forget is that Aragorn is an extraordinary individual when it comes to his heritage. His very long life, I think, can be attributed to the High Elven and Maiar ancestry he has.

    When we deal with characters in Tolkien Legendarium, itself being a sort of Mythic Glorified Fairy Tale (I say this in a good way, in a great way. Fairy Tale as a phrase has fallen on hard times and has a poor reputation, one that it does not deserve.) its important to keep in mind that many of these characters are the descendants of great heroes, with some even having semi-divine origins, and often time a part of a House of Nobility, which, itself is a product of these Mythic Heroes. Mythic in the sense of being of a time that seems that extraordinary, not mythic in the sense that its 'nonexistent', because they did exist...in Tolkien's Secondary World at least!




    Quote Originally Posted by Wilros View Post
    Hello Sir Alleyne, and welcome to this forum! I am by no means a Tolkien scholar, but really admire his work and enjoy learning more about it. You’re not going to get any ‘arrows’ from me.

    You have brought up an intriguing question, and one which doesn’t have a lot of source info to go off of AFAIK, so while we can’t fully resolve it, the discussion so far has been interesting. The additional points that I would like to bring up:

    - Your hypothesis that the Numenorians of Gondor by the end of the Third Age were more ‘mixed’ or ‘watered down’ seems reasonable to me at first thought. However, when one considers the perspective of the Northern Faction, I would think it would be quite hard to simply interbreed among your fellow Dunedain for over 1000 years. You’d be ending up with a few three-eyed inbreds wouldn’t you?
    - One of the few members of the Dunedain that we know the lifespan of is Gilrean, mother of Aragorn, who lived to be 100. However, there is a sense of her despairing near the end of her life, so possibly 100 years is the shorter of the expected range for her people?
    - From the lifespan of the Stewards of Gondor, it seemed that 100 was a pretty fair life expectancy towards the end of the TA (Ecthelion II – 98, Turgon – 98, Turin II – 99, Thorondir – 100).

    So maybe the life expectancy of a Dunedan wasn’t that different from their Southern counterparts? Or that, at best, it was only a decade or two longer?

    I do fully agree with you that Aragorn's lifespan may have been exceptional, not the norm for his people.
    Thank you for your warm welcome, I'm enjoying the game and this community greatly and regret not having been here since day 1.

    You make some very valid points. Its a good exercise of critically looking at Tolkien's text and seeing what can be 'found' there that isn't explicit. Of course you can go really too far with that justifying silly things like justifying all sorts of strange things (Like RKs, Eagle Riders, Istari with bird &&&& on their face and other nonsense).

    But to engage your points! There will be a few additional avenues here, and you'll have to forgive it, of some speculation. But as a preface. Rangers: The "Rangers", as Barliman said the Bree-folk called them, that were seen on a semi-regular basis by the denizens of bree, I think, were probably a sort of office of military service in what remained of Arnor's glory. Typically male, I'd assume, and something of an expected duty for certain members of the community. The 'Ranger' being a duty and quasi-offical role for the Northern Dunedain isn't far fetched. We know they were organized in some way and we know they still deemed their Chieftain authoritative because the Chieftain WAS, for all intents and purposes, the king of Arnor. He just didn't have much of a kingdom.

    Secondly, I would think that many of the Northern Dunedain by the end of the Third Age would have been the descendants of middle or lesser nobility from Arnor, as the common folk and Peasants would have been utterly destroyed. Nobility, with personal guard, family fortune, resources to escape (etc.) probably stood a better chance at living through the troubling time of The Witch King

    --This is a fair point, and its fairly plain in the Silmarillion that it did in fact happen to the Gondorrim. Now as to in-breeding among the Northern Dunedain: Its important to remember, at best, the Breelander's history starts with Cardolan. They've completely forgotten about Arnor and the Dunedain are very strange, even perceived as dangerous, wandering folk, by the late third age at the very least.

    Now I myself am an American Indian (Native American if you like) and, in some ways, we were a smashed and scattered people by the end of the Indian Wars in a way not terribly un-similar to the descrution of Arnor (Not attempting to romanticize something, nor make any 'historical-political' statements, or make a allegorical parallels, just some observations.) . Its true that we had a centralization of our people due to the reservation system but none the less it still isn't unheard of now to hear of full blooded Navajo or Apache or Cheyenne.
    Its not uncommon on the Reservation to find that everyone is related to each other, if albeit distantly, but not too much so, with Inbreeding largely avoided. While there are more of us, probably, than there were Dunedain by the Third Age I wouldn't be surprised if the actual Dunedain people's numbers were not too far of from the amount of Natives in the southwest currently. Because they were still having children during this time! Its just their life was a bit more perilous compared to a lot of folks, especially for the males

    Obviously one thousand years is a much longer time, and being a wandering people at that would have some factor into this, but simply because of their self-awareness of the severity of their people's situation (i.e being secretive, small communities) it wouldn't be far fetched to hold to a more Westernesse'd population withou inbreeding. I'm chuckling a little because Inbred Dunedain reminds me of a kind of George R.R. Martin deromanticization, which for various reasons I'm not fond of :P

    --This is a good point and I would agree that Gilrean was falling into despair towards the end of her life, though one hundred would be an 'older' age I think, no matter what estimates (unless it is the'thrice as lived' metric, which I've already talked about) one is using, and it not uncommon that when a spouse dies, even if some years after, the other will pass away "soon" after.

    --This is a good point about the stewards, but I'm going to have to scrutinize their family trees some more before I can say anything definitive. However, as we've discussed, its probably likely that in the south Noble Houses were those that had the most Westernesse blood. My estimates are that the common Northern Dunedain by Arathron's Chieftain-reign would have had a lifespan comparable, if somewhat longer, than the Stewarts.

    -Sir Alleyne, he who makes simple points more slowly than an Ent.
    [color=darkturquoise]'Look!' said Pippin. 'Strider The Ranger has come back!'
    'He has never been away,' said Aragorn 'I am Strider and Dúnedan too, and I belong to both Gondor and the North.'[/color]

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sir_Alleyne View Post
    And you're all silly. EVERYONE knows that Hobbits are the descendants of Giants and Beornings. :P
    Of course! It's all so clear now! Wonder which side the hairy feet came from?
    Today is a good day for Pie.

    Do not meddle in the affairs of Burglars, for they are subtle and quick to shank you.

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by bambubambubambu View Post
    Of course! It's all so clear now! Wonder which side the hairy feet came from?
    Beornings, clearly. They have hair.

 

 

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