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Topic: Question on Aragorn and the Dunedane

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Orc Warrior - Rank 2
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Posts: 31
Date: Jul 4, 2010
Question on Aragorn and the Dunedane

I hope that I havent inconvenienced anyone by putting this in the wrong place.

What exactly is a Dunedane? I recall that in the film Eowyn was surprised at Aragorns age and remarked that he must be a Dunedane. Aragorn then said that there were not many of that folk left. Who are they and why are there so few? Are they they half man and half elf? Is Faramir and Co Dunedane? If Elrond is only half elf, would he be considered a Dunedane as well? I was thinking that was a possibility because Aragorn lived in Rivendell.

Thanks for any enlightenment.



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Fundin, Lord of Moria - Rank 5
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Date: Jul 4, 2010
Hi, and welcome. 

Sindarin (the Grey-elven tongue) Dúnedain means 'West-men' (Singular Dúnadan)...

But first things first... are you wholly sure you want answers to questions (I noticed the thread on Legolas' folk too) before you read the books? In my opinion it's much better to discover things in the course of reading the tale, though many still have questions after the first read in any case.

I would highly recommend the books first smile but it's up to you of course.

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Lord Elrond of Rivendell - Rank 9
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Date: Jul 4, 2010
Saba,
Galin is one of the most respected sages on the Tolkien Forum's.
His suggestions have been a boon to even the most erudite of our members.

Tolkien created a complex and wonderful mythos and faux - history so elaborate and entertaining that the books are a wonderful way to enrich your movie experience.

For example Elrond is half-elven because of this history and could chose to be numbered as man OR elf ... he chose elf and his brother (Elros) chose to be man ...
this all because of another famous story found in the Silmarillion ...

Galin is right ... if you liked the movies ... you will love the books ...
Whether you choose to read them or not you are most welcome here.
Bear an Elf-Friend


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Fundin, Lord of Moria - Rank 5
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Date: Jul 4, 2010
Thanks for the kind words Bear! but for clarity I'm not convinced that a film fan will necessarily love the books -- because to my mind the two are very different.


Not to say that Saba won't love the books of course, but my point is about that first read -- I just want to be sure someone has really decided that 'spoilers' (anything that can be considered a spoiler to someone who has already seen the films of course) are ok...

... because that first read is special! 


I would recommend people read the books before seeing the films too, but of course I realize for some that is not an option now in any case.


Incidentally, in my post above I don't mean to stress that the vowel u in Dunedain is long, it's just that I copied and pasted the u (with acute accent) in colour, and it wouldn't change to the same colour as the rest of the word (for some reason).

-- Edited by Galin on Sunday 4th of July 2010 05:32:53 AM

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Samwise Gamgee - rank 9
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Date: Jul 5, 2010
This is a complex fantasy world and it is not easy to answer these questions in a form that could be reasonably understood, but I'll give it a try!

The word 'Dunedain' is a name given to a 'group' of men that patrol the northwestern land known as Eriador. They are of the same kindred as the Gondorians, but they hail from the North Kingdom known as Arnor, which was destroyed over a thousand years previous to the War of the Ring. Both the Gondorians and the Arnorians are Numenoreans, because they both came from an island called Numenor in the Second Age which fell beneath the sea some 5000 years previous to the War of the Ring. The few survivors of that catastrophe sailed to Middle-earth and established the Southern Kingdom of Gondor and the Northern Kingdom of Arnor.

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Fundin, Lord of Moria - Rank 5
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Date: Jul 6, 2010
Dunedain or 'West-men' has a very ancient history according to Quendi and Eldar, which noted that in the First Age the Elf-friends were sometimes called by the loremasters Nunatani (S. Dunedain) Western Men: 'the original reference was to the West of Middle-earth, but the name Nunatani, Dunedain was later applied solely to the Numenoreans, descendants of the Atani, who removed to the far western isle of Numenor.'


Perhaps I should stress 'according to Quendi And Eldar, as in the later text Of Dwarves And Men Atani/Edain is used of the three peoples who entered Beleriand and became allies of the Eldar, adding: 'In Sindarin adan was still often used for 'man', especially in names of races with a preceding prefix, as in Dunadan, plural Dunedain, 'Men of the West', Numenoreans;...' Hmm, and Akallabeth notes: 'This was the beginning of that people that in the Grey-elven speech are called the Dunedain: the Numenoreans, Kings among men.'

I guess one could say this much: it looks like Tolkien (at least) once considered this term as hailing from the First Age, though it later applied to the Numenoreans in any case.

There are probably other references for consideration here, but anyway, just thought I would toss in the Q&E reference.



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Orc Warrior - Rank 2
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Date: Jul 7, 2010
Thanks guys!

From my primitive understanding, the Dunedain are longer lived due to a smattering of elf blood left in their line (course, I may have this wrong). I was intriqued by Aragorn being 87 in the movie, and Eowyn then recognized him as a Dunedain. Apparently, Faramir is also dunedain.

I've viewed a remarkably well done low budget film on Youtube about Aragorn's parents Arathorn son of Arador and  Gilraen. While I have no idea how accurate it is, the film, along with a bit of research on the net made the plight of the dunedain more understandable - and their names easier to remember. Evidently the antecedents of Aragorn remained faithful to the Valor while others rebelled over not having been given immortality. This faithfulness was one of the reasons why Sauron wanted to eliminate that bloodline.  I never could figure out why Aragorn, "Was to be hunted all his life." I couldn't firgure out why eliminating this one ranger was at the top of Sauron's to-do list. Seemed like a lot of trouble for one guy. Now, I'm thinking for Sauron it was a matter of principle - and yes I know that's an oxymoron.

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Samwise Gamgee - rank 9
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Date: Jul 8, 2010
Saba wrote:
Thanks guys!

From my primitive understanding, the Dunedain are longer lived due to a smattering of elf blood left in their line (course, I may have this wrong). I was intriqued by Aragorn being 87 in the movie, and Eowyn then recognized him as a Dunedain. Apparently, Faramir is also dunedain.

I've viewed a remarkably well done low budget film on Youtube about Aragorn's parents Arathorn son of Arador and  Gilraen. While I have no idea how accurate it is, the film, along with a bit of research on the net made the plight of the dunedain more understandable - and their names easier to remember. Evidently the antecedents of Aragorn remained faithful to the Valor while others rebelled over not having been given immortality. This faithfulness was one of the reasons why Sauron wanted to eliminate that bloodline.  I never could figure out why Aragorn, "Was to be hunted all his life." I couldn't firgure out why eliminating this one ranger was at the top of Sauron's to-do list. Seemed like a lot of trouble for one guy. Now, I'm thinking for Sauron it was a matter of principle - and yes I know that's an oxymoron.

1. That is correct. The 'founder' of the Numenorean/Dunedain bloodline would be Elros, who was the brother of Elrond. Both of them are half-elf, half-man, but Elrond chose to retain his Elven fate and immortality, whereas Elros chose to receive the fate of Men, and he became the first king of the Island of Numenor and lived to 500.
Faramir is indeed of similar kin but Aragorn is of a purer bloodline, and the royal bloodline at that, being the direct heir of Elendil who was High King of both Gondor and Arnor when those realms were first made after the fall of Numenor in the mid-late Second Age. It is too late for me to go into the bloodlines any further, perhaps someone else can give it a shot?

2. I assume you mean 'Born of Hope'? From what I know it is an accurate film.
The 'Faithful' were a group of Numenoreans in Numenor which remained faithful to the Valar, the gods, after the Kings of Numenor grew too prideful and were envious of the immortality and deathlessness of the Blessed Realm that they shunned the Valar.
Later on the Numenoreans set on a voyage against Sauron on the mainland of Middle-earth and fairly quickly captured Sauron, for his servants would not stand up to the overmastering might of the Numenoreans. Sauron was brought to Numenor and slowly he worked his way up to become chief advisor of the King. He eventually persuaded the King to go to war against the Valar, which they did, and so met their end, for the Valar called on Iluvatar the Allfather who caused the King and the Numenoreans who had set out on the war to be cast down into a great chasm in the middle of the sea to wait there until the End of Days. The entire Island of Numenor fell into the chasm as well, wiping out all of its might and glroy, except the small group of Faithful who were on ships, waiting, and a wind came, sent by the Valar, and swept them eastwards to Middle-earth and saved them. Elendil, who could now be called King of the Numenoreans, seeing as all the others were dead, landed northwards in Middle-earth and established Arnor, while his sons, Isildur and Anarion landed southwards and established Gondor. But Elendil was held High King over both realms.

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Fundin, Lord of Moria - Rank 5
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Date: Jul 8, 2010
I would say that the Numenoreans in general were granted long life: 'Eonwe came among them and taught them; and they were given wisdom and power and life more enduring than any others of mortal race have possessed.' Akallabeth

As to how long, according to The Lord of the Rings 'in the beginning thrice that of lesser Men' (The Return of the king, Appendix A). This span is repeated in the beginning of The Line Of Elros, although in note one to this text, Christopher Tolkien refers to a later writing in which the Numenoreans have a life-span some five times that of other Men.

It might come as no surprise to some that I hold Tolkien to his published 'thrice' in any case.

Elros is noted as living especially long: 'but a great life-span was granted to him many times that of lesser men' (Appendix A) 'but to Earendil's son the longest life of any Man was given' (UT) and in Akallabeth, Elros was 'allotted' a great span of years, and all his line had long life even according to the measure of the Numenoreans.

Also it was said that 'their years lessened as their fear of death grew', and as Christopher Tolkien notes, with the coming of the Shadow and the rebellion of the Numenoreans, their natural span lessened.




So I think that a measure of Elven-blood was not the cause of the longer Numenorean span in general, but is it ever noted as the cause for Elros' extra longevity? I can't recall at the moment, and the few citations I stumbled upon so far seem to say he was given this distinction, or granted it.

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Thorin Oakenshield - Rank 6
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As far as I was aware the Numenoreans gained an extra 'amount' of life from their Numenorean blood, and then a great deal of extra life on top of that while they were faithful to the Valar. When they rebuked the Valar and Iluvatar, their life grew less (much like how it did in the First Fall of Man), when they honoured them, they gained life, and the achievements of Aragorn were enough to give him a decent amount.

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