- See also Mordor, the dwelling place of Sauron which bears a name that means "Dark Land"
The Dark Land was created as a byproduct of the War for Sake of the Elves, in which the Valar overthrew Melkor in his original fortress of Utumno. Originally, Middle-earth was one landmass, set between the western sea of Belegaer and the East Sea. This changed during the War, when the inland Sea of Ringol, originally landlocked and set in the mid-south of Middle-earth, grew in size and "became a great sea flowing north-eastward and joining by straits both the Western and Eastern Seas." This event split Middle-earth into two landmasses; the landmass to the south and east of the former Sea of Ringil (which was also called the "East Sea" by Tolkien) was known as the Dark Land.
No habitations in the Dark Land were ever recorded. The Númenóreans might have visited it on their long eastward journeys. If so, it is not known whether they established dwellings there.
Portrayal in adaptations
In the game Middle Earth Role Play by Iron Crown Enterprises, a Quenya name for the Dark Land, Mórenorë ("Dark Land"), was given, although it does not appear in any of Tolkien's writings; the name Hyarmenor, "south-land" is given instead in Tolkien's works (as seen in The History of Middle-earth).
Behind the scenes
Before Africa was visited by people from Europe, it was known as the "Dark Land". It is possible that Tolkien was inspired by this; also, he was born in South Africa. However, the continent directly south of Gondor where Harad was located (possibly corresponding with the Sahara Desert, as they are similar in position) is closer in shape to Africa, as well as being the proper distance away from northwest Middle-earth (if northwest Middle-earth is taken to be Europe and Rhûn is taken to be Asia).
|Foreign Language||Translated name|
|Albanian||Vendi i errët|
|Belarusian Cyrillic||Цёмная краіна|
|Bulgarian Cyrillic||Тъмна страна|
|Cebuano||Ngitngit nga nasud|
|Danish||Det Mørke Sydkontinent|
|Filipino||Madilim na bansa|
|Kazakh||Қараңғы ел (Cyrillic) Qarañğı el (Latin)|
|Kyrgyz Cyrillic||Караңгы өлкө|
|Macedonian Cyrillic||Темна земја|
|Mongolian Cyrillic||Харанхуй улс|
|Scottish Gaelic||Dùthaich dhorcha|
|Swahili||Nchi ya giza|
|Tajik Cyrillic||кишвари торик|
|Ukrainian Cyrillic||Темна країна|
|Uzbek||Қоронғу мамлакат (Cyrillic) Qorong'u mamlakat (Latin)|
|Vietnamese||Đất nước đen tối|
Forests & Mountains:
The rest of Arda:
- The History of Middle-earth, Vol. IV: The Shaping of Middle-earth, V: "The Ambarkanta", First Ballantine Books Edition
- The History of Middle-earth, Vol. IV: The Shaping of Middle-earth, chapter V: "The Ambarkanta", Map IV
- The History of Middle-earth, Vol. IV: The Shaping of Middle-earth, chapter V: "The Ambarkanta", First Ballantine Books Edition
- The History of Middle-earth, Vol. IV: The Shaping of Middle-earth, chapter V: "The Ambarkanta", First Ballantine Books Edition, Map V
- The Atlas of Middle-earth, The First Age, The Elder Days, "Introduction"
- The Atlas of Middle-earth, The Second Age, "Introduction"