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Dunlendings, also known as the Wildmen of Dunland, were a race of Men living on the plains of Dunland. Bitter foes of the Rohirrim, their desire for vengeance made them pawns of Sauron the Dark Lord, through the rebel Wulf and later Saruman the White.



"These were a remnant of the peoples who had dwelt in the vales of the White Mountains in ages past. The Dead Men of Dunharrow were of their kin."
The Lord of the Rings, The Languages and Peoples of the Third Age

In the years of the Second Age before the Númenóreans settled in Middle-earth, these tribal Hill-men, kinsmen of the Men of the Mountains, inhabited the lands west and south of the Misty Mountains, as far down as the valleys surrounding the White Mountains. Wary of the Men who came out of the West, they came to fear and hate them. They came to congregate in the valleys of the White Mountains and the grassy plains of Dunland, which lay west of the Misty Mountains between Moria and Isengard; a few went north, and became the ancestors of the Men of Bree. Dunland then became the area most populated by these men, who came to be called "Dunlendings".

Third Age[]

"They hate us, and they are glad; for our doom seems certain to them. 'The king the king!' they cry. 'We will take their king. Death to the Forgoil! Death to the Strawheads! Death to the robbers of the North!' Such names they have for us. Not in half a thousand years have they forgotten their grievance that the lords of Gondor gave the Mark to Eorl the Young and made alliance with him. That old hatred Saruman has inflamed."
Gamling, The Two Towers, "Helm's Deep"

In the eight centuries between the reigns of Tarannon Falastur and Tarondor, Dunland was considered part of Gondor, and the Kings maintained garrisons to protect the North-South Road. These were withdrawn following the Great Plague in TA 1636, and afterwards, as the garrisons at Angrenost and Aglarond dwindled, the Dunlendings began to infiltrate Calenardhon to the east.


Dunlendings, by Angelo Montanini

When Eorl and his people were granted Calenardhon (hence called Rohan) in TA 2510, they drove the Dunlendings out, earning their bitter hatred and enmity. In the next five hundred years, these "Wildmen" frequently raided the outlying settlements of Rohan in revenge, calling the Rohirrim "straw-heads" because of the amount of blond warriors among them. The Dunlendings' raids intensified during Déor's reign, and they seized Isengard, which had been neglected by the Stewards of Gondor.

Dunlendings & mumak

Dunlendings and their allies besieging Edoras; a concept piece for The Lord of the Rings: The War of the Rohirrim

Despite mutual resentment, there was some intermingling between the two peoples at the western border of Rohan. During Helm Hammerhand's reign, one Freca, who had "much Dunlendish blood", had grown in power as a lord of Rohan on both sides of the Adorn. He built his own stronghold and paid little heed to the King, whose councils he attended only when he felt like it. In TA 2754, Freca rode with a force of men into Edoras, demanding Helm's daughter be wedded to his son, Wulf, which would grant him sway over Rohan's throne. The heated argument ultimately resulted in Hammerhand striking the rebel lord down with a single blow; with Freca dead, Wulf and his kin fled to the Dunlendings. Wulf soon found allies among the minions of Sauron the Dark Lord: the Dunledings joined forces with the Easterlings, Haradrim and Corsairs against both the Rohirrim and Gondorians. With fleets of Harad and Umbar distracting Gondor, the Wildmen of Dunland saw their chance in TA 2758 and crossed the Isen into Rohan, backed by their new allies. With Helm's terrible losses at the Fords of Isen, the Dunlendings moved towards Edoras, slaying Helm's eldest son, Haleth. As Wulf proclaimed himself "King of Rohan", the Dunlendings pursued the remaining Rohirrim, who had evaded enslavement or death, to Helm's refuge at the Súthburg. There, the Wildmen besieged the Horse-lords throughout the Long Winter. Though victory seemed assured by Helm's death, the Dunlending hordes were rooted out by the forces of Fréaláf Hildeson, Helm's nephew, and Beregond of Gondor and Wulf himself was slain during the liberation of Edoras. The Wildmen in possession of Isengard were "starved out" and ultimately surrendered to the victors.

Dunland chief

Dunlendings, by Jan Pospisil

By TA 2953, they fell under Sauron's sway: the Dark Lord's puppet, Saruman the White, promised the Dunlendings both revenge for perceived injustices and their ancestral lands if they joined him against the Rohirrim. During the reign of Thengel, Wildmen of Dunland began to infringe on Rohan's borders, secretly supported by Isengard. During the War of the Ring, the Wildmen were used by the corrupted Wizard in his army against the Horse-lords. During the First Battle of the Fords of Isen, Dunlendings along with Orcs of Isengard (including Uruk-hai and Half-orcs) were sent to slay Prince Théodred and crush the Rohirrim. In the early part of TA 3019, a raiding force of Wildmen and Orcs was sent to ravage the settlements of the Westfold. In a decisive effort to deliver a conquered Rohan to his master, Saruman the White marshalled his 10,000 strong army (comprised of Dunlendings, Half-orcs, Orcs of Isengard and Uruk-hai) to destroy Théoden King and his people at Helm's Deep. After the defeat of Saruman's army in the Battle of the Hornburg, the Rohirrim spared the surviving Dunlendings and used them as workmen to repair the broken walls of the Hornburg. The victors' mercy surprised the Wildmen: Saruman had claimed that the Rohirrim burned captives alive. Fighting between Dunland and Rohan ceased, and no Dunlending ever again invaded over the Isen river.

While Gandalf, Frodo Baggins, Sam Gamgee, Merry Brandybuck, and Pippin Took traveled through Dunland on their return to the Shire, the Dunlendings in that area hid from them. The Scouring of the Shire, which the four Hobbits returned to witness, was carried out by Sharkey's Ruffians, some of whom were still loyal Dunlendings. In the following decades, Dunland, now an honorable region of free men, was incorporated into the Reunited Kingdom.



Dunlendings in The Lord of the Rings Online

The Dunlending hill-folk were used to living in harsh conditions, often seen in leather garb and fur cloaks. They may have been related to the Snowmen of Forochel in the north. They were a tough, hardy people, big and powerful with long, unkempt hair and beards. The Dunlendings, because they lived in the hilly and forested area of Dunland, most likely hunted, foraged, and fished for food, with agriculture being a lesser form of food production.

They are once described as using cavalry, at the Fords of Isen. Their typical weaponry is not specified.

In adaptations[]


Saruman rallies Dunlendings at Isengard in The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers

Dunlendings raiding villages

Dunlendings incited by Saruman into raiding Rohan's villages in The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers

The Lord of the Rings films[]

In Peter Jackson's The Lord of the Rings film trilogy, the Dunlendings are portrayed as a tribe of vile men who accept Saruman's offer to serve Sauron, by aiding him destroy the kingdoms of Men. They band together with Orcs of Isengard and start raiding villages of Rohan in the Westfold. In the extended edition of The Two Towers, their tribal leader, Wulf, is seen making a blood oath to Saruman in the wizard's tower of Orthanc.

The Lord of the Rings: The Battle for Middle-earth II[]

In The Lord of the Rings: The Battle for Middle-earth II, the Dunlendings (named Wildmen of Dunland) are summonable units of Isengard and the Goblin faction, through a 10-point Evil Power.

The Lord of the Rings Online[]

The Dunlendings appear as both enemies and allies in The Lord of the Rings Online, and, like most Hill-men in the game, are based loosely on Celtic tribes. The Dunlendings are not a unified entity, but rather a collection of clans named after their spirit animal (ox, boar, stag, falcon, dragon etc.) who often raid one another, with some weaker clans either enslaved or outright wiped out. Many wish to see all of Dunland unified as one and that dream was exploited by Saruman, although not all clans joined with him and many oppose his influence either openly or in secret. Large clans span over multiple villages, and each village is led by a hereditary "Brenin" advised by a council of "Brehures". Most Dunlendings are simple farmers and herdsmen and their buildings are made of wood, straw and raw stone. All Dunlending men and women of age feature prominent facial markings, whether they are face paint or permanent tattoos is not specified.


Foreign Language Translated name
Amharic ዹንለንዲንግስ ?
Arabic دنلندينغز
Armenian Դւնլենդինգս ?
Belarusian Cyrillic Дунлендінгс
Bengali ডানব্লেন্ডিংস
Bulgarian Cyrillic Дунлендингс
Burmese ဍုန္လေန္ဒိင္သ္
Catalan Dunlendins
Chinese 登蘭德人
Croatian Dunlendinzi
Dutch Donkerlanders
Finnish Mustainmaalaiset
Georgian ძუნლენდინგსი
German Dunländer
Greek Δύνλενδινγς
Gujarati ડનલેંડિંગ્સ
Hebrew דונלנדינגס
Hindi डनलेंडिंग्स
Hungarian Dúnföldiek
Italian Uomini del Dunland
Japanese 褐色人
Kannada ಡನ್ಲೆಂಡಿಂಗ್ಸ್
Kazakh Cyrillic Дұнлендінгс
Korean 갈색인
Kyrgyz Cyrillic Дунлэндингс
Macedonian Cyrillic Дунлендингс
Malayalam ഡണ്ലോന്ഡിംഗ്സ്
Marathi डनलिंग्ज
Mongolian Cyrillic Дунлэндингс
Nepalese डुन्लेन्दिङ्स
Persian دون‌لندینگ‌ها
Polish Dunlendingowie
Punjabi ਡਨਲੈਂਡਿੰਗਜ਼
Russian Дунландцы
Sanskrit डुन्लेन्दिङ्स्
Serbian Дунлендингс (Cyrillic) Dunlendings (Latin)
Sinhalese ඩුන්ලෙඳිඞ්ස්
Spanish Dunlendinos
Tajik Cyrillic Дунлендингс
Tamil டுணலெண்டிங்ஸ்
Telugu దుంలెండింగ్స్
Ukrainian Cyrillic Дунлендінґс
Urdu دنلاندنگس
Uzbek Дунлендингс (Cyrillic) Dunlendings (Latin)
Yiddish דונלענדינגס
The People of Middle-earth

Edain | Dúnedain | Númenóreans | Haradrim | Easterlings | Variags | Northmen | Dunlendings | Drúedain | Forodwaith (Lossoth)

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Durin's Folk | Firebeards | Broadbeams | Ironfists | Blacklocks | Stonefoots | Stiffbeards