The Edain (pronounced 'eh-dine'; singular adan) also known as Atanatári, Fathers of Men, or the Three Houses of Men, were the group of Mankind that came to Beleriand from the Far East during the First Age, and their offspring thence through history.
In the early fourth century of the First Age the Edain, drawn towards the Light of the West from the environs of Hildórien, came into Beleriand, where they befriended the Elves, entered their service, received land and title for that service, and fought valiantly in the Battles of Beleriand. Some, however, remained in Estolad or fled south or east from the power of Dark Lord Morgoth, and passed from history until the Third Age. Despite their mighty heroes, the Edain were decimated by the hordes of Morgoth, but one of their numbers, Eärendil of the House of Hador, sailed to Aman and obtained from the Valar the aid by which Morgoth was defeated in the Last Battle. The remnant of the Edain, now increased in body and mind by Eönwë, then sailed to Númenor and became known as Númenóreans and later the Dúnedain who came to live in Middle-earth in the Realms in Exile after the Fall of Númenor.
Three Houses of Man
They were divided into three tribes, or "Houses":
- The House of Bëor: they were dark-haired and stoutly built, and most resembled the Ñoldor of all Elves. They were first discovered by Finrod Felagund, Lord of Nargothrond, and under his guidance later made their way to the lands of the Ñoldorin lord Amrod, in a place later known as Estolad, the Encampment. They remained loyal to the House of Finarfin, and later settled in the lands of Dorthonion.
- The Second House, later known as the Haladin or the House of Haleth: They were a reclusive folk, dark-haired but smaller in stature than the Bëorians. They usually kept separate from the other Men, and were later granted permission to settle in the Forest of Brethil, part of Doriath. They mostly kept out of the wars.
- The House of Marach, later best known as the House of Hador: They were originally led by Marach but later took the name of Hador in honor of him. Tall and golden-haired, they most resembled the Vanyar of the elves. They were a very numerous and war-like tribe, and the Green Elves of Ossiriand feared them. They first settled in Estolad, then in the southern parts of Ered Wethrin (Mountains of Shadow), and then later in Dor-lómin. They were loyal to Fingolfin.
The Edain were tall, fair, and strong; their spirits were noble, they were fierce in war, and they shunned all dealings with evil. In Beleriand the Edain loved the Eldar, from whom they learned much wisdom, and they were further ennobled by the two marriages of Elda and Adan: Beren and Lúthien and Tuor and Idril. The lifespan of the Edain before they entered Beleriand was probably about 70 years; in Beleriand, it was lengthened to 90, but few of the Edain lived to old age in peace.
The language of the Edain (at least those of the First and Third Houses) was related to Adûnaic, but in Beleriand, most of the Edain spoke Sindarin, and so the tongue of the Haladin was alien to them.
Fate of the Edain
The House of Bëor was nearly wiped out by Morgoth, and the remainder of its people merged with the Hadorians and became the Númenóreans. It would seem that the Haladin of Beleriand were completely wiped out, or at least disappeared as a separate people.
When they returned as Númenóreans to Middle-earth in the Second Age, they encountered many men who were obviously related to the Atani: they classified these men as Middle Men, and established friendly relations with them. Examples were the Rohirrim, the Men of Dale, and the Breelanders.
Other men, such as the Dunlendings, were not recognised as Middle Men because they were related to the Haladin rather than Bëorians or Marachians, and they were hostile to Númenor.
A fourth kind of men came with the Second House, and called themselves Drughu. This name was adopted in Sindarin as Drúedain: Drû+Edain. They were a strange people, living with the Haladin in the forest of Brethil, some even apparently made it to Númenor, but they died out or had left before the Akallabêth. In the Third Age, their far kin were known as the Woses of the Drúadan Forest. They had dwindled to a very small number and were secretive but were renowned for the assistance they gave to the Rohirrim in the War of the Ring.
The Sindarin word Edain, singular Adan (Quenya Atani, Atan), meant 'second people', and originally referred to all mankind - later it applied specifically to the Men of Beleriand and their descendants. However, the Quenya name Atani remained as a term for all mankind.
|Foreign Language||Translated name|
|Chinese (Hong Kong)||伊甸人|
|Kazakh||Едаін (Cyrillic) Edain (Latin)|
|Serbian||Едаин (Cyrillic) Edain (Latin)|
|Uzbek||Едаин (Cyrillic) Edain (Latin)|
The People of Middle-earth