A Variag, by John Howe

The Variags were Men from the land of Khand.

Little about the Variags is known about apart from the fact that they fought for Sauron in the War of the Ring. They first appeared in TA 1944 in the northeast of Middle-earth, fighting alongside the Easterling tribe known as the Wainriders. On March 14 - 15 of TA 3019, the Variags fought in Sauron's army at the Battle of the Pelennor Fields.[1]

Tolkien never described the Variags, and most information about them is speculative. It has been speculated that they were axe-wielding berserkers, based on the real world Varangians.

Portrayal in adaptations


No Variags appear in Peter Jackson's The Lord of the Rings film trilogy, likely because Jackson had so little to go on due to a lack of description in the novels.

Variags have, however, been featured in The Lord of the Rings Strategy Battle Game, which was based mostly on Jackson's films. In this the Variags, also called the Khandish, have an oriental theme with an Eastern Asian look, much like the Easterlings, who were constant close allies with them. This interpretation is taken from Tolkien's work alone due to the absence of Variags in the trilogy.

They are portrayed as axe-wielders as well as using bows. They are also noted as skilled horsemen, using chariots in combat as well. The Khandish warriors also have banners attached to their backs in a similar fashion to Japanese samurai of the medieval period.[2][3]

Behind the scenes

  • In the real world, Variags is another name for the Scandinavian Varangians.


Foreign Language Translated name
Amharic ቫሪኣግስ
Arabic فارياجس
Armenian Վարիագս
Belarusian Cyrillic Варіагс
Bengali ভারিয়াগস
Bulgarian Cyrillic Варяги
Chinese (Simplified) 了維瑞亞人
Georgian ვარიაგები
Greek Βάριαγγς
Gujarati વેરિઅગ્સ
Hebrew ואריאגים
Hindi वरिअग्स
Japanese ヴァリアグ
Kannada ವರಿಅಗ್ಸ್
Kazakh Варіагс (Cyrillic) Variags (Latin)
Korean 바리악
Kyrgyz Cyrillic Вариагс
Macedonian Cyrillic Вариагс
Marathi व्हेरियॅग्ज
Mongolian Cyrillic Вариагс
Nepalese भेरियाग्स
Pashto واریاګس
Persian واریاگس ?
Punjabi ਵਰਾਇਗੇਟਸ
Sanskrit वरिअग्स्
Serbian Вариагс (Cyrillic) Variags (Latin)
Sinhalese වරිඅග්ස්
Tajik Cyrillic Вариагс
Tamil வரிஅக்ஸ்
Telugu వరిఅగ్స
Ukrainian Cyrillic варягів
Urdu واریاگس
Uzbek Вариагс (Cyrillic) Variags (Latin)
Yiddish וואַריאַגס
The People of Middle-earth

Edain | Dúnedain | Númenóreans | Haradrim | Easterlings | Variags | Northmen | Dunlendings | Drúedain

Vanyar | Ñoldor | Teleri | Sindar | Eldar | Avari

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


  1. Matthew Ward, A Shadow in the East, 2005, ISBN 1 84154 695 X, p 48
  2. Ibid p 18
  3. Ibid pp 4–5
Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.