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Old 02-16-2017, 11:32 AM   #6
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Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: A Remote Dwarven Hold
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Kuruharan is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.Kuruharan is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.

Originally Posted by Zigūr View Post
we might imagine the Variags possibly being an offshoot of the Northmen of Rhovanion.
This is a popular theory among some elements of the Tolkien game modding community. In The Fourth Age Total War the Variags are exactly that.

I personally wonder if the Variags are meant to add a little glimpse of an early medieval Russian culture in Middle-earth, similar to the Easterlings possibly being reminiscent of Mongolian or Central Asian peoples and the Haradrim of Near Harad suggesting the populations of North Africa. The Varangians seem to have traditionally been Germanic peoples who came to Slavic lands but I wonder if a Slavic element might be hinted at too.
I've always thought that the northern Easterlings would have a Slavic flavor. The Wainriders always seemed to have the flavor of a migrating steppe like the Huns, the Cumans, etc. The Haradrim seem to parallel North Africa and the Middle East.

Khand is the connecting point between the East and the South. Culturally, since cultures in origin are so heavily impacted by the climates in which they develop, I think Khand was more arid than steppe making them possibly fit better into the milieu of Harad rather than Rhun.

While it is not a great parallel in many respects, Constantinople from the perspective of Western Europe was also a connecting point between East and South so perhaps that is where the idea suggested itself to Tolkien?

Originally Posted by Galadriel55 View Post
The Russian word for Varangian is literally Variag, so it was hard not to make the association.
Very interesting. I did not know that.
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