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Old 09-18-2009, 08:26 PM   #1
Rhugga II
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Sting The Capital of Cardolan

This question mostly has to do with MERP. I am trying to figure out if the standard MERP line is that Thalion is the capital of Cardolan or Tyrn Gorthad? I'm talking pre-1356 TA.
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Old 09-18-2009, 09:36 PM   #2
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Old 09-19-2009, 02:16 AM   #3
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Tyrn Gorthad is the Sindarin name for The Barrow Downs, during the wars with Angmar, The Dunedain of Cardolan took refuge there, and it is thought that the barrow in which the hobbits were captured, was in fact that of the last prince of that realm. Thalion is the epithet of Hurin. Fornost was the second capital of Arnor, and in 861 TA the realm of Arnor was split in three. Arthedain, Rhudaur and Cardolan. Fornost remained in Arthedain, the capitals of the other two were never listed, however there are references to Amon Sul being in Cardolan, and both Bilbo and Frodo saw stone walls and crumbling towers in the area that was once Rhudaur.
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Old 09-24-2009, 10:17 AM   #4
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MERP=Middle-earth Role Playing?
Yes.
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Old 09-24-2009, 11:03 AM   #5
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I would guess the capital of Cardolan was either Tharbad (the biggest and the oldest city in Cardolan) or the fortress on the Barrow-Downs, whatever its name may have been:
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They heard of the Great Barrows, and the green mounds, and the stone-rings upon the hills and in the hollows among the hills. Sheep were bleating in flocks. Green walls and white walls rose. There were fortresses on the heights. Kings of little kingdoms fought together, and the young Sun shone like fire on the red metal of their new and greedy swords. There was victory and defeat; and towers fell, fortresses were burned, and flames went up into the sky. Gold was piled on the biers of dead kings and queens; and mounds covered them, and the stone doors were shut; and the grass grew over all.
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Old 09-24-2009, 02:33 PM   #6
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I would guess the capital of Cardolan was either Tharbad (the biggest and the oldest city in Cardolan) or the fortress on the Barrow-Downs, whatever its name may have been:
I think this is the best one may conjecture from the books alone. However, I am curious if there are MERPers lurking on the forum who would want to discuss issues of the North Kingdom(s) prior to and during the Great Northern War in 1356 (although in MERP its 1352-1359).
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Old 09-24-2009, 03:39 PM   #7
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or indeed the occurrence of parachuting hippos.

(sorrry, so very sorry)
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Old 09-24-2009, 04:36 PM   #8
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I would guess the capital of Cardolan was either Tharbad (the biggest and the oldest city in Cardolan) or the fortress on the Barrow-Downs, whatever its name may have been:
I think Tharbad was more likely than the Downs, as it doesn't appear that there were any structures at Tyrn Gorthad, except the barrows. Frodo and Co. failed to mention seeing any evidence of a ruined fortress.
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Old 09-24-2009, 09:54 PM   #9
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I think Tharbad was more likely than the Downs, as it doesn't appear that there were any structures at Tyrn Gorthad, except the barrows. Frodo and Co. failed to mention seeing any evidence of a ruined fortress.
As it says in the Tale of Years, the Dunedain took Tyrn Gorthad seriously enough to defend it in 1409 of the Third Age. But there is no very specific mention of structures there. But Tom Bombadil seems to also have some memories of the Dunedain there, beyond them being simply buried there...
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Old 09-25-2009, 05:18 AM   #10
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As it says in the Tale of Years, the Dunedain took Tyrn Gorthad seriously enough to defend it in 1409 of the Third Age. But there is no very specific mention of structures there. But Tom Bombadil seems to also have some memories of the Dunedain there, beyond them being simply buried there...
It looks to me as though they simply fled there from the forces of Angmar and were cornered and forced to fight.

Quote:
A remnant of the faithful among the Dúnedain of Cardolan also held out in Tyrn Gorthad (the Barrowdowns) or took refuge in the Forest behind.
FOTR Appendix A

If they had a stonghold or fortress there, I wouldn't think they would have been obliged to hide in the Old Forest. They might have had some temporary housing around the Downs, but I don't think that region was ever intended as a site for permanant habitation.

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It is said that the mounds of Tyrn Gorthad, as the Barrowdowns were called of old, are very ancient, and that many were built in the days of the old world of the First Age by the forefathers of the Edain.....Those hills were therefore revered by the Dúnedain after their return; and there many of their lords and kings were buried.
FOTR Appendix A

I can't find any evidence that anything was there apart from the mounds. It appears the area was regarded solely for its historical interest, and the honoured dead that lay there.
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Old 09-25-2009, 01:04 PM   #11
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I think Inziladun is probably right. Intersting about the parachuting hippos, Rumil. I agree that some of the elements of MERP seem to be as alien to Tolkien as hippo paratroopers, but at their best they merely conjectured, which is something I like to do with Middle Earth. To wit, I am curious exactly what we know - or what you all have discussed - about the First Great Northern War (1352-1359), as it is known in MERP. In Tale of the Years it is simply noted that in 1356 Argeleb fell in battle with Rhudaur. In her atlas of Middle Earth, Karen Fonstad visualizes a two-pronged assault on Amon Sul by the forces of Angmar marching southeast and the army of Rhudaur marching down the East Road. They converge on Amon Sul, but the armies of Cardolan and Arthedain throw them back.
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Old 09-25-2009, 01:53 PM   #12
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I can't find any evidence that anything was there apart from the mounds. It appears the area was regarded solely for its historical interest, and the honoured dead that lay there.
The very presence of the mounds, however, would seem to indicate a wider Dúnedainic presence in Tyrn Gorthad than mere military flight. The Barrows and environs include stone architecture, which suggests to me that some of the Barrows, at least, predate the flight-to-the-forest situation of the final Cardolanrim. This being the case, it seems to me quite unlikely that the Dúnedain buried there would have been transported thither from a great distance.

Granted, of course, the Númenoreans were greatly skilled in embalming, and this was inherited at least in Gondor, so presumably for a time in Arnor as well, but there's still no reason to assume that the Arnorian, or later Cardolanian "Valley of the Kings" would have been located so far from the capital, as in Númenor, Armenelos was nigh to Meneltarma (the burial valley being in the southern shadow of the mountain), and in Gondor it was also in the shadow of a mountain--Mindolluin, within the walls of Minas Anor.

Mind you, both these examples would seem to indicate a preference for mountain burials among the Dúnedainic royalty, but Tyrn Gorthad is much further from Annúminas than either Mindolluin or Meneltarma from their respective cities, nor is it truly mountainous. Annúminas had much closer hills of equivalent or greater height in the Hills of Evendim or even the North Downs, and the later, Cardolanic royalty, if we assume they reigned from Tharbad (personally, I don't discount the possiblility of an unknown, more centrally located capital, perhaps in the much nearer South Downs), would have been even further away.

If the Barrow downs indicate royal burial, and I emphasize that I have no reason to think they do, then this would indicate a much nearer Cardolanic capital than Tharbad. Perhaps not Tyrn Gorthad itself--I have already suggested the South Downs, and I think a glance at a map of Eriador would make such a general location strategic, if not likely.

On the other hand, if the barrows of Tyrn Gorthad are not royal, which I would presume exclusively if the treasure in the burial mounds were less, then it seems to me that there must be a closer source of the dead Dúnedain--closer, perhaps, even than the South Downs, though the embalming Dúnedain before ailing Cardolan was absorbed back into Arthedain could have made such a distance possible. Still, if we aren't looking for royalty, then we aren't looking for a major city or fortress--perhaps just a major Númenorean estate--the ancestors of the "last prince of Cardolan" perhaps--and perhaps it isn't too untoward to think there may have been some Dúnedain, perhaps of great wealth, resident among the later-named Barrow-Downs themselves, or perhaps just to the east.
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Old 09-25-2009, 05:47 PM   #13
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Hi all,

I guess I'd better explain my rather obscure comment

The parachuting hippo was in a picture in one edition of the MERP rulebook, merrily floating down over a serene pastoral scene, small but quite distinct (somewhere amongst the innumerable tables if I remember). It always made me chuckle and I've never heard why or how it got there.

Meanwhile back at Cardolan,

Amon Sul was where one of the Palantirs was kept was it not? Pretty much near the junction of all three kingdoms, and a major object of the military campaigns. (Quite why it couldn't be moved I don't know, perhaps a pride thing?)

Not sure if I remember this correctly, but wasn't Tharbad on the border between Gondorian and Arnorian land? I'm sure someone will put me right.

Another candidate for Cardolanian capital could be the settlement in the Angle where the Rangers had their main base in Aragorn's day, maybe.
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Old 09-25-2009, 06:39 PM   #14
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Amon Sul was where one of the Palantirs was kept was it not? Pretty much near the junction of all three kingdoms, and a major object of the military campaigns. (Quite why it couldn't be moved I don't know, perhaps a pride thing?)

.......

Another candidate for Cardolanian capital could be the settlement in the Angle where the Rangers had their main base in Aragorn's day, maybe.
Regarding Amon Sûl, I'm not entirely clear where the idea that this lay within the borders of Cardolan comes from. The borders of the three kingdoms are enumerated so:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Appendix A (iii)
Arthedain was in the North-west and included the land between Brandywine and Lune, and also the land north of the Great Road as far as the Weather Hills. Rhudaur was in the North-east and lay between the Ettenmoors , the Weather Hills, and the Misty Mountains, but also included the Angle between Hoarwell and Loudwater. Cardolan was in the South, its bounds being the Brandywine, the Greyflood, and the Great Road
--emphases mine

Quite apart from clearly eliminating the possibility of a Cardolanic capital in the Angle, it doesn't quite tell us which kingdom held Amon Sûl. It does, however, leave Cardolan with the weakest claim of the three--since Amon Sûl is one of the Weather Hills, north of the Great Road.

Granted, however, it is the final Weather Hill, and so lies just north of the Great Road. But it is north, and so technically outside the bounds of Cardolan, as enumerated here. However, it does bear mentioning the following:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Appendix A (iii)
There was often strife between the kingdoms, which hastened the waning of the Dúnedain. The chief matter of debate was the possession of the Weather Hills and the land westwards towards Bree. Both Rhudaur and Cardolan desired to possess Amon Sûl (Weathertop), which stood on the borders of their realms: for th Tower of Amon Sûl held the chief Palantír of the North, and the other two were both in the keeping of Arthedain.
My reading of this passage is that Cardolan, like Rhudaur, did not possess Amon Sûl, but--again, like Rhudaur--wanted possession of the Weather Hills and east-of-Bree Arthedain for control of the hill and the Palantír. I'll admit the passage leaves open the possibility that either of the cadet branches of the North-kingdom may have, during the "strife" occasionally taken over that realm, but it does not seem to me that it was theirs to begin with.

Certainly, in such a contested and non-originally Cardolanic area, it seems clear that the Kings of Cardolan would not have had their capital in its immediate vicinity.

Quote:
Not sure if I remember this correctly, but wasn't Tharbad on the border between Gondorian and Arnorian land? I'm sure someone will put me right.
The record isn't straight on that matter...

Without digging up quotes at the moment, I think there are two statements that contradict each other. I think they might both be in Unfinished Tales. Anyway, whatever the sources are, I'm confident that I am quoting them accurately to say that the following captures the situation accurately:

In one place Tolkien says that Minihiriath--the lands between Isen and Gwathló--were a no-man's land between Arnor and Gondor. In this case, the old Númenorean stronghold of Tharbad, on the border between Arnor and the no-man's land, would clearly have been within the realm of the North-kings, and thus inherited by Cardolan in the division of the realms.

On the other hand, Tolkien also says somewhere that Gondor ruled westwards (I think this was a reference in relation to the furthest extent of Gondor's power), to Tharbad and Gwathló, where it met Arnor. In this case, it is not clear that Tharbad was a part of Arnor/Cardolan, but even so, at no point was Minihiriath ever much populated by Dúnedain, other than at Tharbad, and much earlier at Lond Daer at the mouth of the Gwathló, and it does not seem that Gondor would have exercised much more than a nominal claim over Minihiriath, which would still leave Arnor/Cardolan with the greater claim on the city.

It is said, in seeming contradiction to both statements, in Appendix A (iii) that:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Appendix A (iii)
In the days of Argeleb II the plague came into Eriador from the South-east, and most of the poeple of Cardolan perished, especially in Minihiriath
--emphasis mine

In contrast to both the previous-mentioned traditions--again, I think I'm remembered Unfinished Tales--Appendix A seems to suggest that Minihiriath, at least in the late days of Cardolan's independence, was a part of the northern realms.

Looking at a map, however, it possible to reconcile these opposing claims to an extent, by suggesting that de facto Minihiriath was a no-man's land between the Númenorean realms-in-exile. Tharbad, on the edge of the region, seems clearly to have belonged to Cardolan (and I think is a good contender for capital, save that it's so far removed from all the action and population in the north), and inland Minihiriath, near Tharbad and about the Greenway, would undoubtedly have acknowledged the Northern king, whether of Arnor or of Cardolan. The apparently contradictory claim of Gondor to Minihiriath may, perhaps, be just a mere claim, or--I prefer this--refers mostly to the coastline. Apart from the army sent, late, to the succour of Arvedui, Gondor never seems to have had much interest in advancing northwest--but it did have an incredibly strong naval tradition. Gondor exercising its muscle along the unpopulated coastlands and extending this title inland--where people under an internationally renowned Cardolan actually acknowledged northern rule--seems eminently plausible.

A final note: according to the Tale of the Years (Appendix B), Tharbad was not finally abandoned until the Fell Winter of 2911-2, when Bilbo Baggins was 21, so several centuries after Calenardhion had passed from Gondor to Rohan, and thus cutting it off--substantially--from Gondor, which seems to have had no contact with the North, post-Eärnur. Though, of course, Tharbad need not have been a city or town explicitly associated with either kingdom, and might by this point have been an essentially non-Númenorean independent town, it definitely seems to fall clearly within the purview of the Dúnedain of the North, rather than the South, and I would take its survival to this late day as a sign that it had always been considered part of the North Kingdom.
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Old 09-25-2009, 06:47 PM   #15
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Excellent Formendacil,

you nicely eliminated Amon Sul and the Angle, leaving Tharbad as only known candidate (unless there was some abandoned city hanging around somewhere).

As I'm too dozy to even remember the Angle was in Rhudaur , I'm off to bed,

Cheers!
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Old 09-25-2009, 10:02 PM   #16
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On the topic of the ownership of Weathertop (or Amon Sul), Appendix A says:
Quote:
Both Rhudaur and Cardolan desired to possess Amon Sul (Weathertop), which stood on the borders of their realms...
and then
Quote:
Arthedain and Cardolan held in force a frontier along the Weather Hills, the Great Road and the lower Hoarwell
so the suggestion seems to be that at one point Cardolan and Arthedain held this area. And then
Quote:
A great host came out of Angmar in 1409, and crossing the river entered Cardolan and surrounded Weathertop.
Now it could be that these were simultaneous activities (not related), but one could read this as indicating that Weathertop was part of Cardolan at this point in time.

Shortly thereafter,
Quote:
Cardolan was ravaged...A remnant of the the faithful among the dunedain of Cardolan also held out in Tyrn Gorthad (the Barrowdowns), or took refuge in the Forest behind.
so I agree there is no clear statement here that a city was involved at the site of Tyrn Gorthad.

I guess what had me thinking that a city was close by was the statement by Bombadil when he found the brooch set with blue stones
Quote:
"Here is a pretty toy for Tom and for his lady! Fair was she who long ago wore this on her shoulder..."
which suggests to me that Bombadil knew the princess in question. If this was just a group of warriors on the Barrowdowns, then I don't see a princess being there. Of course, it could be that Bombadil somehow knew this princess by other means, but the fact that he knew her suggested that the royal palace might be nearby. Perhaps even more circumstantial is the statement in the Tale of Years
Quote:
1409 The Witch King of Angmar invades Arnor. King Arvaleg I is slain. Fornost and Tyrn Gorthad are defended,
which suggests to me that Fornost and Tyrn Gorthad are more or less equivalent (i.e., capitals of their respective kingdoms)...
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Old 09-26-2009, 09:45 AM   #17
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which suggests to me that Fornost and Tyrn Gorthad are more or less equivalent (i.e., capitals of their respective kingdoms)...
The quote you mentioned seems to be the primary argument for the region as the capital. However, it may have just been a more defensible area than the capital. It was a refuge in later days and I can't help wondering if the Cardolanians, in dire straits, fell back to these foggy, extensive downs to fight a successful guerrilla war in 1409.

Those parachuting hippo people seemed to concur with Formendacil that the capital is located between Tharbad and Tyrn Gorthad, near the South Downs. They names this location Thalion and saw it situated near a town called Metraith.

As for the Angle, I always pictured it in Rhudaur. This is probably based on my recollection of the Maps in Karen Wynn Fonstad's The Atlas of Middle Earth and J.E.A. Tyler's The Tolkien Companion.
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Old 02-12-2012, 05:16 PM   #18
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Well it doesn't seem so unusual that capitals are on the very edge of the land they are part of, consider Belfalas, Dol Amroth is on the coast & Lebennin, seemingly Pelargir is the capital (I don't think this has been confirmed), Ithilien's capital is Minas Ithil, and Isengard, was possibly the capital of Calenardhon, or even Enedwaith, and it is right on the edge, so it wouldn't be that unusual of Tharbad to be the capital of Cardolan, though the difference between it and the examples I listed is obviously that Cardolan is it's own Realm rather than a province, but presumably Cardolan used to be a province, or areas of a province so it being the capital may be just a continuation of it being the capital of whatever came before. Any thoughts?
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Old 02-13-2012, 05:01 PM   #19
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Any thoughts?
Capitals are on the edge of the land not because it's a country or a province, but because it could mean that the location is logical for trade/control/etc. They have a strategical location. Sometimes it means making them closer to a river or the sea to have a port and have control over transportation, those leaving/entering/going past the city, collecting taxes from merchants, and so on and so forth. Though it's not necessarily near water, it's just usually in the center of things, wherever the center is. There's a reason they say that all roads lead to Rome.

(Mark here that of the cities you mentioned, Dol Amroth is a sea port and Pelargir a river port, Minas Ithil stands at a crossroad, and Isengard is at a point that "divides" east, west, and south. Tharbad could be a possibility because it's the only ford in the area and controls pasage across the river, not because it's on the edge)

However, I've heard of capitals that were deliberately put more inland for defensive purposes (eg I heard one of the reason's for Canada's illogical choice of capital - Ottawa (at that time just a small town) over larger cities like Montreal - was to reduce the damage of a possible attack from the States, due to it being less accessible and a bit farther from the border).
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Old 02-15-2012, 02:50 PM   #20
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Tharbad could be a possibility because it's the only ford in the area and controls pasage across the river, not because it's on the edge).
Tharbad was also the navigable head of the Greyflood (Gwathlo in Sindarin, earlier Gwathir "shadowy river from the fens"). The river was broad and deep enough that ships could be sailed or rowed that far inland. Beyond that were the fens. Heads of navigation on rivers are another cause for large towns to grow up - of which Tharbad was one.
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Old 02-16-2012, 05:12 AM   #21
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Tharbad was also the navigable head of the Greyflood (Gwathlo in Sindarin, earlier Gwathir "shadowy river from the fens"). The river was broad and deep enough that ships could be sailed or rowed that far inland. Beyond that were the fens. Heads of navigation on rivers are another cause for large towns to grow up - of which Tharbad was one.
... as was Osgiliath in Gondor. The Anduin wasn't passable to ocean-going ships much past that point due to the Falls of Rauros. As for Cardolan, there is really no other city in that defined realm that could be considered a 'capital' unless you consider the seaport of old Vinyalondë / Lond Daer. Where else would a 'capital be for Cardolan?
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Old 02-16-2012, 08:25 AM   #22
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Originally Posted by Snowdog View Post
... as was Osgiliath in Gondor. The Anduin wasn't passable to ocean-going ships much past that point due to the Falls of Rauros. As for Cardolan, there is really no other city in that defined realm that could be considered a 'capital' unless you consider the seaport of old Vinyalondë / Lond Daer. Where else would a 'capital be for Cardolan?
I now wonder if the splinter realms of Cardolan and Rhudaur were organised enough to even have a formal capital. Were the Dúnedain in those realms numerous enough to need one, or did the majority of them stay loyal to Arthedain? Where would Rhudaur's have been?

The only major places of habitation in the North Kingdom of which the reader is told were Annúminas and Fornost, and both were within the bounds of Arthedain. If the self-styled lords of Cardolan and Rhudaur had felt the need for a center of government, why couldn't they have made do with a castle or fortress somewhere? There needn't have been a large city or town around it.
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Old 02-17-2012, 12:50 PM   #23
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Tharbad could be a possibility because it's the only ford in the area and controls pasage across the river, not because it's on the edge)
Yer, I wasn't saying that it could be the capital BECAUSE it was on the edge, I was saying that the fact that it's on the edge doesn't mean that it CAN'T be the capital, as some of the earlier posts mentioned that because it is on the edge it is an odd location for a capital.
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Old 03-01-2012, 02:21 PM   #24
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tharbad, the hidden fastness and the waning of the dunedain of the north

excellent thread folks - we have so little data about the north compared to Gondor...

Curiously no one has mentioned the town a few miles from the barrow Downs BREE!





However - it seems clear that the dunedain never populated or seriously encroached on it - leaving the non-numenorean/hobbit population to it's own devices.

Why the burial mounds would be next door to Bree? Perhaps the mounds were erected after a particularly devastating battle. Easier [less rotting - to put it bluntly] to build tombs than move them down road hundreds of miles, seems one possible answer.

re: Tharbad as Cardolanian chief city and final public outpost of the Dunedain.

The Dunedain were very much preservers, as far as they could, and Tharbad had been established as an early 'crossroads', never thought about the math that puts it's final abandonment to bilbo's 21st year - excellent data point.

It would have had ancient buildings, close[r] contact both with Gondor, Rohan and even the more civilized Dunlendings and was probably 'The City' for all the wild lands surrounding it - even maybe for the Druedain fisherfolk on the coast , so it almost certainly was the chief city if not outright [if such things needed to be formalized] 'capital'. By Bilbo's day it would have been the ONLY Numenorean inhabited City/Town in the North that was not secret.

There is no doubt a direct relation between the waning Tharbad and the [upstream by 150 miles or so] 'Hidden Fastness' of the remaining Dunedain of the North at the Angle of the Loudwater and Hoarwell Rivers - and the Fell Winter's abandonment of Tharbad due to decimation of an already dwindling population. Tharbad still would have been monitored by the rangers just as sarn ford was and bree as an obvious entry into Eriador.


One can imagine the despair and sorrow the Dundeain of the North would have felt no longer even having a post office for Gondor to leave a message at [since they clearly did not know where Imladris was] though the Ringwraiths did as they abandoned their last decaying outpost and town and retreated upriver to a private village close on exactly 1/2 way between rivendell and Tharbad. Since it was in Rhudaur, the hidden fastness was quite possibly nothing more than a ranger/refugee camp grown permanent. maybe becoming the barrows for the Re-United Kingdom...

In light of this one sees how provincial even Butterbur had become, forgetting what must have been know 2 or 3 generations before that the Rangers guarded the North, and had some kind of direct Authority in Tharbad - which must have been known as 'the city to the south'.

Some of Aragorns scorn could then be credited to his bitterness that Mordor was known to Butterbur but he 'did not know' where rangers hailed from, though surely his grandfather would have had some idea.
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Old 03-02-2012, 04:01 AM   #25
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Originally Posted by lindil View Post
The Dunedain were very much preservers, as far as they could, and Tharbad had been established as an early 'crossroads', never thought about the math that puts it's final abandonment to bilbo's 21st year - excellent data point.

It would have had ancient buildings, close[r] contact both with Gondor, Rohan and even the more civilized Dunlendings and was probably 'The City' for all the wild lands surrounding it - even maybe for the Druedain fisherfolk on the coast , so it almost certainly was the chief city if not outright [if such things needed to be formalized] 'capital'. By Bilbo's day it would have been the ONLY Numenorean inhabited City/Town in the North that was not secret.
I don't think that Tharbad was populated by Numenoreans anymore by the time of Fell Winter. They probably all died centuries ago, and were replaced by Dunlendings. How did that happen? Their bloodline was mixed with the blood of the lesser Men, and slowly turned them into 'ordinary' Men, completely oblivious of their descent. Unlike in Gondor, which was well populated, here the Numenoreans would have very little contact with strangers or other Dunedain, and would have been forced to breed with lesser Men to survive. So after centuries of life in fear, they would have consisted primarily of Dunlending Men.
So, the last remnants of Tharbad were actually only abandoned by those Dunlendings, who then went south in pursuit of a happier life, safe from cold winters of the North.
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Old 03-02-2012, 08:27 AM   #26
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Plausible theory, but I would demur based on the proximity of Tharbad to the hidden refuge of the northern Dunedain, and their propensity to guard what was left of Arnor. And THE road from the south would have been their link to Rohan if not Gondor also in the waning of the 3rd age. Denethor was able to piece clues together re: thorongil/aragorn and one may well have been a remnant in Tharbad into his youth. Perhaps, always on the look out for allies, Denethor would have traveled the extra leg past Isengard when touring what was to be his realm, and been bitterly disappointed in what he saw, if he knew Aragorn to be northern Dunedain, and he did, then exploring what was left of their realm however tenuous - especially seems I picture it as something of a Bree, but with some dunedain still left, they would have been the gatekeepers etc. But already the process of keeping the heir hid, and their organization seemingly decentralized would be there. With the evidence left one can certainly conjecture either way though I have to admit!

I do concur that there would have been some increased Dunlending integration or trade at the least, however, they were a people of the forest and bore a heavy grudge against Numenoreans [see UT on Numenorean 2nd age forest devastation - and the resulting attitude that lasted into the 3rd age] and their allies [witness Brethil in the Silm] and while they undoubtedly had towns picturing them inhabiting as lords the remnants of a former Arnorian city does not seem like their style. I guess it would be more a town they went to trade in similar to the bree/shire relationship. Sadly JRRT does not to my mind give us more clues I am aware of, perhaps there are elaborations in HoM-E 12, etc. others can chime in with.
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Old 03-02-2012, 06:10 PM   #27
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I do concur that there would have been some increased Dunlending integration or trade at the least, however, they were a people of the forest and bore a heavy grudge against Numenoreans [see UT on Numenorean 2nd age forest devastation - and the resulting attitude that lasted into the 3rd age] and their allies [witness Brethil in the Silm] and while they undoubtedly had towns picturing them inhabiting as lords the remnants of a former Arnorian city does not seem like their style. I guess it would be more a town they went to trade in similar to the bree/shire relationship. Sadly JRRT does not to my mind give us more clues I am aware of, perhaps there are elaborations in HoM-E 12, etc. others can chime in with.
I think it's dangerous to infer too much about the motives of the Dunlendings or the plausible Dunlending-related people of late Tharbad on their ethnicity. Just going off known information, the Dunlendings were related not just to the aforementioned 2nd Age inhabitants of Minihiriath, who certainly had a problem with the Númenóreans, but to a bunch of other people as well.

For example, the Men of Bree were said to be akin to the Dunlendings, and although they seem to have forgotten who the Rangers were, they must have had better relations with them at whatever earlier point in their past when they settled in Bree. We know that the Bree-Hobbits, at least, settled Bree before Arthedain fell and it makes sense that the Men of Bree would have first moved there peacefully, whether it was during the rule of Arthedain or under the more informal days of the earlier Rangers. In either case, there is precedent in Bree for a Dunlending-related race of Tharbad citizens.

Also related to the Dunlendings were the inhabitants of the White Mountains. These people are an excellent example of how ethnicity isn't going to be a sure indicator of friendliness. On the one hand, the Dunlendic-people of the White Mountains were the source of the Dead Men of Dunharrow, famed for breaking their oath with Isildur. On the other hand, these are the indigenous people that populated Gondor and mixed with the Dúnedain producing the loyal Gondorian provinces that come to the aid of Minas Tirith during the War of the Ring.

Even looking at the Dunlendings themselves, it is significant that most of what we know of their history is tied to the Rohirrim--the Rohirrim, not the Dúnedain. While it is true that the last Gondorian keepers of Orthanc ended up being subverted due to their closeness with the Dunlendings, there is no reason to assume that the Dunlendings were duplicitous in cultivating this friendship--it seems far more likely that the Dunlendings were quite a bit more comfortable with the Dúnedain, who had never been a populous presence in Calenardhon than they were with the Rohirrim. Although their dislike of the Rohirrim was manipulated into war and although Gondor clearly valued its alliance with the Rohirrim above any interest in the Dunlendings, it is quite possible that Dunlendings themselves recognised a distinction between the Dúnedain and the Rohirrim, especially if they still had some contact with the Northern Dúnedain.

Certainly, if we accept the conventional guesswork that the Rangers of the North had their base in the Angle, the Dunlendings would have been quite close enough to their settlements for some occasional contact, especially if Tharbad survived as a mixed Dúnedainic-Dunlending settlement, akin to Orthanc in its last, pre-Sarumanic days--but not corrupt. At the very least they might have felt about the Rangers what the Bree-Men thought, which is different from their treatment of the "Strawheads."
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Old 03-02-2012, 07:08 PM   #28
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A few points of disagreement, though I think I share something of your general assessment.

Bree was settled BEFORE Arnor, pretty darn sure. Like Bombadil.

The Dunlendings were a group in direct descent from the original edian of the region, according to UT were subject to deforestation and other forms of tyrannical behaviour from the Numenoreans, and during the Black Years when Sauron was in Numenor it was probably as bad as we can imagine.

THEN the Rohirrim came and could only have made matters worse. In all of JRRT's communites we see long racial memories. The anger at the 'strawheads' was visible becuase Saruman had stoked it, but UT and I think 'rivers and beacon hills of Gondor' make plain the animosity towards Numenorean abuses.

True it is speculation, not sure there is any danger though.

Someone left the town, it was a strangely situated between many other communites, Fisherfolk on the coast [pretty sure they were Druedain, but need to check UT], the secret dwelling upstream of Tharbad of the chieftans, and Rivendell further up than that, which does make a natural passage of sorts. The Dunedain, would have been there at least as much as they were in Bree.

So I guess where we may agree is that there were locals who were of dunlendish/breesih type extraction who may or may have not been more or less native to tharbad. If they existed they are never mentioned. All other groups are.

It does make sense that as Cardolan [and later the chieftans/rangers] dwindled they would coalesce around what was left. Tharbad was left till Bilbo's youth, and the secret dwelling 150 miles or so from Rivendell and 150 from Tharbad was left., and it was the South 'border' of the Rangers patrol zone...all else is speculative...
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