Henneth Annun Reseach Center

Character Bios


Meaning: South-people

Other Names: Men of Harad, Southrons, Swertings

Location(s): Haradwaith, Near and Far Harad

Race/Species: Man

Type/Kind: Men of Shadow

Dates: I~IV?

"'More Men going to Mordor,' he [Gollum] said in a low voice. 'Dark faces. We have not seen Men like these before... They are fierce. They have black eyes, and long black hair, and gold rings in their ears... lots of beautiful gold. And some have red paint on their cheeks, and red cloaks and their flags are red, and the tips of their spears; and they have round shields, yellow and black with big spikes. Not nice; very cruel wicked Men they look. Almost as bad as Orcs, and much bigger. Sméagol thinks they have come out of the South beyond the Great River's end..."

" '...But I've [Sam] heard tales of the big folk down away in the Sunlands. Swertings we call'em in our tales; and they ride on oliphaunts, 'tis said, when they fight. They put houses and towers on the oliphauntses backs and all, and the oliphaunts throw rocks and trees at one another..."

Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers Book 4 Ch. 3 "The Black Gate is Closed"

" 'Aye, curse the Southrons! ' said Damrod. ' 'Tis said that there were
dealings of old between Gondor and the kingdoms of the Harad in the Far South; though there was never friendship. In those days our bounds were away south beyond the mouths of Anduin, and Umbar, the nearest of their realms, acknowledged our sway. But that is long since. 'Tis many lives of Men since any passed to or fro between us. Now of late we have learned that the Enemy has been among them, and they are gone over to Him, or back to Him-they were ever ready to His will-as have so many also in the East. I doubt not that the days of Gondor are numbered, and the walls of Minas Tirith are doomed, so great is His strength and malice.' "

"For a moment he caught a glimpse of swarthy men in red running down the slope some way off with green-clad warriors leaping after them... a man fell, crashing through the slender trees, nearly on top of them. He came to rest in the fern a few feet away, face downward, green arrow-feathers sticking from his neck below a golden collar. His scarlet robes were tattered, his corslet of overlapping brazen plates was rent and hewn, his black plaits of hair braided with gold were drenched with blood. His brown hand still clutched the hilt of a broken sword."

We are offered a glimpse of the human side of the Haradrim by Sam's thought on the dead man:
"He wondered what the man's name was and where he came from; and if he was really evil of heart, or what lies or threats had led him on the long march from his home; and if he would not really rather have stayed there in peace..."

Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers Book 4 Ch. 3 "Of Herbs and Stewed Rabbit"

The Haradrim use mûmak (pl.mûmakil aka oliphaunts) as transportation and weapon in war:

"Big as a house, much bigger than a house, it looked to him, a grey-clad moving hill... the Mûmak of Harad was indeed a beast of vast bulk, and the like of him does not walk now in Middle-earth; his kin that live still in latter days are but memories of his girth and majesty... his great legs like trees, enormous sail-like ears spread out, long snout upraised like a huge serpent about to strike, his small red eyes raging. His upturned hornlike tusks were bound with bands of gold and dripped with blood. His trappings of scarlet and gold flapped about him in wild tatters. The ruins of what seemed a very war-tower lay upon his heaving back, smashed in his furious passage through the woods; and high upon his neck still desperately clung a tiny figure-the body of a mighty warrior, a giant among the Swertings."

Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers Book 4 Ch. 3 "Of Herbs and Stewed Rabbit"

"Horns were blown and trumpets were braying, and the mûmakil were bellowing as they were goaded to war."

Lord of the Rings: Return of the King Book 5 Ch. 6 "The Battle of the Pelennor Fields"

They use arrows: "But I [Imrahil] did not keep the arrow, for we had much to do. It was, as I remember, just such a dart as the Southrons use."

Lord of the Rings: Return of the King Book 5 Ch. 8 "The Houses of Healing"

On the Pelennor Fields:

"...the main force of the Haradrim and there their horsemen were gathered about the standard of their chieftain. And he looked out, and in the growing light he saw the banner of the king [Théoden], and that it was far ahead of the battle with few men about it. Then he was filled with a red wrath and shouted aloud, and displaying his standard, black serpent upon scarlet, he came against the white horse and the green with great press of men; and the drawing of the scimitars of the Southrons was like a glitter of stars."

"...and from the southward fields came footmen of Harad with horsemen before them, and behind them rose the huge backs of the mûmakil with war-towers upon them."

"...and great wedges of his [Éomer's] Riders had passed clear through the ranks of the Southrons, discomfiting their horsemen and riding their footmen to ruin. But wherever the mûmakil came there the horses would not go, but blenched and swerved away; and the great monsters were unfought, and stood like towers of defence, and the Haradrim rallied about them. And if the Rohirrim at their onset were thrice outnumbered by the Haradrim alone..."

"Southrons in scarlet, and out of Far Harad black men like half-trolls with white eyes and red tongues."

"...the Southrons were bold men and grim, and fierce in despair..."

In the end: "All were slain save those who fled to die, or to drown in the red foam of the River. Few ever came eastward to Morgul or Mordor; and to the land of the Haradrim came only a tale from far off: a rumour of the wrath and terror of Gondor."

Lord of the Rings: Return of the King Book 5 Ch. 6 "The Battle of the Pelennor Fields"

There is a very limited amount known of Harad.

Chronologically, the first mention is from the Second Age, when Aldarion barely escaped shipwreck on the shores of Harad. It is noted in Unfinished Tales, The History of Galadriel and Celeborn that Aldarion later "brought his vessels to haven far down into the Harad." The Númenoreans established havens at Umbar, but as they were corrupted the inhabitants of this land fell under the sway of Sauron:
"But because of the power of Gil-galad these renegades, lords both mighty and evil, for the most part took up their abodes in the southlands far away; yet two there were, Herumor and Fuinur, who rose to power among the Haradrim, a great and cruel people that dwelt in the wide lands south of Mordor beyond the mouths of Anduin."
The Silmarillion, Of the Rings of Power and the Third Age

In the 1050 of the Third Age Gondor was at the height of its power and "defeated the Men of the Harad, and their kings were compelled to acknowledge the overlordship of Gondor...the kings of the Harad did homage to Gondor, and their sons lived as hostages in the court of its King."
RotK, Appendix A, I, iv, Gondor and the Heirs of Anarion

Within 400 years of that time the Kin-strife began, and:
"The sons of Kastamir and others of his kin, having fled from Gondor in 1447, set up a small kingdom in Umbar, and there made a fortified haven. They never ceased to make war upon Gondor, attacking its ships and coasts when they had opportunity. But they married women of the Harad and had in three generations lost most of their Numenorean blood; but they did not forget their feud with the house of Eldakar."
Peoples of Middle-earth, Part 1, Ch VII, The Heirs of Elendil, Commentary

The Haradrim are described in RotK as "cruel and tall" and in HoMe 8 as "a grim folk, and not easily daunted by shade or blade."
HoMe 8, War of the Ring, XII

~Nessime 2/19/04
Loquacious 02.21.04
Lyllyn - quotes from "Haradwaith" factsheet

Related Library Entries

Characters Search


View all Bios

Character Bios

Full Text Search