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The Thain's Book
An encyclopedia of Middle-earth and Numenor

Harad & the Haradrim

Map of Harad
Important Dates
Names & Etymology

Top: Shane Rangi as one of the Haradrim in the New Line film
Bottom: Haradrim in the New Line film

Geography (see also the map below):

Man of HaradHarad was a large region in southern Middle-earth. Harad was not a unified realm, but was instead made up of different kingdoms. The people of Harad were often allied with Sauron and many fought for him during the War of the Ring.

Harad - also called Haradwaith - was located south of Mordor. The Mountains of Shadow were on the northern border of Harad. The River Harnen flowed westward from the Mountains of Shadow to the Bay of Belfalas, forming Harad's border with South Gondor - a desert region that was contested between Gondor and Harad. The Harad Road ran from Harad northward through South Gondor and on to Ithilien.

To the northeast of Harad was Khand, a land that also had ties with Sauron. It is not known how far eastward or southward Harad stretched. On the west, Harad was bounded by the Bay of Belfalas and the Sea.

The northernmost part of Harad was called Near Harad and the southern part was Far Harad. On the coast there was a natural harbor with a narrow cape curving around it. The coastal region around the harbor was known as Umbar, and the harbor was called the Havens of Umbar. The seafaring raiders known as the Corsairs lived there. At the eastern end of the harbor was the City of the Corsairs.

For many centuries, on a tall hill at the head of the harbor, there stood a great white pillar topped with a crystal globe that captured the light of the Sun and Moon, which could be seen from as far off as Gondor and by ships at sea. The pillar was a monument commemorating the landing of Ar-Pharazon at Umbar (see History below), but it was later torn down in the Third Age by the servants of Sauron.

Harad's location in the far south isolated it to a certain extent from the rest of Middle-earth. The climate was much warmer and sunnier. There were unusual animals such as the great Mumakil, or Oliphaunts. Even the constellations Harad's night sky down in the southern hemisphere were different from those in northern Middle-earth.

The Men of Harad were called the Haradrim - or Southrons in the Common Speech. In the Shire they were known as Swertings, a derivation of Swarthy Men. The Haradrim had dark skin, hair, and eyes. Some wore red clothing and gold earrings and ornaments, and some painted their faces. Their language was different from the Common Speech. The Haradrim were proud and bold people. In battle they bore red banners and scimitars and spiked shields, and they used Oliphaunts to carry war-towers and troops.


HaradrimDuring the Second Age, the Haradrim came in contact with Sauron and with the Numenoreans. The Men of Numenor explored the coasts of Middle-earth, including the coast of Harad. In the 9th century, the great mariner Aldarion explored the coast of Harad far to the south and was nearly shipwrecked.

The Numenoreans initially benefited the people in the lands they explored by teaching them many things about agriculture and craftsmanship. But then some Numenoreans began to set themselves up as lords in Middle-earth and they demanded tribute of goods and wealth from their subjects, especially in the south. The Numenoreans made settlements on the southern coasts, including the Havens of Umbar where they built a great fortress in 2280.

Sauron had established his realm in Mordor around 1000 of the Second Age. He extended his influence eastward to Rhun and the southward to Harad and corrupted many Men into his service. They feared Sauron and believed he was their king and god. Under Sauron's dominion, these Men became strong. They built towns of stone and carried weapons of iron into battle.

Sauron did not at first dare to extend his power to the coast where the Numenoreans held power. But after the forging of the Rings of Power and the emergence of the Nazgul, Sauron began to attack the Numenorean settlements on the coast.

Ar-Pharazon of Numenor landed at Umbar in 3261 with a great fleet and the people on the coasts fled before them. Sauron's forces refused to fight, and he allowed himself to be taken to Numenor where he corrupted the King and his followers. Under Ar-Pharazon, the Numenoreans made war on the Men of Middle-earth, and they also enslaved them and used them for human sacrifices. Men of the south long remembered the actions of the Numenoreans in their lands.

The Numenoreans who lived in Harad survived the destruction of Numenor in 3319. They became known as the Black Numenoreans because they remained under the influence of Sauron. Two Black Numenoreans named Herumor and Fuinur rose to power among the Haradrim. Many Black Numenoreans lived in Umbar, while others lived farther south. Over time, the Black Numenoreans dwindled and their bloodline became merged with the Haradrim.

The other survivors of Numenor were the Faithful led by Elendil and his sons Isildur and Anarion, who founded the realms of Gondor and Arnor. They joined with the Elves to fight Sauron in the War of the Last Alliance starting in 3434. Many Haradrim fought on Sauron's side. In 3441, Sauron was defeated and his spirit fled Mordor after the One Ring was cut from his hand. But even in Sauron's absence, the Haradrim continued to have conflicts with Gondor in the Third Age.

In 933 of the Third Age, the harbor and fortress of Umbar was captured by King Earnil I of Gondor. The Haradrim tried to retake Umbar in 1015, but though Earnil's son King Ciryandil was killed in battle, the Men of Gondor resisted the siege for 35 years.

In 1050, Ciryandil's son Ciryaher brought a great force by land and sea to Umbar. He defeated the Haradrim and broke the siege. Ciryaher renamed himself Hyarmendacil, meaning "South-victor," and during his reign the southern boundary of Gondor extended to the River Harnen and farther south along the coast to include Umbar. The kings of the Haradrim were forced to send their sons to live as hostages in Gondor and to acknowledge the overlordship of Gondor's King.

After the civil war in Gondor called the Kin-strife, the rebels who had usurped the throne from the rightful King of Gondor fled to Umbar in 1448. They established a kingdom there and took to the high seas as Corsairs, raiding Gondor's coasts and attacking its ships. These Gondorian rebels soon became intermingled with the Haradrim, and Umbar became a stronghold of enemies of Gondor. The region north of the River Harnen known as South Gondor was no longer under Gondor's rule but was contested with the Corsairs. Gondor also lost its hold over the other kingdoms of Harad.

In 1540, King Aldamir of Gondor was killed in battle against an alliance of Corsairs and Haradrim. Aldamir's son retaliated against Harad in 1551 and called himself Hyarmendacil II ("South-victor"). But his son Minardil was killed in 1634 when the Corsairs led by Angamaite and Sangahyando attacked Pelargir. Umbar was briefly retaken by King Telumehtar Umbardacil of Gondor in 1810, but in the troubled years that followed Gondor lost Umbar to the Haradrim.

Starting in 1851, Gondor was threatened by a group of Men from the East called the Wainriders. The Wainriders also initially fought with the Haradrim and the Men of Khand, but then formed an alliance with them to oppose Gondor. In 1944, a unified attack against Gondor was launched, with the Wainriders coming from the northeast and the Haradrim coming from the south. The Haradrim crossed the River Poros into Ithilien, where they were defeated by Earnil and the Southern Army of Gondor, who went on to defeat the Wainriders as well in the Battle of the Camp.

In the middle of the next millennium, the Corsairs once again harried Gondor's coasts. The Prince of Dol Amroth was killed by Corsairs in 2746. In 2758, three fleets from Umbar and Harad attacked Gondor along the southern coast and on the west coast as far north as the River Isen. The Corsairs also assisted the Dunlendings in their invasion of Rohan at the same time. Before the spring of 2759, the Corsairs were driven out by Beregond, the son of Beren, Steward of Gondor.

During the reign of the Steward Turin II, the Haradrim occupied South Gondor. There were frequent skirmishes between the Men of Gondor and the Men of Harad along the River Poros that formed the border between South Gondor and Ithilien. The Haradrim were incited to fight by emissaries of Sauron. In 2885, the Haradrim invaded Ithilien. The Men of Gondor called upon the Rohirrim for aid, and a great battle was fought at the Crossings of Poros. Folcred and Fastred - the sons of King Folcwine of Rohan - were killed, but the Haradrim were defeated and driven out of Ithilien.

Sauron returned to Mordor in 2942 and by 2951 he began amassing armies of Orcs and Men, including Men of Harad and Corsairs of Umbar. While Aragorn was in the service of the Steward Ecthelion, he recognized the threat posed to Gondor by the Corsairs. In 2980, Aragorn launched a surprise attack on Umbar and burned many of the Corsairs' ships and slew the Captain of the Haven. Aragorn also journeyed into Harad during his travels throughout Middle-earth.

The Haradrim were among the forces led by the Lord of the Nazgul that attacked Osgiliath on June 20, 3018, at the beginning of the War of the Ring. They captured the eastern half of Osgiliath, but Boromir and Faramir cast down the bridge across the Anduin and defended the western half of the city. More Haradrim continued to come up the Harad Road to Mordor. Faramir and the Rangers of Ithilien ambushed some companies of Haradrim, but they could not stop them all.

Under Sauron's direction, the Corsairs captured the city of Pelargir on the Anduin with a fleet of 50 great ships and numerous smaller ships. Aragorn summoned the Dead to stop the Corsairs. On the way to Pelargir, they came upon Angbor and the Men of Lamedon who were fighting Men of Umbar and Harad at the River Gilrain. Men on both sides of the battle except for Angbor fled before the Dead.

Aragorn and the Dead drove the Men of Umbar and Harad before them as they continued to Pelargir, where they captured the Corsairs' fleet on March 13, 3019. Aragorn used the Corsairs' ships to sail up the Anduin to help defend Minas Tirith.

Meanwhile, regiments of Haradrim joined the host from Minas Morgul led by the Lord of the Nazgul. They crossed the Anduin and overran the Pelennor Fields. Faramir and his men tried unsuccessfully to stop them. Faramir fought with a mounted champion of Harad but was struck down by an arrow from another of the Haradrim and was carried back to Minas Tirith wounded and near death. Sauron's forces besieged Minas Tirith, and the Mumakil of Harad were used to bring forward war-towers and siege-engines to test the City's defenses.

The Battle of the Pelennor Fields was fought on March 15. Among Sauron's forces were about 18,000 Haradrim and many Mumakil. When the Rohirrim charged onto the battlefield, the chieftain of the Haradrim rode to confront them, but he was slain by King Theoden.

The Haradrim rallied around their Mumakil which the horses of the Rohirrim feared to approach. Derufin and Duilin of the Blackroot Vale and their archers shot many of the Mumakil in the eyes, but the brothers were trampled to death. As the battle wore on, more Haradrim including Men from Far Harad were sent onto the field by Gothmog. After the arrival of Aragorn in the Corsairs' ships, the tide of the battle turned against Sauron's forces. The Haradrim held out long and were among the last of Sauron's forces to be defeated.

Haradrim also fought at the Battle of the Morannon on March 25. Sauron's army of Men, Orcs and Trolls outnumbered the Men of the West by more than ten to one, but the battle ended when the One Ring was destroyed in Mount Doom and Sauron was vanquished. Some of the Haradrim fled or surrendered, but others continued to resist until they were defeated.

After Aragorn became King of the Reunited Kingdom of Gondor and Arnor, he made peace with the peoples of Harad. But there remained some Haradrim who were still under the evil influence bred by Sauron. Aragorn and King Eomer of Rohan rode to southlands to subdue them and to maintain the peace with Harad.

Map of Harad

Map of Harad

Important Dates:

Second Age:

Aldarion of Numenor explores the coast of Harad at some point during his 14-year sea voyage.

Sauron establishes his realm in Mordor and exerts his influence on the people of Harad.

Beginning with the reign of Tar-Ciryatan of Numenor, the Haradrim are oppressed by the Numenoreans.

The Numenoreans build a great fortress at the Havens of Umbar.

Ar-Pharazon lands at Umbar with a great fleet and takes Sauron to Numenor the next year. In the years following, the Haradrim are enslaved and sacrificed by the Numenoreans.

Destruction of Numenor.

Foundation of Gondor. Sauron returns to Mordor.

Haradrim fight for Sauron in the War of the Last Alliance. Sauron is defeated, the One Ring is taken from him, and his spirit flees Mordor.

Third Age:

King Earnil I of Gondor captures Umbar.

Earnil is lost at Sea off the coast of Harad.

The Haradrim try unsuccessfully to retake Umbar. King Ciryandil of Gondor is killed. The Haradrim besiege Umbar for the next 35 years.

King Ciryaher (Hyarmendacil I) of Gondor defeats the Haradrim and makes their kings subject to him.

Gondorian rebels flee to Umbar after the civil war of the Kin-strife.

King Aldamir of Gondor is killed in battle against the Corsairs and Haradrim.

King Vinyarion (Hyarmendacil II) of Gondor defeats the Haradrim in retaliation for his father's death.

King Minardil of Gondor is killed when Corsairs attack Pelargir.

King Telumehtar Umbardacil of Gondor recaptures Umbar, but it is lost to the Men of Harad in the years following.

The Haradrim and the Wainriders launch a coordinated attack on Gondor. The Haradrim cross the Poros into Ithilien but are defeated by Earnil, Captain of the Southern Army of Gondor, who then defeats the Wainriders as well.

The Prince of Dol Amroth is killed by Corsairs.

Three fleets from Umbar and Harad attack Gondor along the southern coast and on the west coast as far north as the River Isen. They are driven back by Beregond.

Sauron returns in secret to Mordor.

Sauron declares himself openly in Mordor and begins to amass armies of his allies, including the Haradrim.

Aragorn - in the service of the Steward Ecthelion - attacks Umbar and burns many of the Corsairs' ships and kills the Captain of the Haven.

June 20: Haradrim are among the forces of Sauron that attack Osgiliath at the beginning of the War of the Ring.

March 5: A company of Haradrim enter Mordor while Frodo, Sam, and Gollum hide near the Black Gate.
March 7: Faramir and the Rangers of Ithilien ambush a company of Haradrim heading for Mordor.
March 11: Men of Umbar and Harad fight the Men of Lamedon at the River Gilrain but flee at the approach of the Dead.
March 13: Aragorn and the Dead capture the fleet of the Corsairs at Pelargir. Faramir is wounded by a Southron arrow.
March 15: Haradrim fight in the Battle of the Pelennor Fields.
March 25: Haradrim fight at the Battle of the Morannon. The One Ring is destroyed and Sauron is defeated. Some Haradrim flee or surrender, while others resist until defeated.

May 1: Aragorn becomes King of Gondor and Arnor. Afterwards he makes peace with the Haradrim, though there are pockets of resistance that must be subdued.

Names & Etymology:

Harad means "south" in Sindarin.
The History of Middle-earth, vol. V., The Lost Road and Other Writings: "The Etymologies," entry for KHYAR

Haradwaith means "southland." The ending waith is derived from gwaith meaning "people, region."
The History of Middle-earth, vol. V., The Lost Road and Other Writings: "The Etymologies," entry for WEG

Harad was sometimes called Sutherland, meaning "southern land," in the Common Speech.
The History of Middle-earth, vol. VII, The Treason of Isengard: "The First Map of The Lord of the Rings," p. 306, 309

Harad was called the Sunlands by the Hobbits of the Shire because of the warm, sunny climate.
The Two Towers: "The Black Gate Is Closed," p. 255

Near Harad, Far Harad
The Men of Gondor called the northern region Near Harad and the southern region Far Harad in relation to their proximity to Gondor.
Unfinished Tales: "The Istari," p. 398

The coastal region including the great natural harbor was called Umbar. The name was of forgotten origin from before the arrival of the Numenoreans, and its meaning is not known. Any relation to the Quenya word umbar meaning "fate" appears to be coincidental.
Appendix F of The Lord of the Rings: "The Languages and Peoples of the Third Age," p. 407

The people of Harad were called the Haradrim. The ending rim means "crowd, host."
The History of Middle-earth, vol. V., The Lost Road and Other Writings: "The Etymologies," entry for RIM

The Haradrim were called Southrons in the Common Speech.

The Haradrim were called Swertings by the Hobbits of the Shire. The name is derived from swarthy in reference to the dark complexions of the Haradrim, who were sometimes called Swarthy Men.
"Nomenclature of The Lord of the Rings," entry for Swertings

The seafaring raiders of Umbar were called Corsairs, which is another word for "pirates."


The Fellowship of the Ring: "The Council of Elrond," p. 258, 261; "The Breaking of the Fellowship," p. 417

The Two Towers: "The Black Gate Is Closed," 254-55; 267-70; "The Window on the West," p. 283, 286

The Return of the King: "Minas Tirith," p. 38; "The Muster of Rohan," p. 72; "The Siege of Gondor," p. 84, 90, 93-94, 101; "The Battle of the Pelennor Fields," passim; "The Houses of Healing," p. 134, 140; "The Last Debate," p. 151-53; "The Black Gate Opens," p. 167-69; "The Field of Cormallen," p. 226-27, 235; "The Steward and the King," p. 247; "Many Partings," p. 266

Appendix A of The Lord of the Rings: "The Numenorean Kings," p. 316-17; "Gondor and the Heirs of Anarion," p. 325-29; "The Stewards," p. 334-36; "The Tale of Aragorn and Arwen," p. 341; "The House of Eorl," p. 347, 350, 352

Appendix B of The Lord of the Rings: "The Tale of Years," p. 364-67

Appendix F of The Lord of The Rings: "The Languages and Peoples of the Third Age," p. 407

The Silmarillion: "Akallabeth," p. 263, 265-67, 269-70, 274; "Of the Rings of Power and the Third Age," p. p. 286, 289-90, 293-94

Unfinished Tales: "Aldarion and Erendis," p. 181; "Cirion and Eorl," p. 291-95, 312 note 14; "The Istari," p. 398-99, 402 note 10

The History of Middle-earth, vol. XII, The Peoples of Middle-earth: "The Heirs of Elendil," p. 199-200, 214-15, 222

"Guide to the Names in The Lord of the Rings," p. 174

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