Tal-Elmar (The Wild-men of Gondor and Eriador)

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MatthewB
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Tal-Elmar (The Wild-men of Gondor and Eriador)

Post by MatthewB » Sun Aug 25, 2013 8:14 am

Has anyone read The History of Middle-earth, vol. 12: The Peoples of Middle-earth?

It contains a story about the perception of the men living in Middle-earth from the PoV of a boy who is the descendant of a Númenórean woman and a Wild-man (There is some suggestion that the original relationship wasn't entirely consensual).

The people described sound very much like Picts.

But I am trying to decide "Which Picts?"

The very early Picts are very much like the Celts. Impact Foot, Swordsmen, with some small number of mounted and a lot of Chariots.

But Tolkien never really mentions Chariots for anyone but the Easterlings, and none of the Edain are said to have used them, nor is there any mention of them in any other works (There are a few notes of original accounts Tolkien wrote of the Battles of the First Age with Elves using Chariots, but they were discarded, and not mentioned again).

The later Picts are Offensive Spearmen, earlier being unprotected, and later being protected, with a very small number of Armored.

I guess that they could be, in their earliest form, nothing more than Light Foot with Javelins and Light Spear, progressing to Impact Foot, Swordsmen, and then to Offensive Spearmen, as their encounters with the Númenóreans grew, giving them more access to metals (which the Númenóreans mined, often using the locals as labor). Until eventually the encounters with the Númenóreans grew to be hostile, exploitative, and oppressive.

Any thoughts?

MB

grahambriggs
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Re: Tal-Elmar (The Wild-men of Gondor and Eriador)

Post by grahambriggs » Tue Aug 27, 2013 10:32 am

Many of the troops described by Tolkein seems to me to be rooted in the Western "dark ages" to medieval periods as they might have been know in his day. Albeit when he speaks of troops from far away to the East he includes the equivalent of chariots and elephants. So in that light, and with no other evidence to guide, I'd suggest that the later picts might be the better match.

MatthewB
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Re: Tal-Elmar (The Wild-men of Gondor and Eriador)

Post by MatthewB » Tue Aug 27, 2013 10:06 pm

This is 5,000 to 6,000 years before the events of The Lord of the Rings.

I am very aware that most of Tolkien's peoples are based upon the Western Dark Ages. But that becomes a little more problematic when you go back to the First and Second Ages.

In the First Age, for instance, the "Easterlings" were themselves Germanic Tribes (see the names given "Wulf," "Fricca," "Ulfang...").

It is only in the Second and Third Ages that the Easterlings become the equivalent of the Bulgars, Magyars, Mongols, and other Asiatic Nomads, while Rhûnenrhûn (East of east), where Khamûl was set up as ruler, itself is more akin to China under Mongol rule.

But back to the Hill-Peoples.

I am pretty sure that they would be similar to Later Picts toward the end of the Second Age (when several tribes of the Hill-men allied themselves with the King's Men - later to become the Black-Númenóreans).

But in Tal-Elmar, Tolkien describes the Hill-men as having nothing but fire-hardened spears, and stone tools for the most part. The Village Hed-man is described as having a metal (probably copper) Axe that made him very wealthy (later it is revealed that Tal-Elmar's mother - or Grandmother, depending upon the revisions - left him a Númenórean steel sword that his father had kept hidden from him, thinking it "cursed").

So maybe even Early British might be applicable to the Hill-men at the earliest encounters with the Númenóreans (around 1000, 2nd Age). Númenóre created most of it's Colonies between 1000 and 1500, when the Great Fleet was sent by Tar-Minastír to aid Gil-Gilad against Sauron after the overrun of Eriador and Eregion when Celebrimbor hid the Three Elven Rings).

A great many of these Hill-men fell under the Shadow of Sauron (often duped by claims that the Númenóreans were abducting their children to use as slaves - which they would eventually do in the latter part of the 2nd Age).

But, later Picts does seem a better match once they had been armed, either by the Númenóreans, or by Sauron.

MB

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Re: Tal-Elmar (The Wild-men of Gondor and Eriador)

Post by grahambriggs » Wed Aug 28, 2013 2:21 pm

Hmm. Fire hardened spears and stone tools. If that were a historic list, I'd be thinking MF light spear, sword or, if a reputation for fierceness, impact foot sword. We did that for the various American and early near eastern lists. depends to a degree how good they were against mounted.

To a large extent it's down to your interpretation. Bog standard with few redeeming features might be light spear only. If you want them to fight decently hand to hand, add swords, or perhaps make them offensive spearmen.

In terms of "early British" bear in mind that the "ancient British" list is actually an iron age list from circa the first century AD. So might be more advanced than the troops you are trying to match.

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Re: Tal-Elmar (The Wild-men of Gondor and Eriador)

Post by MatthewB » Wed Aug 28, 2013 4:53 pm

I realize that the very Early Hill-men are going to be not much more than mobs of men with light spear (Probably Average, Unprotected, Undrilled Medium Foot - Light Spear... maybe Swordsmen for clubs, stone or copper axes).

But they did have access to metals. It was just hard to come by as all of the Dark-men (The tribes of men who bought Morgoth's and Sauron's BS about how the Valar and Elves were evil, and that the Númenóreans were cannibals and "evil" as well) had monopolized the sources of metal that the Moriquendi (Elves in Middle-earth) did not control.

Remember, the "Easterlings" of the First Age were basically Early Germans or Early Franks.

To put it into a Bronze Age perspective, they would be the Etruscans as the Hill-men were to either the Italian Hill-Tribes or the Early Northern Barbarians (To go back to a DBM list).

As for the Chariots...

That might be a defining factor as to whether they had been swayed under the Shadow of one of the Dark-Lords.

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