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Discussing: Why the Angle?

Why the Angle?

Why does my poor overworked brain keep coming up with these questions? Some canon points to consider: 1589 TA Rhudaur. Power seized by an evil lord with ties to Angmar, Dunedain who remained there slain or fled west 1813 TA Most of the people of Cardolan perished 1974 TA Arthedain. Most of the remaining Dunedain flee west over the Lune. End of North Kingdom Dates above from the appendices. Tolkien actually made a note, now filed among his papers at Marquette University, which stated that Aragorn's people lived in the Angle, between the Bruinen and Mitheithel rivers. The Mitheithel river, as it turns out, does lie about 100 leagues (or 300 miles) east of the Shire. (Michael Martinez in Of Thegns and Kings and Rangers and Things) So for 400 years, as the north kingdoms were disintegrating, the Dunedain moved consistently westward, then did a complete about face at some point in the next thousand years and settled just about as far east as they could and still be in Eriador. Other than the fact that it’s convenient to the story to have them near Rivendell why would they go back into Cardolan? It would be far less likely, for example, for Gilraen to bring Aragorn to Rivendell if she had to cross more than 600 miles of wilderness rather than about 100 miles of fairly settled territory. The area between the Lune River and the mountains of Ered Luin “was elvish country where no men went”. Did the elves really throw out the poor remnants of the Dunedain when they tried to settle there? But they could have settled between the Lune and the Brandywine. Why did they go so far east instead of staying in south Arthedain? Do you think there is *also* a reasonably sized population of Dunedain living in the area between the Blue Mountains and the Shire in the Ring War era? I’m puzzled. Any thoughts? Gwynnyd

 

 

Re: Why the Angle?

The Professor's note, while interesting, is not canonically binding, certainly he would not have considered himself bound by it judging by the number of geographical inconsistancies in HoME. Personally I have the Rangers scattered all through the 'Wilds' from the Blue Mountains to the Misties both north and south of the Road, living in 'hidden fastnesses' as the Professor says in the earlier draft of 'The Tale of Aragorn and Arwen', (HoME 12). This strikes me as far more practical than concentrating their population anywhere given their self imposed task of protecting the 'simple folk' or Eriador and the need to stay hidden. If you want to establish a community in the West you certainly can, lots of room between the mountains and the Brandywine not included in the Shire. As for that supposedly Elvish land between the Lune river and the mountains - if I recall correctly it is described as having been such way back in the Second Age, things could have changed.

 

 

Another possibility

After I finish S&K (my Faramir-goes-North AU), I've got another story in the wings, which has a different setup for Dunedain culture. It actually started as part of S&K, but I split it off when I realized my writer's-block problem was that I had two AU points, not one, and I couldn't make them fit together. This was years before MM did his "Angle" speculation. The way I've gapfilled Ranger culture in my stories is that many of the dependants (wives, children, the old), live in their own wing of Rivendell: there's dormitory halls, two, for unmarried men and women, everyone, including Aragorn, has a closet for personal stuff but not a specific bed. From my notes file for the story: In the bachelor's hall, there's many fewer beds than closets as at any one time most of the men are out hunting or on patrol or whatever work to be done. The maids wing is smaller and probably has more beds than closets, since both halls would also be where non-VIP guests would sleep. (Aside: the closets are old style, which are pieces of furniture, not built into the walls.) Families have two or three room apartments (depending on age & number of children). Boy children with sisters move out more quickly to bachelor's hall than girls to the maid's hall. Meals are communal. Widowed old people may have one or two roommates, still living in the family wing, help raise the young kids. -- The reason why I gapfilled the Dunedain this way is I figured with many/most of the men out patrolling, Rivendell would be more safe than several small villages without enough trained & able people to guard the villages as well as The Shire and Bree.* And Rivendell's population would be decreasing due to Elves going west and few or no children being born, so room would be available. With later development, I've been thinking there would be an additional scattering of farming villages, seasonal hunting cottages and/or forts. With the percentage of women/children/old in Rivendell increasing or decreasing with the general danger level. *Also, men would be in the south being mercenaries, earning hard currency, which idea got it's start -- I think -- with another MM speculation. (See Ang's Hands of the King for the start of a fanfic exploration on that idea, as one of the subplots.)

 

 

Re: Why the Angle?

I think there's lots of room for putting Rangers all over the map. Personally, I think it'd make most sense for them to have several campsites along the roads (this is where the most vulnerable people will be--travellers are prey to all sorts of nasties without the protection of walls) and all around the Bree and Shire areas, as well as in wilder regions near some of their older seats of power and/or places where nasties are known to lurk. But I don't see the Rangers as living there, necessarily. They range, they roam, they move out and patrol and cycle back through their own settlements which would (I would think) be further from danger. The Angle as a settlement area makes sense in that regard. It also easily stays outside the 300 mile radius of non-settlement mentioned in FoTR. Granted, that could be easily enough explained away, I suppose, but I've never bothered to do so.

 

 

Re: Why the Angle?

I can understand from a military strategy stand point as to how the Dunedain settling in the angle was the best choice because: 1. It is surrounded by natural 'walls'. The angle is created by two rivers flowing into one point, with both rivers having their sources in the Misty Mountains. These rivers thus create a wall of water, since no army could cross the rivers except at the Last Bridge. The Misty Mountains created another wall in the east, preventing anything from crossing over from Mirkwood. (True, the High Pass could be crossed, but it was probably very well protected on the west end of it by Men and Elves.) 2. The Rangers greatest allies, Lord Elrond and the Elves of Rivendell, were at a very close distance. This is very important in case of an attack. So I believe it was decided for the remaining Dunedain to have their main settlement(s) in the angle since it was so safe for them until such time when the Northern Kingdom was restored. That said, I also believe that the Rangers had various outposts throughout the North so they wouldn't have to travel all the way back to the Angle to get some rest. The Angle was probably just their central hub (or central command, however you want to look at it.) Arquen

 

 

Re: Why the Angle?

So I believe it was decided for the remaining Dunedain to have their main settlement(s) in the angle since it was so safe for them until such time when the Northern Kingdom was restored. That said, I also believe that the Rangers had various outposts throughout the North so they wouldn't have to travel all the way back to the Angle to get some rest. The Angle was probably just their central hub (or central command, however you want to look at it.) Ok, in the Angle they've got rivers on two sides, but the mountains very close by on the east are the home of orcs. It's also a whole lot nearer the Troll Fells north of Rivendell where Arador was killed. The Dunedain were already 600 miles farther west with mountains, rivers, Cirdan's Havens, elvish lands and dwarf mines as neighbors instead of mountains, rivers, Rivendell, orcs and trolls as neighbors. I know where I'd rather live. I'm curious if anyone else has thought of reasons why they might have felt it necessary to move back so far east. We know they did, but why? It might just be another one of those reasonably illogical Tolkien moments that ranks right up there with carrying around a broken sword. If I could think of reasons, I'd call it a nuzgul biting me, but I'm just puzzled by the whole notion. Of course, if you don't go by unpublished notes, they could be living somewhere else. Thanks for all your thoughts on the matter, and keep them coming. Gwynnyd

 

 

Re: Why the Angle?

1) Rivendell is relatively close. 2) Tharbad (which up until about twenty years prior to Aragorn's journeys in Rohan and Gondor was a viable community) was not that far. 3) The Troll shaws weren't that far, nor the mountains, which would allow shorter lag time for news of trouble in those areas 4) There's a bridge nearby that probably needed some defending. 5) When Angmar was finally repulsed, it would've been smart to set up a new, good-sized garrison near Elrond, your main source of help and alliance; over time, it could've become a settlement. 6) Fornost has barrow wights living on it. 7) Tharbad *was* destroyed relatively recently. It is *possible* that the Angle settlement (assuming we go with that as a settlement) was composed largely of people migrating north towards Rivendell (and perhaps a garrison of watchers known to them) after that city was destroyed. Some possible reasons why one might move east. They don't explain the desertion of Annúminas, but there could've been climatic reasons, or perhaps after the war, there was nothing left to pull trade and resources that far west, and so the city dwindled, fell into ruin, and was eventually abandoned, with people moving east to Tharbad as the major surviving city in Arnor and a place where trade would most logically come; if many people were not farmers by nature, that'd be a logical place to go.

 

 

Re: Why the Angle?

"6) Fornost has barrow wights living on it." Huh? Where does it say that?

 

 

Re: Why the Angle?

Gah, you're right. *bangs head against keyboard* I always conflate Fornost and the Downs for some reason.

 

 

Re: Why the Angle?

Well Fornost is in the North Downs so I guess there's some grounds for confusion with the 'Barrow Downs' dispite the fact they're some eighty miles apart as 'the Nazgul flies'

 

 

Re: Why the Angle?

I also heard that Fornost had some bad vibes, but can't currently think of where I read it, or what it exactly it said. Will start a search! Arquen

 

 

Re: Why the Angle?

Some possible reasons why one might move east. They don't explain the desertion of Annúminas, but there could've been climatic reasons, or perhaps after the war, there was nothing left to pull trade and resources that far west, and so the city dwindled, fell into ruin, and was eventually abandoned, with people moving east to Tharbad as the major surviving city in Arnor and a place where trade would most logically come; if many people were not farmers by nature, that'd be a logical place to go. I thought it was Fornost that was made the major capital of Arnor after Annúminas fell apart. Or do I have my cities confused? Arquen

 

 

Re: Why the Angle?

No you're quite right Fornost Erain, Norbury of the Kings, was the capital of Arthedain after the division of the realm. Annuminas is rather secluded on the shores of Lake Evendim surrounded by the hill. I suspect the shift of the capital may have been tactical - Fornost was a better strategic location for the head of a Kingdom under siege. There may have been a general eastward movement during the Witch Wars, it would be typical of the Dunedain to move towards trouble rather than away from it - and that would explain where all the Men who used to live in the lands that became the Shire had gone.

 

 

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