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Middle-Earth is inhabited by a variety of races and sub-races all of whom have distinctive physical and cultural characteristics.  They can be roughly divided into three loose catagories;  The Immortal races such as the Valar,  The Maiar and the Elves, the earthbound races such as the Dwarves, the Ents, the Trolls and those possessing something of both of the first two catagories, and therefore elements of heroism and tragedy, namely Men and Hobbits.
The Orcs, who with Men constitute the most numerous populations by far in Middle-Earth, are an important race and do not fit the above scheme.  This is because they and their later cousins the Half-Orcs, are not strictly speaking a "natural" race. They spring , according to legend, from the race of the Elves.

" Many that live deserve death.
And some that die deserve life, Can you give that to them?"
" But do not despise the lore that has come down from distant years, for oft it may chance that old wives keep in memory word of things that once were needful for wise to know."
" Such is oft of course of deeds that move the wheels of the world; small hands do them because they must, while the eyes of the great are eleswhere."
" Though here at journey's end I lie in darkness buried deep, beyond all towers strong and high, beyond all mountains steep, above all shadows rides the Sun and Stars forever dwell; I will not say the Day is done, nor bid the stars farewell."
" They cannot conquer forever" said Frodo. And then suddendly the brief glimpse was gone. Then Sun dipped and vanished, and as if at the shuttering of a lamp, black night fell.
" In rode the Lord of the Nazgul, a great black shape against the fires beyond he loomed up, grown to a vast menace of despair."
" Suddenly, caught by the level beams, Frodo saw the old king's head; it was lying rolled away by the roadside.  "Look Sam" he cried, started into speech "Look, the king has got a crown again."
"But now I am going to stand up
and take a little sleep, where will you stand?"
" I think really Bilbo preferred slipping off quietly in the end," said Gandalf, "Don't be too troubled. He'll be all right now,"
" The road goes ever on and on. Down from the door where it began. Now far ahead the road has gone, and I must follow, if I can.
Pursuing it with eager feet, until it joins some large way,
where many paths and errands meet, and whither then? I cannot say."

NOLDOR:  These are the tallest of the Elves, who came to Middle-Earth.  They are usually dark-eyed and dark haired. They are the most gifted of all the Eldar in the use of magic and craft.

SINDAR:  Also called the Gray-elves, the Sundar are fair of face and light-skinned.  They are famous linguists and shipwrights.  They have an undying love for the sea and sea-emblems appear upon their heraldy and decorative motifs.

SYLVAN ELVES:  These  are the most popular of the Elven groups of Middle-Earth and inhabit forests and woods.  They are as tall or smaller than men and have brown hair and tanned complexions.  Their communities are usually ruled by Sindarin aristocracy.


Numenorean:  Those inhabitants of the island of Numenor and their descendants in the realms in exile in Middle-Earth ( Arnor and Gondor). Having sided with the Eldar and the Valar in the war against Morgoth, they afterwards occupied a privileged position in being friends and allies of the Elves, from whom they learned much wisdom and craft, and with whom they even occasionally formed marriage unions.  Thus some elvish blood ran in their veins, which resulted in their having a taller more noble stature than other men.  Like the Noldor they were usually dark eyes and black haired.

Western Men:  The most numerous people by far in Middle-Earth, the Western man, constituted most of the subject peoples of the Numernorean realms in exile.  Usually brown haired but varying from blond to black, they made up most of the important human sub- groups in Middle-Earth.  Amongst the most famous of these sub-groups are the Rohirim ( the horselords of Rohan), the Dunlendings ( the tribal groups of eastern Enedwaith) who were allied to Saruman, The Gramuz ( the woodmen of Mirkwood) and the Rhovanion folk of Laketown.

Easterlings:  Inhabitants of the west steppes to the east of Rhovanion, the word Easterling is a generic term for all those nomadic peoples inhabiting the lands between  and beyond the Iron Hills and the Sea of Rhun.  Recruited in large numbers by Sauron for his two wars in Middle-earth, they are generally small and swarthy and are matchless riders and horse-archers.  The most important groupings ( constituting the westernmost of the Easterling peoples), are the Sagath and the Logath.

Haradrim:  These are a great desert people inhabiting the great wastelands that lie south of the enclosing mountains of Mordor.  Though their populations are small in the northern reaches of their realm, in the far south they have great and populous cities from which the Dark-Lord recruits many of this great armies.  They are a dark-skinned and noble people.  The fight with scimtars and are fond of bright colored, loose fitting garments.


Like the stone from which they are said to have sprung, the Dwarves are tough and resilient.  Their power of endurance is legendary, suffering both battle and deprivation with fortitude and equanimity.  They have a great affinity for the rocks and caverns beneath the earth and prefer to live below ground than above.  Their great skills are in the mining and fashioning of rock, in the cutting of jewels and the working of precious metals for which not even Elves are their peers.  Dwarves are invaribly bearded and wear heavily cowled cloaks.  They are shorter in stature than men but compensate for this by their stocky build.  Their prefered weapon is the battle-axe, and Dwarven armies are invariably clothed in fine mail and helms of great craftsmanship.
Most famous of all the Dwarven peoples are the descendants of Durin the Deathless, who built both the fabled city of Moria and the kingdom under the mountainat Erebor.


Peace loving and unwarlike, the Hobbits of Middle-earth live generally quite, unadventurous lives.  Since their great migration into Eriador in (??) they have settled in The Shire, which was bestowed upon them by the crown of Arnor, and in which most of them are quite content to live out their simple rustic lives.  They are amongst the smallest of Middle-Earth's peoples, both in population and in physical size ( standing anywhere between 2 and 4 feet in height) and isolate themselves as much as possible from the wider world outside the confines of The Shire.  Their reluctance to mix amongst the larger races as led them to develope remarkable skills in moving in silence and in the techniques of evasion.  Hobbits are generally brown and curly haired with large hairy feet, and prefer greens and browns to brighter colors.


The Orcs are probabely the most numerous of all the races of Middle-Earth.  Dark-grey in colour with eyes like red coals.  The true Orcs are a terrifying parody of the Elves to whose graceful countenance they are a distoring mirror-image.  With long arms and claw-like hands they lope rather than walk, with a distinctly simian gait.  Chaotic ny nature these creatures or an army by the brute force and cruelty which is their common currency. Almost invariably the largest Orcs become their tribal leaders.  They show mercy neither to their enemies nor to their own weaker brethern who they will bullly and brutalise just as stronger Orcs will in turn bully and brutalise them.  Like the Haradrim, they fight with scimitars as their principle weapon, but are also skilled with bow and other missle weapons.  Their great weakness as fighting troops is their inability to function in sunlight, which as serious debilitating effects upon them.  In addition to the true Orcs, there are in the third age two subgroups, the Uruks and the Half-Orcs.  The former ar the result of Sauron's selective breeding of those true Orcs possessing the greatest size and intelligence and less aversion to sunlight; the result is a man sized creature who can function in daylight as easily as a man.
The Half-Orcs or Peryrch are the product of Saruman's diabolical experimentation in crossbreeding Uruks with unfortunate Dunlending captives.  The Half-Orcs display a virtually human intelligence, while retaining the hardiness of the Orcs.  They make superb soldiers and are used extensively by the wizard of Orthanc.


Just as the orcs may be thought of as a grotesque caricature of the Elves, so the Trolls may  be considered a similar counterpart to the Ents.  Created by Morgoth in the mists of prehistory, the Trolls true nature is closely connected to the stone from whence they come.  Like the Balrogs they are a leftover from the hidious creations created by Morgoth in
preparation for His war with the Valar, and like his other progeny survive as an evil remnant in the "third age".
No longer numerous, they can nevertheless still be encountered in the wild lands of Rhudaur and Arnor, and amongst the mountain vastnesses of the North.  They are of low intelligence but are dangerous by virtue of their great strength and fondness for cruelty.  Their low intelligence quotient means that they lack any real social cohesiveness.  Most live in solitude or at most in small family groups.  Their weaponry consists of cudgels made from large animal bones, wood or flint.

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