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Thread: The Druedain aka Woses aka Drugu aka Rog

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It's been a long while since I read UT, and I had completely forgotten about the Druedain :roll: . I had to Google them to find out more. The Wikipedia page has some cool info:

[b:1wt2xoaw]Names and Etymology:[/b:1wt2xoaw]

The Dr’edain called themselves Drughu. When the Dr’edain settled in Beleriand, the Sindarin Elves adapted this to Dr’ (plurals Dr’in, Dr’ath) and later added the suffix -adan "man", resulting in the usual Sindarin form Dr’adan (plural Dr’edain).[1] Tolkien also used the form Dr’g, with a regular English plural Dr’gs.[2]
Drughu became R’ in Quenya, with the later suffixed form R’atan (plural R’atani).[1] The Orcs called the Dr’edain Oghor-hai.[2] The word used for them by the Rohirrim during the Third Age was represented by Tolkien as P’kel-men,[3][4] which includes the Anglo-Saxon word p’cel "goblin, troll" (surviving also in Shakespeare's "Puck" and Kipling's "Pook's Hill"Wink Smilie.


The appearance of the Dr’edain is entirely different from the appearance of the other races of the Middle-earth legendarium. They are a bit like Dwarves in stature and endurance, stumpy, clumsy-limbed (with short, thick legs, and fat, "gnarled" arms), had broad chests, fat bellies, and heavy buttocks. According to the Elves and other Men, they had "unlovely faces": wide, flat, and expressionless with deep-set black eyes that glowed red when angered. They had "horny" brows, flat noses, wide mouths, and sparse, lank hair. They had no hair lower than the eyebrows, except for a few men who had a tail of black hair on the chin. They were short lived and had a deep hatred of Orcs. They were known to have certain magical powers and to be still in meditation for long periods of time.


The Dr’gs were the first to migrate from the site where Men awoke, in the east of Middle-earth. A band lived among the Second House of Men, the Haladin, in the First Age in the forest of Brethil, whence the Elves came to know and love them. Although a number of the Dr’edain came with the Edain to N’menor, they had left or died out before the Akallab’th, as had the P’kel-men of Dunharrow. At the end of the Third Age the Dr’gs still lived in the Dr’adan Forest of the White Mountains, and on the long cape of Andrast west of Gondor. The region north of Andrast was still known as Dr’waith Iaur, or "Old Dr’g land".
The term P’kel-men used by the Rohirrim was also applied to the fearsome statues constructed by the Dr’edain to guard important places and homes; some evidently had the power to come to life in a fashion similar to golems. Because of their ugly appearance and frightening statues the Dr’edain were feared and loathed by other Men of the region; they were considered little better than Orcs, and there was much enmity between those peoples.
Nevertheless the Dr’edain of Gh’n-buri-Gh’n's clan came to the aid of the Rohirrim during the War of the Ring. A large company of Orcs had been sent to the Dr’adan Forest to waylay the host of Rohan as it made its way to the aid of Gondor. It was the Dr’edain who held off the Orcs with poisoned arrows whilst they guided the Rohirrim through the forest by secret paths. Without their help the Rohirrim would not have arrived at the Battle of the Pelennor Fields, and Sauron would likely have triumphed. As a result the Dr’edain gained the respect of other Men, and King Elessar granted the Dr’adan Forest "forever" to them in thanks.
The Dr’edain are reminiscent of the mythological woodwoses, and like them their relic status and physical description are similar to the typical depiction of Neanderthals.
This race facinates me and I wonder who and what they were really about. I wish Tolkein elaberated more on them.
I am looking at images of them and the images are very varied. It is hard to get a grip on them.
I take it you've read about them in [i:2072nvpr]Unfinished Tales[/i:2072nvpr]? I thought [i:2072nvpr]The Faithful Stone[/i:2072nvpr] was very interesting: it raised a host of questions in my mind about the powers and abilities of the Druedain. :ugeek:
I gave my UT away about 20 years ago when doing a book purge, I reget it now as I would love to go back to it. I imagine them as some sort of hybrid between, Australian Aboriginals physique with Brazilian Rainforest Indians skin tone, hair and eye shape with a touch of American Apache intenseness.
"The term P’kel-men used by the Rohirrim was also applied to the fearsome statues constructed by the Dr’edain to guard important places and homes."

If I remember right they applied this term to the statues along the road to Dunharrow. I've always wondered what the Drugs connection was to the oath-breakers? Was Dunharrow a home of the Drugs before the oathbreakers ever came there? The statues are very old from what I remember, worn and weathered.
I love the Faithful Stone too Eldo, its one of my favourite bits of UT, in fact I really like that whole section on them. But like Noom I wish he had written more about them.
The descriptions given in the Wikipedia entry remind me more of East Asian and Chinese Buddhas and Buddha statues: "They are a bit like Dwarves in stature and endurance, stumpy, clumsy-limbed (with short, thick legs, and fat, "gnarled" arms), had [b:1o7ponxl]broad chests, fat bellies[/b:1o7ponxl], and heavy buttocks. According to the Elves and other Men, they had "unlovely faces": [b:1o7ponxl]wide, flat, and expressionles[/b:1o7ponxl]s with deep-set black eyes that glowed red when angered. [b:1o7ponxl]They had "horny" brows, flat noses, wide mouths[/b:1o7ponxl], and sparse, lank hair. They had no hair lower than the eyebrows, except for a few men who had a tail of[b:1o7ponxl] black hair on the chin[/b:1o7ponxl]. They were short lived and had a deep hatred of Orcs. They were known to have certain [b:1o7ponxl]magical powers and to be still in meditation for long periods of time.[/b:1o7ponxl]"

I would surmise that Oriental Buddha statues were Tolkien's inspiration for the Druedain.


[b:1o7ponxl]GB[/b:1o7ponxl] [img:1o7ponxl][/img:1o7ponxl]
That was never quite how I saw them GB, so I decided to go to source for descriptions;

RoTK Bk5, ch5
"A sound like faint drums..the throb would cease suddenly and then be taken up again at some other point, now nearer, now further off...You hear the Woses, the Wild Men of the Woods: thus they talk together from afar..remnants of an older time they be, living few and secretly, wild and wary as the beasts...they use poisoned arrows, it is said, and they are woodcrafty beyond compare......before them on the ground sat a strange squat shape of a man. gnarled as an old stone, and the hairs of his scanty beard straggled on his lumpy chin like dry moss. He was short-legged and fat-armed, thick and stumpy, and clad only with grass about his waist. Merry felt he had seen him before..... suddenly he remembered the Pukel-men of Dunharrow. Here was one of those old images brought to life, or maybe a creature descended in true line...from the models used by the forgotten craftsmen....His (the Wild Man's) voice was deep and guttural...he spoke Common,though in halting fashion, and uncouth words were mingled with it......the old man's flat face and dark eyes."

And as far as description of them that's about all I could find in the main text. Doesn't quite fit the eastern model you present GB, at least not for me. I'm more inclined to think of something like Noom's aboriginal suggestion, but squatter and swarthier. Perhaps even a hint of Neanderthal (that's the modern version, where we think they were quite clever and specialised, not the old ugg! stupid iimage).
From Return of the King?? :?

You're right Petty, that description sounds more like a Neanderthal or some such Proto-Hominid. I'm going to try and track down Tolkien's earlier descriptions from UT, maybe there's something in The History of Middle Earth series that can shed some light on where the Wikipedia author got THAT info from. Possibly it's a situation of Earlier Ideas evolving into something else, or even a Devolution from the original Druedain.

If anyone finds any other original source material, please post it.

Perhaps this is another example of where Tolkien tried to fit 'real' world history with ME history? He implies the Nazgul steeds were left over from a bygone era and seems to hint at the same with the Woses. Neanderthals and dinosuars in ME! :o
Could be. It sounds likely enough.

I bet the average Wose child could track and stalk better than a ranger.
I'm sure they could, and they would also have that natural magic (skill, really) that can make it seem like they can disappear into thin air, though only to clumsy Big Folk (including rangers) who come blundering past making the noise of elephants (or oliphaunts).
I think Aragorn would take exception to that. :x

I hate when people make that wrong myth that elephants/oliphants are noisy and clumsy. They can sneak up on you as quiet as a leopard without sending out that predator vibe that goes with their a leopards narrow field of focus. Also Oliphant grey being some of the best camo in the world. It has often bamboozled me as to why it is not incorporated into the camo patterns of the various armies. Where that myth came from I dont know, better sticking to bulls in china shops.

Sorry, rant over.

noom the slightly aggrivated.
[i:vkbrb7l1]"Oh how softly does the ele-tread
His feet as soft as wool,
And anyone who doesn't know,
Must be a bloomin' fool."[/i:vkbrb7l1]

Chaucer: "The Fool's Tale."

Wise Odo
Odd, but despite your (I'm sure sage words) Noom i can't but help but feel that I would notice if an oliphaunt was trying to sneak up on me. Maybe an oliphaunt wearing carpet slippers is what you are thinking of.
Clearly the Wikipedia Entry was based on the UT version. The UT version does seem to lend itself in part to the "Buddha" interpretation, but it seems a mixed bag at best. I'd have to say that the RotK version is the most "Canonical" though, so I'll go with the Caveman version for now :mrgreen: .

UT The Druedain

"They were not many, a few hundred maybe, living apart in families or small tribes , but in friendship, as members of the same community (as Folk of Haleth)....they were unlovely in look; they were stumpy (some four foot high) but very broad, with heavy buttocks and short thick legs; their wide faces had deep-set eyes with heavy brows, and flat noses, and grew no hair below their eyebrows, except in a few men (who were proud of the distinction) a small tail of black hair in the midst of their chin. Their features were usually impassive, the most mobile being their wide mouths; and the movement of their wary eyes could not be observed save from close to hand, for they were so black that the pupils could not be distinguished, but in anger they glowed red. Their voices were deep and guttural, but their laughter was a surprise; it was rich and rolling, and set all who heard it. Elves or Men, laughing too for its pure merriment untainted by scorn or malice. In peace they often laughed at work or play when other Men might sing...when once aroused their red wrath was slow to cool, though it showed no sign save the light in their eyes; for they fought in silence and did not exult in victory, not even over Orcs, the only creatures for whom their hatred was implacable.The Eldar called them Druedain, admitting them to the rank of Atani.....they had marvellous skill as trackers of all living creatures...the Druedain used their scent, like hounds save that they were also keen-eyed. They boasted that they could smell an Orc to winward further away than other Men could see them, and could follow its scent for weeks except through running water. Their knowledge of all growing things was almost equal to the Elves (though untaught by them) is said that if they removed to a new country they knew within a short time all things that grew there, great or minute, and gave names to those that were new to them, discerning those that were poisonous, or useful or the far distant past they appear to have had small tools of flint for scraping and cutting, and those they still used...the Druidain showed great talent for carving in wood or stone. They already had a knowledge of pigments, derived chiefly from plants, and they drew pictures and patterns on wood or flat surfaces of stone; and sometimes they would scrape knobs of wood into faces that could be painted."

"It is said the Druedain would often sit thus (still) in times of grief or loss, but sometimes for pleasure of thought, or in the making of plans. But they could also use stillness when on guard; and then they would sit or stand, hidden in shadow, and though their eyes might seem closed or staring with a blank gaze nothing passed or came near that was not marked and remembered. So intense was their unseen vigilance that it could be felt as a hostile menace by intruders, who retreated in fear before any warning was given; but if any evil thing passed on, then they would utter as a signal a shrill whistle, painful to endure close at hand and heard far off."

From the notes;

"..we can thus if we wish elaborate the ancient legend of the coming of the Edain in TS by the addition of the Druedain, descending out of Ered Lindon into Ossiriand with the Haladin (the Folk of Haleth). Another note says that historians in Gondor believed that the first Men to cross the Anduin were indeed Druedain. They came (it was believed) from lands south of Mordor, but before they reached the coasts of Haradwaith they turned north into Ithilien, and eventually finding a way across the Anduin (probably near Cair Andros) settled in the vales of the White MOuntains and the wooded lands at their northern feet."

"....but some thought that there had been a remote kinship (between Druedain and Orcs) which accounted for their special enmity. Orcs and Drugs each regarded the other as renegades (authors note)."

"They were content to live in tents or shelters, lightly built round the trunks of large trees, for they were a hardy race. In their former homes, according to their own tales, they had used caves in the mountains, but mainly as store-houses, only occupied as dwellings and sleeping places in severe weather."
Again from the notes in UT

An interesting addition to the Druedain story comes from the tale of 'The Mariner's Wife'.

"In a copy of this written and preserved in Gondor there is a note by the scribe on a passage in which the Druedain in the household of KIng Aldarion the Mariner are mentioned; it relates that the Druedain, who were ever noted for their strange foresight, were disturbed to hear of his voyages, foreboding that evil would come of them, begged him to go no more. But they did not succeed...and the Druedain departed in distress. From that time onward the Druedain of Numenor became restless, and despite their fear of the sea one by one, or in twos and threes, they would beg for passages in the great ships that sailed to the North-western shores of Middle-earth....(saying) "The Great Isle no longer feels sure under our feet, and we wish to return to the lands whence we came." Thus their numbers dwindled again slowly through the long years, and none were left when Elendil escaped from the Downfall; the last had fled the land when Sauron was brought to it."

The only other reference to Druedain in Numenor is a detached note which says;

"The Edain who at the end of the War of the Jewels sailed over the sea to Numenor contained few remnants of the Folk of Haleth, and the very few Druedain that accompanied them died out long before the Downfall."
Thanks for that Petty. Any idea how old the UT version is compared to the RotK version?

Just had a look GB and can't find anything to give definitive dates. Reading through it I would say its a collection of stories and ideas composed at varying times, some bits seem to reference RoTK so must be later but others may well be earlier. And some things, such as transforming the servant man in Hurins house in Dor-lomin into a drug never got past the 'intention' stage.
I agree GB, seems more 'caveman' than buddha to me.
However I did think one or two points in UT were of particular interest.

1. The hint that there might be some sort of connection between the Druedain and the creation of the Orcs by Melkor.

2. The inclusion of Druedain in certain households of prominence as servants or advisors and there presence in Numenor.

The last point reminded of the position of Scots within European courts of the middle-ages. It was common to have Scots about the place despite Scotland as a country not being one of prominence at the time (at least not politically or financially). Indeed the King of France's personal bodyguard were all Scots for a long time.