Hundrends of Tolkien-fans online, everyday here yet not even one reply...
Thread: Rangers of Ithilien & Faramir.
I cannot add much to this, except at the start they were Dunedain who were descended from the inhabitants of Ithilien. Similar to the Rangers of the North, they seemed to be simple hunters and forest men who relied on stealth and wood lore rather than open warfare. There doesn't seem to be much to indicate their numbers, but by the time of the WotR I imagine most were either guarding the crossings at Osgiliath or were harrying the enemy troops traveling to join Sauron's forces in Mordor. I imagine like many guerilla forces through history, they were heavily outnumbered by the enemy, but relied on ambush and hit and run tactics, killing as many enemy as they could without having to directly engage with them, and then slipping rapidly back into the woods before their enemies could mount effective counter attacks.
Erinod, your questions are very intricate. I'm not sure if I came upon detailed descriptions of Rangers of Ithilien, but there's many members of Planet Tolkien who are more acquainted in the ME history than me.
I'm with Brego here - I don't think Rangers of Ithilien were related to Rangers of the North in any other way than their partisan way of fighting and Dunedain heritage. I think they were recruited from various military units in Gondor - they surely had to be fast, stealthy and know how to cope with that particular landscape - because those lands were pretty much abandoned in the Third Age. But it is only my assumption here.
I'm also looking forward to replies in this thread.
One more question. What was the difference between Rangers of Ithilien and *Men* of Ithilien?
Erinod I would say that there are or were many Men, farmers, tradesmen and their families living in and around Ithilien earlier on until the darkness crept back and the Nazgul overthrew Minas Ithil. The evil which then leached out over country and land drove the good people out, leaving mostly empty lands.
I think the rangers of Ithilien were simply made up of soldiers of Gondor who tried to stave off further incursion by the Dark forces and stop Easterlings crossing into Mordor if they could late in the 3rd Age.
Greetings, Erinod. I agree strongly with you about the attraction of the stealthy fighters of Ithilien. I, too, however, consider that they are actually hand-picked soldiers of Minas Tirith, an elite force that is equally able in conventional warfare and irregular methods. All are expert bowmen, apt with sword and knife, probably unarmed combat as well; able to move with speed and high endurance. And all are deemed trustworthy by their wise captain Faramir, and loyal to the death. They know the land well, and love their city with pride and reverence.
The Rangers, on the other hand, are the name under which the Dúnedain of the North go in order to preserve their true identity secret. They are more than professional soldiers, they are the umpteenth generation of a clandestine people, all descended from the Númenorean exiles, highly educated and versed in the lore and history of their own race and of Middle Earth itself; more than proficient in all forms of fighting, strong in body, mind and spirit. Gimli calls them stout men and lordly, so much that the Riders of Rohan seem as boys beside them... which is saying quite a lot, isn't it?
Dear Erinod, you wanted answers and here you have tons of them! Hahaha...
I didn't know anything about these men of Ithilien but it's great to read about it. I am learning a lot with this thread. Please go on with the questions and also with the replies.