Men, said to be related to the Haladin, who at the time of the WotR dwelt in Enedwaith, in a fertile and pleasant land at the end of the MistyMountains.

In the FirstAge it is told that the ancestors of the Haladin crossed the Anduin and settled in the WhiteMountains. There they encountered the Drúedain, and the two peoples lived in close proximity as friends. When the Haladin moved north to Beleriand, a branch of the Drúedain accompanied them. The rest of the "pre-Haladin"* remained in the vales of the EredNimrais, until they were mastered by a strange race of Men from the east. Many moved into the westlands beyond the Gap of Rohan to escape the yoke of the newcomers, and settled in a region which would later become known as Dunland. Others of the "pre-Haladin" spread into Enedwaith and Minhiriath in the late First Age. (*see Indigenous Population of Middle Earth, an article at Lalaith's "Middle-earth Science pages")

In the SeA, the Númenoreans returned to Middle-earth and made contact with the pre-Haladin and others of the Edain who dwelt in Eriador. But relations with the Men of Westernesse were soon strained, and some of the pre-Haladin folk of Enedwaith and Minhiriath threw in their lot with Sauron, while others escaped south or into dense woods (such as the Men of ErynVorn). The calamitous War of the Elves and Sauron left much of the westlands empty, and branches of the pre-Haladin who survived in Dunland moved north into Eriador, where they became the Men of Bree. But many remained in Dunland and in the vales of the WhiteMountains, and maintained a deep hatred for the Dúnedain who they considered usurpers -- even though it was the Dúnedain, by defeating Sauron, who released the Dunlendish folk of the WhiteMountains from the thrall of the Men of Shadow (see Oathbreakers).

The Dunlendings were less "civilised" than the Dúnedain, and never organised themselves into a state or kingdom. It is not recorded whether they built for themselves large cities or keeps in which to dwell--they were most likely an agrarian people in the fashion, one imagines, of the earliest settlements of Hobbits in Eriador. They nonetheless retained a strong sense of national identity throughout the lands they occupied on both sides of the Gap of Rohan, even if those lands nominally belonged to Gondor. Cirion of Gondor ceded the province of Calenardhon to the Men of Éothéod (the Rohirrim) in 2510, and the Dunlendings of the WhiteMountains were soon evacuated from their homes and driven west through the Gap. From that time they became fierce enemies of Rohan, and continually assailed it, seeking to reclaim their lands.

But in western Rohan, in lands between the Isen and the Adorn, there was much intermarriage between the two peoples, as there was between the Dunlendings and the Dúnedain of Isengard. A powerful lord of these people, Freca, sought the hand of the daughter of King Helm of Rohan for his son Wulf in 2754. In an altercation that followed, Helm slew Freca, and Wulf led an army of Dunlendings and rebel Rohirrim against the mark four years later. This was at the time of the LongWinter, during which Orcs and Wolves invaded Rohan, and Gondor was attacked from the south by Corsairs. Wulf made alliance with the Corsairs who landed at the Isen in his assault upon Rohan, and named himself King of Rohan. After the snows melted, Rohirrim faithful to Helm who had sheltered in Dunharrow deposed Wulf, and evicted the Dunlendings from Rohan (including those who dwelt in Isengard).

Saruman the White was given the keys to Orthanc at this time, and while he dwelt for many years in peace with his neighbours in Rohan, he was secretly gathering a force of Orcs and renegades in rivalry of Mordor. He made overtures to the Dunlendings and recruited them to his cause, reminding them of the injuries that had been done them by Rohan and Gondor. Thus when Saruman's forces marched with war against Rohan in 3018, they included a large number of Dunlendings, hoping to reclaim their ancient lands. Dunlendings -- or perhaps descendants of the Dúnedain -- who had occupied Isengard prior to Saruman's arrival, numbered among his most favoured and trusted servants. Some no doubt acted as his spies in the Shire and Bree, or traded on his behalf with Lotho. And in his attempts to breed a superior race of Orc-men, it is possible Saruman used Dunlendish subjects.

But despite their involvement with Saruman, and their various assaults upon Rohan in the ThirdAge (and a possible involvement with Sauron in the SeA), Dunlendings were not a particularly "evil" people. They feared the Elves, and their grievances against the Rohirrim and the Dúnedain were at least partially justifiable -- if they were a chauvinistic people, they were no more so than the Rohirrim. Not all of them trusted Saruman, either, and many who travelled north into Eriador were not agents of Isengard, but "poor bodies" seeking lands where they could live in peace (The Fellowship of the Ring). And Dunlendings always hated Orcs, even if they were forced at times to fight alongside them: the "squint-eyed Southerner" at Bree was a half-orc who had been evicted from Dunland. But Dunlendings appear to have been friendly to other folk -- the Stoors lived among them in the fourteenth century of the ThirdAge, and they sheltered Dwarves of the House of Durin who had been dispossessed by Smaug. After the Battle of the Hornburg, when they were made aware of the lies of Saruman -- which had provoked them into joining the assault upon Rohan -- they made reparations to the Rohirrim by helping them to clear the battlefield, and made an undertaking to never again make war upon the Mark.

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