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In the fiction of J. R. R. Tolkien, the Easterlings were Men who lived in the east of Middle-earth, and were enemies of the Free Peoples.

Table of contents
1 Easterlings of the First Age
2 Easterlings of the Third Age

Easterlings of the First Age

During the First Age, the term was applied to the sons of Bor and Ulfang, or the Swarthy Men, who came into Beleriand much later than the Edain, and who were for a part secretly in league with Morgoth.

Sons of Bor

Bor was a leader of Men who came into Lothlann, Beleriand, in the year 463. His sons were Borlas, Boromir and Borthand. Bor was welcomed by Maedhros, who gave him and his followers land north of the March of Maedhros, and south of it. Bor and his sons swore allegiance to Maedhros, and remained faithful. All of them were wiped out during the Nirnaeth Arnoediad.

Sons of Ulfang

Ulfang also came in Lothlann, Beleriand, in 463, shortly after Bor. He was the father of Ulfast and Ulwarth. Ulfang was welcomed by the sons of Fanor, and he and his sons swore allegiance to Caranthir. They were given lands to dwell in the north and south of the March of Maedhros. Ulfang and his sons were secretly in the employ of Morgoth, and betrayed the Eldar and Edain during the Nirnaeth Arnoediad.

The Easterlings were betrayed by their lord Morgoth, and locked in Hithlum. After the War of Wrath, those that survived fled back over the Ered Luin to Eriador and beyond.

Easterlings of the Third Age

During the Third Age, the term was applied to those Men living beyond the Sea of Rhn, who were allied with Sauron and frequently attacked Gondor.


The Wainriders were a confederation of Easterling tribes who were united by their hate of Gondor, fueled by the dark lord Sauron. Following the Great Plague which weakened Gondor, they started their attacks in 1856 (T.A.), defeating the Gondorian army and killing king Narmacil II. They rode in great wagons and chariots (which gave them their name), and raided the lands of Rhovanion, destroying or enslaving its people. Gondor gradually lost all of its possessions east of Anduin to them. The thirtieth king of Gondor, Calimehtar son of Narmacil, defeated the Wainriders at the plain of Dagorlad, buying some rest for his land. However the Wainriders struck back in 1944, allying themselves with the Haradrim of Near Harad and the Variags of Khand. They managed to kill king Ondoher and all his heirs, but instead of riding on to Minas Anor and taking the city, they paused to celebrate. Meanwhile, general Ernil of Gondor's southern army had defeaten the Haradrim, and rode north to defend his king. He came too late to rescue Ondoher, but managed to totally defeat the Wainriders. Ernil was crowned king. After this defeat the might of the Wainriders was broken, and they retreated east. They still held Rhovanion, but never troubled Gondor again. It later turned out that their attacks were staged by Sauron, and allowed him to reclaim Mordor while Gondor's watch was diverted.


The Balchoth were a fierce race of Easterlings, who attacked Gondor while under orders of Dol Guldur. In 2150 they overran the plains of Calenardhon and almost destroyed the army of the Ruling Steward Cirion, but were defeaten by the othod under Eorl the Young. Like the Wainriders they rode in chariots and wagons, and they may have been descendants of this people.


The Variags were the people of Khand, and they first appeared in the West in 1944 of the Third Age, fighting alongside the Wainriders. They later appeared during the battle of the Pelennor Fields. Little was known about them, but they appeared to be a race of horse-men much like the Rohirrim, although they were fiercely loyal to Mordor.