In the fiction of J. R. R. Tolkien
, the Edain
) were those Men
which made their way into Beleriand
in the First Age
, and were friendly to the Elves.
The Sindarin word Edain, singular Adan (Quenya Atani, Atan) literally meant Second People, and originally referred to all Men, but later it only applied to the Men of Beleriand and their descendants.
They were divided in three large houses, or tribes:
- The people of Bëor: they were dark-haired and stoutly built, and most resembled the Noldor of all Elves. They were first found by Finrod Felagund, Lord of Nargothrond, and under his guidance later made their way to to the lands of the Noldorin lords Amrod and Amras, in a place later known as Estolad, the Encampment. They remained loyal to the House of Finarfin, and later settled in the lands of Dorthonion.
- The people later known as the Haladin. They were a reclusive folk, dark-haired but smaller in stature than the Bëorians. They kept seperate from the other Men, and later got permission to settle in the forest of Region, part of Doriath. They mostly kept out of the wars.
- The Tribe of Marach, later best known as the House of Hador. They were tall and golden-haired, and most resembled the Vanyar of all Elves. They were a very numerous and war-like tribe, and the Laiquendi Elves of Ossiriath feared them. They later settled in Hithlum by way of Estolad. They were loyal to Fingolfin.
The Bëorians and Marachians shared a common tongue, and were known to eachother before settling in Beleriand. The tongue of the Haladin was alien to them.
The Bëorians were nearly wiped out by Morgoth, and the remainder of its people merged with the Hadorians to become the Númenoreans. It would seem the Haladin were completely wiped out, or at least disappeared as a seperate people.
When the Númenoreans returned to Middle-earth in the Second Age, they encountered many Men which were obviously related to the Atani: they classified these Men as Middle Men, and established friendly relations with them. Examples are the Rohirrim, the Men of Dale, and the Breelanders.
Other Men, such as the Dunlendings, were not recognised as Middle Men because they were related to the Haladin rather than Bëorians or Marachians, and they were hostile to Númenor.
A fourth kind of Men came with the Second House, and called themselves Drûg. This name was adopted in Sindarin as Drúedain: Drûg+Edain. They were a strange people, living with the Haladin in the forest of Brethil, but apparently none of them made it to Númenor. In the Third Age, their far kin were known as the Woses of Drúadan Forest.
In Celtic mythology, Edain an alternate name for Epona.