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Dark Land

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(See also Mordor, the dwelling place of Sauron in the southeast of Middle-earth. Mordor literally means "Dark Land".)

The Dark Land, or South Land, was a mysterious continent south of Middle-earth and east of the East Sea.


Not much is known about this continent, except that it formed during Morgoth's marring of the world by breaking away from the main part of Middle-earth (Endor). No Elves or Dwarves lived there,

Tolkien's original map of Hyarmenor (the Dark Land) in relation to the rest of Middle-earth during the First Age.

but it is possible that wild Men may have lived there at some point. The Númenóreans probably visited it on their long journeys, although it is not known if they established dwellings there. Most of the continent is covered by vast dense forests bordering much of its shorelines.


As seen in the Ambarkanta, it occupies a position on Arda much like Antarctica and Australia do compared to Eurasia, if Antarctica and Australia were one land-mass.[3]

In the game Middle Earth Role Play by Iron Crown Enterprises, a Quenya name for the Dark Land—Mórenorë ("Dark Land")—was given, although it does not appear in any of Tolkien's writings; the name Hyarmenor, "south-land" is given instead in Tolkien's works (The History of Middle-earth).

Behind the ScenesEdit

Before Africa was visited by people from Europe, it was known as the "Dark Land". It is possible that Tolkien could have been inspired by this; also, he was born in South Africa. However, the continent directly south of Gondor where Harad was located (possibly corresponding with the Sahara Desert, as they are similar in position) is closer in shape to Africa, as well as being the proper distance away from Middle-earth (if Middle-earth is taken to be Europe and Rhûn is taken to be Asia).

Some fans have speculated that this land may have become the southern portion of the New Lands at the end of the Second Age (the Land of the Sun being the northern portion).

Places of Middle-earth and Arda

Middle-earth Locations:


Dunland | Ithilien | Rohan | Arnor | Ettenmoors | Gondor | Lindon | Minhiriath | Rhûn | The Shire | Mordor | Harad | Forochel

Forests & Mountains:

Amon Dîn | Amon Hen | Amon Lhaw | Emyn Muil | Erebor | Fangorn Forest | High Pass | Iron Hills | Lórien | Mirkwood | Mount Doom | Old Forest | Redhorn Pass | Tower Hills | Weather Hills


Angband | Barad-dûr | Bree | Caras Galadhon | Dol Guldur | Fornost | Helm's Deep | Isengard | Minas Morgul | Minas Tirith | Osgiliath | Rivendell | Umbar | Utumno


Cair Andros | Gap of Rohan | Grey Havens | Buckland | Enedwaith | Dagorlad | Dead Marshes | Fords of Isen | Weathertop | Argonath

The rest of Arda:

Valinor | Númenor | Dark Land | Aman | Tol Eressëa


  1. The Atlas of Middle-earth, The First Age, The Elder Days, "Introduction"
  2. The Atlas of Middle-earth, The Second Age, "Introduction"
  3. The History of Middle-earth: The Shaping of Middle-earth, "The Ambarkanta"

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