Harad lay between the sea of Umbar to its west and Khand to its northeast, and was divided into two main provinces: Near Harad, which was the closest to both Mordor and Gondor, and Far Harad, nearest to the land of Umbar. Harondor, otherwise known as South Gondor, was a buffer zone in the very north of Harad between the lush, verdant grasslands on the Gondor side of the Anduin and the inhospitable dunes of sand to the far south, and was contested over by Gondor and Harad. The river Poros formed Harondor's northern border, while the river Harnen formed its southern border. Its climate was most likely a semi-arid grassland but presumably more fertile than Harad. Its boundaries extended roughly from the Anduin to the western flank of Mordor and stopped around an imaginary line protruding horizontally from the bay of Umbar. On the northeast it was bordered by the Mountains of Shadow, and it ran west to the Bay of Belfalas.
The boundary between Near Harad and Khand is not described, and it is unclear how far east Near Harad extended. The majority of Near Harad is desert, described by Gollum as where the "yellow face is bright and terrible". In the southeast of Near Harad, a natural gulf fed far into the landmass, and a large river flowed inland from there to the northwest, later forking. One branch of the river flowed westwards towards Umbar, and the other northeast. Neither the gulf nor the rivers were given names by Tolkien.
The boundary between Near and Far Harad is indistinct, but compared to the other regions Far Harad was immense, covering all the territory relatively equivalent to Africa. Far Harad was large enough that it most likely had an extremely varied climate. Much of the southern extents of Far Harad were covered in forests and jungle. The great Mûmakil, called Oliphaunts in legend by the Hobbits, were native to this area. The Mûmakil were rarely seen outside of Far Harad after the Third Age.
- Main article: Haradrim
Harad's tribes were divided - at least in the minds of the men of northwestern Middle-earth - into those of Near and Far Harad, although there were many tribes of the Haradrim, often mutually hostile. Those of Near Harad were brown-skinned, with black hair and dark eyes, whereas the people of Far Harad had black skin. Many say they only banded together due to the fact Sauron was slowly regaining power, and were fearful of Sauron if they continued to war against one another. This was mainly due to Sauron seeing the Haradrim as his men and did not want a diminished army due to in-fighting.
After the First Age, the men of these lands were among the lesser men who were instructed by the voyaging Númenóreans in the basic arts of civilization. This went on for some time until the middle of the Second Age when the Númenóreans turned their backs on wisdom and became their overlords.
From the latter part of the Second Age, many of the Men of Harad were dominated by the Númenóreans, as were many other peoples whose lands included a coastline. Shortly before the War of the Last Alliance, two Númenórean lords, named Herumor and Fuinur, "rose to great power amongst the Haradrim", but their ultimate fate is not recorded.
Much of Far Harad was a jungle, although there also was a desert. In Far Harad lived the gigantic mammoth-like animals known as Mûmakil or Oliphaunts native to Far Harad used by the Haradrim as moving war towers, still continued to live.
Near Harad later formed an alliance or maybe even a coalition of some sort with the Corsairs of Umbar, and was involved in a series of continual battles with Gondor over South Gondor or Harondor. Anciently its northern border was held to be the river Harnen, but by the time of the War of the Ring all the land south of the river Poros was under the influence of the Haradrim.
After the revival of the Reunited Kingdom of Gondor and Arnor in the Fourth Age, many of the Haradrim were pardoned and allowed to live in peace. They were required to relinquish South Gondor and Umbar, but remained a free people.
Portrayal in adaptationsEdit
- In The Lord of the Rings: The Battle for Middle-earth II, warriors from Harad was prominently featured
Translations around the WorldEdit
|Foreign Language||Translated name|
|Chinese (Hong Kong)||哈化德林 , or simply translated to 哈德|
|Serbian||Харад (Cyrillic) Harad (Latin)|
|Uzbek||Ҳарад (Cyrillic) Harad (Latin)|
Forests & Mountains:
The rest of Arda: