The Encyclopedia of Arda - an interactive guide to the world of J.R.R. Tolkien
Dates
Location
Known to have affected Eriador and Rohan
Origins
The result of hardships created by the Long Winter
Races
Especially affected Hobbits and Men
Cultures
Particularly recorded with regard to the Shire-hobbits and Rohirrim
Meaning
'Dearth' is apparently used here in an archaic sense, referring specifically to a lack of food

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About this entry:

  • Updated 30 October 2015
  • This entry is complete

Days of Dearth

The aftermath of the Long Winter

In November III 2758 one of the worst winters of its history descended on Middle-earth. Known as the Long Winter, it saw Eriador and Rohan covered in snow and ice for five months, and brought death to the Westlands, not only from the cold of winter itself, but also of starvation in the lean years that followed.

In the northerly Shire there was great suffering, but the natural selfless courage of the Shire-folk helped many of them to survive. The Wizard Gandalf came to their aid at this time, and he would later recall that this was the point where he first saw their true worth. Nearly two hundred years later, it was the qualities he saw in the Hobbits during the Days of Dearth that would lead him to choose Bilbo for a part in the Quest of Erebor.

To the south of the Shire the Rohirrim were suffering even greater straits; their land had been invaded by the Dunlendings, and their King Helm and his heirs were lost in the wars of the Long Winter. In spring the new King, Fréaláf, succeeded in reclaiming his realm, and he too had aid from a Wizard during the Days of Dearth that followed. It was at this time that Saruman came to Isengard, and through his friendship the Rohirrim managed to survive the perilous years after the winter.

The Days of Dearth lasted through III 2759 and on into the following year, III 2760, in which they are generally held to have come to their end.


Indexes:

About this entry:

  • Updated 30 October 2015
  • This entry is complete

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