A once-populous race of Men who lived along the eastern fringes of Mirkwood, and the lands eastward to the River Running, during the earlier centuries of the Third Age. They were famed as horse-breeders and horse-riders, and they made their mark on the geography of Middle-earth: the East Bight of Mirkwood was mainly the work of their woodsmen. These Northmen lived in friendship and alliance with Gondor, their neighbour to the south.
After the coming of the Dark Plague, and the later wars against the Wainriders, the Northmen of Rhovanion dwindled in numbers, and broke into several factions. One of these, led by Marhwini, travelled northward up the Vales of Anduin and settled there. These were the ancestors of the Éothéod, and so ultimately the Rohirrim.
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