FANDOM


Since the publishing of the first edition of the Lord of the Rings there have been accusations of an either obvious or at last latent racism in J.R.R. Tolkien's Works.While Tolkien himself strongly rejected Racialism,  Aparthheid, Antisemitism, or White Supremacy a subliminal Eurocentrism, Nationalism, and extenuation of autocracy are at least debatable.

While Tolkien defended his person against accusations of racism, however racism and racial and cultural bias are real and obvious elements of many of the fictional cultures he had created for Middle-Earth.

examples for Racist views and cultural arrogance in Middle-Earth

  • Orcs were known to despise or hate other races (and even their own kind if they were recognized as a different breed or bloodline).
  • The Uruk-Hai considered themselves a race superior to the Lesser Orcs, whom they humiliated as Snagas or Slave-Race.
  • The Númenóreans looked down upon the Men of Middle-Earth whom they considered inferior.They only accepted the northern Eriadorians and later the Northmen as -what they considered Middle-Men - and oppressed all other Indigenous cultures , including the natives of Gondor and Enedhwaith who were also close kinsmen , but not recognized as such because they seemed smaller and darker of skin and spoke languages unrelated to Adûnaic.
  • The Dúnedain opposed what they saw as "racial intermixture" because they though of the "thinning" of númenórean blood to be the reason for their cultural decline.In Gondor the refusal of many Nobles to accept a king (Eldacar) who was of half-northron heritage led to a civil war known as the Kin-strife.
  • The Easterlings hated and detested the Edain, especially those of the House Hador whom they referred to as Strawheads. They also hated and mistrusted the Elves whom they called White Furies".
  • The Elves saw themselves superior to other races, the Eldar only accepted those people who were close relatives of their ancient allies and vassals, the Edain and even looked down upon their own eastern Kindred, the Avari.The High-Elves thought of themselves as the most exalted people while the Sindar claimed to be superior to their Nandor kindred and the Wild Elves.
  • The Haradrim had a deep-seated hate for the Men of the North, especially the Kingdom of Gondor.
  • The early Middle-Men of Gondor and Enedhwaith feared and hated the Númenóreans who appeared to them as outlandish Demons of the Sea.
  • the Northmen claimed to be superior to the Easterlings, their remote relatives the Dunlendings and the small Drughu, seeing themselves as the closest kinsmen of the Dúnedain.
  • The Avari were known as xenophobic and even hostile to mortal men and other races.
  • The Rohirrim often hunted the Drúedain for no reason, seeing them as beasts rather than men.
  • The Dunlendings had a deep cultural hatred against the Rohirrim and their Dúnadan allies.
  • The Dúnedain of Gondor disregarded their eriadorian kinsfolk, the Rangers of the north, as a decrepit bloodline.
  • The Dwarves were known as distrustful and self-isolating.Only intermittent friendships to other peoples, notably the Northmen, Dunlendings or some Elves, existed.
  • The Gondorians were alienated by the exotic look of the Easterlings and Haradrim, especially the Black Men of Far-Harad whom they called "Troll-Men" or "Half-Trolls.
  • The Hobbits are portrayed as a deeply xenophobic culture, mistrustful to any outsiders, be it the Big Folk, Elves, Wizards or even their own kindred, even Hobbits of a different clan ore region of the Shire (Such as he Bucklanders or Marish-Folk).

In Roleplaying

The  cultural motives Tolkien had created were continued and developed further in the Roleplaying Games set in Middle-Earth.

  • the separation of Angmar from Arnor was initially caused by the equal mistreatment and distrust between the ruling Dúnedain Elite and the indigenous populace of northeastern Eriador who were believed to have been akin to the treacherous Easterlings of the first Age.
  • The decline of Rhudaur was at least partially forced by the mistreatment of the indigenous Hillmen by the ruling dúnadan Nobility.
  • The Variags are often portrayed as considering themselves an exalted race above other men, seeing even the lower classes of Khand only as lesser Variag-bastards and slave-folk.
  • Many of the mixed-blooded black-númenórean successor-cultures of Harad adopted the númenórean conceit against those men who had no númenórean lineage.
  • The Avarim people of the Farthest East considered themselves a race superior to those men who were not of their blood.
Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.