Harad

Ange1e4e5

Well-Known Member
Harad is the setting for the Season 5 Frame, as Gandalf would be there trying to get the Haradrim to not support Sauron in what would later become the War of the Ring.

But what part of Harad should Gandalf be in? This will impact establishing shots in scripts. The Hosts have not been clear on what part of Harad Gandalf should be in.
  • Near Harad is primarily desert, a place where Gollum describes the "yellow face [the Sun] is bright and terrible". The land has a west-flowing river where the port of Umbar is located and the northeast border is shared with Khand The Haradrim of that area have had dealings with Umbar and Gondor for years. The land has been compared to North Africa (anything north from the southern border of the Sahara Desert).
  • Far Harad is described as being roughly the size of a continent, with multiple climates and regions, compared to Sub-Saharan Africa. There are also several rivers and the area is mostly covered with jungle. The Mûmakil (aka Oliphaunts) hail from this area, and the Haradrim have domesticated some.
 

Ange1e4e5

Well-Known Member
So it appears that the Frame will be taking place in Near Harad, to give it a bit more of a history with Gondor. The action will primarily take place in a city-state. Any ideas for a Haradrim city-state name?
 

MithLuin

Administrator
Staff member
I've been thinking about a real-world location that would be in any way comparable to the Harad city-state we've invented. And while I don't think it would be appropriate as a location for filming (way too much of a densely populated modern city), I think that Saint-Louis in Senegal has some interesting parallels. It's at the mouth of a river that empties into the Atlantic Ocean, so that's a good starting point, and it's further south than the more Mediterranean locations we might expect for Gondor and Umbar. The Sahel is likely appropriate for this part of Harad, I would think.

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(As you can see from this map, there are other locations as you move south that are also located at river mouths, so if anyone wants to check into those for parallels, go for it!)


Image of boats on the Senegal River:
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And they have Fashion Week there, so celebrating clothing/textiles is something they are known for! (Well, maybe a little....)
This article has images of the outfits from the 2015 Fashion Week event (warning: you may encounter other unwanted images if you click this link):

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Some local traditional textiles:
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What they are actually well-known for is their annual jazz festival:

This article mentions the national dish (which includes fish), as well as popular grilled fish and curry in the cuisine. As a coastal port city, it's not surprising they have international influences...but I was looking for a starting point for our 'curried sea bass' holiday meal!

Oh, and they have an annual 'lantern festival' at Christmas/New Years!! (Fanals)

And, the all important question...does Senegal have elephants? Yes! Though...not as many as they once did.

Senegal has one of the most threatened elephant populations in Africa and remains a hub for the illegal ivory trade. In the late 1970s, the population at Niokolo - Senegal’s largest national park, was estimated to be around 450 elephants. Today it's believed only 5-10 elephants are left. Decades of poaching have decimated populations of lions, leopards, elephants and other species that once roamed this popular West African tourist destination in larger numbers.​
 
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Haerangil

Well-Known Member
I believe it is nowhere stated explicitly Harad was mostly desert? I would not know where...

Salqinore, grasslands is a Quenya term for africa, i-torqeler for tropics.i believe there can be very many different landscapes throughout harad.
 
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Ange1e4e5

Well-Known Member
I believe it is nowhere stated explicitly Harad was mostly desert? I would not know where...

Salqinore, grasslands is a Quenya term for africa, i-torqeler for tropics.i believe there can be very many different landwcapes throughout harad.
Well, this what Tolkien Gateway has for the geography of Harad.

Harad was located south of Mordor, with the Mountains of Shadow forming part of the northern border of Harad. The River Harnen flowed westward from the Mountains of Shadow to the Bay of Belfalas and was Harad's border with South Gondor - a deserted region contested between Gondor and Harad. The Harad Road ran from Harad northward through South Gondor and on to Ithilien.

To the north-east of Harad was Khand, a land that also had ties with Sauron. It is not known how far eastward or southward Harad stretched. On the west, Harad was bounded by the Bay of Belfalas and the Sea.

The northernmost part of Harad was called Near Harad and the southern part was Far Harad. On the coast there was a natural harbour with a narrow cape curving around it. The coastal region around the harbour was known as Umbar, and the harbour was called the Havens of Umbar. The seafaring raiders known as the Corsairs lived there. At the eastern end of the harbour was the City of the Corsairs.[16]

There were fortresses and dwellings upon the coasts in the south.[5] There were also fields[15] and "dark forests" with apes in the south.[17] In Harad lived also camels and the gigantic Oliphaunts,[18][19] which were used by the Haradrim as moving war towers.

Harad was called the "Sunlands" by the Hobbits of the Shire,[19] suggesting the climate was warmer and sunnier. Even the constellations in Harad's night sky down in the southern hemisphere[20] were different from those in northern Middle-earth (Aragorn had travelled far into Harad "where the stars are strange"[21].
 

Haerangil

Well-Known Member
Nice they mentioned the Aragorn quote on the stars and the southern (and eastern!) hemisphere, because of misinterpretations of JRRT's sketches so many people think middle-earth was a tiny continent!
 
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