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I would like to know if there is anything mentioned in LOTR canon that mentions that a dragon had once attacked the lands of Rohan and/or Gondor, either during the 1st, 2nd, or 3rd Age.

Did a dragon ever attack the lands of Rohan or Gondor?

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  • I don't think there's any indiction that dragons ever went that far south. Then again it's not clear what you call "the lands of Rohan or Gondor" - their lands just before the War of the Ring?
    – Mithoron
    Commented Aug 22, 2022 at 14:07
  • @Mithoron, I am referring to the lands of Rohan and Gondor as they would have appeared on a world map of Middle-earth just before the War of the Ring.
    – user143126
    Commented Aug 22, 2022 at 16:17
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    These lands were basically unmentioned in the First Age, and very little in the Second Age, especially prior to the fall of Numenor. Practically nothing pre-Gondor other than brief mentions of a Numenorean colony or two. As already mentioned Dragons were primarily a creature of the north. Even further north, and east of even Arnor. Commented Aug 22, 2022 at 19:12

2 Answers 2

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There are no recorded dragon attacks in any of Tolkien's writings on the geographic lands where Rohan and Gondor would eventually settle.

This is not to necessarily say that it never happened, but one would think that if it was after the Numenoreans settled there in the middle of the second age Tolkien would have mentioned in the appendices, and it also doesn't seem like Morgoth was sending his dragons that far afield in the first age. Such an attack could have conceivably happened in the early years of the second age, but if it did Tolkien never wrote about it.

Scatha the Worm

Related to this, we do know of a dragon that attacked the people of Rohan prior to when they had settled the land that we see them in in The Lord of the Rings.

This is Scatha the Worm who was slain by Fram of Rohan. We learn his story in the appendices of the Lord of the Rings.

‘Many lords and warriors, and many fair and valiant women, are named in the songs of Rohan that still remember the North. Frumgar, they say, was the name of the chieftain who led his people to Éothéod. Of his son, Fram, they tell that he slew Scatha, the great dragon of Ered Mithrin, and the land had peace from the long-worms afterwards. Thus Fram won great wealth, but was at feud with the Dwarves, who claimed the hoard of Scatha. Fram would not yield them a penny, and sent to them instead the teeth of Scatha made into a necklace, saying: “Jewels such as these you will not match in your treasuries, for they are hard to come by.” Some say that the Dwarves slew Fram for this insult. There was no great love between Éothéod and the Dwarves.
The Lord of the Rings - Appendix A - The House of Eorl

This is also mentioned in the main text.

Then Éowyn gave to Merry an ancient horn, small but cunningly wrought all of fair silver with a baldric of green; and wrights had engraven upon it swift horsemen riding in a line that wound about it from the tip to the mouth; and there were set runes of great virtue.

‘This is an heirloom of our house,’ said Éowyn. ‘It was made by the Dwarves, and came from the hoard of Scatha the Worm. Eorl the Young brought it from the North. He that blows it at need shall set fear in the hearts of his enemies and joy in the hearts of his friends, and they shall hear him and come to him.’
The Lord of the Rings - Book 6, Chapter 6 - "Many Partings"

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    Fram and Scatha might be better characterized as an attack by Rohan on the lands of a dragon. As I understand it, it was the migration of Éothéod northward through the Vales of Anduin that brought them into conflict with Scatha.
    – erickson
    Commented Aug 22, 2022 at 15:51
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    @ibid, I primarily want to know if a dragon had ever attacked the lands of Rohan and/or Gondor as they would have appeared on a world map of Middle-earth in the 3rd Age just before the War of the Ring.
    – user143126
    Commented Aug 22, 2022 at 16:23
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    @erickson - I interpreted "the land had peace from the long-worms afterwards" as an indicator that Scatha (or at the very least other dragons) had been attacking them prior to Scatha's death.
    – ibid
    Commented Aug 22, 2022 at 22:49
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    @user57467 - I think the answer to that would be "not that we know about from anything Tolkien has ever said". I don't think it's out of the realm of possibility that it happened off-screen or prior to the Numenoreans settling those lands, but if it did Tolkien never discussed it. I shall reword my answer to out this info front and center.
    – ibid
    Commented Aug 22, 2022 at 22:52
  • Unfinished Tales places Éothéod (where Frumgar had led his people) north of Mirkwood, so quite close to Ered Wetherin.
    – chepner
    Commented Aug 26, 2022 at 16:54
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It appears from my research in public & private (my correspondance w/ both The Professor & Christopher) sources that the farthest south the dragons ever got was when Smaug attacked Erebor.

Background Info: Dragons also known as the Great Worms (or long-worms) were evil creatures mostly seen in northern Middle-earth. They were greedy, cunning, seductive and malicious, likely a corruption devised by Morgoth through use of fire and sorcery sometime in the First Age.

Scatha - Slain by Fram of the Éothéod. Apparently a cold-drake. Described as a "long-worm", although this imprecise term seems to be more of an expression rather than a separate taxonomic group.

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    This could be a useful answer if you supplied quotes.
    – DavidW
    Commented Mar 13, 2023 at 21:56
  • Actually "long-worm" reads like a kenning to me.
    – Spencer
    Commented Mar 13, 2023 at 22:12
  • Sorry, but my agreement w/ both The Professor & Christopher Tolkien was that the correspondence between myself & them was private. I can use parts (reworded) to emphasize a point, but at no time am I allowed to quote from the letters & emails. These letters are not included in any collection as they were private conversations. Commented Mar 14, 2023 at 0:04
  • Christopher resorted to emails?? I thought he stuck doggedly to faxes. But I can imagine him acting though an intermediary. I'm only a little jealous of someone who held correspondence with both of them Commented Mar 15, 2023 at 10:48
  • <LOL> I didn't have fax capability, so I helped him set an email account. Commented Mar 16, 2023 at 14:32

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