When Bard is introduced in The Desolation of Smaug he's clearly a very powerful fighter, he shoots weapons out of the dwarves' hands and threatens the entire party.

The only place we've seen a man with nearly his ability is Aragorn in a couple of decades time. Aragorn is a Dunedain from the lost kingdom of Numenor. Does Bard have equally impressive ancestry?

We know he's a descendant of Girion of Dale, but it's my understanding Numenoreans were blessed by the Valar where other men were not. Do the kings of Dale have a similar famous origins or is he simply an extraordinary man (like Boromir or Eomer)?


No, the men of Dale aren't of Numernorian stock. They're descended from the Northmen of Rhovanion, the northern... realm ("kingdom" is too organized a term) that ran from the Misty Mountains in the west all the way to the sea of Rhûn in the east, thus covering most of the area of the latter half of the Hobbit, including Mirkwood, the Lonely Mountain and, yes, Dale.

These ancestors of the Dale-men are the same horse-folk who, hundreds of years before, rode south to the aid of Gondor and founded the kingdom of Rohan. Also among these lineages in Vidugavia, the self-proclaimed King of Rhovanion, whose daughter married the King of Gondor, and event which led to the Kinstrife, a messy piece of Gondorian history. It's possible that Bard, through Girion of Dale, can trace his lineage to Vidugavia, but this isn't well established.

It's not well documented who exactly these men are and how they came to Rhovanion originally, as far as I know. While the Numenorians are Men who came into Beleriand in the first age and fought in her wars alongside the elves, it's likely that the Northmen of Rhovanion, many miles to the east of where Beleriand sank, were tribes of men who never made it there, and never came under the influence of the elves, or else men who fled Beleriand during its final wars, or an intermingling of the two. There were quite a few such tribes mentioned in various writings.

Here is a quote from The Lord Of The Rings, spoken by Faramir to Frodo when he captured the hobbits outside Mordor, speaking of the Rohirrim and suggesting (though not confirming, since his knowledge is admittedly limited) that the Northmen, ancestors of the Rohirrim (and thus of the Dalelings) are related to the Men of Beleriand who would later become the Numenorians, though a different offshoot of their stock.

Indeed it is said by our lore-masters that they have from of old this affinity with us that they are come from those same Three Houses of Men as were the Númenoreans in their beginning not from Hador the Goldenhaired, the Elf-friend, maybe, yet from such of his sons and people as went not over Sea into the West, refusing the call.

(The Lord of the Rings, Book IV, ch.5 The Window on the West)

  • 3
    I don't have the text for reference right now, but IIRC there's a mention in Of Dwarves and Men (in HoME 12) that the Men of Rhovanion are descended from those of the House of Hador who never crossed the Ered Luin. – user8719 Aug 13 '14 at 10:38
  • 9
    Another relevant reference is Faramir explaining to Frodo about the Rohirrim (who, as Avner points out, were closely related to the men of Dale): "It is said by our lore-masters that [...] they are come from those Three Houses of Men as were the Númenóreans in the beginning; not from Hador the Golden haired, maybe, yet from such of his people as went not over Sea into the West, refusing the call." – Daniel Roseman Aug 13 '14 at 11:33
  • @DanielRoseman Oh, fantastic quote. Totally forgot about that. – Avner Shahar-Kashtan Aug 13 '14 at 11:35

No,Bard's lineage is not so explicit like the Heirs of Isildur, yet the Chieftains of Dunedain shared distant relationship with them. This can be proved as follows: Bard is the descendant of Girion, lord of Dale, who was related to the Northmen, who were related to the Beornings. King Vidugavia of Rhovanion, king of northmen was the ancestor of later Gondorian kings, chieftains of Dunedain,also related to Girion though he may not have been present at that time. Vidugavia had a daughter Vidumavi who was married to King Valacar of Gondor and bore a son Eldacar (Vinitharya), from whom was King Ondoher descended. Firiel, Ondoher's daughter wedded King Arvedui of Arnor from whom was descended Aragorn.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.