I am rewatching the Lord of the Rings series now after I saw all of the Hobbit parts and I'm wondering why the people of Dale don't play a role in the Lord of the Rings. Why are they not fighting with the rest of the men army? Is Dale mentioned in the Lord of the Rings books?

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    A few things to note: 1) Dale is really far north of most of the events of Lord of the Rings. 2) Dale was pretty much destroyed and only reinhabited some 60-80 years ago. Even in that time, it probably didn't recover, much less had the force to raise an army. 3) lots of men did not fight for Gondor or Rohan. This is a key point tolkien makes throughout the book, that men who do nothing about evil are doomed to suffer it Jan 28, 2015 at 22:07

1 Answer 1


Dale is mentioned in the The Return of the King, in one of the appendices. It's a pretty short mention, but basically, a portion of Sauron's armies attacked Dale during the War of the Ring, and forced the men into the mountain to hole up with the dwarves. There was even a Battle of Dale, where both of the kings were killed (Brand and Dain). The siege lasted until Sauron's much larger southern army was defeated at Pelennor Fields, at which point the splinter group gave up and left.

Strategically, this siege was very important: it kept Sauron's army split into at least two parts, and also kept them away from the elven lands further along.

As for why it wasn't brought up in the film: it was a siege, and those are generally boring. On top of which, none of the characters in Dale had appeared in the movie up to that point, so it would have been hard to justify showing them sitting in a mountain surrounded by orcs for a week.

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    +1 for a good answer, although I don't know that we can say that sieges are "boring" in a franchise that includes the attacks on Helm's Deep and Minas Tirith.
    – Nerrolken
    Jan 28, 2015 at 22:12
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    neither of those were sieges; sieges last DAYS where no one does anything except stop the other side from leaving. Those two battles were practically non-stop fighting, and neither lasted more than a single day.
    – KutuluMike
    Jan 28, 2015 at 22:13
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    @MichaelEdenfield - Historically, some sieges could last months, years or in extreme cases decades
    – Valorum
    Jan 28, 2015 at 22:20
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    Also mentioned in Fellowship at Bilbo's party: "There were toys the like of which they had never seen before, all beautiful and some obviously magical. Many of them had indeed been ordered a year before, and had come all the way from the Mountain and from Dale, and were of real dwarf-make."
    – user8719
    Jan 28, 2015 at 22:20
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    Dale and King Brand are also mentioned explicitly by Gloin at the council of Elrond, since the messenger from Mordor went there.
    – Crowman
    Apr 5, 2015 at 14:12

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