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Name given to the wide, sun-baked lands to the south of Gondor and Mordor; the Men of Harad, called the Haradrim, were ancient enemies of the Gondorians and allies of Sauron during the War of the Ring.

Far Harad

The burning lands of the distant south

The distant lands far to the south of Gondor. The name simply means the Far South (as opposed to Near Harad, the more familiar southern lands). It was a region almost unknown to the peoples of the northwestern parts of Middle-earth. Nonetheless, some of its fierce people travelled north at the time of the War of the Ring, and fought on the side of Sauron at the Battle of the Pelennor Fields.

Near Harad

The lands south of Harnen

An indefinite region that lay to the south of Gondor and Mordor, beyond the River Harnen. Little is said of it in the histories of Middle-earth, except that the Men of that land conspired with those of Khand, and with the Wainriders, to overthrow Gondor in the time of King Ondoher. The Gondorians anticipated their strike, and Ondoher created a Southern Army to defend his land against them. That Southern Army, under the command of Eärnil, met the invading Men of Near Harad in South Ithilien, and defeated them completely.

Though Near Harad is not otherwise described in any detail, its inhabitants were clearly great enemies of the Gondorians, and it seems likely that many of Tolkien's references to the Haradrim, the Men of Harad in general, actually describe those of Near Harad. This is especially true of their dealings with the sometime Gondorian outpost of Umbar, which lay on the shores of Middle-earth to the west of Near Harad.

Information From Encyclopedia of Arda