The Dúnedain were the Men of Westernesse, the Númenoreans and their descendants who survived the Downfall of Númenor at the end of the Second Age.

The Edain of Númenor were known as Dúnedain, the Men of the West, to the Elves of the Second Age. After the Downfall, the Númenorean faithful returned to Middle-earth where they founded the Realms in Exile - Arnor and Gondor.

The Dúnedain managed to keep a foothold in Middle-earth, though greatly reduced in numbers from war, pestilence and assault by Sauron. Only Gondor managed to survive into the Third Age, and even there, the race slowly dwindled, and the lifespan of the Dúnedain, originally three times that of other Men, grew less.

The kinship that existed between the Edain and the Eldar was still clearly visible in the Dúnedain, who had a noble bearing and gifts of wisdom and foresight. They were great scholars, and esteemed Elven-lore above all other subjects, and they used an Elven-tongue for their daily speech - either Sindarin or Quenya (Dúnedain wisemen).

Encyclopedia entry originally written by atalante_star