The Sands of Harad

By now, many players may have picked up the Sands of Harad deluxe expansion and are busy escaping ancient cities, crossing legendary deserts, and forging new alliances with the “bold and grim” Men of the South. But who are these newfound friends and what do we know of their lands and history?

Since the cycle was announced back in July 2016, I have been pouring over every word J.R.R. Tolkien wrote about these Southrons in Lord of the Rings and his other works. Now all of that research is available for you to deepen your immersion in the upcoming cycle and, hopefully, inspire you to dust off a tome from your own Tolkien library for fresh reading!

This time, however, instead of just composing a feature for my blog, I’ve had the chance to write a guest article for Fantasy Flight Games and participate in an episode of the Cardboard of the Rings podcast. If you haven’t already, check out these links!


  • “Wild Lands and Strange Visions” – My Haradrim cycle preview published at FFG goes into the theme and lore of the South found strictly in Lord of the Rings and the Appendices and includes some stunning new artwork from the upcoming cycle!


  • “The Truth about Tauriel” – Episode 111 of Cardboard of the Rings begins with a trivia game hosted by Brandon followed by a discussion of Umbar, Harad, and the mûmakil which includes information from all of Tolkien’s published works.

Many thanks to Caleb and Josh at FFG and Brandon at COTR for these opportunities to share my work with a wider audience. If you are visiting my blog for the first time, check out the links at the top for more feature articles, thematic playthrough videos, or my interactive atlas. If you only have a minute, try a “hasty stroke” for shorter articles and snippets of lore.

Finally, if you are interested in heeding my call for more guest writers (issued at the conclusion of the podcast episode), please don’t hesitate to contact me. As I said, I am still sitting on a pile of cards from my Chinese version of the core set that I’d like to award to contributors. Any takers?


Until then, happy new year and happy questing in the “debatable and desert” lands of South Gondor and Harad!


One comment

  1. Anardil · · Reply

    Awesome that you were published by FFG! Congrats on that. The Haradrim are one of Middle-earth’s (many) mysteries, that’s for sure. We get snippets and bits and pieces from the lore, but almost nothing definitive.

    Speaking of mysteries, I’ve been struggling with pronunciation of ‘Kahliel’…I don’t think we can apply any of Tolkien’s pronunciation rules, but that leaves me fairly lost (with little enough help even from our good friend Google!). What are your thoughts?

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