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Timeline Event

Dunlendings occupy Isengard

Event Type: Military/Strategic

Age: 3rd Age - The Stewards

Year: 2710

An event in the prelude to the Invasion of Rohan from West and East; see that entry for an overview:

7. Déor.
In his time the Dunlendings raided often over the Isen. In 2710 they occupied the deserted ring of Isengard, and could not be dislodged.

The Return of the King, LoTR Appendix A, Annals of the Kings and Rulers: The House of Eorl

Yet the western frontier [of Rohan] and the line of the Isen was naturally commanded by Isengard.... The Isen flowed down from its sources along the eastern wall of the Ring, and as it went on southwards it was still a young river that offered no great obstacle to invaders, though its waters were still very swift and strangely cold. But the Great Gate of Angrenost opened west of Isen, and if the fortress were well manned enemies from the westlands must be in great strength if they thought to pass on into Westfold. Moreover Angrenost was less than half the distance of Aglarond from the Fords, to which a wide horseroad ran from the Gates, for most of the way over level ground. The dread that haunted the great Tower, and fear of the glooms of Fangorn that lay behind, might protect it for a while, but if it were unmanned and neglected, as it was in the latter days of the Stewards, that protection would not long avail.

So it proved. In the reign of King Déor (2699 to 2718) the Rohirrim found that to keep a watch on the Fords was not enough. Since neither Rohan nor Gondor gave heed to this far corner of the realm, it was not known until later what had happened there. The line of the Gondorian chieftains of Angrenost had failed, and the command of the fortress passed into the hands of a family of the people. These ... were already long before of mixed blood, and they were now more friendly disposed to the Dunlendings than to the "wild Northmen" who had usurped the land; with Minas Tirith far away they no longer had any concern. After the death of King Aldor, who had driven out the last of the Dunlendings and even raided their lands in Enedwaith by way of reprisal, the Dunlendings unmarked by Rohan but with the connivance of Isengard began to filter into northern Westfold again, making settlements in the mountain glens west and east of Isengard and even in the southern eaves of Fangorn. In the reign of Déor they became openly hostile, raiding the herds and studs of the Rohirrim in Westfold. It was soon clear to the Rohirrim that these raiders had not crossed the Isen either by the Fords or at any point far south of Isengard, for the Fords were guarded. Déor therefore led an expedition northwards, and was met by a host of Dunlendings. These he overcame; but he was dismayed to find that Isengard was also hostile. Thinking that he had relieved Isengard of a Dunlendish siege, he sent messengers to its Gates with words of good will, but the Gates were shut upon them and the only answer they got was by bowshot. As was later known, the Dunlendings, having been admitted as friends, had seized the Ring of Isengard, slaying the few survivors of its ancient guards who were not (as were most) willing, to merge with the Dunlendish fold. Déor sent word at once to the Steward in Minas Tirith (at that time, in the year 2710, Egalmoth), but he was unable to send help ... Déor had no power to storm or besiege Isengard, and for many years the Rohirrim had to keep a strong force of Riders in the north of Westfold; this was maintained until the great invasions of 2758.

Unfinished Tales, Part 3, Ch 5, The Battles of the Fords of Isen: Appendix

Elena Tiriel 16Aug04

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