Helm slays Freca in Edoras
Event Type: Genealogical
Age: 3rd Age - The Stewards
An event in the prelude to the Invasion of Rohan from West and East; see that entry for an overview:
But during the Watchful Peace (from 2063 to 2460) the people of Calenardhon dwindled ... those that remained became rustic and far removed from the concerns of Minas Tirith. The garrisons of the forts ... were left to the care of local hereditary chieftains whose subjects were of more and more mixed blood.
Unfinished Tales, Part 3, Ch 5, The Battles of the Fords of Isen: Appendix
[Helm Hammerhand] was a grim man of great strength. There was at that time a man named Freca, who claimed descent from King Fréawine, though he had, men said, much Dunlendish blood, and was dark-haired. He grew rich and powerful, having wide lands on either side of the Adorn. Near its source he made himself a stronghold and paid little heed to the king. Helm mistrusted him, but called him to his councils; and he came when it pleased him.
To one of these councils Freca rode with many men, and he asked the hand of Helm's daughter for his son Wulf. But Helm said: "You have grown big since you were last here; but it is mostly fat, I guess"; and men laughed at that, for Freca was wide in the belt.
Then Freca fell in a rage and reviled the king, and said this at the last: "Old kings that refuse a proffered staff may fall on their knees." Helm answered: "Come! The marriage of your son is a trifle. Let Helm and Freca deal with it later. Meanwhile the king and his council have matters of moment to consider."
When the council was over, Helm stood up and laid his great hand on Freca's shoulder, saying: "The king does not permit brawls in his house, but men are freer outside"; and he forced Freca to walk before him out from Edoras into the field. To Freca's men that came up he said: "Be off! We need no hearers. We are going to speak of a private matter alone. Go and talk to my men!" And they looked and saw that the king's men and his friends far outnumbered them, and they drew back.
"Now, Dunlending," said the king, "you have only Helm to deal with, alone and unarmed. But you have said much already, and it is my turn to speak. Freca, your folly has grown with your belly. You talk of a staff! If Helm dislikes a crooked staff that is thrust on him, he breaks it. So!" With that he smote Freca such a blow with his fist that he fell back stunned, and died soon after.
Helm then proclaimed Freca's son and near kin the king's enemies; and they fled, for at once Helm sent many men riding to the west marches.
The Return of the King, LoTR Appendix A, Annals of the Kings and Rulers: The House of Eorl
Elena Tiriel 16Aug04