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Morwen of Lossarnach

Meaning: dark maiden

Other Names: Steelsheen

Location(s):
Lossarnach, Gondor
Minas Tirith
Edoras

Race/Species: Man

Type/Kind: Dunadan of Gondor

Title(s): Queen of Rohan

Dates: born: III 2922

Spouse: Thengel, 16th King of Rohan

Children:
1 unnamed daughter
Théoden, 17th King of Rohan
2 unnamed daughters
Théodwyn

Description:

She was known as Morwen of Lossarnach, for she dwelt there; but she did not belong to the people of that land. Her father had removed thither, for love of its flowering vales, from Belfalas; he was a descendant of a former prince of that fief, and thus a kinsman of Prince Imrahil.

Unfinished Tales, Part 3, Ch 1, The Disaster of the Gladden Fields: Appendix, Númenórean Linear Measures

[Thengel] took no wife until late, but in 2943 he wedded Morwen of Lossarnach in Gondor, though she was seventeen years the younger. She bore him three children in Gondor, of whom Théoden, the second, was his only son. When Fengel died the Rohirrim recalled him, and he returned unwillingly. But he proved a good and wise king; though the speech of Gondor1 was used in his house, and not all men thought that good. Morwen bore him two more daughters in Rohan; and the last, Théodwyn, was the fairest....

In 2989 Théodwyn married Éomund of Eastfold.... Her son Éomer was born in 2991, and her daughter Éowyn in 2995....

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

Éomer was said to have been tall...; but he with other descendants of King Thengel were taller than the norm of Rohan, deriving this characteristic (together in some cases with darker hair) from Morwen, Thengel's wife, a lady of Gondor of high Númenórean descent.

Unfinished Tales, Part 3, Ch 1, The Disaster of the Gladden Fields: Appendix, Númenórean Linear Measures

... Éowyn was slender and tall, with a grace and pride that came to her out of the South from Morwen of Lossarnach, whom the Rohirrim had called Steelsheen.

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


Etymology
mor 'dark' in Mordor, Morgoth, Moria, Moriquendi, Mormegil, Morwen, etc....

wen 'maiden' is a frequent ending, as in Eärwen, Morwen.

The Silmarillion, Appendix: Elements in Quenya and Sindarin Names


Notes
1 It is not clear what Tolkien means by "the speech of Gondor"; it might refer to Westron, the Common Speech, or, given Morwen's Númenórean lineage, it might also refer to Sindarin.

Commentary by Elena Tiriel

[Sindarin] had long ceased to be a 'cradle-tongue' in Gondor, but was learned in early youth (by those claiming Númenórean descent) from loremasters, and used by them as a mark of rank....

The Peoples of Middle-Earth, HoME Vol 12, Part 1, Ch 7, The Heirs of Elendil: The Ruling Stewards of Gondor

Contributors:
Thevina Finduilas 28Oct03, 6Nov03
Lyllyn 4Dec03
Elena Tiriel 23Nov06, 2Feb08

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