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Character Bios

Northmen of Rhovanion

Other Names:
(Free) Men of the North
People of the Vales of Anduin

Location(s): Rhovanion (Wilderland)

Race/Species: Man

Dates: 1st - 3rd Age

Parents:
Ancestors of the House of Hador

Children:
Éothéod & Rohirrim
Bardings & Men of Laketown
Beornings & Woodmen

Description:

Table of Contents:

Description
Origins
Skills
History
— First Age
— Second Age
— Third Age
— Fourth Age
Language

Description

... [a] numerous and warlike people with great wealth of horses....

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

... the proud peoples of the North, who often had assailed us, men of fierce valour....

The Two Towers, LoTR Book 4, Ch 5, The Window on the West

They were brave and loyal folk, truehearted, haters of Morgoth and his servants....

The Peoples of Middle-Earth, HoME Vol 12, Part 2, Ch 10, Of Dwarves and Men: Relations of the Longbeard Dwarves and Men

They are proud and wilful, but they are true-hearted, generous in thought and deed; bold but not cruel; wise but unlearned, writing no books....

The Two Towers, LoTR Book 3, Ch 2, The Riders of Rohan

... tall men and fair women, valiant both alike, golden-haired, bright-eyed, and strong....'

The Two Towers, LoTR Book 4, Ch 5, The Window on the West

... they dwelt largely in scattered homesteads and villages, and if they drew together into small townships they were poorly defended, at best by dikes and wooden fences. Also they were lightly armed, chiefly with bows, for they had little metal and the few smiths among them had no great skill.

The Peoples of Middle-Earth, HoME Vol 12, Part 2, Ch 10, Of Dwarves and Men: Relations of the Longbeard Dwarves and Men


Origins

... their kinship is rather with the Bardings of Dale, and with the Beornings of the Wood, among whom may still be seen many men tall and fair, as are the Riders of Rohan.

The Two Towers, LoTR Book 3, Ch 2, The Riders of Rohan

The Men ... were for the most part akin in race and language with the tall and mostly fair-haired people of the 'House of Hador', the most renowned and numerous of the Edain.... These Men, it seems, had come westward until faced by the Great Greenwood, and then had divided: some reaching the Anduin and passing thence northward up the Vales; some passing between the north-eaves of the Wood and the Ered Mithrin. Only a small part of this people, already very numerous and divided into many tribes, had then passed on into Eriador and so come at last to Beleriand.

The Peoples of Middle-Earth, HoME Vol 12, Part 2, Ch 10, Of Dwarves and Men: Relations of the Longbeard Dwarves and Men

It was a brief period in ... the Second Age, yet for many lives of Men the Longbeards controlled the Ered Mithrin, Erebor, and the Iron Hills, and all the east side of the Misty Mountains as far as the confines of Lórien; while the Men of the North dwelt in all the adjacent lands as far south as the Great Dwarf Road that cut through the Forest (the Old Forest Road was its ruinous remains in the Third Age)....

The Peoples of Middle-Earth, HoME Vol 12, Part 2, Ch 10, Of Dwarves and Men: Notes, Note 30


Skills

They were tamers of beasts and had learned the mastery of horses, and many were skilled and fearless riders. These would often ride far afield as scouts and keep watch on movements of their enemies; and if the Orks dared to assemble in the open for some great raid, they would gather great force of horsed archers to surround them and destroy them.

The Peoples of Middle-Earth, HoME Vol 12, Part 2, Ch 10, Of Dwarves and Men: Relations of the Longbeard Dwarves and Men

... writing no books but singing many songs....

The Two Towers, LoTR Book 3, Ch 2, The Riders of Rohan


History

[See also: The Beornings & Woodmen: History and The Bardings & Men of Laketown: History for additional information.]

History: First Age
At that time the migrations of Men from the East and South had brought advance-guards into Beleriand; but they were not in great numbers, though further east in Eriador and Rhovanion (especially in the northern parts) their kindred must already have occupied much of the land. ... there grew up in those regions the economy, later characteristic of the dealings of Dwarves and Men (including Hobbits): Men became the chief providers of food, as herdsmen, shepherds, and land-tillers, which the Dwarves exchanged for work as builders, roadmakers, miners, and the makers of things of craft ... in early times the Dwarves must have obtained goods that were the product of greater and longer toil than the things or services that they gave in exchange — before Men became wiser and developed skills of their own.

The Peoples of Middle-Earth, HoME Vol 12, Part 2, Ch 10, Of Dwarves and Men: Relations of the Longbeard Dwarves and Men

History: Second Age
... the Alliance of Dwarves and Men in the North came early in the Second Age to command great strength, swift in attack and valiant and well-protected in defence, and there grew up in that region between Dwarves and Men respect and esteem, and sometimes warm friendship.

The Peoples of Middle-Earth, HoME Vol 12, Part 2, Ch 10, Of Dwarves and Men: Relations of the Longbeard Dwarves and Men

1693—1700
War of Elves and Sauron
Sauron overruns Eriador
... [Sauron] invaded Eriador and destroyed Eregion.... This marked the end of the Alliance of the Longbeards with Men of the North. For though Moria remained impregnable for many centuries, the Orks reinforced and commanded by servants of Sauron invaded the mountains again. ... The Men ... were involved in war not only with Orks but with alien Men of evil sort. For Sauron had acquired dominion over many savage tribes in the East (of old corrupted by Morgoth), and he now urged them to seek land and booty in the West.

The Peoples of Middle-Earth, HoME Vol 12, Part 2, Ch 10, Of Dwarves and Men

1701
Sauron driven out of Eriador
When the storm passed, the Men of the old Alliance [with Dwarves] were diminished and scattered, and those that lingered on in their old regions were impoverished, and lived mostly in caves or in the borders of the Forest.

The Peoples of Middle-Earth, HoME Vol 12, Part 2, Ch 10, Of Dwarves and Men

3430—3441
Last Alliance is formed
Battle of Dagorlad
Barad-dûr thrown down
... Sauron was vanquished, and the people of Vales had been [Isildur's] allies in victory.

Unfinished Tales, Part 3, Ch 1, The Disaster of the Gladden Fields

History: Third Age
A long peace followed in which the numbers of the Silvan Elves grew again; but they were unquiet and anxious, feeling the change of the world.... Men also were increasing in numbers and in power. ... The Free Men of the North (so called by the Elves because they were not under the rule of Dúnedain, and had not for the most part been subjected by Sauron or his servants) were spreading southwards: mostly east of the Greenwood, though some were establishing themselves in the eaves of the forest and the grass­lands of the Vales of Anduin. More ominous were rumours from the further East: the Wild Men were restless. ... Cruel wars raged among them, from which some were withdrawing westward, with minds filled with hatred, regarding all that dwelt in the West as enemies to be slain and plundered.

Unfinished Tales, Part 2, Ch 4, Appendix B, The History of Galadriel and Celeborn: The Sindarin Princes of the Silvan Elves

490—500
1st Invasion of Gondor by Easterlings
Tarostar defeats the Easterlings
... the attacks of the Easterlings had come mostly over the plain between the Inland Sea and the Ash Mountains.

The Return of the King, LoTR Appendix A, Annals of the Kings and Rulers: Gondor and the Heirs of Anárion

541—542
2nd Invasion of Gondor by Easterlings
Tarostar, King Rómendacil I of Gondor, slain
Turambar defeats the Easterlings

circa 1000—1150
Shadow falls on Greenwood: Men begin to call it Mirkwood
Wise discover stronghold of evil at Dol Guldur
Harfoots enter Eriador
Fallohides and Stoors migrate to Eriador
The vague tradition preserved by the Hobbits of the Shire was that they had dwelt once in lands by a Great River, but long ago had left them ... when they no longer felt at ease in their homes because of the multiplication of the Big Folk and of a shadow of fear that had fallen on the Forest. ... The increase in Men was not the normal increase of those with whom they had lived in friendship, but the steady increase of invaders from the East ... harassing the older 'Atanic' inhabitants, and even in places occupying the Forest and coming through it into the Anduin valley. But the shadow ... was not solely due to human invasion. Plainly the Hobbits had sensed ... the awakening of Sauron and his occupation of Dol Guldur.

The Peoples of Middle-Earth, HoME Vol 12, Part 2, Ch 10, Of Dwarves and Men

1149—1240
Atanatar II Alcarin Becomes King of Gondor
Since the days of Atanatar II the Northmen of Mirkwood and upper Anduin had been increasing greatly in numbers and power, and [by] Romendakil's time hardly acknowledged the overlordship of Gondor.

The Peoples of Middle-Earth, HoME Vol 12, Part 1, Ch 7, The Heirs of Elendil: The Southern Line of Gondor, The Anárioni

1240—1248
Minalcar becomes Regent of Gondor
3rd Invasion of Gondor by Easterlings
Minalcar defeats the 3rd Invasion of Gondor by Easterlings
Minalcar ... governed Gondor in the name of the kings until he succeeded his father. His chief concern was with the Northmen.

These had increased greatly in the peace brought by the power of Gondor. The kings showed them favour, since they were the nearest in kin of lesser Men to the Dúnedain (being for the most part descendants of those peoples from whom the Edain of old had come); and they gave them wide lands beyond Anduin south of Greenwood the Great, to be a defence against men of the East.

In the days of Narmacil I their attacks began again, though at first with little force; but it was learned by the regent that the Northmen did not always remain true to Gondor, and some would join forces with the Easterlings, either out of greed for spoil, or in the furtherance of feuds among their princes. Minalcar therefore in 1248 led out a great force, and between Rhovanion and the Inland Sea he defeated a large army of the Easterlings.... He then took the name of Rómendacil.

The Return of the King, LoTR Appendix A, Annals of the Kings and Rulers: Gondor and the Heirs of Anárion

1250—1255
Valacar becomes ambassador to Vidugavia, King of Rhovanion
Valacar weds Vidumavi, daughter of the King of Rhovanion
— — Eldacar of Gondor born as Vinitharya in Rhovanion
Rómendacil showed especial favour to Vidugavia, who had aided him in the war. He called himself King of Rhovanion, and was indeed the most powerful of the Northern princes, though his own realm lay between Greenwood and the River Celduin. In 1250 Rómendacil sent his son Valacar as an ambassador to dwell for a while with Vidugavia and make himself acquainted with the language, manners, and policies of the Northmen. But Valacar ... grew to love the Northern lands and people, and he married Vidumavi, daughter of Vidugavia. ... From this marriage came later the war of the Kin-strife.

The Return of the King, LoTR Appendix A, Annals of the Kings and Rulers: Gondor and the Heirs of Anárion

1344
Vidumavi dies
[She] had been a fair and noble lady, but short-lived according to the fate of lesser Men, and the Dúnedain feared that her descendants would prove the same and fall from the majesty of the Kings of Men. Also they were unwilling to accept as lord her son, who though he was now called Eldacar, had been born in an alien country and was named in his youth Vinitharya, a name of his mother's people.

The Return of the King, LoTR Appendix A, Annals of the Kings and Rulers: Gondor and the Heirs of Anárion

1366
Valacar becomes King of Gondor
Valakar was a vigorous king.... Nonetheless the disaffection steadily grew during his reign; and when he grew old there was already open rebellion in the southern provinces.

The Peoples of Middle-Earth, HoME Vol 12, Part 1, Ch 9, The Making of Appendix A: The Realms in Exile

1432
Valacar, King of Gondor, dies
Eldacar becomes King of Gondor
Kin-strife in Gondor (1432—1448): overview
Rebellions in southern Gondor begin the Kin-strife
Eldacar battles rival claimants to the throne
... when Eldacar succeeded his father there was war in Gondor. But Eldacar did not prove easy to thrust from his heritage. To the lineage of Gondor he added the fearless spirit of the Northmen. He was handsome and valiant, and showed no sign of ageing more swiftly than his father. When the confederates led by descendants of the kings rose against him, he opposed them to the end of his strength.

The Return of the King, LoTR Appendix A, Annals of the Kings and Rulers: Gondor and the Heirs of Anárion

1437
Castamir captures Osgiliath and deposes Eldacar
Castamir the Usurper becomes King of Gondor
Eldacar exiled to Rhovanion
Ornendil, Eldacar's heir, executed by Castamir the Usurper
Castamir the Usurper alienates the people of northern Gondor
At last [Eldacar] was besieged in Osgiliath, and held it long, until hunger and the greater forces of the rebels drove him out, leaving the city in flames. ...

... Eldacar eluded his enemies, and came to ... his kinsfolk in Rhovanion. Many gathered to him there, both of the Northmen in the service of Gondor, and of the Dúnedain of the northern parts of the realm. For many of the latter had learned to esteem him, and many more came to hate his usurper.

The Return of the King, LoTR Appendix A, Annals of the Kings and Rulers: Gondor and the Heirs of Anárion

1447—1448
Eldacar raises an army to reclaim the throne
Battle of the Crossings of Erui
— — Castamir the Usurper, King of Gondor, slain by Eldacar
— — Eldacar regains the throne of Gondor
... Eldacar, seeing his time, came with a great army out of the north.... There was a great battle in Lebennin at the Crossings of Erui.... Eldacar himself slew Castamir in combat....

The Return of the King, LoTR Appendix A, Annals of the Kings and Rulers: Gondor and the Heirs of Anárion

... many of the great had been slain in the Kin-strife; while Eldacar showed favour to the Northmen, by whose help he had regained the crown, and the people of Gondor were replenished by great numbers that came from Rhovanion.

The Return of the King, LoTR Appendix A, Annals of the Kings and Rulers: Gondor and the Heirs of Anárion

Siege of Pelargir
— — Castamir's sons escape the Siege of Pelargir
Castamir's sons seize Umbar and break away from Gondor
... Castamir's sons escaped, and ... held out long at Pelargir ... they sailed away, and established themselves at Umbar. There they made a refuge for all the enemies of the king.... Umbar remained at war with Gondor for many lives of men, a threat to its coastlands and to all traffic on the sea.

The Return of the King, LoTR Appendix A, Annals of the Kings and Rulers: Gondor and the Heirs of Anárion

1636—1637
The Great Plague
The waning of the Northmen of Rhovanion began with the Great Plague, which appeared there in the winter of the year 1635 and soon spread to Gondor. In Gondor the mortality was great.... It was greater in Rhovanion, for though its people lived mostly in the open and had no great cities, the Plague came with a cold winter when horses and men were driven into shelter and their low wooden houses and stables were thronged; moreover they were little skilled in the arts of healing and medicine.... When the Plague passed it is said that more than half of the folk of Rhovanion had perished, and of their horses also.

Unfinished Tales, Part 3, Ch 2, Cirion and Eorl and the Friendship of Gondor and Rohan: The Northmen and the Wainriders

1851
Wars with the Wainriders (1851—1944): overview
Wainriders begin their attacks on Gondor
Northmen of Rhovanion ally with Gondor against the Wainriders
... when the invasions of the Wainriders began and involved Gondor in wars that lasted for almost a hundred years, the Northmen bore the brunt of the first assaults.

Unfinished Tales, Part 3, Ch 2, Cirion and Eorl and the Friendship of Gondor and Rohan: The Northmen and the Wainriders

1856
Battle of the Plains
Narmacil II, King of Gondor, slain
Marhari, Lord of the Northmen, slain
The escape of the army of Gondor from total destruction was in part due to the courage and loyalty of the horsemen of the Northmen under Marhari (a descendant of Vidugavia "King of Rhovanion") who acted as rearguard.

Unfinished Tales, Part 3, Ch 2, Cirion and Eorl and the Friendship of Gondor and Rohan: Notes, Note 5

Northmen enslaved by the Wainriders
Marhwini gathers the Éothéod in the Vales of Anduin
As for the Northmen, a few, it is said, fled over the Celduin (River Running) and were merged with the folk of Dale under Erebor (with whom they were akin), some took refuge in Gondor, and others were gathered by Marhwini son of Marhari.... Passing north between Mirkwood and Anduin they settled in the Vales of Anduin, where they were joined by many fugitives who came through the Forest. This was the beginning of the Éothéod.... Most of the Northmen were reduced to servitude, and all their former lands were occupied by the Wainriders.

Unfinished Tales, Part 3, Ch 2, Cirion and Eorl and the Friendship of Gondor and Rohan: The Northmen and the Wainriders

1899
Battle against the Wainriders at Dagorlad
Northmen revolt against the Wainriders
... [Calimehtar's] horsemen ... joined with a great éored led by Marhwini assailed the Wainriders in flank and rear. The victory of Gondor was overwhelming ... the horsemen of Marhwini harried the fugitives and inflicted great loss upon them in their long rout over the plains ...

The revolt planned and assisted by Marhwini had indeed broken out; desperate outlaws coming out of the Forest had roused the slaves, and together had succeeded in burning many of the dwellings of the Wainriders.... But most of them had perished in the attempt; for they were ill-armed, and the enemy had not left their homes undefended ... Thus in the end Marhwini was obliged to retire again to his land beside the Anduin, and the Northmen of his race never again returned to their former homes.

Nonetheless the alliance of Calimehtar and Marhwini had not been in vain. ... the greatest effect of the alliance lay far in the future which none could then foresee: the two great rides of the Rohirrim [Eorl and Théoden] to the salvation of Gondor....

Unfinished Tales, Part 3, Ch 2, Cirion and Eorl and the Friendship of Gondor and Rohan: The Northmen and the Wainriders

circa 1900—1943
Wainriders, Haradrim, and Variags ally against Gondor
Wainriders launch raids against the Éothéod
Forthwini, son of Marhwini, indeed warned King Ondoher (who succeeded his father Calimehtar in the year 1936) that the Wainriders of Rhovanion were recovering from their weakness and fear, and that he suspected that they were receiving new strength from the East, for he was much troubled by raids into the south of his land that came both up the river and through the Narrows of the Forest.

Unfinished Tales, Part 3, Ch 2, Cirion and Eorl and the Friendship of Gondor and Rohan: The Northmen and the Wainriders

1944
Invasion of Gondor by Wainriders and Haradrim: overview
Battle against the Wainriders at the Morannon
— — Ondoher, King of Gondor, slain
— — Ondoher's heirs slain
... men of the Éothéod fought with Ondoher ... Ondoher's second son Faramir was ordered to remain in Minas Tirith as regent.... But Faramir ... joined the Éothéod and was caught with a party of them as they retreated towards the Dead Marshes. The leader of the Éothéod ... came to their rescue, but Faramir died in his arms, and it was only when he searched his body that he found tokens that showed that he was the Prince. ... [Ondoher's second-in-command] was giving an order for a message to be taken to the Prince in Minas Tirith, who was now the King. It was then that the leader of the Éothéod gave him the news that the Prince had gone disguised to the battle, and had been slain.

Unfinished Tales, Part 3, Ch 2, Cirion and Eorl and the Friendship of Gondor and Rohan: The Northmen and the Wainriders

1975
Battle of Fornost
But when Eärnur came to the Grey Havens there was joy and great wonder ... Most of all, the horses were praised, for many of them came from the Vales of Anduin and with them were riders tall and fair, and proud princes of Rhovanion.

The Return of the King, LoTR Appendix A, Annals of the Kings and Rulers: Gondor and the Heirs of Anárion

1977
Frumgar leads the Éothéod north
... there were many men in the middle vales of Anduin in those days, and moreover the shadow of Dol Guldur was lengthening; when therefore they heard of the overthrow of the Witch-king, they sought more room in the North, and drove away the remnants of the people of Angmar on the east side of the Mountains.

Return of the King, Appendix A, The House of Eorl

After 1977
Of [Frumgar's] son, Fram, they tell that he slew Scatha, the great dragon of Ered Mithrin.... Thus Fram won great wealth, but was at feud with the Dwarves, who claimed the hoard of Scatha. Fram would not yield them a penny, and sent to them instead the teeth of Scatha made into a necklace.... Some say that the Dwarves slew Fram for this insult. There was no great love between Éothéod and the Dwarves.

Return of the King, Appendix A, The House of Eorl

2510
Invasion of Calenardhon by Balchoth and Orcs: overview
In the wide lands of Rhovanion, between Mirkwood and the River Running, a fierce people now dwelt, wholly under the shadow of Dol Guldur. Often they made raids through the forest, until the vale of Anduin south of the Gladden was largely deserted.

The Return of the King, LoTR Appendix A, Annals of the Kings and Rulers: Gondor and the Heirs of Anárion

Cirion sends for aid from the Éothéod
— — Ride of Eorl
Cirion, Steward of Gondor, sent north for help; for there had been long friendship between the Men of Anduin's Vale and the people of Gondor. But in the valley of the River men were now few and scattered, and slow to render such aid as they could. At last tidings came to Eorl of the need of Gondor ... he set out with a great host of riders.

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

Battle of the Field of Celebrant
... the northern army of Gondor was in peril. Defeated in the Wold and cut off from the south, it had been driven across the Limlight, and was then suddenly assailed by the Orc-host that pressed it towards the Anduin. All hope was lost....

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

Then out of the North there came help beyond hope, and the horns of the Rohirrim were first heard in Gondor. Eorl the Young came with his riders and swept away the enemy, and pursued the Balchoth to the death over the fields of Calenardhon.

The Return of the King, LoTR Appendix A, Annals of the Kings and Rulers: Gondor and the Heirs of Anárion

Cirion and Eorl swear oaths on the Hill of Awe
— — Gift of Cirion
— — Oath of Eorl and Oath of Cirion
— — Cirion and Eorl define the boundaries of Calenardhon
Eorl becomes King of Calenardhon (Rohan)
— — Eorl leads the Éothéod to Calenardhon
Eorl and his people are given the plains of [Calenardhon] to dwell in, and that land is now called Rochann (Rohan). There the Rohirrim live as free men under their own kings, but in perpetual alliance with Minas Tirith.

The Peoples of Middle-Earth, HoME Vol 12, Part 1, Ch 8, The Tale of Years of the Third Age

2545
Attack on Rohan by Easterlings
Eorl the Young, King of Rohan, slain
... during the reign of Eorl their eastern bounds along the Emyn Muil and Anduin were still under attack.

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

Brego Defeats the Attack on Rohan by Easterlings
[Brego] drove the enemy out of the Wold, and Rohan was not attacked again for many years.

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

2710
Dunlendings occupy Isengard
... 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....

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

2754
Helm slays Freca in Edoras
... the land between Isen and Adorn was nominally part of the realm of Rohan; but though Folcwine had ... [driven] out the Dunlendings that had occupied it, the people that remained were largely of mixed blood ... the slaying of their lord, Freca, by King Helm was still remembered.

Unfinished Tales, Part 3, Ch 5, The Battles of the Fords of Isen: Notes, Note 4

2758—2759
Invasion of Rohan from West and East: overview
Wulf defeats Helm at the Crossings of Isen
Helm besieged in the Hornburg
Wulf captures Edoras
— — Haleth, Helm's heir, slain in the Capture of Edoras
... Rohan was again invaded from the East, and the Dunlendings seeing their chance came over the Isen and down from Isengard. ...

The Rohirrim were defeated and their land was overrun....

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

The Long Winter
— — Days of Dearth: famine in Rohan follows the Long Winter
— — Háma, Helm's heir, dies
— — Helm Hammerhand, King of Rohan, dies
... the Long Winter began with cold and great snows out of the North and the East which lasted for almost five months. Helm ... and both his sons perished....

The Return of the King, LoTR Appendix A, Annals of the Kings and Rulers: Gondor and the Heirs of Anárion: The Stewards

The Rohirrim were grievously reduced by war and dearth and loss of cattle and horses....

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

Rohan suffers great floods after the Long Winter
Fréaláf recaptures Edoras
— — Wulf slain by Fréaláf in the Recapture of Edoras
— — — Fréaláf Hildeson becomes King of Rohan
Gondor aids Rohan
Rohan repels the invaders
... Fréaláf ... came down out of Dunharrow ... and with a small company of desperate men he surprised Wulf in Meduseld and slew him, and regained Edoras. There were great floods after the snows, and the vale of Entwash became a vast fen. The Eastern invaders perished or withdrew; and there came help at last from Gondor....

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

— — Fréaláf expels the Dunlendings from Isengard
Saruman invited to Isengard
... at first [Saruman] held Isengard as a lieutenant of the Steward and warden of the tower. But Fréaláf was as glad as Beren to have this so, and to know that Isengard was in the hands of a strong friend. A friend he long seemed, and maybe in the beginning he was one in truth.

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

2800-64
Orcs Trouble Rohan after the War of the Dwarves and Orcs
Walda, King of Rohan, Slain by Orcs
Folca destroys the last Orc-hold in Rohan
It was in the days of Beregond that the War of the Dwarves and Orcs was fought in the Misty Mountains (2793-9), of which only rumour came south, until the Orcs fleeing from Nanduhirion attempted to cross Rohan and establish themselves in the White Mountains. There was fighting for many years in the dales before that danger was ended.

The Return of the King, LoTR Appendix A, Annals of the Kings and Rulers: Gondor and the Heirs of Anárion

2885
Invasion of Ithilien by Haradrim
Rohan Aids Gondor in the Invasion of Ithilien
Battle with the Haradrim at the Crossings of Poros
— — Folcwine's Heirs Slain
When Ithilien was invaded in great strength, King Folcwine of Rohan fulfilled the Oath of Eorl ... sending many men to Gondor. With their aid Túrin won a victory at the crossings of the Poros; but the sons of Folcwine both fell in the battle.

The Return of the King, LoTR Appendix A, Annals of the Kings and Rulers: Gondor and the Heirs of Anárion: The Stewards

2953
Saruman seizes and fortifies Isengard
... in the end [Saruman] turned to evil and became an enemy; and yet the Rohirrim, though they had warnings of his growing malice toward them, continued to put their main strength in the west at the Fords [of Isen]....

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

3019
1st Battle of the Fords of Isen
Théodred slain
2nd Battle of the Fords of Isen
The garrison of the east bank surprised by the sudden assault of the massed Uruks, was swept away, and the Riders that had just crossed from the west were caught still in disarray, and though they fought desperately they were driven from the Fords along the line of the Isen with the Uruks in pursuit.

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

Orc-raid at Parth Galen: Overview
Merry and Pippin captured in the Orc-raid at Parth Galen
Éomer pursues the Orc-raiders
— — Éomer besieges the Orc-raiders at Fangorn
Attack on the Orc-raiders at Fangorn: Overview
Grishnákh seizes Merry and Pippin at Fangorn
— — Grishnákh, Captain of the Mordor Orcs, slain at Fangorn
Orc reinforcements from Isengard arrive at Fangorn
Éomer attacks the Orc-raiders at Fangorn
— — Uglúk, Captain of the Isengard Orcs, slain by Éomer at Fangorn
'... scouts warned me of the orc-host coming down out of the East Wall three nights ago, and among them they reported that some bore the white badges of Saruman. So suspecting ... a league between Orthanc and the Dark Tower, I led forth my éored ... we overtook the Orcs ... near to the borders of the Entwood. There we surrounded them, and gave battle yesterday at dawn.'

The Two Towers, LoTR Book 3, Ch 2, The Riders of Rohan

Battle of the Hornburg
With a cry and a great noise they charged. Down from the gates they roared, over the causeway they swept, and they drove through the hosts of Isengard as a wind among grass. Behind them from the Deep came the stern cries of men issuing from the caves, driving forth the enemy. Out poured all the men that were left upon the Rock. And ever the sound of blowing horns echoed in the hills.

The Two Towers, LoTR Book 3, Ch 7, Helm's Deep

The Return of the King, LoTR Book 5, Ch 3, The Muster of Rohan
Siege of Minas Tirith: overview
Denethor sends for aid from Rohan
— — Muster of the Rohirrim
— — Ride of the Rohirrim
— — — Ghân-buri-Ghân Guides the Ride of the Rohirrim
'But say to Denethor that even if Rohan itself felt no peril, still we would come to his aid. ... The weapontake was set for the morrow. ... six thousands at the least shall ride behind me. For say to Denethor that in this hour the King of the Mark himself will come down to the land of Gondor, though maybe he will not ride back.'

The Return of the King, LoTR Book 5, Ch 3, The Muster of Rohan

Invasion of Eastern Rohan by Orcs
Ents Defeat the Invasion of Eastern Rohan by Orcs
And as they rode rumour came of war in the North. Lone men, riding wild, brought word of foes assailing their east-borders, of orc-hosts marching in the Wold of Rohan.

'Ride on! Ride on!' cried Éomer. 'Too late now to turn aside. The fens of Entwash must guard our flank. Haste now we need. Ride on!'

The Return of the King, LoTR Book 5, Ch 3, The Muster of Rohan

The Dawnless Day Arrives
Sauron's forces from the Morannon invade Anórien
— — Sauron's forces blockade roads
— — Sauron's forces breach the Pelennor Wall
— — The Pelennor is overrun
Siege of Minas Tirith begins
'Good tidings!' cried Éomer. 'Even in this gloom hope gleams again. Our Enemy's devices oft serve us in his despite. The accursed darkness itself has been a cloak to us. And now, lusting to destroy Gondor and throw it down stone from stone, his orcs have taken away my greatest fear. The out-wall could have been held long against us. Now we can sweep through....'

The Return of the King, LoTR Book 5, Ch 5, The Ride of the Rohirrim

Battle of the Pelennor: overview
Charge of the Rohirrim begins the Battle of the Pelennor
— — Théoden slays the Chieftain of the Haradrim
With that [Théoden] seized a great horn from Guthláf his banner-bearer, and he blew such a blast upon it that it burst asunder. And straightway all the horns in the host were lifted up in music, and the blowing of the horns of Rohan in that hour was like a storm upon the plain and a thunder in the mountains. ... the hosts of Mordor wailed, and terror took them, and they fled, and died, and the hoofs of wrath rode over them. And then all the host of Rohan burst into song, and they sang as they slew, for the joy of battle was on them, and the sound of their singing that was fair and terrible came even to the City.

The Return of the King, LoTR Book 5, Ch 5, The Ride of the Rohirrim

Théoden slain by the Witch-king
— — Éomer becomes King of Rohan
— — Witch-king slain by Éowyn and Merry
— — — Éowyn falls while slaying the Witch-king
Éomer takes a last stand
Stern now was Éomer's mood, and his mind clear again. He let blow the horns to rally all men to his banner that could come thither; for he thought to make a great shield-wall at the last, and stand, and fight there on foot till all fell, and do deeds of song on the fields of Pelennor, though no man should be left in the West to remember the last King of the Mark. So he rode to a green hillock and there set his banner, and the White Horse ran rippling in the wind. ...

... once more lust of battle was on him; and he was still unscathed, and he was young, and he was king: the lord of a fell people. And lo! even as he laughed at despair he looked out again on the black ships, and he lifted up his sword to defy them.

The Return of the King, LoTR Book 5, Ch 6, The Battle of the Pelennor Fields

Sauron's forces defeated
— — Siege of Minas Tirith broken
Rohirrim rout Sauron's forces from Anórien
The host of Orcs and Easterlings had turned back out of Anórien, but harried and scattered by the Rohirrim they had broken and fled with little fighting towards Cair Andros....

The Return of the King, LoTR Book 5, Ch 10, The Black Gate Opens

Battle of the Morannon
Out from the beleaguered hills knights of Gondor, Riders of Rohan, Dúnedain of the North, close-serried companies, drove against their wavering foes, piercing the press with the thrust of bitter spears.

The Return of the King, LoTR Book 6, Ch 4, The Field of Cormallen

History: Fourth Age
In Éomer's day in the Mark men had peace who wished for it, and the people increased both in the dales and the plains, and their horses multiplied. ... the King Elessar now ruled ... [in] all the lands of those realms of old he was king, save in Rohan only; for he renewed to Éomer the gift of Cirion, and Éomer took again the Oath of Eorl. Often he fulfilled it. For though Sauron had passed, the hatreds and evils that he bred had not died, and the King of the West had many enemies to subdue before the White Tree could grow in peace. And wherever King Elessar went with war King Éomer went with him; and beyond the Sea of Rhûn and on the far fields of the South the thunder of the cavalry of the Mark was heard, and the White Horse upon Green flew in many winds until Éomer grew old.

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


Language

Most of the Men of the northern regions of the Westlands were descended from the Edain of the First Age, or from their close kin. Their languages were therefore related to the Adûnaic, and some still preserved a likeness to the Common Speech. Of this kind were the peoples of the upper vales of Anduin: the Beornings and the Woodmen of Western Mirkwood; and further north and east the Men of the Long Lake and of Dale. From the lands between the Gladden and the Carrock came the folk that were known in Gondor as the Rohirrim, Masters of Horses. They still spoke their ancestral tongue, and gave new names in it to nearly all the places in their new country; and they called themselves the Eorlings, or the Men of the Riddermark. But the lords of that people used the Common Speech freely, and spoke it nobly after the manner of their allies in Gondor; for in Gondor whence it came the Westron kept still a more gracious and antique style.

The Return of the King, LoTR Appendix F, The Languages and Peoples of the Third Age: Of Men

Contributors:
Elena Tiriel 10Dec04, 15Dec04, 18Dec04, 8Jan05

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