7 Things You Might Not Know About Rohan [Lore]

June 25, 2012

Tolkien's Lore

To celebrate the announcement of the Riders of Rohan expansion, I have been reading up on the lore of Rohan and its peoples. Page references are in parentheses. (parentheses) in quotes refer to original parentheses in the text. [square brackets] refer to my notes.

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1: The people of Rohan originally dwelt in “The Vales of Anduin between the Carrock and the Gladden Fields, for the most part on the west side of the river.” For those rusty on the geography of Middle-Earth, this area is roughly 200 miles NORTH of Lorien, near the eaves of Mirkwood. (Unfinished tales, pp 373)

2: They were a remnant of the Northmen, who had “formerly been are numerous and powerful confederation of peoples living in the wide plains [similar to today's Rohan] between Mirkwood and the River Running, great breeders of horses and riders renowned for their skill and endurance.” (Unfinished tales, pp 373) Appendix A of the Lord of the Rings suggests they were also related to the Beornings.

3: The area now known as Rohan was previously part of the Kingdom of Gondor. This continued until the battles of Parth Celebrant (LotRO’s Great River region) in the year T.A. 2510. Gondor was in peril. “Defeated in the Wold and cut off from the south, Gondor’s armies had been driven across the Limlight, and was then suddenly assailed by the Orc-host [presumably from the ever-growing power of Dol Guldur] that pressed it towards the Anduin. All hope was lost when, unlooked for, the Riders came out from the north and broke upon the rear of the enemy. Then the fortunes of battle were reversed, and the enemy was driven with slaughter over Limlight. Eorl led his men in pursuit, and so great was the fear that went before the horseman of north that the invaders of the Wold were also thrown into panic, and the Riders hunted them over thge plains of Calenardhon [Rohan]” Yay for the Riders! (The Lord of the Rings, Appendix A)

4: Thus began the friendship between Eorl and Cirion, the ruling Steward of Gondor at the time. In reward for his aid, Cirion granted Eorl the land now known as Rohan, which they named the Mark of the Riders, and they named themselves the Eorlingas (known in Gondor as the Rohirrim.) In return, Eorl, who had now become the first King of the Mark, swore to come to Gondor’s aid whenever required [the lighting of the beacons on the White Mountains] (The Lord of the Rings, Appendix A)

5: King Theoden is the 17th King of the Mark of Rohan, and the last of the Second line. Line simply refers to a line of direct descendants. The first line came to an end in the year 2759, after the death of Haleth and Hama, the sons of the 9th king, Helm Hammerhand in the Long [5 month] Winter. As Theoden’s only son, Theodred, falls in the battles of the Ford of Isen, Eomer is the first king of the 3rd Line (The Lord of the Rings, Appendix A)

6: “Marshal of the Mark (or Riddermark) was the highest military rank and the title of the King’s lieutenants (originally three), commanders of the royal forces of fully equipped and trained Riders. The First Marshal’s [at the time of the Lord of the Rings, there is no First Marshal, and this post is occupied by the King of the Mark] ward was the capital, Edoras, and the adjacent King’s Lands (including Harrowdale). [...] The Second and Third Marshals were assigned commands according to the needs of the time. In the beginning of the year 3019 the threat from Saruman was the most urgent, and the Second Marshal, the King’s son Theodred, had commant over the West-mark [military term for westfold] with his base at Helm’s Deep. The Third Marshal, the King’s nephew Eomer, had as his ward the East-mark [eastfold] with his base at his home, Aldburg in the Folde.” (Unfinished Tales, page 475)

7: The name Rohan, is a simplification of Rochand, the sindarin name for Éothéod (Rohirric for Rohan.) Roch is a Sindarin translation of ‘éo’, which in itself, is an Anglo-Saxon word meaning ‘horse.’ the ‘and’ ending is a common Sindarin ending for a land or country. The ending ‘théod’ derives from the saxon for the same word.
As ‘theod’ also means people, the word for the Rohirric peoples (Rohirrim) in Rohan is also Éotheod. The common (Sindarin) word derives from ‘Roch’, ‘hîr’, meaning ‘lord’, or ‘master’, and ‘rim’, meaning ‘host’. This ending is commonly seen, Galadhrim, Malledhrim, Eledhrim (meaning all elf-folk), and Onodrim (ent-folk.) (Unfinished Tales, pp 412)

That’s all I can find for now of interest. If you can find any more, which is easily possibly, as I’m yet to read the History of Middle-Earth series, then leave a comment. I hope you found something here that you didn’t know, or found interesting.

Thanks for reading!

Hildifast

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About Hildifast

Imladris's resident Huntard. I like pew-pewing. It's all I'm good at.

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31 Responses to “7 Things You Might Not Know About Rohan [Lore]”

  1. Avatar of shipwreck
    shipwreck Says:

    Great stuff! And, again, I’m still impressed you stayed up so late to hang with us last night :)

    Reply

    • Avatar of Hildifast
      Hildifast Says:

      Thanks! Most of it was covered by you yesterday, but never mind :D Also, about last night, you said we were ‘champs’ for staying up late. As a hunter, I find that offensive. I’m no champ. :P

      Reply

  2. Bogdan Epureanu Says:

    Quite interesting, but pretty advanced staff for someone not really crazy about lore. :)

    Reply

    • Avatar of Hildifast
      Hildifast Says:

      Sorry :) Did you need anything explaining? I’m happy to help

      Reply

      • bob101910 Says:

        The first 2 were great for me. For the rest I said “ahh I should really start reading the books”. Feels a little advanced for those not into the lore much, but that’s my problem. I really should be reading the books

        Reply

      • Bogdan Epureanu Says:

        I’ve read the books and saw the movie, but only once… so yeah I’m quite familiar with main characters like Frodo, Aragorn, Gandalf, somehow familiar with secondary characters like Elrond or Theoden, but pretty much everything past this point is more or less a big blur.

        Now don’t get me wrong, I’m sure whatever you say there is really interesting, but you lost me somewhere at the mid of the article.

        What I would suggest (if you allow me of course) is that if you’ll try to do something similar in the future to split the paragraphs in two (the first part really to understand by any newbie like me and the second part for the true lore fans) – something like:

        5: The Mark of Rohan had three lines of direct descendents. From “our times” King Theoden was the last (17th) king of the second line and since his only son, Theodred, died in the battles of the Ford of Isen, his line ended here. Eomer (who followed Theoden) was the first kind of the third line. (pretty much everything who read the books / show the movie should be able to understand this)

        If we’d go farther in the past, we’ll find that the first line came to an end in the year 2759, after the death of Haleth and Hama, the sons of the last (9th) king from the first line, Helm Hammerhand in the Long [5 month] Winter. At that point Theodred ancestor, name here, became king and he was the first king of the second line. (that’s not directly related with movie/books, but interesting for true fans).

        … just my 2 cents …

        Reply

    • mmicnova Says:

      not sure if you’re bold or have long hair.
      three cheers for our romanian brother!

      Reply

  3. Dedric H. Says:

    Whoa, cool man! Can’t wait to see you in The Hobbit! Maybe Merric and Goldenstar can have you on a podcast! I didn’t know you were a Tolkien lore fan, too!

    Reply

  4. Danania Says:

    Wow! Very nice Hildifast!

    Printing it out so I don’t just sound like a dumb blonde with a mouse and a keyboard.

    Will be finding ways to work “Eorlingas” into conversations…

    Reply

    • Eva Says:

      Nice post!

      re 7.: Someone should really, really have taught this bit to the directors/actors/producers in the LOTR movies. Whenever, in the DVD extras and commentaries, I heard someone talk about “the Rohans”, I wanted to kick something.

      Reply

    • Avatar of Hildifast
      Hildifast Says:

      Good luck with that :) Its worth noting that ‘Eorlingas’ basically means the followers/kin of Eorl. ‘Helmingas’ was later used to mean the followers/kin of Helm Hammerhand. Isengard pre-order stuff!

      Reply

  5. Beryline Says:

    This is excellent stuff. Thanks for taking the time to summarize all this and refresh our rusty lore!

    Reply

  6. Kia Says:

    Great article!!

    Reply

  7. Ellywen Says:

    Hey :)

    I thought this article is great. Well written I thought.
    I dont know much about lore. Just seen the films (a few times hihi) and listened to SQPN: Secrets of Middleearth podcast.

    You only lost me in point 7 which I thought still interesting that all the words mean something but it got too advanced there ;)

    Would love to read some more lore articles !

    Reply

    • Ellywen Says:

      lol Im glad my grammar teacher is not around to slap me around the head

      Reply

      • Avatar of Hildifast
        Hildifast Says:

        haha :D Thanks, I’ll try to explain point 7 simpler:

        Rohirric:
        Éothéod = Rohan AND Rohirrim. Anglo-Saxon origin, Éo = Horse, théod = land AND people.

        Sindarin: (Common)
        Rohan comes from Rochand. Roch = Horse, and = land/country.
        Rohirrim comes from Roch = Horse, Hir = Master/Lord, Rim = Host. The ‘rim’ ending is also seen in Galadhrim, Malledhrim and Onodrim (Ent-Folk)

        Reply

  8. Ellywen Says:

    Beautifully explained :D Thank you

    Reply

  9. Frandoc of Vilya Says:

    Very nice; thanks for doing this.

    Reply

  10. Avatar of Carica
    Carica Says:

    Rohan is a simplification of Rochand which is Sindarin for Éothéod which is Rohirric for Rohan which is a simplification of Rochand which is…… I could go on and on saying that. XD

    Really though, I didn’t know a lot of things explained here before. Pretty cool facts, thanks!

    Reply

  11. Avatar of The Dwarrow Scholar
    The Dwarrow Scholar Says:

    A great article, thank you for sharing. :)

    One dwarf related fact concerning Rohan… perhaps little known as well..

    The ancestors of the Rohirrim, known as “The Éothéod”,lived in the far north by the Grey Mountains between the rivers Greylin and Langwell, from 1900 T.A till 2510 T.A (when Eorl the Young led the Éothéod south to settle Calenardhon, the land later known as Rohan). During this time the Dragon “Scatha” terrorized both the Éothéod and their closest neighbors the Longbeards of the Grey Mountains.

    Fram son of Frumgar (an ancestor of Eorl the Young – First King of Rohan) slew the might worm (likely before the year 1977 T.A)

    Fram claimed ownership of the hoard of the worm, which was quickly disputed by the Longbeards of the Grey Mountains, as they had suffered many generations under Scatha’s terror.

    Fram however rebuked the claim of the dwarves and sent them Scatha’s teeth instead, with the words, “Jewels such as these you will not match in your treasuries, for they are hard to come by.”

    As you can imagine the dwarves were furious, the affair escalated and quickly led to the death of Fram in a feud with the Dwarves.

    Though it is unclear how the dispute was resolved. The Rohirrim (Fram’s descendants) clearly do not think highly of the Grey Mountain dwarves. Fram’s descendants “brought few good tales from the north of that folk” (from The Lord of the Rings).

    As a side note, the Éothéod certainly retained at least some of the hoard, and brought it South with them when they eventually settled in Rohan.
    As, the horn that Éowyn gave to Merry Brandybuck after the War of the Ring (many hundred years later) came from Scatha’s hoard.

    Reply

  12. Miguel Says:

    Interesting

    Reply

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