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Rohan, originally Rochand, is a fictional location from J. R. R. Tolkien's universe of Middle-earth.

Rohan is a kingdom of farmers on the northern borders of Gondor in Middle-earth. Well-known for their horses and cavalry, they're Gondor's most important ally.

Table of contents
1 History
2 Description
3 Politics
4 Important Rohirrim


In the 1200s of the Third Age, the Kings of Gondor made close alliances with the Northmen of Rhovanion, a people akin to the Three Houses of Men (later the Dúnedain) from the First Age.

In the 2000s TA, a remnant tribe of such Norsemen calling itself the Éothéod moved from the valleys of Anduin to the north west of Mirkwood, clearing out what remained of the recently defeated witch kingdom of Angmar, east of the Misty Mountains.

Later, in 2509 TA, Cirion the Steward of Gondor sent summons to the Éothéod for aid in throwing off a combined invasion of Men from the north east of Middle-earth, and Orcs from Mordor.

Eorl the Young, king of the Éothéod, answered the summons, and arrived unexpected at a decisive battle at the Field of Celebrant.

As a reward, Eorl was given the plains of Calenardhon, and he moved his kingdom there. This land had earlier been part of Gondor proper, but had been devastated by the plague of 1636 TA, and the survivors to a large extent slain by the invasion mentioned above.

The first line of kings lasted for 249 years, until the ninth king Helm Hammerhand died after his sons. His nephew Fréaláf Hildeson began a new line which lasted until the end of end of the Third Age, when king Théoden was slain after his son Théodred. Éomer, sisters-son (nephew) of the king then took up the reign.

In 2758 TA, Rohan was invaded by Dunlendings under Wulf, son of Freca, of mixed Dunland and Rohan blood. The King, Helm Hammerhand, took refuge in the Hornburg until aid from Gondor and Dunharrow (a Rohirrim refuge) arrived a year later and defeated the invaders.

It was soon after this that Saruman arrived and took over Isengard, and was welcomed as a strong ally, since it would take Rohan close to 200 years to recover its strength after the invasion.

In 3014 TA, Saruman began using his influence to weaken the King, Théoden, as part of a campaign to invade or take over the kingdom. In 3019 TA Saruman launched a full-scale invasion on Rohan, with victory in the two first battles (at the Fords of Isen) and defeat at the Battle of Hornburg, where the Huorns came to the aid of the Rohirrim.

On the heels of this victory, Théoden rode with an army to Minas Tirith and helped break its siege in the Battle of the Pelennor Fields, where he was slain. Éomer, the new king, then rode with the armies of Gondor to the gates of Mordor and took part in the final battle with the forces of Sauron, who was defeated when the Ruling Ring was destroyed.

The rule of the stewards of Gondor was now over. King Éomer and the new king of Gondor Elessar renewed their oath of alliance, and reaffirmed Cirion's grant of Calenardhon to the Rohirrim.


Important places and the borders of Rohan

The capital of Rohan is the hillfort of Edoras which lies on the slopes of the White Mountains. The second most important town is Dunharrow, even deeper in the White Mountains. One of the most impressive places in Rohan is the Hornburg, a great fortress which is part of a chain of fortifications at Helm's Deep.
The borders of Rohan are: the river Isen (in the west, bordering Saruman's Isengard), the river Adorn (a tributary of Isen, also in the west, forming the border with the unfriendly Dunlendings). The White Mountains (in the south), the Mering Stream (in the southeast, the border between Rohan and Gondor), the Mouths of Entwash (in the east) and the Limlight (a tributary of the Anduin, the northern border).

Climate and countryside

The countryside of Rohan is described as a land of pastures and lush grassland. It looks a lot like the Central Asian steppe, so does its climate

The Rohirrim and their horses

The Rohirrim are descendants of the Edain of the First Age. They didn't go to Beleriand like the Edain who were later rewarded with the island of Númenor by the Valar. The ancestors of the Rohirrim were known as the Éothéod and were given the province of Calenardhon by Gondor after the afore-mentioned Battle of the Field of Celebrant.
The Rohirrim are famous as skilled horsemen, masters and breeders. Their horses are known as the Mearas, the noblest and fastest horses who have ever roamed Arda. The armies of Rohan contain thus a lot of horses.


Rohirric is like the languages of all
Men akin to Adûnaic, the language of the Edain. The Rohirrim call their homeland the Ridenna-mearc, the Riddermark or simply the Mark and call themselves the Eorlingas, the Sons of Eorl.

Rohirric bears a similar relationship to the Common Speech of Middle-earth as that of Old English to modern English, and so Tolkien renders Rohirric names and phrases into Old English (Anglo-Saxon), just as the Common Speech is translated into English. Examples include words such as Mearas (Old English for horses) and éored.

Many archaic Hobbit names bear similarities to Rohirric, since the ancestors of the Shire hobbits lived on the upper reaches of the Anduin, close to the ancestors of the Rohirrim, and there was apparently a good deal of linguistic cross-fertilisation. The name Hobbit itself is believed to be derived from the Rohirric Holbytlan (hole builders). These names are also translations of the original Westron Kuduk (Hobbit) and Rohirric kûd-dûkan (hole dweller), of course.

Note: Tolkien was an expert on languages, especially Old English.


Alliance with Gondor

The alliance between Rohan and Gondor came into existence in the year 2510 of the Third Age. In that year the Easterlings lauched a massive invasion of Gondor. The army of Gondor was defeated and trapped between the Limlight and the Celebrant. Gondor which had always been on friendly terms with the different tribes of the Northmen sent messengers to the closest Northmen tribe, the Éothéod. Although it was unlikely that the message calling for aid would come through, it did. Then Eorl the Young and his fierce Éothéod Riders unexpectedly took the field during the Battle of Celebrant and turned the tide in the favor of Gondor. As a reward Cirion, the Steward of Gondor, gave Eorl the depopulated province of Calenardhon for his people to settle, while fulfilling Gondor's need for a strong ally. The Oath of Eorl was sworn by both Cirion and Eorl. Neither nation has ever broken the alliance ever since. Rohan has gone through great lengths to fulfil their part of the treaty including sacrificing two of its heirs when Gondor was under threat from the Haradrim in 2885 T.A., when Fastred and Folcred, the twin sons of King Folcwine, were killed during the Battle of Crossings of Poros. King Théoden once again honored the alliance in the Battle of the Pelennor Fields.

War with the Dunlendings

To the west of Rohan lived the Dunlendings, a native people who had been hostile against the Free Peoples for a long time. The Dunlending Wulf briefly was an usurper of the throne of Rohan during the long winter.

Rumours of tributes paid to Sauron

During the early days of the
War of the Ring, rumours were spred that the Rohirrim supplied Sauron's armies with horses. These rumours were obviously false: the Rohirrim valued their horses more than anything, and would never send them away, even as tribute. Still these rumours had some effect, in that they obscured the fact it was Saruman who had fallen, rather than Rohan.

Important Rohirrim

Rohan, Brittany was also a viscounty, later a duchy in Brittany, currently in France.