is the green land just north of the White Mountains1
. It was given to the Éothéod
(Steward of Gondor
) late in the Third Age
. The Éothéod, later known as the Rohirrim
, or Riders of the Mark
for their love of horses, have their origins in the far north (they have slight resemblances to the Beornings
), and it was during the wars of Gondor
that Cirion called upon them to ride to his aid. This they did willingly, because they were becoming a populous people and were running out of room in their limited territories in the north.
With the help of these Northmen
, Gondor was victorious, and as a reward, Cirion gave them the province of Calenardhon
to dwell in; renaming it Rohan2
. With this came a pact of friendship between Rohan and Gondor, one that would last into the fourth age.
The kings of Rohan dwelt in the Golden Hall of Meduseld
in their chief city and capital, Edoras
. They were at war often, with their sworn enemies, the Dunlendings
, as well as with all servants of Sauron
in the nearby White Mountains). It was in the War of the Ring
that one of their most trusted neighbors, Saruman
turned against them and broke the Second Line of Kings
, killing Théodred
, son of Théoden
Saruman, however, was vanquished when unforeseen powers3
came to the aid of Rohan; his forces were defeated at the Battle of the Hornburg
, and the walls of Isengard
were torn down. Finally, Rohan
answered the Red Arrow
, and, when the Lord of the Nazgûl
stood at the gates of Minas Tirith
, they arrived at the Battle of the Pelennor Fields
"You cannot enter here," said Gandalf, and the huge shadow halted. "Go back to the abyss prepared for you! Go back Fall into the nothingness that awaits you and your Master. Go!"
The Black Rider flung back his hood, and behold! he had a kingly crown; and yet upon no head visible was it set. The red fires shone between it and the mantled shoulders vast and dark. From a mouth unseen there came a deadly laughter.
"Old fool!" he said. "Old Fool! This is my hour. Do you not know death when you see it? Die now and curse in vain!" And with that he lifted high his sword and flames ran down the blade.
Gandalf did not move. And in that very moment, away behind the same courtyard of the City, a cock crowed. Shrill and clear he crowed, reckoning nothing of wizardry or war, welcoming only the morning that in the sky far above the shadows of death was coming with the dawn.
And as if in answer there came from far away another note. Horns, horns, horns. In dark Mindolluin's sides they dimly echoed. Great horns of the North wildly blowing. Rohan had come at last.
(The Return of the King)
J.R.R. Tolkien Node
1Rohan is bordered by the Entwash on the east, the Gap of Rohan on the west, the Misty Mountains and Fangorn Forest on the North, and the White Mountains in the south. The Rohirrim used the Snowbourn River to divide their land into "folds;" the lands to the west of the Snowbourn called the Westfold, and the lands to the east the Eastfold.
2Rohan is derived from the Elvish Rochand, 'horse-land' - so named for its wide fields, ideal for the raising of horses.
3See: Ents/Huorns; Mithrandir