Eorl the Young was the first King of Rohan. Eorl was a wise and valiant man and a great hero of his people. He had ruddy skin and blond hair that remained golden throughout his life.
Eorl was born in TA 2485. His father was Léod, the leader of the people called the Éothéod who lived in the far north near the source of the Anduin. In TA 2501 when Eorl was sixteen years old, Léod was killed by a wild horse that he had tried to tame; for this act the horse was called Mansbane by the Éothéod. Eorl hunted the horse and rather than kill him required that the horse serve him and surrender his freedom as a weregild. The horse submitted and Eorl renamed him Felarof. Felarof became Eorl's steed and was the father of the Mearas, who were the steeds of Eorl's descendants. It was also said that Felarof would not permit any other man to ride him.
Eorl succeeded his father as the leader of the Éothéod. They were a numerous people with many horses. They needed more room to roam, but there was nowhere for them to go.
On March 25, TA 2510 - when Eorl was twenty-five years old - an errand-rider named Borondir arrived with a message from Cirion, the Steward of Gondor. Gondor was being threatened by Men from Rhun called the Balchoth, and Cirion sought Eorl's help in defeating them. Eorl agreed to come, because he knew that if Gondor fell, all of Middle-earth would soon be conquered. Borondir was one of several errand riders sent out by the Stewards, but the only one to get through, due to the intervening enemies. Eorl assembled his Council of Elders to prepare to ride south.
On April 6 , Eorl rode forth with an Éored - or mounted army - of 7,000 fully armed Riders and several hundred mounted archers. Only a few hundred Riders were left behind to guard the women, children, and elderly. The eohere rode southward through the Vales of the Anduin - a journey of over 500 miles.
When they passed Dol Guldur in Mirkwood - where Sauron dwelled in secret - a darkness emanated from the fortress, and Eorl turned westward to avoid it. But then a white mist came from the woods of Lothlorien that stood across the River from Dol Guldur, and the Riders were hidden and continued safely on their way and, under the protection of the mist, apparently made the journey unwearyingly at an extraordinary rate of speed.
Eorl arrived at the Field of Celebrant on the morning of April 15. Gondor's army was being attacked on two fronts by the Balchoth and orcs from the Misty Mountains. Eorl and his Riders attacked the enemy from the rear, slaying many and driving the rest across the River Limlight. South of the Limlight lay the province of Gondor called Calenardhon, and Eorl and his Riders pursued the surviving enemies until the land was free of them.
After the Battle of the Field of Celebrant, Eorl accompanied Cirion to the Mering Stream on the southeastern border of Calenardhon, where they parted company. Cirion asked Eorl to meet him there again in three months and committed Calenardhon to Eorl's care in the meantime.
When they met again in August of 2510, Cirion brought Eorl to Halifirien, the Hill of Awe (also known as Amon Anwar because, unknown to all but the Steward and those in his deepest confidence, the Tomb of Elendil had stood since being placed there by Isildur after the fall of Sauron, in the Firien wood). There Cirion offered Eorl the land of Calenardhon as a new homeland for his people in gratitude for their service to Gondor. Eorl was deeply grateful for the Gift of Cirion, whom he admired as the wisest of all men then in Middle-earth. He accepted and he swore an Oath that his people would always come to Gondor's aid in time of need. Eorl realized that their peoples needed to remain allies in order to face the growing danger in Middle-earth. Cirion took a similar oath on behalf of the people of Gondor.
Eorl left about half his force to guard Calenardhon and returned to the far north to gather his people and their possessions. He led them back to their new homeland, and it became known as the Mark. In Gondor, the new land of their allies was called Rohan.
Eorl was King of the Mark for 35 years. He chose the hill at the entrance to the valley of Harrowdale to be the site of the town of Edoras. But Meduseld, the Golden Hall, was not completed in Eorl's lifetime, and he dwelled at Aldburg in the Folde. Eorl's son Brego was born in TA 2512.
In TA 2545, Rohan was attacked by Easterlings. The attack was thwarted, but Eorl fell in battle. He was buried in a mound outside Edoras, and his horse Felarof was buried with him. His son Brego succeeded him as King of Rohan.
Rohan continued to be ruled by the House of Eorl, and the people of Rohan called themselves the Eorlingas, or the Sons of Eorl. The Oath of Eorl was not forgotten. During the War of the Ring, King Theoden of Rohan honored his ancestor's Oath and came to Gondor's aid at the Battle of the Pelennor Fields. The Oath of Eorl was renewed by Theoden's successor King Eomer, who pledged continued friendship to Aragorn, King Elessar, of the Reunited Kingdom of Gondor and Arnor.
|Lord of the Éothéod|
TA 2501 – TA 2510
None, title abandoned in favor of King of Rohan
|King of Rohan|
TA 2510 - TA 2545
|Lords of the Éothéod|