"We must stop this rat-hole, Dwarves are said to be cunning folk with stone. Lend us your aid, master."
Gamling to Gimli in The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers

Gamling was a Man of Rohan sometimes known as "Gamling the Old" referenced in The Two Towers and the Return of the King.


Gamling was from the Westfold and he understood the language of Dunland. Gamling is left in charge of the forces defending Helm's Dike (a fortification across the Deeping-coomb before the stronghold of the Hornburg defending Helm's Deep) by command of Erkenbrand.

King Théoden of Rohan arrives at Helm's Deep with reinforcements from Edoras on March 3, 3019. As the forces of Isengard approach, Gamling and his men pull back from Helm's Dike and enter the stronghold of the Hornburg. Gamling hears Gimli's warning that Orcs have entered a culvert under the wall and leads the Men of the Westfold in a charge that drives them back.

Gamling then asks Gimli to help block up the opening with small boulders and broken stones with the remark, "We must stop this rat-hole. Dwarves are said to be cunning folk with stone. Lend us your aid, master!" However, Saruman's forces later breach the Deeping Wall using an explosive device. Gamling retreats into the Deep with Gimli. There they defend the narrows before the entrance to the Glittering Caves until dawn, when Gandalf and Eomer arrive with reinforcements, and the Battle of the Hornburg is won.

He is later mentioned by Theoden prior to the Charge of Pelennor Fields, where Gamling is told by Theoden to "Follow the king's banner down the centre." He is seen shooting arrows into the stomach of a Mumakil from beneath it while riding on horseback, but he is not seen after the battle, and it is assumed he was killed.


Gamling roughly means "Old one" in Swedish, Icelandic, Danish, and Norwegian.[2]

Portrayal in adaptationsEdit

The Lord of the Rings film trilogyEdit

In Peter Jackson's The Two Towers and The Return of the King, Gamling is portrayed by the New Zealand actor, Bruce Hopkins.[1] He serves as the main lieutenant to King Théoden, also perhaps his bodyguard, and plays quite a major role in organizing the defenses of Helm's Deep, as in the Book. Gamling, unlike in the Book, does not aid the entrance to the Glittering Caves, as such, but instead rides out with the remaining defenders towards the main Orc army outside.

Gamling again appears in The Return of the King, and rides to Dunharrow with the other Rohirrim, but shows doubts towards Aragorn, Legolas and Gimli leaving towards the lair of the Army of the Dead, instead of staying with the people of Rohan to fight. Gamling is present at the Battle of the Pelennor Fields, where he can be seen firing arrows at various Mûmakil, and slaying one. Gamling dies during the Battle of the Pelennor Fields.

In the films, Gamling's role is greatly expanded actually appears to be a mesh of several different characters from the books. In the books he only appears as the captain of the permanent garrison of men located at Helm's Deep and in this role he likely answered to Théodred, the Second Marshall before his death and later to Erkenbrand. In the films he first appears in Meduseld, apparently either second in command to Hama the door warden, or a replacement of Déorwine, the captain of Théoden's knights.

During the third film he is shown to be one of the three main captains of Rohan during the Battle of the Pelennor Fields, appearing replacing Elfhelm. He is also appears to replace Guthláf the banner-bearer who in the books used a great horn to signal the charge of the Rohirrim. In the film, Gamling is seen to do this at the start of the battle and later when Théoden ordered a charge against the Mumakil. In the deleted scene in which Éowyn fights Gothmog and is saved by Aragorn and Gimli, Gamling's corpse could be seen near where Éowyn fell during the fight.

Gamling was in the The Lord of the Rings (1981 radio series) where he was voiced by Patrick Barrin.

Video gamesEdit


Gamling in the LEGO: The Lord of the Rings

Gamling makes an appearance in The Lord of the Rings Online and LEGO The Lord of the Rings: The Video Game. He is also a playable character, and can be purchased in Fangorn Forest along with Grishnákh. For an unknown reason, his hair is in white instead of blond (as in the films).

Voice Dubbing actorsEdit

Foreign Language Voice dubbing artist
Spanish (Latin America) Herman López
Spanish (Spain) Domenech Farell
Portuguese (Brazil) (Television/DVD) Luiz Antônio Lobue
German Frank Röth
Czech (Czech Republic) Jaroslav Kaňkovský
Slovak Miroslav Trnavský
Italian (Italy) Roberto Draghetti
Hungarian Csaba Krisztián Csík
Turkish Ayhan Kahya

Translations around the WorldEdit

Foreign Language Translated name
Chinese (Hong Kong) 加姆林


Gamling in Edoras
Gamling and Háma
Gamling and King Théoden
Gamling on horse


  1. 1.0 1.1
  2. J.R.R. Tolkien, "Nomenclature of The Lord of the Rings" in Wayne G. Hammond and Christina Scull (eds), The Lord of the Rings: A Reader's Companion, p. 758