- "They are proud and willful, but they are true-hearted, generous in thought and deed; bold but not cruel; wise but unlearned, writing no books but singing many songs, after the manner of the children of Men before the Dark Years. ''"
- —Aragorn, The Two Towers
The Rohirrim were a horse people of the land of Rohan, which was named after them.
Description and CultureEdit
Physically, the Rohirrim were a tall, blonde, and mostly blue eyed people. They were fiercely independent and conservative, remaining within their own language and culture. Their horses were very important assets in their everyday lives with their entire culture being based around the breeding and trading of them. Their people lived mostly in villages on the plains of Rohan where their horses grazed. There were very few cities in Rohan.
The Rohirrim are descended from the Éothéod, a race of Men who lived in the vales of the Great River Anduin, but that removed to Calenardhon, which was granted them in perpetuity by the Ruling Steward of Gondor, Cirion in reward for the assistance that they offered Gondor at a time of great need. As a result, they were lifelong allies of Gondor bound by the Oath of Eorl. At that time Calenardhon was renamed Rohan (Horse-land) after their many horses. By the Rohirrim themselves Rohan is usually called The Mark.
The terms Riders of Rohan and Riders of the Mark are commonly used and refer specifically to their mounted soldiers. The former is a chapter title in The Two Towers. The King's Riders were specifically the Riders who formed the bodyguard of the King.The Dúnedain of Gondor believe that the Rohirrim were distantly related to them (having descended from the Atanatári of the First Age) and describe them as Middle Men, that being inferior to the Númenóreans in both culture and descent, but superior to the Men of Darkness who had worshipped and served Sauron. However, Tolkien calls this a piece of Númenórean fiction meant to satisfy the national pride of the people of Gondor for the surrender of the territory of Calenardhon—in reality there had been no common ancestry between the people of Rohan and of Gondor.
The Rohirrim had had contacts with Elves in their ancient history, and knew of Eru, but like the Dúnedain they did not worship him in any temples. They seem to have highly valued the Vala Oromë the Hunter, whom they called Béma.
They are ruled by a line of kings descended from Eorl the Young, who had first brought them to Rohan, and in time of war every able man rode to meet the Muster of Rohan.
The name is Sindarin for People of the Horse-lords (sometimes translated simply as Horse-lords) and are mostly used by outsiders: the name they had for themselves are Eorlingas, after their king Eorl the Young who had first brought them to Rohan. Rohirrim is a collective noun, and when used grammatically as a subject or object is usually used with the definite article (i.e. the Rohirrim). It can also be used as an adjective to modify another noun (e.g., a Rohirrim village, a troop of Rohirrim cavalry, etc.) The pure adjectival form, meaning "pertaining to the Rohirrim," is Rohirric (Rohirric tactics, Rohirric culture, etc.)