The Wainrider War was a war between the Easterling Wainriders with their allies and Gondor with its Northmen allies.



In the more than 600 years following Minalcar's defeat of the Easterlings in TA 1248, the Easterling tribes of Rhûn were no longer a threat as Gondor ruled the lands of the east all the way to the shores of the Sea of Rhûn, and Gondor now had the loyalty of the Northmen of Rhovanion.[1] While during this long period, Gondor switched its territorial ambitions to the south and built a great naval fleet that ruled the seas.[1][2] However, the hatred of the Dúnedain and the Men of Gondor survived in the remaining tribes apparently living further east but the reasons for the unification and attack of these hostile Easterling tribes is not known. The only thing that is known is that it must have happened before TA 1851 with no doubt great preparation and planning.

Invasion Begins and Gondor DefeatedEdit

In TA 1851[3], the Wainriders fell upon Gondor and the realm of Rhovanion causing much destruction and leaving many dead especially amongst the Northmen. After five years of attacks, Gondor finally assembled an army led by King Narmacil II himself. The battle was lost and King Narmacil was slain in it as was his faithful Northman ally Marhari. Afterwards, Gondor lost its eastern lands and the realm of Rhovanion was occupied and enslaved.[4][5]

Rule of the WainridersEdit

For forty-five long years, the Wainriders ruled in Rhovanion where they built homes, settlements, outposts, and storehouses most likely with the use of forced labor. They also no doubt had freedom of movement between their conquests in the west and Rhûn that they never had had before, without opposition from Gondor or anyone else.[4][5]

The Beginnings of the ÉothéodEdit

Although most of the Northmen of the former realm of Rhovanion fell into slavery, some survivors of the sack and people made into fugitives by the Wainrider's takeover followed Marhwini, the son of the Marhari northwest into the Vales of Anduin where they settled. Out of these people came the Éothéod, who opposed the invaders and maintained friendship with Gondor. Surviving the Wainriders rule, they somehow knew of the Wainrider's plans and found out that they had grown hunger from more conquests and that there was great hatred of the Wainriders in those that they ruled. By TA 1899, they knew of their plans to attack the Gondor province of Calenardhon from over the Undeeps and gave that information to the Gondor. They also planned to rouse and assist a rebellion in Rhovanion when such an attack begun.[4]

The Tables TurnEdit

As the Wainriders prepare for war, the Gondor king Calimehtar sent a great host against them from out of North Ithilien. With this, the Wainrider's plans for Calenardhon changed and they sent all against Gondor. This worked in Gondor's favor as it allowed for the two foes to meet with all force in one place instead of many, leaving the Undeeps undefended. Gondor and its Éothéod allies took quick advantage of this and sent their own cavalry over the Undeeps, meant to attack the enemy from behind. The two armies met in Dagorlad, and the Wainriders were defeated with Marhwini's éored's support and with Gondor's cavalry assailing them from behind.

The Wainrider's defeat led to an uprising in Rhovanion by the slaves but the Wainriders were not completely expelled from the west, as they still remained in Rhovanion due to the slow progress of the slave rebellion. The Éothéod also continued to harass them from the northwest as well. Never-the-less, it was the beginning of the end to the Wainriders hold on the west.

A New ThreatEdit

For forty-five more years, the Easterling Wainriders were still a problem despite their losses in the west and plotted a new campaign. Needing more support to recoup their losses and defeat Gondor, they formed alliances with the Men of Harad and those of Khand. Once again, the Éothéod again warned Gondor of this new threat to the west. In the month of Cermië of TA 1944, war resumed with the Wainrider alliance threatening Gondor from both the north and the south. Ondoher prepared to meet the enemy in the north while Eärnil, his most trusted captain of armies prepared to face them in the south.

The King marched his army out of Ithilien intending to fight the enemy once again on the Dagorland, but is driven to the Black Gate by Wainriders from Rhovanion and a combined Wainrider/Khand army from Rhûn traveling along the Ash Mountains to battle. There King Ondoher was utterly defeated losing his life and his two sons: Artamir and Faramir. There were some survivors of the defeat that scattered south but field was lost.

The Wainriders occupied Northern Ithilien was no opposition setting up camps. Here, the victors celebrated believing Gondor was at last defeated but it was not true for Eärnil's smaller but well led Southern Army defeated an army of Haradrim in Southern Ithilien, and proceeded to march north to face the Wainriders. He met up with some of the retreating troops of Ondoher's defeated army and fell upon the Wainrider's camp in a surprise attack. The Wainrider's were completely defeated in a great rout. Those Wainriders that didn't escape back to Rhûn died in the Dead Marshes. The war was over.[4]


The Wainrider threat was over and the Northmen realm in Rhovanion was completely freed and cleared of the invaders and some of these Men migrated to Gondor where they were welcome as distant brethren.[4] In TA 1945, Eärnil was crowned King of Gondor.[3] The Éothéod also maintained friendship with Gondor.[4] Gondor's policy switched to aiding Arnor in the defeat of Angmar.[1]


The Wainrider War led to a series of events that created the Éothéod who later became the Rohirrim. Their long friendship with Gondor led to the later Oath of Eorl taken by their Lord and later King Eorl the Young after coming to the aid of another war against another Easterling threat, and the afterwards granting of Calenardhon to his people which afterwards became Rohan.[4]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 The Lord of the Rings, Appendix A: Annals of the Kings and Rulers, I: The Númenórean Kings, (iv): "Gondor and the Heirs of Anárion"
  2. The Atlas of Middle-earth, The Third Age, "The Kingdoms of the Dúnedain"
  3. 3.0 3.1 The Lord of the Rings, Appendix B: The Tale of Years (Chronology of the Westlands), "The Third Age"
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.5 4.6 Unfinished Tales, Part Three: The Third Age, II: "Cirion and Eorl and the Friendship of Gondor and Rohan"
  5. 5.0 5.1 The Atlas of Middle-earth, The Third Age, "Wainriders and Angmar"