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War between Rohan and Dunland

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War between Rohan and Dunland
Conflict: War between Rohan and Dunland
Date: TA 2758 - Spring TA 2759[1]
Place: Rohan, White Mountains[2]
Outcome: Dunlendings defeated, Second line of the Kings of Rohan begins.[1]
Gondor (later stages)[1]
Other enemies of Gondor and Rohirrim[1]
Helm Hammerhand
Fréaláf Hildeson
Unknown Unknown, but no doubt formidable numbers
Heavy Very Heavy

The War between Rohan and Dunland was a war fought between Rohan and the Dunlendings in the late Third Age.



Ever since the former Gondor province of Calenardhon was awarded to the Rohirrim by Cirion for the faithful loyalties of their founder Eorl the Young instead of them, the Dunlendings remained forever hostile. For in the building of their kingdom, the Rohirrim forced these uncivil and barbaric Men out of their settlements in the northern valleys at the foot of the White Mountains and the plains of what would become western Rohan. They frequently raided Rohan and were always a source of trouble to it. However, the Rohirrim and Dunlendings still had to live side by side with one another and apparently intermingled and intermarried and had peace for a time.[3]

In the twenty-eighth century of the Third Age, a man known as Freca, said to have both Rohirrim and Dunlendish blood rose in power and wealth and lorded over the Dunlendings on both sides of the disputed Adorn river. He peacefully cooperated with the Kings of Rohan and was supposed to obey the king's summons and attend his councils; however, in later years when he sought the throne of Rohan, he grew arrogant and only came when he felt like it.[1]


In TA 2754, Freca, drunken with pride and ambition he boldly rode into the King's house with a force of men for a meeting. Freca began making demands to King Helm that his son Wulf should be wedded to Helm's daughter which would no doubt give he and his family power. Helm refused and insulted him before his men. Humiliated, Freca flew into an angry rage nearly starting a fight in the hall. Helm finally met him face to face outside of Edoras in a field and after insulting him further struck him down with one blow from his fist, and he died soon afterwards. Still furious, Helm proclaimed all of Freca's successors the enemy of Rohan.[1]

War and SiegeEdit

Four years later in TA 2758, the Dunlending led by Wulf came for their revenge at a time when Gondor could not help them. Rohan was invaded from the east and from Isengard assembling in great force at mouths of the rivers Lefnui and Isen. The armies of Rohan were defeated. Edoras was conquered and Wulf sat in the Meduseld calling himself King of Rohan. The Dunlendings were cruel, taking slaves and forcing the surviving Rohirrim to flee to the dales in White Mountains and Helm fled to the Hornburg taking great losses but the worse was yet to come. A long and terrible winter fell upon all of Middle-earth affecting both sides. Helm and his loyal remnant of Rohirrim endured a long siege throughout the long winter bringing terror to the enemy, but in time he, his sons, and followers perished in the cold or in battle.

When the Long Winter was over Fréaláf Hildeson, Helm's nephew came down from Dunharrow with a small force and regained the Meduseld and retook Edoras. Wulf was slain and soon all the remaining enemy forces were driven out with the help of Gondor whose forces were now able to help their ally.[1]


Fréaláf Hildeson now became King of a second line of Kings in Rohan. Saruman also came to Rohan proclaiming friendship, wooing the new king with gifts, and praising their victory over their enemies and for many years appeared on the outside to be Rohan's friend, living peacefully in Isengard. Helm's body was brought down from the Hornburg and buried in the ninth mound of the Kings of Rohan. Rohan was weakened for many years to come but so were its enemies and so no further threat of invasion came again. Years after, King Folcwine restored the realm to its former strength.[1]


The defeat of Dunlendings in the war left behind bitter memories in the Dunlendings who continued to hate Rohan and its rulers. They still coveted the land of Rohan that they failed to capture for themselves. So hundreds of years later when the fallen Wizard Saruman became powerful and hostile to Rohan, they joined with him and his allies to harass Rohan during the War of the Ring.[4]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 The Lord of the Rings, Appendix A: Annals of the Kings and Rulers, II: The House of Eorl
  2. The Atlas of Middle-earth, The Third Age, "Deepening Difficulties"
  3. The Complete Guide to Middle-earth
  4. The Lord of the Rings

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