Rohan is an open grassland that stretches from the Anduin to The White Mountains. It was famous for some of the greatest horses, and horsemen in Middle-earth.
The Rohirrim were descendants of the Northmen, who were in turn the descendants of the ancient men of Edain. These Northmen lived on the eastern edge of Mirkwood, and raised horses just as the Rohan did. In the year 1635 a great plague struck the lands of Gondor, a particular part, Calenardhon, was badly effected, with most of it's inhabitants left dead or fled to some other region. The plague also killed many Northmen and their horses. Two centuries later the Wain riders came from the east, they defeated the Gondorians and slew or enslaved nearly all the Northmen. However some of the Northmen managed to escape destruction, and they travelled north and west, to Carrock where they settled, naming themselves the 'Eothed', or 'horse people'. Troubled by the presence of Dol Guldur, which unknown to them housed Sauron at that time, and out of room for their growing population, the Eothed relocated in 1977. They moved to the source of the Anduin.
It was 2501 when the first member of the Eothed attempted to capture a wild horse, Leod, the peoples leader, attempted to ride one but was killed. However his son Eorl tamed the horse, and named it Felrof. This very horse became the descendant of the mearas, the greatest horses in middle-earth. Gandalf the White rides Shadowfax, a descendant of Felrof, in the War of The Ring.
It was in the year 2510 that the Eothed earned their lands. Gondor called for aid, as the wicked men of Rhun had invaded, the horse people set off immediately. Their journey was perilous and took them passed Dol Guldur, but as they passed the fort a great mist shrouded them from enemy sight, this was later speculated to be the work of Galadriel. They found the Gondor army in great trouble at the Field of Celebrant, they had been defeated and pushed back from The Wold, and been surprised by a company of Orcs. However the Eothed arrived just in time, and attacked their foes in the rear, scattering or slaying all of them. As a reward for their bravery Cirion of Gondor gave them the land of Calenardhon, which had become unpopulated due to the plague. The gift was theirs until the return of the King – it was the very land that came to be known as Rohan.
Eorl ruled the people for thirty five years, he chose the valley of Harrowdale as the place for Rohan's capital, but the Golden hall was never built in his lifetime. It was during the reign of Brego that Meduseld was constructed. Brego also drove the Easterling invaders from Rohan, and pushed the Dunlending wildmen to the Misty mountains. In 2699 hosilities with the Wildmen were escalating. They were stealing horses from the Rohirrim. It was deducted that they had settlements in the Westfold and Isengard. In 2710 Deor, King, lead an army to the Westfold, and defeated the Dunlendings.
In 2741 the legend of Helm was made. Helm, king of the horsemen, ruled in a time when the Dunelndings were invading Rohan. A man named Freca, of mixed Rohan and Dunlending blood, was refusing the king's rule and expanding his lands on the border between Rohan and Dunland, in defiance to the king's rule. During a meeting, at which both Freca and Helm were present, Freca asked if he could marry Helm's daughter, Helm refused. In anger Freca insulted the King, who in retaliation struck the half Dunlending in the head, killing him instantly. From there on, he was known as Helm Hammerhand.
Four years later Freca's son, Wulf, led the Dunlendings into Rohan. They were aided by the Corsairs, who launched an attack on Gondor at the same time. Rohan was ovverrun, Edoras was captured and Helm was drove back to the stronghold in the mountains, that became known as Helms Deep. His son Haleth, died defending the doors of Meduseld. Wulf sat on the throne in Edoras while the men in Helms Deep endured a long winter, the Rohirrim were desperate – during that winter Helm himself froze to death. In the meantime Helm's nephew, Frealaf had been holding the stronghold of Dunharrow. From there he orgranised a force, and managed to drive the Dunlendings out of Rohan and retake Edoras.
During the year 2953, Thengel's reign, when Theoden was but a child Saruman had began launching Uruk-hai raids into Rohan, and made alliances with Dunland. At first the Rohan didn't realise the Orcs came from Isengard. At a similar time Orcs from Mordor began stealing horses from Rohan, especially black coloured ones for the Nazgul to ride.
War of The Ring
Rohan had a part to play in the war concerning The Ring. Theoden although a great king in his youth had become frail, and dependant on his counsellor Grima. Grima, however, was allied with Saruman, and manipulated Theoden to the wizard's advantage.
Eomer the horseman, nephew of Thedoen, suspected an alliance between Saruman and Sauron. He pursued Uruk-hai and slew them against Theoden's orders (Grima had pursuaded the king to this). It was also during this time that during a battle with Orcs, on the Fords of Isen, Theodred was slain.
In March, 3019, what remained of the Fellowship came to Edoras, Gandalf, Legolas, Aragorn and Gimli. Gandalf freed Theoden from Grima's influence, and the counseller fled back to Isengard. On the very same day Theoden learnt that Saruman's huge army of 10,000 had been unleashed across Rohan. He fled with his people, along with the Fellowship, to Helms deep. The army of Uruk-hai moved through the Westfold, pillaging as they went. When they reached Helms Deep a great battle followed, in which the defender's were greatly outnumbered. Nonetheless they held out the entire night, until Gandalf arrived at dawn with 1000 of Erkenbrands men. The Uruk-hai army was routed into a mysterious forest of Huorns that had come from fangorn forest and settled in the Deeping Dike. In the meantime ents had attacked Isengard, and imprisoned Saruman in Orthanc.
On March 15 Theoden led his mustered force of Rohirrim to the aid of Gondor. They found the city burning and overrun, the Gondorians had been pushed back to the upper levels. Theoden charged with his men and routed the Orc army, as well as slaying many of the Eastern men. However Theoden was killed by the lord of the Nazgul, who was in turn slain by Eowyn, the kings neice, and Merry, esquire of Rohan. Upon the Kings death Eomer was the new king.
March 16th, Eomer agreed to lead his men to the Black gate to bide Frodo time. He took 500 men on foot, 500 mounted. In the meantime Elfhelm led 3000 men to slay the remaining Mordor forces in Gondor. After Saurons destruction Eomer accompanied Aragorn across the lands, killing the remainder of Sauron's forces. During Eomer's reign of 65 years Rohan grew, and by the fourth age it reached a time of peace and prosperity.
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