2. Author's Notes
2. "That was a worthy man! All spoke his praise. He came seldom to the Mark, for he was ever in the wars on the East-borders; but I have seen him."—Éomer, of Boromir, "The Riders of Rohan," TTT, 47. I am assuming that since Boromir was a rare visitor at Edoras, and since Éomer himself had responsibilities in the Eastfold, gatherings where he, Théodred, and Boromir were present at the same time would be extremely rare, and would probably come when battles were less frequent. Hence the timing of this meeting: ploughing tended to start sometime in March for mediaeval European societies, and I'm assuming this might be an excellent time to gather the premier nobles of the realm to discuss political matters and celebrate the surviving of another winter.
Also, I assume that just because Tolkien never went into any detail about dealings between Denethor and Théoden does not mean there were none.
3. Elfhelm is a good man, and he has the rank, but he is not First Marshal yet, and will not be unless an accident befall Father, no matter how much Elfhelm may act the part.—See Appendix one of "The Fords of Isen," UT, 384. Elfhelm has the rank of marshal, but not, apparently, of First Marshal. That remained with Théoden, leading to the undoing of an effective central command when Théoden came under Wormtongue's spell. Hence my extrapolation, that Elfhelm, despite his rank and having the duties of a marshal, would not be permitted to offer counsel to the king. For a description of Gríma's strategy when trying to handle Théodred and Éomer, see "The Fords of Isen," UT, 371.
4. On Dunlendings: obviously, they were a threat a year later at Helm's Deep; and the Rohirrim have a history of troubled relationships with them. I assume that Saruman would have used them in the past, just as he was ultimately behind the orc attacks in the Westfold.
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