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Timeline Event

Invasion of Rohan from West and East: Overview

Event Type: Military/Strategic

Age: 3rd Age - The Stewards

Years: 2758 ~ 2759


Table of Contents:

The Enemy
The Timeline
The Prelude
The War
The Aftermath

The Enemy

In the days of Beren, the nineteenth Steward ... Three great fleets, long prepared, came up from Umbar and the Harad, and assailed the coasts of Gondor in great force; and the enemy made many landings, even as far north as the mouth of the Isen. At the same time the Rohirrim were assailed from the west and the east....

The Return of the King, LoTR Appendix A, Annals of the Kings and Rulers: Gondor and the Heirs of Anárion: The Stewards

Rohan was again invaded from the East, and the Dunlendings seeing their chance came over the Isen and down from Isengard. It was soon known that Wulf [son of Freca] was their leader. They were in great force, for they were joined by enemies of Gondor that landed in the mouths of Lefnui and Isen.

The Return of the King, LoTR Appendix A, Annals of the Kings and Rulers: The House of Eorl

The Timeline

[Note: no date is given for any of these events, except the Long Winter; only the year is canon.]

2710 III
Dunlendings occupy Isengard

Helm slays Freca in Edoras

Gondor attacked by Corsairs

Invasion of Rohan from West and East begins
Wulf defeats Helm at the Fords of Isen
Helm besieged in the Hornburg

Wulf captures Edoras
Haleth, Helm's heir, slain defending Meduseld

The Long Winter begins

Days of dearth (famine) follow the Long Winter
Háma, Helm's heir, dies in the Siege of the Hornburg
Helm Hammerhand, King of Rohan, dies in the Siege of the Hornburg

Rohan suffers great floods after the Long Winter

Fréaláf recaptures Edoras
Wulf slain by Fréaláf in Meduseld

Gondor sends aid to Rohan
Rohan repels its assailants
Fréaláf expels the Dunlendings from Isengard

Fréaláf Hildeson becomes King of Rohan

Saruman invited to Isengard
Saruman begins using the Palantír of Orthanc

The Prelude

But under Brego and Aldor the Dunlendings were rooted out again and driven away beyond the Isen.... Thus the Rohirrim earned the hatred of the Dunlendings.... Whenever the Rohirrim were weak or in trouble the Dunlendings renewed their attacks. ...

The line of the Gondorian chieftains of Angrenost had failed, and the command of the fortress passed into the hands of a family of the people. These ... were already long before of mixed blood, and they were now more friendly disposed to the Dunlendings than to the "wild Northmen" who had usurped the land.... After the death of King Aldor ... the Dunlendings unmarked by Rohan but with the connivance of Isengard began to filter into northern Westfold again, making settlements in the mountain glens west and east of Isengard and even in the southern eaves of Fangorn. ... the Dunlendings, having been admitted as friends, had seized the Ring of Isengard, slaying the few survivors of its ancient guards who were not (as were most) willing to merge with the Dunlendish fold.

Unfinished Tales, Part 3, Ch 5, The Battles of the Fords of Isen: Appendix

Beyond the Gap [of Rohan] the land between Isen and Adorn was nominally part of the realm of Rohan; ... [but] the people that remained were largely of mixed blood, and their loyalty to Edoras was weak: the slaying of their lord, Freca, by King Helm was still remembered.

Unfinished Tales, Part 3, Ch 5, The Battles of the Fords of Isen: Notes, Note 4

The War

Rohan attacked from west and east and overrun. Gondor attacked by fleets of the Corsairs. Helm of Rohan takes refuge in Helm's Deep. Wulf seizes Edoras.

The Long Winter follows. Great suffering and loss of life in Eriador and Rohan. Gandalf comes to the aid of the Shire-folk.

Death of Helm. Fréaláf drives out Wulf, and begins second line of Kings of the Mark. Saruman takes up his abode in Isengard.

The Return of the King, LoTR Appendix B, The Tale of Years: The Third Age

The Aftermath

The Rohirrim were grievously reduced by war and dearth and loss of cattle and horses; and it was well that no great danger threatened them again for many years, for it was not until the time of King Folcwine that they recovered their former strength.

It was at the crowning of Fréaláf that Saruman appeared, bringing gifts, and speaking great praise of the valour of the Rohirrim. All thought him a welcome guest. Soon after he took up his abode in Isengard. For this, Beren, Steward of Gondor, gave him leave, for Gondor still claimed Isengard as a fortress of its realm, and not part of Rohan. Beren also gave into Saruman's keeping the keys of Orthanc. That tower no enemy had been able to harm or to enter.

In this way Saruman began to behave as a lord of Men; for at first he held Isengard as a lieutenant of the Steward and warden of the tower. But Fréaláf was as glad as Beren to have this so, and to know that Isengard was in the hands of a strong friend. A friend he long seemed, and maybe in the beginning he was one in truth. Though afterwards there was little doubt in men's minds that Saruman went to Isengard in hope to find the Stone still there, and with the purpose of building up a power of his own.

The Return of the King, LoTR Appendix A, Annals of the Kings and Rulers: The House of Eorl

[Note: the dates are set to include the events: Wulf defeats Helm at the Fords of Isen through Fréaláf expels the Dunlendings from Isengard.]

Elena Tiriel 15Aug04, 22Sep05

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