The Council of Elrond

THE DAY: The Council of Elrond

October 25th, 3018 TA, The Council of Elrond. Okay, so this is the longest chapter in the book, I love it, but I know that a lot of people find it slightly boring. The point being, I have no idea how to talk about it in this post. But it was a pivotal moment. Now, in the movie, the nine companions thing just sort of happens...but in the book, there is a lot of time passing before that. Seeing as the council is October 25th and they did not leave Rivendell until December 25th (Christmas day! The savior set out to save us, as Frodo and the Fellowship set out to save Middle Earth. It would take Jesus 33 years to complete his journey, though, and Frodo only 13 months. Exactly one 3rd though) So, at the council, Frodo agrees to take the Ring, and Gandalf decides to go with him. After a bit, Elrond decides that there should be nine companions, so he takes a look at all the people there, and chooses seven more. Gimli the Dwarf to represent all Dwarves. Legolas to represent his people, and in a way, all elves. Gandalf, because Gandalf is very powerful, because he is a Wizard and represents them, because he would have gone anyway, regardless of what Elrond decided. And because he is Gandalf. Boromir to represent Gondor and the Race of Men (he thinks) and Aragorn, to represent Gondor and the Race of men..wait a minute....
Samwise because Gandalf urged him too, and because Sam would not be parted from his master, and because Sam would have gone anyway...(he and Gandalf...tsk tsk tsk). 
And, in the book, Gandalf and Elrond (long after the actual council) argued about the last two companions. And it was a close shave for Merry and Pippin. But they got in. And THUS was born the Fellowship. But I can see why Sir Peter Jackson did what he did, because lets face it, when you make a movie, you HAVE to shorten and cut some things. Especially things like the Council of Elrond. 


2984 TA
Ecthelion II dies, and Denethor II becomes Steward of Gondor. Not very interesting. I don't like Denethor. 
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Welcome! Faramir of Gondor!


In the year 2983 TA, Faramir of Gondor was born. Dear Faramir, that sweet and gentle youth with a really really despicable father. (Let us try to be kind.)
There really isn't much to say about Faramir. As we know, he married Eowyn of Rohan, and they kept the line of Stewards going. He was also made Lord of Ithilien. He lived a long and happy life with his beloved. Was greatly favored by the king. Was honored and respected by the people of Gondor...etc etc. He was kind of old during the whole War of the Ring, about 35, but Tolkien didn't mention the year of his death in the Tale of the Years. But he said when he was born, so there we have that. 


Oh my, this is a coincidence. It was on October 24th that Boromir arrived at Rivendell. Also it was today that Frodo recovered and awakened. 
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Fanatics, Obsessed, and Over Obsessed

Oho! So you've read the Lord of the Rings have you? *Rubs hands together with anticipation* Well isn't that nice! Absolutely delightful I'm sure. You probably enjoyed it too! Maybe, in the depths of your mind you are even considering reading it again. How lovely. Delightful! Splendid! Possible, you are even what you might call, a fanatic. Maybe. Possibly, but probably not. Perhaps you even go so far as to call yourself an obsessed fanatic. Wrong.
I shall address the first
Fanatic....well a quick question. Did you know there was a prologue to the Lord of the Rings? Did you? Did you? If so, have you read it? If still so, have you read the whole shebang twice? If STILL so, have you read the hobbit twice as well? Have you done all this with the intention of doing it AGAIN? and AGAIN? and AGAIN?
If so to all the above, you are a fan. But simply, "reading the Lord of the Rings and liking it" doesn't count. I mean, what are feelings and virtues without actions?

And now for the next issue, which I am dealing with.....wait for it.....NEXT! (Oh my, you never saw that one coming did you?)

And obsessed fanatic....tsk tsk tsk...such large words. All the better to trap you with my pretty.
We have recently defined "fanatic" in regard to LOTR, now let us do the same with "obsessed"
Now, what we should really say is two fanatics and an obsessed. Which means that, to be an obsessed fanatic, you must meet the fanatic requirements. Then do them all again, then meet obsessed requirements. So with that in mind. Do one fanatic, then do an obsessed, then do a fanatic again, and you will get much more out of it. An obsessed being the....will you ever guess.....I can just hear the music going on right now....I can keep my words in time with the beat.....even though you can't hear it....imagine really morose and boring music playing every time you see and...ellipses....anyway....back to the matter at hand....where was I?.....oh yes of course....APPENDICES!!! (yay!!! Drumroll! You totally saw that one coming.)
So yeah. Reading the appendices, word for word page for page, no skips, no skims, just read it.

So the moral of this story, is read The Hobbit, The Prologue, The Lord of the Rings...Then do it again...Then read the Appendices.....Then The Hobbit, The Prologue, The Lord of the Rings...then again...then just keep going every two years for the rest of your life....there you go, now you're beginning to get the hang of it. Good.

Someday I will talk to you about being and OVER Obsessed Fanatic. I think I even have a whole chart lying around here somewhere. Doesn't it seem like this post has gone on way to long. I feel like I should talk about Tolkien to make up for it. Of course, we have a whole page for that, so wouldn't that be silly now?

Are there people who read LOTR TWICE a year? Or maybe even once a season....which is, you know...four times a year.
Doubt it. But it's a nice thought.
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A very long and uncoordinated rant.

I know that there are a lot of people who find it strange and even annoying, that Tolkien had the whole scouring of the Shire. It is a little strange. The whole story has been resolved and Middle Earth saved, and the Ring destroyed. And suddenly, there is a whole other climax and problem to be solved. But it is very realistic. The whole world is in danger, so why should the Shire get of with out a scar? It tends to remind one that even after you go off on an adventure and become a hero, there is still home waiting for you, with its own little problems and stories and adventures. A true hero never gets to rest on his laurels. Frodo could have reasonably complained that he had already saved the world and been through so much, so he shouldn't have to deal with this other problem. But he doesn't. He steps up and saves the shire (with the help of his friends of course. I mean, wasn't the whole point of his quest to save the Shire in the first place? Take, for instance, a man who is having financial trouble and feels unable to support his wife and children. He is then drafted into the army, and is a little relieved and happy in a way, because now his family will have some extra money. He then goes off to war. He is promoted, he helps save the country. He is a hero. Then he goes home and finds that his family is in even greater need than before. Does he sit back and say, "I have already saved the country. Work it out yourself, I have done enough"? What reader would read that and sympathize with the man? None. He is being selfish and silly and stupid, and anyone can see that in a moment. The man set out to save the country, but in a true soldiers heart, his family and loved ones are what he really sets out to save. And so, when he returns, hero though he is, he gets to work to help his family. For that, he will get little or no credit from his neighbors and fellow men. Likely, no one will ever know. But it would be in remaining true to his family that he would become a real hero.  And so Frodo, Sam, Merry and Pippin, proved themselves worthy of their already gained fame, by saving the Shire. 
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This blog has got me completely swamped, what with this, the World of Hobbits and the newest addition of The Tolkien Dictionary (not yet public). I mean, I cant keep up. But your brave Goldenrod will try very very hard to keep this blog and all the others, because she loves this blog very much, and doesn't want to say bye bye to it. So anyway, that is what is up here. Not that you were wondering. I just thought I would mention it.
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Three things that saved the world.


Many things happened in the year 2980 TA. But there are three main events which affected the War of the Ring.

Gollum finally made his way to Mordor and became acquainted with Shelob. This is of course pivotal, because it was this acquaintance that ultimately got Frodo and Sam into Mordor, against Gollum’s wishes of course.

A small, but important event: Theoden became king of Rohan.

And of course, one of the most important events ever, the birth of Samwise Gamgee. As everyone knows, Frodo would have died before he even reached the Dead Marshes if it hadn't been for Sam. And of course, if Frodo had died and Gollum had taken the Ring, where would the rest of Middle Earth be? Without Sam, all of the free folk would have become dead or slaves of Sauron. Three cheers for Samwise!!

Also, in the year 2980 TA was Aragorn’s second meeting with Arwen Undómiel in Lórien. It was on the hill of Cerin Amroth that Aragorn gave Arwen the ring of Barahir and they “plighted their troth” as it were. This is interesting, because in the movie, a big deal is made about Aragorn and the ring of Barahir, when Worm-tongue sees it. But Aragorn wouldn't have had the ring then, because he had given it to Arwen Undómiel long ago. 


October 6th, 3018 TA, Frodo was stabbed on Weathertop by the Witch King. The only note on that is that Frodo, while seemingly healed by Elrond, still feels pain in his shoulder every October 6th.

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Let us join to welcome Boromir of Gondor into the world.

In the year 2978 TA, Minas Tirith, Gondor; Boromir, son of Denethor son of Ecthelion, of the the House of Stewards, was born. My unofficial Boromir Day is the 26th of February, the day of his death. February is a long time away, but there will be a special post on that day in remembrance of dear Boromir. It will probably be quite long too, as all and sundry Tolkienites, will be invited to contribute a little bit of their thoughts on Boromir. Unfortunatly, Boromir made himself rather unpleasant before he died, so most everything about Boromir is about his death, or makes you dislike him.
“Is it not a strange fate that we should suffer so much fear and doubt for so small a thing? So small a thing! And I have seen it only for an instant in the house of Elrond! Could I not have a sight of it again?"
Poor Boromir, he DID suffer a lot of fear and doubt for the Ring, and in the end, it drew him to try and kill Frodo. But he died with honor, nonetheless. His character is a strange one, and I must confess, I have looked into it very little, if at all. He perishes so quickly, and plays so little part in the great war, or so it would seem. I realized when I chose this event for this post, that I had neglected Boromir. And I fear that many Tolkienites have neglected him too. I encourage my fellow Tolkienites to read the Fellowship of the Ring (and the other two) yet again, but this time, pay attention to Boromir. Watch his every move, and hear his every word. Think what part he has to play. What did his short time in the story mean to Frodo Baggins; how did it effect his future decisions?
Let us not forget Boromir so soon, just because he was gone so fast. Needless are none of the characters of JRR Tolkien in life, nor in death.

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Bain becomes king of Dale

In the Year 2977 TA Bain, son of Bard, became King of Dale. 

As a refresher for the old memory, Bard was the man who killed the Dragon Smaug with the Black Arrow, this story is told in The Hobbit. Bard was also a key figure in The Battle of Five Armies and after all that, he was crowned king of Dale officially, though the people had obeyed him as soon as he killed the Dragon. Not only did he prove himself worthy of the crown through his bravery, but he really was king by blood, being related to the last king of Dale. But Dale had not had a king for a long time, and had instead a master, who proved himself a coward and a swindler in time of trouble. So the people decided on a Kind of Dale again, and of course Bard was chosen. So in the year 2977 TA, Bard's son Bain became King of Dale.

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In the year 2976 TA, Denethor son of Ecthelion married Finduilas of Dol Amroth. And I must say, Denethor was portrayed rather well in the movie by John Noble, however, his manner was different than the book. Denethor was a lot more polite and measured in the book, but in the movie, he was much too nasty and in front of guests too. In fact, the whole movie relationship between Denethor and Faramir was off. Possibly because Faramir was completely messed up in the movie. I mean, utterly messed up. In the book, Faramir basically takes one look at the ring and declares that he would not pick it up if it lay by the wayside, or something to that effect, but in the movie, he takes the poor hobbits prisoners and drags them all the way into Osgiliath.
But this is supposed to be about Denethor and Finduilas. In the movie Dol Amroth is nonexistent. I do not recall that is was mentioned even once. But in the books, the prince of Dol Amroth aids in the Battle for Minas Tirith. Aids a lot, he is actually a fairly important figure in the book. Related by marriage to the House of Stewards and all that.
Well anyway, that is the YEAR for this post, now lets see what happened on September 29th in the War of the Ring.

On September 29th 3018 TA, Frodo and the Hobbits reached Bree at night. Which means that this is also the fateful day on which they met Aragorn son of Arathorn. And were almost killed by the Black Riders. Other than that, not much happens on September 29th. I declare this day to be Butterburr day, in honor of poor dear Barliman.
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Frodo is Born!!

My good Readers, I had intended to happy birthday Frodo and do this whole Post on September 22nd, but I didn't quite finish the ones that had to come first, so it is late. But, 
In the year 2968 TA September 22nd 
Frodo son of Drogo was born. Dear old Frodo. If his poor dear mother had had any idea what would have happened to him, she would have hidden him away, never to be found. I suppose it is a good thing that she didn't, otherwise someone else would have had to take the Ring to Mordor, or Bilbo would have kept it and gotten worse and worse, until the Ringwraiths came to the Shire and took it. Then Sauron would have power over all Middle Earth. 
Also, today, being September 28th, Frodo, Samwise, Merry, and Pippin were all captured by a barro-wight. And Gandalf reached Sarn Ford. 
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Mount Doom is awake!

In the year 2954 TA, in the Land of Mordor, Mount Doom woke up. For some time, Sauron had been gathering his power in Mordor, and had declared himself openly in 2951 TA. But it was not until 2954 TA that the mountain burst into flame again. The last inhabitants of Ithilien fled over the Anduin, 

Just two years later, Aragorn son of Arathorn met Gandalf Stormcrow, Greyhame, The Grey, Mithrandir...etc etc. This was the time when that pivotal friendship began, the friendship that changed the fate of many. 

Now then, let me see what September 27th is the anniversary of. 
Not much really happened. The second night with Tom Bombadil, and Gandalf crossed the Greyflood. Hmm, since there is no special mention of this day I shall have to make it special by myself. I now declare that September 27th is National Goldberry Day, at least on this site it is. So my good friends, bring lilies to dear Goldberry today. Not that there are very nice lilies in late September. 

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Why is Mordor in the East?

I am pretty sure that most Christians agree that Jesus came out of the East. Hence the name Easter.
So why did Tolkien, a very devout Christian, put the most terrible and evil place in the books, in the East? In The Lord of the Rings, everything bad, unpleasant and horrible comes from the East. However, the only hope for Middle Earth lies in the East also (the destruction of the Ring). The greatest threat and the only hope are in the same place. You could arguably say that Jesus and the Devil come from the same place in a way, they both came from Heaven originally. And I can bet that the whole time Jesus was on Earth, Satan was following Him around, trying to find a way to stop Him, or something to that effect. He failed, obviously, but the point remains. So you could, in some strange fashion tie these ramblings together, and make a decent enough reason for putting Mordor in the East. But wait! Tolkien disliked allegory. And (I could be wrong, but its a good idea) it is much more likely that Tolkien (from what I know of him) would have put Mordor in the East simply because there wasn't a real reason. He probably put Mordor in the East to avoid the allegory that a lot of people try to attach to his works, especially the behind the book nonsense that there would of been had Mordor been in the West. Of course it could have been some completely different reason. Or a combination of the two. But there was a reason. Morder didn't just happen to wind up in the East by accident, if you read closely and pay attention, it is wuite easy to see that Tolkien really did put a lot of thought into the matter. Mordor's direction was a carefully made a deliberate decision. And he must have had some reason, whatever it may be.

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...For every Tolkien reader it is a must~Yorkshire Pose (U.K)

I have just acquired the The Complete Tolkien Companion by J. E. A. Tyler. 
For all those who journey to J.R.R. Tolkien's Middle Earth, here is the complete guide to its lands, legends, histories, languages, and people. The Tolkien Companion explains, translates, and links every single reference - names, dates, places, facts, famous weapons, even food and drink - to be found in Tolkien's world...
I have found this book to be incredibly useful, and I don't believe the library will get it back for a good long while. It contains, not every word in Tolkiens books, but every reference and name. It has pointers to where you can find information in the books themselves, and references to other books with more information. In itself, it provides plenty of information regarding things even as obvious as the word "Mordor". It is indeed, the Dictionary of all Tolkienite terms. For anyone who loves the Lord of the Rings and wishes to know more about those references that they took for granted while reading, this is THE book to get. It is not to pricy if purchased on Amazon (ranging from ten to twenty dollars, but well worth the value) and most public Libraries should have a copy. Goodreads provides useful information on the book, author, and places to get it.

Today is Bilbo's and Frodo's birthday!
Happy Birthday Bilbo and Frodo!
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2951 TA: Aragorn learns his name and meets Arwen

In the year 2951 of the Third Age of Middle Earth, Elrond of Rivendell came to Aragorn son of Arathorn and told him of his lineage. Also in this year, Aragorn son of Arathorn met Arwen Undomiel, daughter of Elrond of Rivendell. 

   'But when Estel was only twenty years of age, it chanced that he returned to Rivendell after great deeds in the company of the sons of Elrond; and Elrond looked at him and was pleased, for he saw that he was fair and noble and was early come to manhood, though he would yet become greater in body and in mind. That day therefore Elrond called him by his true name, and told him who he was and whose son; and he delivered to him the heirlooms of his house.    "Here is the ring of Barahir," he said, :the token of our kinship from afar, and here also are the shards of Narsil. With these you may yet do great deeds; for I foretell that the span of your like shall be greater than the measure of Men, unless evil befalls you or you fail at the test. But the test will be hard and long. The Sceptre of Annuminas I withhold, for you have yet to earn it."   'The next day at the hour of sunset Aragorn walked alone in the woods, and his heart was high within him; and he sand, for he was full of hope and the world was fair. And suddenly even as he sang he saw a maiden walking on a greensward among the white stems of the birches; and he halted amazed, thinking that he had strayed into a dream, or else that he had received the gift on the Elf-minstrels, who can make the things of which they sing appear before the eyes of those that listen.   'For Aragorn had been singing a part of the Lay of Luthien which tells of the meeting of Luthien and Beren in the forest of Neldoreth. And behold! there Luthien walked before his eyes in Rivendell, clad in a mantle of silver and blue, fair as the twilight in Elven-home; her dark hair strayed in a sudden wind, and her brows were bound with gems like stars.    'For a moment Aragorn gazed in silence, but fearing that she would pass away and never be seen again, he called to her crying, Tinuviel, Tinuviel! even as Beren had done in the Elder Days long ago.   'Then the maiden turned to him and smiled, and she said: "Who are you? And why do you call me by that name?"   'And he answered: "Because I believed you to be indeed Luthien Tinuviel, of whom I was singing. But if you are not she, then you walk in her likeness."   '"So many have said," she answered gravely. "Yet her name is not mine. Though maybe my doom will not be unlike hers. But who are you?"

Excerpt taken from 
Appendix A>>Annals of the Kings and Rulers>>1. The Numenorean Kings>>(v) Here Follows Part of the Tale of Aragorn and Arwen

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Tolkien the Catholic

CS Lewis' Chronicles of Narnia is very allegorical. You can read it once and easily put Aslan in the role of Jesus, Lucy in the part of The Holy Virgin. Edmund is symbolic of the betrayal of Man, so Aslan (as Jesus) had to die for his sins, that he might be saved. He eat the forbidden Turkish Delight. Jadis is given the part of the Devil. And if you look deeper, Peter is given the part of Peter, and Susan the part of heresy. Its alright in the beginning, but then it goes farther and farther away from the Truth.
So there you have it. Easy to see, not that it is all that simple...but this is not about CS Lewis, it is about his best friend JRR Tolkien. 
Tolkien rejected the thought that the Lord of the Rings was at all allegorical. He disliked Allegory. And, in fact, there is no reference to God, or the Church, anywhere in his stories, nor did he intend there to be. 
Some people, trying to make it fit an allegorical mindset, might say that Gandalf was cast as Jesus, and he died that other's might live. You could say that Galadriel was Mary, and Sauron the Devil. But you could just as well say that Frodo was given the part of Jesus, so he must Perish that all might live. Eowyn could be cast as Mary, and the Witch King as the devil. The truth of the matter is, you could cast any number of different characters in different roles. And it still wouldn't quite work. 
No one in this story has any reference to a god, or to any kind of religion or cult or anything at all like that. Gandalf once mentions what could be shown as Heaven, the white shores and the swift sunrise, but there is no mention of some king that dwells there that could be a god. Greater powers at work in the world are often mentioned, but not in a way that suggests that someone is responsible for them. 

And yet, somehow, the Lord of the Rings still has a very Christian message. How?
Some of the answer is found in The Silmarillion which (despite his dislike of allegory) contains a splendid allegorical retelling of the Creation and The Fall.
Here Tolkien does name the creator-God of Middle-earth, Eru ("the One,") as well as the mighty spirit Melkor, who rebelled against Eru and went into darkness. We also learn that Sauron, maker of the One Ring, is himself an agent of this Melkor. Tolkien thus establishes a direct relationship between the theistic, even Judeo-Christian cosmology of The Silmarillion and the war for the One Ring recounted in The Lord of the Rings.
And yet, The Lord of the Rings all on its own is still very Christian.
In the Lord of the Rings itself there is no mention of Eru, nor is there any explicitly religious component to the characters’ behavior. And yest, Tolkien’s Catholic worldview not only stands behind the saga of the Ring in its prehistory, but surrounds and suffuses it in its overarching themes and imaginative structures.

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Ian Holm and JRR Tolkien

There is a surprising similarity between Ian Holm (BILBO) and JRR Tolkien
 The noses are almost identical. The dimples are very close. The lines coming from the nose to the mouth are strikingly similar and the ears have the same, strange shape. In the pictures aboce, the hairlines are almost the same. Tolkien's smile, however, is very different from Holm's 
 Ian Holm has a straight even smile and Tolkien's smile turns up at the corners.
But despite that, they really are very similar, something which I find interesting. 

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A friendly visit, 2949 TA

I don't know if a I am the only one who gets sad towards the end of The Hobbit. Poor Bilbo. Some of his friends have died, and the others he will never see again. That is sad. But then you learn that Balin came to see him, and he went of on adventures with the dwarves many times. And the world is pleasant again.
So it was in the year 2949 TA that Balin and Gandalf came to visit Bilbo in the Shire.  A year after Theoden was born, and a year before Boromir's and Faramir's mother was born. That gives you an idea of how old dear Bilbo was. Very.
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There are many powerful moments in the Movie rendition of The Battle of the Hornburg. Many symbolic and beautiful moments

First, the elves come. Help out of the blue, completely unexpected and unlooked for. A last alliance of elves and men. Heroic, yes. Wonderful, yes. But that is not what made the battle what it was. 

There is something in that whole battle sequence that links it all together and makes it beautiful, heroic, brave, powerful, meaningful. 

It could be the love between Aragorn, Legolas and Gimli. It could be the moment when Haldir dies in Aragorn's arms. Perhaps it is when Aragorn and Theoden gather the rest of the Rohirrim and ride out to die in glory and fight the hopeless fight. It could be the love and loyalty of Eomer when he returns to save the man who banished him from his home. It could be the hope and light of Gandalf returning. The bravery of the men behind the walls. 
But even when you put all that together, you really just have a lot of fighting and death and no hope. Because there is still a big question. 
Why are the men behind the walls so brave?
Why did Aragorn and Theoden ride out?
Why did Eomer return?
Why were the men prepared to fight until they all died?

There could be many reasons. And there are many reasons. But the one that unites them all. That makes the battle more than a bunch of men and orcs killing each other. One thing that explains it all. 
And that is the women and children hiding in the caves.
These men are fighting for their wives, children, sisters, brothers, mothers, grandmothers. They are fighting for the people. Willing to die to defend the people. Brave for the people they are protecting. 
Peter Jackson captured this perfectly, but frequently cutting from the battle, to the women and children. Terrified, weeping, hiding in the caves and listening to their loved ones die. 

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2948 TA

In the year 2948 of the Third Age in the Land of Rohan, Theoden son of Thengel, King of Rohan was born. 

Theoden became king of Rohan in the year 3980 and reigned until he was killed by the Witch King of Angmar on March 15th 3019 TA. He was 71 years old at the time of his death. The story of his death and the battle for Minas Tirith is told in "The Battle of the Pelennor Fields" being chapter 6 of Book Five in The Lord of the Rings.

Theoden earned great renown in the Battle of The Hornburg on March 3rd and 4th 3018 TA when he and Aragorn son of Arathorn rode out into the midst of the enemy, with a small company of horsemen.

There also it is told how Eowyn and Meriadoc killed the Witch King and how Minas Tirith was saved.  
After Theoden died, his nephew, Eomer son of Eomund becomes King of Rohan. 

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