Tolkien Gateway

Théoden

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| description=Tall, braided white hair, bright eyes; long beard by [[War of the Ring]]
 
| description=Tall, braided white hair, bright eyes; long beard by [[War of the Ring]]
 
| parentage=[[Thengel]], [[Morwen Steelsheen|Morwen]]
 
| parentage=[[Thengel]], [[Morwen Steelsheen|Morwen]]
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| siblings=4 sisters, including [[Théodwyn]]
 
| spouse=[[Elfhild]]
 
| spouse=[[Elfhild]]
 
| children=[[Théodred]]
 
| children=[[Théodred]]
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| weapon=[[Herugrim]]
 
|}}
 
|}}
{{quote|Out of doubt, out of dark, to the day's rising<br>he rode singing in the sun, sword unsheathing.<br>Hope he rekindled, and in hope he ended;<br>over death, over dread, over doom lifted<br>out of loss, out of life, unto long glory.|[[Gléowine]]<ref>[[J.R.R. Tolkien]], ''[[The Lord of the Rings]]'', ''[[The Return of the King]]'', "[[Many Partings]]"</ref>}}
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{{quote|Out of doubt, out of dark, to the day's rising<br>he rode singing in the sun, sword unsheathing.<br>Hope he rekindled, and in hope he ended;<br>over death, over dread, over doom lifted<br>out of loss, out of life, unto long glory.|[[Gléowine]]<ref>{{RK|VI6}}</ref>}}
'''Théoden''' ([[Third Age]] 2948 – March 15, 3019, aged 71 years) was the seventeenth [[King of Rohan]], ruling for 39 years, from {{TA|2980}} until his death. He was the last of the Second Line.
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'''Théoden''' ([[Third Age]] 2948 – March 15, 3019, aged 71 years) was the seventeenth [[King of Rohan]], ruling for 39 years, from {{TA|2980}} until his death. He was the last of the Second Line.<ref name="Mark">{{App|Mark}}</ref>
  
 
==History==
 
==History==
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===Early Life===
 
===Early Life===
  
Théoden was the oldest son of [[Thengel]], and became king after the death of his father in [[Third Age]] 2980. Théoden spoke [[Sindarin]] and [[Westron]] rather than [[Rohirric]], and in his youth spent time in [[Gondor]].
+
Théoden was the only son of [[Thengel]], and became king after the death of his father in {{TA|2980}}. Théoden spoke [[Sindarin]] and [[Westron]] rather than [[Rohirric]], for he had been born in [[Gondor]] and spent his youth there.
  
His sister [[Théodwyn]] lived with him in [[Edoras]], and after she and her husband both died he adopted her children [[Éomer]] and [[Éowyn]] as his own. He had a son, [[Théodred]], whose mother [[Elfhild]] died in childbirth.   
+
Théoden loved his sister [[Théodwyn]] most of all.  After she and her husband both died he adopted her children [[Éomer]] and [[Éowyn]] as his own. He had a son, [[Théodred]], whose mother [[Elfhild]] died in childbirth.<ref name="Mark"/>
 +
 
 +
In {{TA|3014}} Théoden's health began to failThis may have been due to natural causes (he was sixty-six) or it may have been induced or increase by subtle poisons administered by [[Gríma Wormtongue|Gríma]].  Gríma (or ''Wormtongue'' as most others in the [[Mark]] called him), was secretly in the employ of [[Saruman|Saruman the White]].<ref>{{UT|Isen}}</ref>
  
 
===War of the Ring===
 
===War of the Ring===
 +
As the war approached Théoden was increasingly misled by his chief adviser Gríma.  In the last years before the War of the Ring, Théoden let his rule slip out of his hands completely, and Gríma became increasingly powerful. Rohan was troubled again by [[Orcs]] and [[Dunlendings]], who operated under the will of Saruman, ruling from [[Isengard]].  On Gríma's orders Éomer had been arrested and imprisoned after Éomer's foray to destroy the Orcs that had crossed Rohan.<ref>{{TT|III6}}</ref>
  
By the time of the [[War of the Ring]], Théoden had been king for nearly 30 years, and was getting old and tired. He was increasingly misled by his chief advisor [[Gríma Wormtongue|Gríma]] (or ''Wormtongue'' as most others in the [[Mark]] called him), who was secretly in the employ of [[Saruman|Saruman the White]]; Gríma may even have been poisoning his lord. He also had a minstrel called [[Gleowine]].
+
When [[Gandalf]] and [[Aragorn]] appeared before him, the [[Wizards|Wizard]] healed the king.  He then restored his nephew, took up his [[Herugrim|sword]], and led the [[Rohirrim|Riders of Rohan]] into [[Battle of the Hornburg|battle at Helm's Deep]]. After this he became known as '''Théoden Ednew''', the Renewed,<ref name="Mark"/> because he had thrown off the yoke of Saruman.
 
+
In the last years before the War of the Ring, Théoden let his rule slip out of his hands, and Gríma became increasingly powerful. Rohan was troubled again by [[Orcs]] and [[Dunlendings]], who operated under the will of Saruman, ruling from [[Isengard]].
+
 
+
When Théodred was mortally wounded at a [[Battles of the Fords of Isen|Battle at the Fords of Isen]] with the Orcs of Saruman, his nephew Éomer became his heir. Éomer was out of favour with Wormtongue, however, and was eventually arrested.
+
 
+
When [[Gandalf]] and [[Aragorn]] appeared before him, Théoden initially rebuffed Gandalf's advice to ride out against Saruman, but after being healed by the [[Wizards|Wizard]], he restored his nephew, took up his [[Herugrim|sword]], and led the [[Rohirrim|Riders of Rohan]] into [[Battle of the Hornburg|battle at Helm's Deep]]. After this he became known as '''Théoden Ednew''', the Renewed, because he had thrown off the yoke of Saruman.
+
  
He led the Rohirrim to the aid of Gondor at the [[Battle of the Pelennor Fields]]. In that battle he challenged the [[Black Serpent]] of the [[Haradrim]], and slew him and his standard-bearer.  The [[Witch-king|Lord of the Nazgûl]] attacked him, and he was mortally wounded when his horse [[Snowmane]] fell upon him after being frightened by the Ringwraith's [[Fell beasts|Fell beast]]. He was immediately avenged by Éowyn and the [[Hobbits|Hobbit]] [[Meriadoc Brandybuck]], both of whom had ridden to war in secret.  He claimed to Merry at his death on the field that he was satisfied, for he had felled the Black Serpent.
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He led the Rohirrim to the aid of Gondor at the [[Battle of the Pelennor Fields]]. In that battle he challenged the [[Black Serpent]] of the [[Haradrim]], and slew him and his standard-bearer.  The [[Witch-king|Lord of the Nazgûl]] attacked him, and he was mortally wounded when his horse [[Snowmane]] fell upon him after being frightened by the Ringwraith's [[Fell beasts|Fell beast]]. He was immediately avenged by Éowyn and the [[Hobbits|Hobbit]] [[Meriadoc Brandybuck]], both of whom had ridden to war in secret.  He claimed to Merry at his death on the field that he was satisfied, for he had felled the Black Serpent.<ref>{{RK|V6}}</ref>
  
 
==Etymology==
 
==Etymology==
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{{references}}
 
{{references}}
 
 
{{sequence
 
{{sequence
 
  |prev=[[Thengel]]
 
  |prev=[[Thengel]]

Revision as of 17:50, 4 July 2011

Michael Kaluta - Theoden Espies the Serpent Banner.jpg
Théoden
Rohir
Biographical Information
Other namesEdnew
PositionKing of Rohan
BirthT.A. 2948
RuleT.A. 2980 - T.A. 3019
DeathMarch 15, T.A. 3019
Family
ParentageThengel, Morwen
Siblings4 sisters, including Théodwyn
SpouseElfhild
ChildrenThéodred
Physical Description
GenderMale
"Out of doubt, out of dark, to the day's rising
he rode singing in the sun, sword unsheathing.
Hope he rekindled, and in hope he ended;
over death, over dread, over doom lifted
out of loss, out of life, unto long glory.
"
Gléowine[1]

Théoden (Third Age 2948 – March 15, 3019, aged 71 years) was the seventeenth King of Rohan, ruling for 39 years, from T.A. 2980 until his death. He was the last of the Second Line.[2]

Contents

History

Early Life

Théoden was the only son of Thengel, and became king after the death of his father in T.A. 2980. Théoden spoke Sindarin and Westron rather than Rohirric, for he had been born in Gondor and spent his youth there.

Théoden loved his sister Théodwyn most of all. After she and her husband both died he adopted her children Éomer and Éowyn as his own. He had a son, Théodred, whose mother Elfhild died in childbirth.[2]

In T.A. 3014 Théoden's health began to fail. This may have been due to natural causes (he was sixty-six) or it may have been induced or increase by subtle poisons administered by Gríma. Gríma (or Wormtongue as most others in the Mark called him), was secretly in the employ of Saruman the White.[3]

War of the Ring

As the war approached Théoden was increasingly misled by his chief adviser Gríma. In the last years before the War of the Ring, Théoden let his rule slip out of his hands completely, and Gríma became increasingly powerful. Rohan was troubled again by Orcs and Dunlendings, who operated under the will of Saruman, ruling from Isengard. On Gríma's orders Éomer had been arrested and imprisoned after Éomer's foray to destroy the Orcs that had crossed Rohan.[4]

When Gandalf and Aragorn appeared before him, the Wizard healed the king. He then restored his nephew, took up his sword, and led the Riders of Rohan into battle at Helm's Deep. After this he became known as Théoden Ednew, the Renewed,[2] because he had thrown off the yoke of Saruman.

He led the Rohirrim to the aid of Gondor at the Battle of the Pelennor Fields. In that battle he challenged the Black Serpent of the Haradrim, and slew him and his standard-bearer. The Lord of the Nazgûl attacked him, and he was mortally wounded when his horse Snowmane fell upon him after being frightened by the Ringwraith's Fell beast. He was immediately avenged by Éowyn and the Hobbit Meriadoc Brandybuck, both of whom had ridden to war in secret. He claimed to Merry at his death on the field that he was satisfied, for he had felled the Black Serpent.[5]

Etymology

The Anglo-Saxon word "þeoden", means "Lord", and contains the element þeod "people" (éothéod "horse-people"). It is related to the Old Norse word þjóðann, meaning "Leader of the People" (i.e. "King").

In Tolkien's fictional etymology, the name Théoden is an Old English translation of the original Rohirric Tûrac, an old word for King.

Other versions

In one of Tolkien's early drafts, Théoden also had a daughter by the name of Idis, but she was eventually removed when her character was eclipsed by that of Éowyn.

Portrayal in Adaptations

1955: The Lord of the Rings (1955 radio series):

Valentine Dyall voiced the part of Théoden.

1978: The Lord of the Rings (1978 film):

The voice of Théoden was provided by Philip Stone.

1979: The Lord of the Rings (1979 radio series):

Erik Bauersfeld provided the voice of Théoden.

1980: The Return of the King (1980 film):

Théoden appears in this film, but does not speak; his death is narrated by John Huston as Gandalf.

1981: The Lord of the Rings (1981 radio series):

Théoden's death is described in song rather than dramatised conventionally, which tends to lessen its impact. In this adaption he is voiced by Jack May.

2002: The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers:

This film deviates from Tolkien's story by having Théoden (played by Bernard Hill) actually possessed by Saruman rather than simply deceived by Gríma. He then goes to Helm's Deep to take his people to safety rather than to make a stand against the enemy.

2003: The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King:

Théoden at first refuses to come to the aid of Gondor saying that Gondor did not come to the aid of Rohan at the Battle of the Hornburg. His death is placed after the coming of the Haradrim, and is depicted differently; he is not crushed by Snowmane, but wounded by the fell beast. In general, his personality is changed from a "kindly old man" to that of a callous and somewhat obstinate character, though he has several tender moments at the grave of his son and near Éowyn.

2004: The Lord of the Rings: The Battle for Middle-earth:

Théoden is a hero in the Rohan faction. He is voiced by Phil Proctor.

2006: The Lord of the Rings: The Battle for Middle-earth II:

Théoden is a hero in the Men faction. He is voiced by Phil Proctor.

2009: The Lord of the Rings: Conquest:

Théoden is voiced by Brian George.

See Also

References

  1. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Return of the King, "Many Partings"
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix A, "The House of Eorl", "The Kings of the Mark"
  3. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), Unfinished Tales, "The Battles of the Fords of Isen"
  4. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Two Towers, "The King of the Golden Hall"
  5. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Return of the King, "The Battle of the Pelennor Fields"
Preceded by:
Thengel
17th King of Rohan
III 2980 – 3019
Followed by:
Éomer