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Théoden

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== Portrayal in Adaptations ==
 
== Portrayal in Adaptations ==
 
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Image:RBrotk_Theoden.png|<center><small>''[[The Return of the King (1980 film)]]''</center></small>
 
Image:RBrotk_Theoden.png|<center><small>''[[The Return of the King (1980 film)]]''</center></small>
 
Image:Théoden.jpeg|<center><small>''[[The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers]]''</center></small>
 
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:[[Valentine Dyall]] voiced the part of Théoden.
 
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'''1978: ''[[The Lord of the Rings (1978 film)]]'':'''
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'''1978: [[The Lord of the Rings (1978 film)|''The Lord of the Rings'' (1978 film)]]:'''
 
:The voice of Théoden was provided by [[Philip Stone]].  
 
:The voice of Théoden was provided by [[Philip Stone]].  
  

Revision as of 15:16, 11 December 2012

Michael Kaluta - Theoden Espies the Serpent Banner.jpg
Théoden
Rohir
Biographical Information
Other namesEdnew, Horsemaster
TitlesKing of Rohan
LocationRohan
LanguageRohirric and Westron
BirthT.A. 2948
Gondor[1]
RuleT.A. 2980 - 3019
Death15 March T.A. 3019 (aged 70)
Battle of the Pelennor Fields
Family
HouseHouse of Eorl
ParentageThengel & Morwen
SiblingsThéodwyn, 3 unnamed sisters
SpouseElfhild
ChildrenThéodred
Physical Description
GenderMale
HeightTall
Hair colorLong, thick, braided white hair[2]
Eye colorBlue[2]
WeaponryHerugrim
SteedSnowmane
"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[3]

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.[1]

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.[1]

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.[4]

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.[2]

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 to the Fords of Isen.

File:Timothy Ide - Theoden's Charge at Helm's Deep.jpg
Timothy Ide - Theoden's Charge at Helm's Deep

On their way, they got news that the border was lost and he retreated into battle at Helm's Deep. After this he became known as Théoden Ednew, the Renewed,[1] because he had thrown off the yoke of Saruman.

After the battle he visited Isengard where he witnessed as Gandalf deposed Saruman from their order. On their way back to Rohan, they stopped by the Helm's Deep, where he noticed that the lonely hobbit of their company, Meriadoc Brandybuck felt out of place, and offered to ride with him for the rest of the journey. The hobbit was delighted, as he felt useless among the Riders and offered Théoden his sword in service of Rohan.[5]

Aragorn left the Rohirrim's company for Dunharrow, and Théoden and the Riders tok a safer path to Edoras. Near the outer hills of Rohan, Théoden dismissed Éomer's urge not to go to the war, and with the remaining Riders he rode to the Hold at Dunharrow, where his people took shelter.[6]

Fulfilling the Oath of Eorl

Paula DiSante - The Red Arrow

After reuniting with Éowyn and while resting, a Gondorian named Hirgon entered his tent, bringing the Red Arrow from Denethor II. Théoden responded to him that 6000 Riders would reach Minas Tirith in the week. Indeed they set off the next morning (the Dawnless Day); before leaving he ordered his squire, Meriadoc, to stay behind at Edoras.[6]

File:Brothers Hildebrandt - Ghân-buri-Ghân.jpg
Théoden seeks help from Ghân-buri-Ghân

On their way to Minas Tirith, Théoden's forces were alerted by a host of Orcs upon the Great West Road and moving toward. Then a leader of the Woses, Ghân-buri-Ghân came forward and offered to lead the Rohirrim by secret paths through the Drúadan Forest so they could avoid the Orcs. Taking the forgotten road down Stonewain Valley the riders of Rohan were able to come to the Pelennor Fields undetected.

The Ride of the Rohirrim by Abe Papakhian

To his dismay, they found Hirgon dead and understand that their arrival was not expected; Minas Tirith was being destroyed. Théoden was reinvigorated by a sudden great flash of light from the city. He ordered to charge as the Darkness was fading. 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. [7]

Eowyn against Witch-king - Angus McBride

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.[8]

Legacy

After Théoden's death his body remained in Minas Tirith while Snowmane was buried where they fell.

Éomer succeeded him as King of Rohan. In July he returned to Minas Tirith and brought Théoden's body back to Edoras. On 10 August the funeral of Théoden took place. Gléowine composed a poem for him and other Kings of the line of Eorl.[3]

Etymology

The Old English word þeoden, means "lord, king", 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").[source?]

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

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.

Titles

Théoden
House of Eorl
Born: T.A. 2948 Died: T.A. 3019
Preceded by:
Thengel
17th King of Rohan
T.A. 29803019
Followed by:
Éomer

See Also

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix A, "The House of Eorl", "The Kings of the Mark"
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Two Towers, "The King of the Golden Hall"
  3. 3.0 3.1 J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Return of the King, "Many Partings"
  4. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), Unfinished Tales, "The Battles of the Fords of Isen"
  5. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Return of the King, "The Passing of the Grey Company"
  6. 6.0 6.1 J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Return of the King, "The Muster of Rohan"
  7. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Return of the King, "The Ride of the Rohirrim"
  8. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Return of the King, "The Battle of the Pelennor Fields"