Tolkien Gateway

Elfhelm

Elfhelm
Rohir
Decipher - Elfhelm.jpg
Elfhelm from The Lord of the Rings Trading Card Game
Biographical Information
PositionMarshal of the East-mark
LocationRohan
LanguageRohirric
Physical Description
GenderMale
GalleryImages of Elfhelm

Elfhelm was the marshal who governed the Riders and other armed men of the garrison of Edoras from 3012 to 3019.[1] He lead his Éored during the War of the Ring. After the funeral of king Théoden he was made Marshal of the East-mark of Rohan by king Éomer.[1]

[edit] History

In the First Battle of the Fords of Isen on 25 February T.A. 3019, Elfhelm had been riding in haste from Edoras, leading four companies in answer to Théodred's summons. When he reached the junction of the horse-road and the road down from the Deeping, his outriders reported that two wolf-riders had been seen abroad on the fields. Sensing that something was amiss, he did not turn aside to Helm's Deep for the night as he had intended but rode with all speed towards the Fords of Isen. And though his men and horses were weary, as he came in sight of the east banks, he ordered his companies to charge.[2] The king's son, Théodred, was struck down by a great orc-man just as Grimbold reach him on a knoll east of the river. Grimbold himself was in mortal peril but Elfhelm, leading four companies of riders, charged in and saved his life. Together Elfhelm and Grimbold found that Théodred was still alive, but only long enough to speak his last words.

Prior to the Second Battle of the Fords of Isen on 2 March, the news of Théodred's death caused Erkenbrand of Westfold to assume command of the West-mark. He kept Grimbold in charge of the field. Elfhelm, of the Muster of Edoras, remained independent, but coordinated his efforts with Grimbold. Elfhelm deemed the Fords to be a trap and set his companies to the east of the river to hold up the enemy's advance (that they would advance soon was an opinion shared by both men). Grimbold put foot-soldiers on both sides of the Fords with Théodred's remaining cavalry on the east bank.

When the Second Battle began Saruman's forces heavily engaged the western forts and put troops of Uruks across the Fords. Grimbold had to retreat to the eastern bank of the Isen. At midnight Saruman's forces, now reinforced, attacked. Grimbold looked for aid from Elfhelm but none came; the greater part of Saruman's host came between Grimbold and Elfhelm and drove the latter eastwards.[2] At this point Gandalf appeared and gave orders that Elfhelm ride to Edoras.[3]

After the Battle of Helm's Deep, at Harrowdale, Elfhelm was assigned to lead the first éored of the Muster of the East-mark.[1] During the ride to Gondor the men of Elfhelm's command ignored Merry riding with Dernhelm. Eventually Elfhelm spoke to Merry after he tripped over him in the dark and told him that the drums he heard were those of the Woses in Druadan Forest. After the ride through these woods Elfhelm described to the king and Éomer the lay of the land just before Minas Tirith since he had been there in days of peace. Just before the charge across the Pelennor Fields (on 25 March 3019) King Théoden placed Elfhelm and his command on the right.[4] After the initial charge, the right wing of the Rohirrim was closest to the walls of Minas Tirith and Elfhelm's riders tore into the Orcs about the siege-engines and drove their foes into the fire-pits.[5]

After the Battle of Pelennor Fields, Elfhelm led three thousand Rohirrim up towards the Drúadan Forest, to destroy the last foes left of Mordor's force that had crossed the Anduin and had been assigned to block the northward road.[6] These Orcs and Easterlings actually were leaving Anórien by the time Elfhelm's riders caught up with them and they fled to Cair Andros.[7]

Elfhelm was one of the chief witnesses at the coronation of Aragorn on 1 May 3019.[8]

[edit] Portrayal in adaptations

Elfhelm in adaptations

2001-2007: The Lord of the Rings Trading Card Game:

A Decipher card identifies a background character in Edoras from The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers as Elfhelm.

2012: The Lord of the Rings Online:

Elfhelm comes from the village of Faldham in the Eastemnet. Eflhelm himself first appears during the First Battle of the Fords of Isen, arriving too late to save Prince Theodred's life. During the Second Battle of the Fords of Isen Eflhelm and his men are cut off from Erkenbrand and he orders a retreat. Grimbold refuses to follow him, continuing to fight on and defend Theodred's grave, and Elfhelm has no choice but to leave him behind, even though he feels terrible for it. After Gandalf found Elfhelm and ordered Elfhelm to ride to Edoras, he makes a brief stop in Grimbold's home town of Grimslade and, after making short work of Saruman's orcs harassing it, brings Grimbold's wife Hildith the news of her husband, apologizing for not doing more for him.
Elfhelm is next met during the journey of the Rohirrim through the Druadan Forest. Elfhelm is aware not only that Merry Brandybuck is riding with one of his riders, but also that the rider Dernhelm is Lady Eowyn herself. After she refused to stay behind in Dunharrow, Elfhelm kept her secret and gave her the sword of her cousin Theodred that he took from the Fords. It was that very sword that Eowyn used to slay the Witch-King of Angmar, though it broke in doing the deed. Elfhelm is later present during the coronation of King Elessar.

2019: Middle-Earth Strategy Battle Game:

Elfhelm received rules and a model as part of the Gondor at War expansion to the Middle-Earth Strategy Battle Game, his rules focusing on his skill with a throwing spear.

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), Unfinished Tales, "The Battles of the Fords of Isen", Appendix (i)
  2. 2.0 2.1 J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), Unfinished Tales, "The Battles of the Fords of Isen"
  3. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), Unfinished Tales, "The Battles of the Fords of Isen", note 17
  4. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Return of the King, "The Ride of the Rohirrim"
  5. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Return of the King, "The Battle of the Pelennor Fields"
  6. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Return of the King, "The Last Debate"
  7. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Return of the King, "The Black Gate Opens"
  8. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Return of the King, "The Steward and the King"