Tolkien Gateway


Turner Mohan - Helm Hammerhand.jpg
"Helm Hammerhand" by Turner Mohan
Biographical Information
Other namesHelm Hammerhand
TitlesKing of Rohan
LanguageRohirric and Westron
BirthT.A. 2691
RuleT.A. 2741 - 2759 (18 years)
DeathT.A. 2759 (aged 68)
Helm's Dike during Long Winter
HouseHouse of Eorl
ChildrenUnnamed daughter, Haleth and Háma
Physical Description
GalleryImages of Helm

Helm Hammerhand (Third Age 26912759, aged 68 years) was the ninth King of Rohan and last King of the first line.[1]


[edit] History

Helm became King at the death of his father Gram, during a time of crisis. His father had already fought open warfare with the Dunlendings, who operated from the captured fortress of Isengard.

In T.A. 2754 a man named Freca, a Dunlending with Rohirric blood planned to have his son, Wulf, marry the daughter of Helm. Freca rode to Edoras with a great force of men, planning to threaten the King to comply with his demands, but Helm Hammerhand smote him with his fist and Freca died soon thereafter. Because of his great strength Helm was known as Hammerhand.

The men of Freca left Edoras, but in 2758 they returned with a great force of Dunlendings, reinforced by enemies of Gondor who had landed in the south. Under the leadership of Wulf they overran Rohan; Helm fought them at the Crossings of Isen but lost and withdrew into the Suthburg and there endured a long siege.

Helm held the fortress during the Long Winter. He blew his great war-horn, and broke through the Dunlending ranks, clad in white, stalking men like a snow-troll slaying them with his bare hands. However, his sons Haleth and Háma were slain and Helm grew gaunt because of grief and famine; still his horn would fill the Dunlendings with fear each time it was heard. During one of his night sorties Helm died, apparently from famine and cold; his body was discovered frozen in the snow still standing and ready to fight.

He was succeeded by his nephew Fréaláf Hildeson, who defeated the Dunlendings.

There was a belief that his horn was sometimes heard in the Deep and that his wraith still wandered through Rohan, and defended the keep that would be renamed the Hornburg.[2]

[edit] Etymology

Helm in Old English means "protection". The word is seen also in the names Elfhelm and Dernhelm.

[edit] Genealogy

2644 - 2718
2668 - 2741
2691 - 2759
d. 2758
d. 2759
Fréaláf Hildeson
2726 - 2798
Brytta Léofa
2752 - 2842

[edit] Portrayal in adaptations

Helm in adaptations
The Lord of the Rings Online tapestry: Helm Hammerhand slays Freca outside Edoras  
The Lord of the Rings Online tapestry: Hammerhand's Horn  

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

As part of the decorations of the Hornburg, two statues were erected. One was destroyed beyond recognition, but the other was one of Helm, portrayed with a literal hammer as a weapon rather than being unarmed.

2012: The Lord of the Rings Online:

A tapestry depicting Helm Hammerhand is found in the Mead Hall of Aldburg and can be acquired for use in player's houses.

2017: Middle-earth: Shadow of War:

Helm Hamerhand is featured in this game as one of the Nazgul.He is voiced by Fred Tatasciore, and in devatiation from the books, he was ambushed by a warlord who wanted his throne and had taken his daughter for a lover, Helm was shot at point blank range with arrows. As he lay dying at Edoras, Annatar and Celebrimbor visited the wounded king, giving him one of the Nine Rings of Power. When he recovered, he attacked his would-be assassin, declaring that war had come upon his enemy's house.
However, when Helm's daughter tried to stop her father's rage, Hammerhand accidentally struck her down, killing her (once again, depicted as wielding a war-hammer). Horrified, his grief turned to rage, and Helm proceeded to slaughter his rival and even his own captains who tried to stop him. He was thus transformed by the terrible incident and his Ring of Power into a Nazgûl.


  1. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix A, "The House of Eorl", "The Kings of the Mark"
  2. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix A, "The House of Eorl"
House of Eorl
Born: T.A. 2691 Died: T.A. 2759
Preceded by:
9th King of Rohan
T.A. 27412759
Followed by:

Kings of Rohan
First Line: Eorl the Young (T.A. 2510 - 2545) · Brego (2545 - 2570) · Aldor the Old (2570 - 2645) · Fréa (2645 - 2659) · Fréawine (2659 - 2680) · Goldwine (2680 - 2699) · Déor (2699 - 2718) · Gram (2718 - 2741) · Helm Hammerhand (2741 - 2759)
Second Line: Fréaláf Hildeson (2759 - 2798) · Brytta Léofa (2798 - 2842) · Walda (2842 - 2851) · Folca the Hunter (2851 - 2864) · Folcwine (2864 - 2903) · Fengel (2903 - 2953) · Thengel (2953 - 2980) · Théoden Ednew (2980 - 3019)
Third Line: Éomer Éadig (T.A. 3019 - Fo.A. 63) · Elfwine the Fair (63 - unknown)