|"Balchoth" by Stephen King|
|Origins||Easterlings, around Rhûn|
|Locations||Rhovanion (between Mirkwood and River Running), southern Vales of Anduin|
|Distinctions||Few cavalry, many wains, boats and rafts|
The Balchoth were a numerous fierce people of Easterlings under the shadow of Dol Guldur, who had migrated from east of the Sea of Rhûn to the to the wide lands of Rhovanion between the forest of Mirkwood and the River Running.
They Balchoth were no doubt related to the Wainriders. They had crude weapons and few horses for riding, because they mostly used horses to draw their large number of wagons.
After Cirion became Steward of Gondor in T.A. 2489 he stationed a few men in the previously abandoned old Gondorian forts along the river Anduin, especially on the western shore of the Undeeps to watch the Undeeps and sent scouts to the land between the forest of Mirkwood and the plain of Dagorlad, because he was constantly concerned about the threat of an invasion from the east. He soon learned that enemies had invaded from east of the Sea of Rhûn and had killed the remnants of the Northmen that had still lived east of Mirkwood or driven them away up the River Running or into the forest of Mirkwood, but Cirion could not help them. The Balchoth stayed in the lands between Mirkwood and River Running and often made raids through the forest of Mirkwood. As a consequence, the Vales of Anduin south of the Gladden River were largely deserted. The numbers of the Balchoth constantly increased with reinforcements from the East. In contrast the population of the Gondorian province of Calenardhon, which was located west of the river Anduin, had decreased. It is possible that Sauron influenced the Balchoth and the Orcs of the Misty Mountains to invade Gondor.
Cirion found out after the end of the winter in T.A. 2509 that a large force was mustered all along the southern edge of Mirkwood. At last on 10 March T.A. 2510 Cirion started sending six riders north to Eorl, the Lord of the Éothéod to ask for help against the invaders, but only one rider, Borondir arrived on 25 March T.A. 2510 to deliver the meassage in the land of the Éothéod near the sources of the Anduin. Eorl gathered an army of seven thousand fully-armed riders and hundreds of mounted archers and the army left approximately on 6 April T.A. 2510.
In T.A. 2510 the Balchoth had come from the north-east through the Brown Lands and had built many boats and rafts on the eastern shore of the river Anduin, crossed the river and drove away the Gondorian defenders. The nortern army of Gondor led by Cirion marched up from the south, but it was defeated in the Wold, cut off from the south and driven north over the river Limlight by the Balchoth. There the Gondorian army was surprised by an attack from a host of Orcs from the Misty Mountains and was forced in the direction of the river Anduin.
Suddenly Eorl arrived from the north with a large host of cavalry of the Éothéod and attacked the enemy from the rear. In the Battle of the Field of Celebrant, the land between the river Celebrant and the river Limlight, the enemies were driven south over the Limlight, after that the enemies in the Wold were also routed and the cavalry of the Éotheod pursued and hunted down the fleeing Balchoth over the fields of Calenardhon.
The name Balchoth was the name of those people in Gondor and consists of the Westron element balc ("horrible") and the Sindarin element hoth ("horde"). It was actually a generic term for disliked peoples, including the Orcs.
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), Unfinished Tales, "Cirion and Eorl and the Friendship of Gondor and Rohan", "(ii) The Ride of Eorl"
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 2.7 2.8 2.9 J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix A, "The Númenorean Kings", "Gondor and the Heirs of Anárion", "The Stewards", entry for Steward Cirion, p. 1053
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix A, "The House of Eorl", entry about Eorl the Young, p. 1064
- ↑ J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix B, "The Third Age", entry for the year 2510, p. 1087
- ↑ J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix A, "The Númenorean Kings", "Gondor and the Heirs of Anárion", "The Stewards", entry for Steward Cirion, "his enemies (or the power that moved them)", p. 1053
- ↑ J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), Unfinished Tales, "Cirion and Eorl and the Friendship of Gondor and Rohan", "Notes", Note 30, It took the army of the Éothéod nine days to arrive in sight of the Undeeps on 15 April T.A. 2510
- ↑ J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Two Towers, "The King of the Golden Hall", p. 512
- ↑ J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), Unfinished Tales, "Cirion and Eorl and the Friendship of Gondor and Rohan", "Notes", Note 24