From Tolkien Gateway
Decipher - Erkenbrand.jpg
Erkenbrand from The Lord of the Rings Trading Card Game
Biographical Information
TitlesLord of Westfold
PositionMarshal of the West-mark
LanguageRohanese and Westron
SiblingsUnnamed sibling (parent of Dúnhere)[1]
Physical Description
GalleryImages of Erkenbrand
"Amid them strode a man tall and strong. His shield was red. As he came to the valley's brink, he set to his lips a great black horn and blew a ringing blast. 'Erkenbrand!' the Riders shouted. 'Erkenbrand!'"
The Two Towers, Helm's Deep

Erkenbrand was one of the Rohirrim. He was the Lord of Deeping-coomb and of much other land in the Westfold during the War of the Ring.


Erkenbrand had been an officer in the King's Riders in his youth. At the time of the War of the Ring Erkenbrand was Lord of Deeping-coomb and of much other land in the Westfold. As such, he was the chief lord in the West-mark.[2] He was the uncle of Dúnhere.[1]

Erkendbrand was in the Hornburg during the First Battle of the Fords of Isen. When news of the death of Théodred in the First Battle of the Fords of Isen on 25 February, T.A. 3019 reached Erkenbrand on the next day, he assumed command of the West-mark. Erkenbrand sent errand-riders to Edoras to inform King Théoden about the death of Théodred and to request Eomer and all forces that could be spared as reinforcements. However, Grima delayed any actions until he was defeated by Gandalf[3] He gave the command in the field to Grimbold until he could come himself to the battlefield. Erkenbrand did not immediately go to the battlefield, because was occupied for three days with gathering all those able to bear arms and stores of food to defend the Hornburg.[4]

On 2 March, T.A. 3019,[5] the Second Battle of the Fords of Isen was fought, and the defenses on the Isen were driven back by Saruman's forces. The survivors led by Grimbold and Elfhelm were retreating from the fords of the river Isen when they came across Gandalf. Gandalf told them Théoden sought the refuge of the Hornburg, and that they should join Erkenbrand to attack the besiegers.[6] They arrived with a thousand men at dawn of March 4, T.A. 3019 and turned the tide of the Battle of the Hornburg.[7]

Erkenbrand did not come to Minas Tirith to fight in the Battle of the Pelennor Fields. King Théoden gave him the command of the forces that were left behind to defend Rohan because of Erkenbrand's dignity and authority.[8]

After the funeral of King Theoden, which took place on 10 August, T.A. 3019 , King Éomer appointed Erkenbrand to the post of Marshal of the West-mark.[9]


Erkenbrand was said to have been tall and strong with a red shield and a great black horn. King Théoden said that the valour of Helm Hammerhand lived again in Erkenbrand.[7]


Erkenbrand is a name that possibly was derived from two Old English words: eorcan ("precious") and brand ("fire-brand, torch; sword").[10]


fl. T.A. 3019
unknown sibling
d. T.A. 3019

Other versions of the legendarium[edit]

While writing The Lord of the Rings, Tolkien considered changing the name of Aragorn to Erkenbrand, among other names.[11]

Portrayal in adaptations[edit]

Erkenbrand in adaptations

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

Erkenbrand doesn't feature in the film and his role is taken by Éomer.

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

As in the 1978 film, Erkenbrand's role is fulfilled by Éomer.

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

Erkenbrand did appear on a Decipher Card. Weta's Mike Grealish served as the character, wearing the armour of Théodred, which did not get much attention in the film.

2013: The Lord of the Rings Online:

After Gandalf leaves King Theoden's riders, he recruits the player to aid him in his search for Erkenbrand and Grimbold. After journeying across Westfold, the player eventually finds Grimbold at the Fords of Isen and together they find Erkenbrand and his men to the south. After a brief regrouping, Gandalf then leads them on the march towards Hornburg.