Tolkien Gateway


"Death to the Forgoil! Death to the Strawheads! Death to the robbers from the North!"
― Dunlendings[1]

The Forgoil, or the Strawheads as it reportedly translated in Westron, were the enemies of the Dunlendings. In the rest of Middle-earth, they were known as Rohirrim.

[edit] Etymology

Forgoil is the only known word in the language of the Dunlendings. It is possible that the final part of the word, -il, is a plural marker, such as in the case of Westron il cf. mûmakil (which is perhaps Haradric); similar formation with the ending -li is also seen in Quenya.[2] There is also a possibility of a plural formation with infixion from *forgol

The (possible) element go has been tied to the Pre-Númenórean word Go-hilleg,[3] which is untranslated, but refers to the Númenórean settlers. It could mean "head", in this sense.[4] However, both these interpretations remain speculation; Tolkien never left any notes on the subject.


  1. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Two Towers, "Helm's Deep"
  2. Helge Fauskanger, "Various Mannish Tongues", Ardalambion
  3. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Peoples of Middle-earth, "Tal-Elmar"
  4. Roman Rausch, "Tar-Elmar and the Drughu tongue", Sindanórië