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"Gamling" by Daniel Govar
Biographical Information
Other namesGamling the Old
LanguageRohanese and Westron
BirthLate Third Age
ChildrenUnnamed child[1]
Physical Description
GalleryImages of Gamling

Gamling (late Third Age) was a man of Rohan, probably Erkenbrand's lieutenant,[2] and the leader of the garrison of Helm's Dike.[1]


An old man during the War of the Ring, Gamling was still a commanding presence at the time of the Battle of the Hornburg. During the battle Gamling was the first to realize that Orcs had penetrated the Deep through its culvert, and he led the counter-attack himself.

Gamling seems to have been brought up in the western valleys of Rohan; he understood the tongue of Dunland that was still spoken in those regions.[1]

When the Deeping Wall was taken, Gamling was one of those who retreated into the narrows. When the battle was over Gamling, Éomer, Gimli and others came forth from the caves.[3]


Gamling is an Old English name. It is derived from the stem gamol, which means "old", but is only found in Old English in verse-language[4]

Gamling is somewhat anglicized/modernized while genuinely it should be Gameling. It would be one of the words and names that hobbits recognized as similar to Hobbitish (like Shadowfax or Wormtongue).[4]


Tolkien noted that it is the origin of the surnames Gamlen, Gam(b)lin. It appears in the medieval poem The Tale of Gamelin (inspiration of Shakespeare's As You Like It)[4]

Portrayal in adaptations

Gamling in adaptations
Gamling in The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers
Gamling in The Lord of the Rings Online

1981: The Lord of the Rings (1981 radio series):

Patrick Barr provided the voice of Gamling.

2001-03: The Lord of the Rings (film series):

Gamling was played by New Zealand actor Bruce Hopkins. His role was expanded to that of a lieutenant to Théoden.

2010: The Lord of the Rings: Aragorn's Quest:

Despite the game's heavy reliance on movie audio tracks, Gamling's speech at the departure from Edoras is not resampled, but dubbed in verbatim by Tom Kane.

2013: The Lord of the Rings Online:

Gamling's role is similar to that he has in the book. He welcomes Théoden's host to Helm's Deep, fights on the Helm's Dike and on the wall of the Hornburg and after the wall is blown retreats into the Glittering Caves along with Gimli and Éomer. Later, Gamling rides to Minas Tirith with Theoden's riders and survives the Battle of the Pelennor Fields.