Westfold

From Tolkien Gateway
Westfold
Region
Mark Fisher - Westfold.png
Map of the Westfold
General Information
LocationWestern Rohan, skirting the White Mountains
TypeRegion
DescriptionSlopes and fields
People and History
InhabitantsRohirrim
EventsFirst Battle of the Fords of Isen
Second Battle of the Fords of Isen
Battle of the Hornburg

The Westfold was a region of slopes and fields[1] in the west of of Rohan, between the river Isen in the west and the region called the Folde in the east,[2] the White Mountains in the south[3] and the walls of Isengard and the eaves of Fangorn Forest in the north[4].

The Great West Road ran through the Westfold north of the White Mountains from the Fords of Isen to the Folde and Edoras.[3] In the south of the Westfold lay the Westfold Vale, a great bay in the northernmost arm of the White Mountains with the Deeping-coomb and the Helm's Deep, the stronghold of the Westfold[2], at its southern end.[5][6] The Men who lived in the Westfold were called Westfold-men[7][8] or Westfolders[9].

History[edit | edit source]

The Westfold was originally part of the realm of Gondor until in T.A. 2510 the fief of Calenardhon was granted to Eorl the Young by the Ruling Steward Cirion. Thereafter the Westfold was part of Rohan.[10]

In T.A. 2758 the Dunlendings led by Wulf overran Rohan and King Helm took refuge in Helm's Deep.[11] During the subsequent Long Winter first prince Háma and then Helm made sorties and forays into the Westfold for food and to attack their besiegers. Both men died in the snows.[12]

In the beginning of T.A. 3019 when the the forces of the wizard Saruman invaded Rohan, Théodred, the son of King Théoden, was the Second Marshal of the Riddermark with his base at Helm's Deep and was in command of the forces of the West-mark. When actual war began Théodred assumed the overall command, ordered the summoning of a Muster of Edoras and ordered Elfhelm to reinforce the Muster of Westfold with four companies of riders from the Muster of Edoras[13] to defend against the invading forces.[14]

On 25 February the First Battle of the Fords of Isen was fought.[15] In this fight the sole objective of Saruman was to slay Théodred; had his forces invaded the Westfold immediately after this battle Rohan would have suffered grievously.[13] Instead, Saruman's army withdrew and did not return until 2 March to fight the Second Battle of the Fords of Isen.[16]

Following the fall of Théodred, command in the West-mark was assumed by Erkenbrand, who was Lord of Deeping-coomb and much of the rest of the Westfold. In the Second Battle the forces of Erkenbrand were scattered and Saruman's host marched through the Westfold to attack the Hornburg.[13] However, in the Battle of the Hornburg all of the enemies were crushed.[17]

After the fall of Sauron the funeral escort of King Théoden rode to Edoras. Subsequently the remaining members of the Fellowship of the Ring traveled through the Westfold from 14 August to 22 August when King Elessar took his leave.[18]

Etymology[edit | edit source]

Westfold is a name in the language of Rohan. It is a combination of "West" and fold from Old English folde ("earth", "land", "country").[2]

Other versions of the legendarium[edit | edit source]

According to J.R.R. Tolkien's Unfinished index for The Lord of the Rings and Christopher Tolkien's index of Unfinished Tales the Westfold are "the slopes and fields" between Thrihyrne and Edoras.[1][19] However, the river Isen is located west[3] of the Thrihyrne, which is at the head of the valley of Helm's Deep,[20] and although the western boundary of the Folde is not indicated, the Folde was the centre of the kingdom of Rohan[2].

On the First Map of The Lord of the Rings a label called Westfold was placed in a western valley in the south of the Misty Mountains where Dunland is now located on the final published maps, but it was struck out afterwards.[21] In an earlier manuscript version of the chapter Helm's Deep the men in the service of Saruman who attacked the Rohirrim at the Fords of Isen[22] and at Helm's Deep came from this Westfold and cried in the tongue of Westfold[23].

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 J.R.R. Tolkien, "Unfinished index for The Lord of the Rings", in Wayne G. Hammond and Christina Scull (eds), The Lord of the Rings: A Reader's Companion, entry Westfold, p. 413
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 J.R.R. Tolkien, "Nomenclature of The Lord of the Rings" in Wayne G. Hammond and Christina Scull (eds), The Lord of the Rings: A Reader's Companion, entry Folde, pp. 770-71
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), Unfinished Tales, "The West of Middle-earth at the End of the Third Age" [map]
  4. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), Unfinished Tales, "The Battles of the Fords of Isen", "Appendix (ii)", third and fifth paragraph of the long note
  5. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Two Towers, "Helm's Deep", p. 528
  6. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The War of the Ring, "Part One: The Fall of Saruman", "II. Helm's Deep", p. 12
  7. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Two Towers, "Helm's Deep", pp. 531, 536 and 538
  8. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Two Towers, "The Road to Isengard", p. 543
  9. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Two Towers, "Helm's Deep", p. 532
  10. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), Unfinished Tales, "Cirion and Eorl and the Friendship of Gondor and Rohan", "(iii) Cirion and Eorl"
  11. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix B, "The Third Age", entry for the year 2758, p. 1088
  12. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix A, "The House of Eorl", pp. 1066-67
  13. 13.0 13.1 13.2 J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), Unfinished Tales, "The Battles of the Fords of Isen"
  14. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), Unfinished Tales, "The Battles of the Fords of Isen", "Appendix (i)", writing concerning the Marshals of the Mark, first and second paragraph
  15. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix B, "The Great Years", entry for the year 3019, Februar 25, p. 1092
  16. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix B, "The Great Years", entry for the year 3019, March 2, p. 1093
  17. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Two Towers, "Helm's Deep", pp. 540-42
  18. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix B, "The Chief Days from the Fall of Barad-dûr to the End of the Third Age", entry for the year 3019, August 14 to 22, p. 1095
  19. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), Unfinished Tales, Index entry Westfold
  20. J.R.R. Tolkien, "Unfinished index for The Lord of the Rings", in Wayne G. Hammond and Christina Scull (eds), The Lord of the Rings: A Reader's Companion, entry Thrihyrne, p. 412
  21. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Treason of Isengard, "XV. The First Map of The Lord of the Rings", "Maps IVD and IVE", map square N10, p. 319
  22. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The War of the Ring, "Part One: The Fall of Saruman", "II. Helm's Deep", p. 8
  23. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The War of the Ring, "Part One: The Fall of Saruman", "II. Helm's Deep", p. 8 and p. 21