Talk:Rohan (Middle-earth)

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Dear Ricimer, you insist on having this paragraph on the Rhohirrim:

Many aspects of Rohan's culture and history seem to be inspired by the medieval Anglo-Saxons. Tolkien was a great expert in the Anglo-Saxon language and one of the definative authorities on the Anglo-Saxon epic Beowulf. Beowulf was based on ancient oral tradition which originated long before the ancestors of the Anglo-Saxons left mainland Europe to invade England. There are many similarities between Rohan and Beowulf; King Theoden is much like King Hrothgar, and Meduseld matches the description of the mead-hall Heorot. - The Rohirrim have been described by the Lord of the Rings film adapation production team as "Beowulf with horses". Tolkien was a great lover of the Anglo-Saxon culture of England, which was swept away by the Norman invasion's triumph at the Battle of Hastings. A key factor in the Norman victory over the Anglo-Saxons was that they had mounted warriors, which the Anglo-Saxons lacked. The Rohirrim can be seen as a fantastic re-imagining by Tolkien of Anglo-Saxon culture, with the addition of a "rider-culture" element that may have allowed the Anglo-Saxon culture to defeat the Normans, and survive and thrive through history.

First of all, Beowulf is based on events that happened in Scandinavia 50-100 years after the Anglo-Saxons arrived in England and Tolkien knew that full well. Moreover, the film adaptation team insisted on depicting the Rohirrim as Vendel Age Swedish warriors making them "Vikings on horseback" as you can hear Peter Jackson call the Rohirrim on the the "making of" films in the extended editions. I have so many times heard English nationalists state that the Rohirrim are Anglo-Saxons that I am tired of it. The only thing that you can trace to the Anglo-Saxons in the Rohirrim is that he represented their language with Anglo-Saxon.--Wiglaf 12:02, 25 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Wiglaf, I'm not sure about this but there are other people on here more knowlegable about this than either of us ("I only know a quarter of all there is to know...", etc). And I'd like it if another group seriously sat down and ironed this out. Although, yes, stylistically certain sounds, costumes, and architecture are from diverse scandinavian sources, there is a DISTINCT touch of Beowulf in the whole thing--->case in point the Heorot/Meduseld and Hrothgar/Theoden relations. Someone else who's a mod really needs to work this out.--Ricimer, 3:28, June 26, 2005 (EST
Now, AFAIK, there is nothing in Beowulf that sets the Danish building of Heorot apart from other Scandinavian and Germanic buildings, and could you be more specific about the similarities between Theoden and the Danish king Hrothgar, please?--Wiglaf 20:36, 26 Jun 2005 (UTC)
Also, please site the source for "Rohirian"; EVERWHERE I've checked says "Rohirric" --Ricimer, 3:28, June 26, 2005 (EST)
It should of course be Rohirric.--Wiglaf 20:36, 26 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Of course, most of the key element of the Lord of the Rings are based on Anglo-Saxon traditions. The film version has turned Lord of the Rings into a story that the world claims - but at its core, this is a British, specifically English tale. This is nothing to do with "English Nationalism", rather a story that is fundamentally Anglo-Saxon that appeals to wider audience. I find amusing (and almost racist) that some people try to deny its basis. Kentish 0015 17 Jul 11 — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:16, 16 July 2011 (UTC)


Ricimer seems mindbent on a single inspiration for the Rohirrim, so I add a few links for easy consultation since s/he seems to have a limited list of sources:[1], (spam filter insisted I remove a link to, but I think this is a valid link for this talk page (not for articles though, so the old link was "http COLON // www DOT suite101 DOT com / article DOT cfm / tolkien / 26924/ (remove all spaces and convert capitalised bits) Carcharoth 22:42, 21 January 2007 (UTC)), [2]--Wiglaf 8 July 2005 23:49 (UTC)


Googlehits and fancruft notwithstanding, I am not sure that Tolkien's Rohan should get the main namespace, Rohan, pushing the real-world Rohan (family) away. I suggest Rohan should be at Rohan (Middle-Earth), and Rohan (disambiguation) should be here. dab () 14:40, 10 September 2005 (UTC)

Agreed with move, even despite your use of the malicious "fancruft". Jordi· 15:30, 10 September 2005 (UTC)
I am inclined to agree. Why has there never been a formal debate? —Tamfang (talk) 21:01, 13 September 2012 (UTC)


I believe the article Rohirrim doesn't contain much information not listed here and should be contained within the article about the land which these people come from, similar to the way Gondor's page is set up. Burning phoneix 22:36, 4 February 2006 (UTC)

I agree with the merger: the two articles overlap a great deal. Coemgenus 15:02, 9 April 2006 (UTC)
I agree too Bryan 11:39, 20 April 2006 (UTC)
Well, could someone do the merger? I'm too much of a newb to do it ;(. Burning phoneix 10:05, 23 April 2006 (UTC)

Should this article maybe be merged with Rohirrim, and just have one redirect to the other?

Rohan origin[edit]

I'm not sure whether Tolkien coined 'Rohan' independently, but it is a common name in Sanskrit/Hindi, (cfr [3]) -- Gyan

Well, the Riders' language is supposedly based on Old English, so I doubt he was looking for a Sanskrit source. -- Zoe

Quite possible. According to this page, it is also an Irish word. -- Gyan

I thought that it was a region in Brittany -- Error

The Ducs de Rohan are a major French noble family. Not sure where from, exactly. john 09:36 May 7, 2003 (UTC)

From what I read, there is a Rohan castle somewhere in Brittany. The castle was the house (manor?) of the Rohan family which rose in the aristocratic ladder. -- Error
Quite possibly. There are actually two Rohan families. The Ducs de Rohan are from the Rohan-Chabot family, who are not technically Rohans, but Chabots descended from the Rohans in the female line. The actual Rohan family seems to mostly live in Austria and Belgium nowadays. Perhaps we should add stuff about these families and disambiguate? john 03:32 May 9, 2003 (UTC)
Probably, but I couldn't tell much without infringing copyright. My paper Encyclopedia had an article for the family with at least 13 names. The branches seem to be the Porhoët (the original), Rohan-Chabot, Rohan-Guémenée, Rohan-Rochefort, Soubise and Rohan-Rohan. Deserving an individual article Henri II, duke of Rohan (also named Henri I (!?) ), Louis, knight of Rohan, Louis René Edouard, prince of Rohan and Maria Bertha of Rohan -- Error
A question: using a paper encyclopedia for *factual information* can't be illegal, can it? For instance, if I use Britannica to discover when Henry Campbell-Bannerman was elected to parliament, that isn't any kind of copyright violation, because the copyright only extends to the words used, not to the information contained in those words. Or is that wrong? john 01:11 May 10, 2003 (UTC)
You're quite right - facts cannot be copyrighted, only the presentation of those facts. We wouldn't get very far if we had to rely on primary sources! --Camembert
Be careful, though. Your source is now another encyclopedia, and that doesn't look very good. Ok for verification, bad as source. GayCom
Mmm...primary sauces! (-- All responsibility for the preceding remark is disavowed by Lee M 19:07, 19 Aug 2003 (UTC))


Small quibble with the banner as shown here -- as I recall, Tolkien clearly states that the banner is a white horse on a green field. Not sure what the batik-y looking thing here is, but it doesn't seem to square with that description. Bookgrrl 02:28, 16 May 2006 (UTC)

That's the banner as it was portrayed in the Peter Jackson movies. Obviously they made some stylistic alterations. If a freely available version closer to Tolkien's description can be found that'd be an improvement. --CBDunkerson 10:54, 16 May 2006 (UTC)
In the meanwhile, I altered the figure caption very slightly, just to clarify - hope that's OK! Bookgrrl 15:25, 19 May 2006 (UTC)
I seem to recall that even Jackson had white horses on green, why not pick one of those. Any simple white horse on green background will do, the solar batik thing is just a distraction. dab () 22:42, 2 July 2006 (UTC)
I think the background is intended as Very Dark Green (not exactly a heraldic colour), see [4], [5], I suppose we should fiddle with the image's color-curves a little bit. It is pointless to show a white horse on black, however nicely executed, when the only thing we know about the banner is that it shows a running white horse on green. Better to have no image at all. dab () 22:54, 2 July 2006 (UTC)

Quick (Anon) note on the LOTR:TT flag depicted. This is the Flaggen Pehl collectible reproduction based on the Peter Jackson films - and it's incorrect only because they made the field black. The films DO depict a white horse on a Hunter green field. I'll throw up screen caps from Two Towers for proof sometime later. -- 18:21, 14 August 2007 (UTC)

Despite the fact that it shows a white horse on a green banner, there is a lack of evidence that the images shown here are Tolkein's vision. They should be removed since there is no citation that these flags as shown were in fact those of Tolkien origin. And the film is NOT a valid citation as it deviates significantly from the text. -- (talk) 01:02, 16 December 2012 (UTC) [citation needed]

I restored the flag image. Although not drawn my Tolkien, it matches his description. Dol Amroth, Gondor, Harad articles all have flag or heraldic images drawn to Tolkien's descriptions.Goustien (talk) 03:55, 23 May 2014 (UTC)

Inaccuracy in the "History" section[edit]

The second paragraph in the History section states In the twenty-first century, a remnant tribe of such Northmen calling itself the Éothéod moved from the valleys of Anduin to the north west of Mirkwood, clearing out what remained of the recently defeated witch kingdom of Angmar, east of the Misty Mountains. While there, some dispute arose between them and the Dwarves over the treasure-hoard of Scatha the dragon. This is geographically impossible. Angmar was west of the Misty Mountains, so how can its remnants be east of the Misty Mountains in the valleys of the Anduin? 02:03, 30 October 2006 (UTC)

Angmar was both west and east of the mountains. The quote agrees with Tolkien's account in Appendix A. Elphion (talk) 23:05, 4 October 2008 (UTC)

Portrayal in Adaptations - remove "black" critique[edit]

We need to remove this linked weird small review blasting them for "always wearing black"....of course they wear black in Two Towers, the King's son has just died and its a time of mourning and there is a funeral! Throughout the last 2 films, YES, they do wear bright clothing....Eowyn wears WHITE, Eomer and the other rides have tanned red leather streatched voer their armor, Eowyn's got a green dress too....this guy just critiqued a FUNERAL SCENE and said they looked drab as a rule. Yikes.

Disambiguation again[edit]

I see that User:Dab already suggested this more than a year ago, and met with no objections, but it seems to me that the real life French noble family Rohan is of sufficient importance as to deny an imaginary kingdom status as the primary topic here. Would people object to a move of this page to Rohan (Middle Earth), and a move of Rohan (disambiguation) to here? john k 16:17, 4 December 2006 (UTC)


Tolkien was from the West Midlands which is part of the old kingdom of Mercia. The Rohirrim don't speak "a language based on Anglo-Saxon", it is Anglo-Saxon specifically Mercian. Even the Mark=Mercia. The older riders have Gothic names to indicate the evolution of the culture.

Tolkien's point was to make the Rohirrim represent the old English, since Old English literature largely did not exist he had to use Scandinavian sources but the riders are certainly not "Vikings on horses".

The only thing which is not a reconstructive of England is the landscape which is an idealised version of "Gothia".GordyB 14:47, 12 July 2007 (UTC)

Proposed Deletion[edit]

The article was proposed for deletion because there were no secondary sources or references independent of the fictional world. On a simple google book/scholar search, I found [6], [7], [8], and plenty more. There is significant literary criticism of Tolkein, as well as analysis of the LOTR world. Please take to AFD if you still believe the page should be deleted. Recurring dreams 07:27, 18 August 2007 (UTC)

Image copyright problem with Image:Middle-earth.svg[edit]

The image Image:Middle-earth.svg is used in this article under a claim of fair use, but it does not have an adequate explanation for why it meets the requirements for such images when used here. In particular, for each page the image is used on, it must have an explanation linking to that page which explains why it needs to be used on that page. Please check

  • That there is a non-free use rationale on the image's description page for the use in this article.
  • That this article is linked to from the image description page.

This is an automated notice by FairuseBot. For assistance on the image use policy, see Wikipedia:Media copyright questions. --06:53, 20 September 2008 (UTC)

This needs acting upon. It's more than a year old! If the issue is not solved by next week, i feel the image will have to be removed from the article. -- Jokes Free4Me (talk) 14:16, 5 November 2009 (UTC)

Merge from Rohirrim[edit]

It seems to me that the Rohirrim aren't notable enough to justify having an additional article besides Rohan, so I propose that we merge Rohirrim into this article. The people and the realm are almost interchangeable in the importance to Tolkien's books, and there is already a significant amount of information in this article that is specifically about the people of Rohan (Rohirrim). I'm proposing Rohirrim --> Rohan because it seems like Rohan is a more established (and longer) article, but other than that and the fact that Rohan is a more recognizable term, I suppose it could be decided to merge Rohan --> Rohirrim (based on the fact that Rohan is named after the Rohirrim[citation needed]). —Akrabbimtalk 20:47, 12 November 2009 (UTC)

  • Merge. No reason to keep two separate articles, which tell the same story.Garret Beaumain (talk) 17:16, 16 November 2009 (UTC)
  • Merge Sounds good to me Carl Sixsmith (talk) 15:27, 19 November 2009 (UTC)
  • Merge for reasons mentioned. Rohan should be the article to keep; I think in general it makes more sense to organize things geographically. (Rohan means "horse land"; so "named after the Rohirrim" is not quite clear, though clearly their horses had something to do with it!) Elphion (talk) 18:52, 19 November 2009 (UTC)
  • Merge. Elphion's right; Wikipedia generally organizes things geographically whenever possible. Númenóreans redirects to Númenor, and Americans (USA) redirects to United States. Makes sense to me. –The Fiddly Leprechaun · Catch Me! 18:28, 21 November 2009 (UTC)

As this discussion looked unambiguous, I went ahead and merged the Rohirrim article into this main article. De728631 (talk) 18:52, 21 November 2009 (UTC)

Refrain from opinionated/biased editing, please[edit]

I feel compelled to add this due to a little gem I found while removing the bold font from the section on the film adaptation of the Rohirrim. Tolkien purists, you get on everyone's nerves with your CONSTANT WHINING. I personally don't believe a better adaptation of LOTR could have been made than Peter Jackson's adaptation. Okay, there were divergences from the books, we get it already. But do you really expect a movie to be entertaining, which follows every single minute detail from an original text? I mean, serious pacing issues would be had. When Tolkien wrote, he didn't write with a motion picture in mind. Would you then suggest that every "classic" novel or other text be left as it is? Because that's not good for business, despite my personal hatred of unregulated capitalism. But I digress. Keep your opinions to the blogs and youtube, not an encyclopedic website. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) 18 February 2011 (UTC)

Is the irony of the disparity between section title and comment completely lost on -- Elphion (talk) 21:39, 22 May 2011 (UTC)
Blackadder: "Baldrick,have you no idea what irony is?" – Baldrick: "Yeah, it's like goldy and bronzy, only it's made of iron."
But I'd have to agree that using bold script and a strongly voiced html comment was a step way over the top by one of said purists. So the removal was at least justified. De728631 (talk) 22:59, 22 May 2011 (UTC)
Oh, I agree completely. But this little outburst above goes into POV ballistics over pin-pricks like that? -- Elphion (talk) 00:11, 23 May 2011 (UTC)
Of course you're right, that outburst above was likewise uncalled for. De728631 (talk) 00:42, 23 May 2011 (UTC)


I think the original nation in Tolkiens mind was Roxolani, or Ruxalan. Blond Steppe horse people with pikes and shiny armor close related to todays Russians and antient Alans. They are forefathers of Scytians and Sarmatians and are the dawn of Nordic myths for dwarfs, elfs and giants a fact that cant be passed from educated man like talkien. Roxalan or Alan( shiny/white/ light/ people) were long migrating horse tribes who gave knowledge of metalworking to savage Nordic tribes brought from Caucasus.. Nords who fought with some sort of copper swords that time were so impressed by the new knowledge that probably mythologized these people in later times. Bulgarians call the Alans-Ruxalans Uzi, for others they are Asi. Lets not forget that Sarmats/Ruxalans habitat is succeeded by Dacian Goths and they are the spoil/amalgam between "educated" South and savagous Nord. ~Bulg the thinker!~ — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:15, 16 March 2012 (UTC)

Tolkien scholar Tom Shippey (a former student of Tolkien's) argues persuasively (see The Road to Middle-earth, p. 122 ff.) that the Mark was based on Mercia, with the added hypothesis that unlike the Anglo-Saxons, but like the Goths, the men of the Mark were horsemen: an amalgam of Mercia with the Goths. (Tolkien's fondness for both is well-documented.) -- Elphion (talk) 23:13, 16 March 2012 (UTC)

Oh, then the story`s closed. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 09:58, 17 March 2012 (UTC)


Why does Rohan redirect to this article. It is first and foremost an Indian name. It was then adopted by other people for whatever reasons i.e. surnames, books etc. Would someone like to tell me why an article about The Lord of the Rings deserves to get a mention. If anything, the article should just redirect to the disambiguous page. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:34, 29 August 2012 (UTC)

In English Rohan is more commonly known with the fictional land. Do you have any evidence that the Indian name was the source? GimliDotNet (Speak to me,Stuff I've done) 13:25, 29 August 2012 (UTC)
Before Tolkien, the primary English meaning was probably the Breton noble house of Rohan. —Tamfang (talk) 19:05, 29 August 2012 (UTC)

Actually it has always been a Sanskrit name. It is a known fact that it was later adopted by the British and Irish, from which Tolkien took the name. I don't need to state the obvious. Considering the name has been used in India since ancient times, I'm not going to buy any excuse that it's British, Irish, French or a name that Tolkien made up. I don't see why a name that has been in use for thousands of years and is known universally as a Sanskrit name, is being replaced by something fictional like Lord of the Rings. (talk) 17:14, 13 September 2012 (UTC)

Do you care to provide sources to back up your claim? GimliDotNet (Speak to me,Stuff I've done) 17:37, 13 September 2012 (UTC)
Similarity is not conclusive evidence of common origin. Why should we think a place in Brittany took its name from India? —Tamfang (talk) 20:50, 13 September 2012 (UTC)

Because it's the most logical conclusion? Why should we assume that Tolkien took the name from the Breton noble? I'm not going to keep repeating myself because it doesn't seem like you're going to listen. Why don't you address the issue of where it was first used and what it's universally known as. Again, there really is no argument for the name to redirect to The Lord of the Ring. No point in arguing really as this page has been hijacked by a bunch of LOTR fans. I guess nothing can be done. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 10:50, 16 October 2012 (UTC)

Who says it's the most logical conclusion? GimliDotNet (Speak to me,Stuff I've done) 11:38, 16 October 2012 (UTC)
For what it's worth, the French placename Rohan is based on the Breton language word roc'h which means "a defensive post on a rock outcrop" explanation in French. De728631 (talk) 17:43, 16 October 2012 (UTC)
Folk etymology! Obviously the place in Brittany was named for someone who moved there from India. —Tamfang (talk) 19:59, 16 October 2012 (UTC)
You said "It is a known fact that [the Indian personal name Rohan] was later adopted by the British and Irish". Known to whom? When and how did Celts learn the name, and why did they adopt it?
What would satisfy you as "address[ing] the issue of where it was first used and what it's universally known as"? Until we see some evidence of transfer, the natural hypothesis is that the name Rohan was invented independently three times.
The English word dean (akin to deacon), the archaic English word dene (meaning ‘valley’), and the Arabic word dīn (meaning ‘religion’) all sound alike, but no one argues that one was copied from another. —Tamfang (talk) 19:59, 16 October 2012 (UTC)

For what little it's worth, I'd rather see Rohan as the disambiguation page. —Tamfang (talk) 19:59, 16 October 2012 (UTC)

Tolkien's own etymology[edit]

The Letters of J. R. R. Tolkien, No. 297 (never sent), contains these passages about Rohan.

As is often the case with Elvish words, it's neither entirely true nor entirely false to say Rohan was borrowed from Brittany. —Tamfang (talk) 19:59, 16 October 2012 (UTC)

Requested move[edit]

The following discussion is an archived discussion of the proposal. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the proposal was moved. --BDD (talk) 18:09, 23 October 2012 (UTC) (non-admin closure)

– It has not been established that the fictional country dominates all other senses to a degree that would justify making it the primary entry. Tamfang (talk) 20:17, 16 October 2012 (UTC)

  • Comment: Whatever the conclusion, this needs to be discussed formally, and apparently never has been. —Tamfang (talk) 20:17, 16 October 2012 (UTC)
  • Support: While there is certainly a lot of junk among them I get 23,900 Google Books hits for Rohan Brittany, 56,900 for Rohan Tolkien and 1,490 for Rohan Sanskrit. Among them is also a Dictionary of First Names [9] that lists a male name "Rohan", so that name does exist. But per WP:COMMONNAME we need to establish the most prominent use of the term in English language in reliable sources. So even if that is still not indicative, Google Scholar yields 762 hits for Rohan Tolkien, 1,730 for Rohan Brittany and 591 for Rohan Sanskrit. This all suggests that the generic term Rohan should better be the title of the disambiguation page. If there are more reliable sources to be found we can also have a page Rohan (given name). De728631 (talk) 21:35, 16 October 2012 (UTC)
    • I'd look for Rohan India rather than Rohan Sanskrit. —Tamfang (talk) 05:03, 17 October 2012 (UTC)
    • There is no way that anything like 57,000 books mention Tolkien's "Rohan". This must be something like 99 percent ghost hits. You need to restrict by date or some other way to get the numbers down to something manageable, and then deghost by going to the last result. I get 274 post-1990 English-language deghosted GBook hits for Rohan Tolkien -llc. Kauffner (talk) 11:42, 18 October 2012 (UTC)
      • You're right these numbers are just incredible and will shrink considerably when going to the last results page. And even in your selection there are some ghosts that don't even mention Tolkien, e.g. this one from page 27 of the results list. De728631 (talk) 15:00, 18 October 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose. Tolkien's fictional country got 45,000 page views in the last 90 days, the brand of clothing got 1,300, and the commune in Brittany got 700. The DAB got less than 2,000 views in the last 90 days. So the vast majority of readers arriving at Rohan are not availing themselves of the hatnote concerning the DAB. Kauffner (talk) 15:03, 17 October 2012 (UTC)
House of Rohan got 4723, by the way. —Tamfang (talk) 19:53, 17 October 2012 (UTC)
The above discussion is preserved as an archive of the proposal. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.