The Encyclopedia of Arda - an interactive guide to the world of J.R.R. Tolkien
Used of the Men of Dor-lómin in the later First Age, and of the Rohirrim from the foundation of Rohan in III 2510
The chief city of 'Strawheads' was Edoras; other notable settlements and fortifications include the former capital Aldburg, Dunharrow, Grimslade, the Hornburg, Underharrow and Upbourn
A reference to the straw-coloured hair1
Other names
Title of


About this entry:

  • Updated 4 May 2017
  • This entry is complete


A name for the flaxen-haired

"Death to the Forgoil! Death to the Strawheads! Death to the robbers of the North!"
Curses of the Dunlendings
from The Two Towers III 7
Helm's Deep

A recurrent insulting name given by dark-haired people in Middle-earth to those with lighter locks. It appeared most prominently among the Dunlendings, who gave it to their hated neighbours, the Rohirrim, who they saw as usurping Dunlending lands. Indeed, the only fragment of the Dunlendish language to survive is the word meaning 'Strawheads', Forgoil, seen in the quote above.

The Men of Rohan were not the only 'Strawheads' in Middle-earth. Long before Rohan even existed, during the First Age, the land of Dor-lómin was home to the people of the House of Hador. Like the Rohirrim, these people were noted for their pale hair (indeed, there are suggestions that the Rohirrim may have been descended from them, or at least shared an ancestor). After the Nirnaeth Arnoediad, their lands were overrun by dark-haired Easterlings. It was the Easterling leader, Brodda, who coined the name 'Strawheads' for the newly conquered people of Dor-lómin.



The nominal meaning of the term refers to the hair colour of these northern people. As an insult given by their enemies, the less complimentary alternative interpretation - that their heads were full of straw - also seems to be heavily implied.

See also...

Dunlendish, Forgoil, Horse-boys


About this entry:

  • Updated 4 May 2017
  • This entry is complete

For acknowledgements and references, see the Disclaimer & Bibliography page.

Original content © copyright Mark Fisher 2004, 2017. All rights reserved. For conditions of reuse, see the Site FAQ.

Website services kindly sponsored by Discus from Axiom Software Ltd.
Generate DISC results instantly and automatically, and receive an alert as soon as those results are available.
The Encyclopedia of Arda
The Encyclopedia of Arda
Homepage Search Latest Entries and Updates Random Entry