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From Old English þéod ræd, 'counsel of the people'2


About this entry:

  • Updated 27 April 2008
  • This entry is complete


The lost heir of King Théoden

"Let me lie here - to keep the Fords till Éomer comes!"
The last words of Théodred
Unfinished Tales Part Three V
The Battles of the Fords of Isen

The only son and heir apparent to King Théoden of Rohan. Théodred's mother Elfhild died in childbirth, but Théoden raised his son to become a fine warrior and leader of the Rohirrim, and appointed him to the post of Second Marshal of the Riddermark.

After his father fell under the influence of Gríma Wormtongue, Théodred took effective command of the forces of Rohan. With the King of the Mark under the control of his agent, Saruman saw Théodred as the chief threat to his plans remaining in Rohan, and began to plot his downfall.

The opportunity arose during Saruman's first assault on western Rohan on 25 February III 3019, in the battle that came to be known as the First Battle of the Fords of Isen. Hearing of the massing of Saruman's armies, Théodred rode to investigate, and encountered a large and prepared force some twenty miles north of the Fords of Isen. Unable to defeat the entrenched enemy, he fell back to the Fords themselves, and mounted a defence on the island that stood in the middle of the river there.

Saruman had given his troops orders that Théodred be slain at all costs, and many of his soldiers drove towards the Marshal. In the end, it was a Half-orc wielding an axe that fought his way to Théoden's heir and cut him down. After the loss of their commander, the defeat of the Rohirrim seemed inevitable, but Elfhelm appeared suddenly from the east with a reinforcing army, and the Men of Rohan succeeded in driving off Saruman's initial invasion.

With the death of his only son, Théoden's line came to an end. In the following days, Théodred's cousin Éomer would be nominated as Théoden's heir, and would inherit the Kingship after Théoden's own death, just twenty days after that of his son.



The éo sound in Théodred's name is pronounced approximately like the vowel sound in the English word 'ear'.


The element -ræd, meaning 'counsel' or 'advice' is fairly common in real Anglo-Saxon names. The most famous case is probably that of King Ethelred the Unready, whose name derives from Æþelræd, 'noble counsel', and Unræd, 'without counsel'.


About this entry:

  • Updated 27 April 2008
  • This entry is complete

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