4th Age and Expansion of Rohan

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Rohanya 25/Nov/2005 at 05:20 AM
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Speculative thread, obviously. We know that Gondor expands at the end of the War of the Ring. What about Rohan? Kingdoms as kingdoms go through periods of expansion followed by contraction. I am wondering whether it, too, would have grown as a result of the new `power vacuum.` Might its leaders have chosen to extend the borders east, across the Anduin (or to the west, encroaching however on Dunlendish lands)?

It is to be recalled that the Riders came from Rhovanion long ago. So would this knowledge not act as an incentive to extend its boundaries? (Not that the Brown Lands, for instance, were of great merit.) Or if not in that direction, there would be, I think, strategic advantages acquiring the Emyn Muil. Watchers up top could spy movement in the east, but if necessary, make a quick retreat, via boat, across the Great River. Also, I doubt Gondor would object to such territorial landgrabs.  

I would be interested in reading others` opinions.
lotrbigdog 25/Nov/2005 at 08:11 AM
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I do imagine that the rohirrim would go after Dunlend.  After the battle at helms deep, i dont even know if the wild men would object, seeing as how they realized that the HorseLords were actually kind in conquering.

Would they spread north towards Isengard?  Fangorn Forest?  I think they might.  There is some good land out there.

However, i dont think they would spread to the emyn muil and the brown lands.  I think that this would be grabbed by Gondor, for the sole purpose of watching Mordor, which i do not think would be allowed to exist without a guard.  There might be patrols in that land, but i think that would be it.

What would happen to Mordor?  Would it be taken by Gondor?  or just left to rot?

ElendilTheFair 25/Nov/2005 at 10:27 AM
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Rohanya, I personally doubt that Rohan would expand greatly in any direction.  OK, where could they expand?

1) Eastwards:  At the feet of the White Mountains, the Eastfold already extends to Anorien.  Rohan would not try to encroach on Gondorian territory, so no chance of expansion this way.  Moving northwards, the Nindalf would not be ideal territory for the Riders, since it is essentially a large marsh.  Further north, the Emyn Muil.  It would be beneficial to place watchers in the Emyn Muil, however in order for such a watch to be effective, it would have to be placed on the eastern side of the hills.  The Emyn Muil, being rather trecherous, would not allow for a hasty retreat, especially on foot (the only way to traverse them).  Also, since the hills are very difficult to cross, no large force would attempt the crossing anyways.  Therefore, the only expansion left in the east is the Brown Lands, which, as Rohanya pointed out, were not that appealing anyways.

2) Northwards:  The Westemnet already borders on Fangorn, so there is no expansion available this way.  The Eastemnet ends with the Limlight, and this territory would be, in my opinion, ideal for expansion.  However, since the Eastemnet is largely unpopulated anyway, I doubt that this would be likely, barring an enormous increase in the population.

3) Southwards:  Two words, White Mountains.

4) Westwards:  Any expansion westwards, in my opinion, would actually not be northwards towards Dunland, but southwards towards the outlying regions of southern Gondor.  The Westmarch already extends to the meeting of the Isen and the Adorn, why not extend this territory to include all of the land north of the White Mountains?  The only problem with such an expansion would be the same as expanding north of the Limlight, there aren’t that many people in Rohan.  Therefore the only real expansion that I would see Rohan making in the immediate future would be to "close" the Gap of Rohan, since they only control the portion south of the Isen.  I would imagine that the Rohirrim would likely extend their rule to the feet of the Misty Mountains, but I doubt that they would expand towards Dunland (ie, extend only to the southern feet of the mountains, and not to their west).

Rohanya 25/Nov/2005 at 06:42 PM
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Elendil, I do not wish to tackle your analysis just yet but let us look and see if there might have been population growth, a circumstance that could, by itself, call for expansion. Appendix A to TROTK states, `In Eomer`s day in the Mark men had peace who wished for it, and the people increased both in the dales and the plains, and their horses multiplied.`

We also know, just as fact, that there were campaigns to the east, `And whenever King Elessar went with war King Eomer went with him; and beyond the Sea of Rhun and on the far fields of the South the thunder of the cavalry of the Mark was heard, and the White Horse upon Green flew in many fields.`

Note here how it states beyond said sea. This could suggest that the actual region of the Rhun, especially lands just west of it, was no longer a major obstacle. I am not insisting this is so, but there might indeed have been lands beyond the Anduin, in the east, ripe for annexation.

And the Mark was, as we know, based on a military ethos.

Why might the Rohirrim be tempted? A) Bring them closer to their ancestral lands. B) Act as a buffer zone, one amenable to tactics of the saddle, very much to their liking, and C) provide, at least in theory, more grazing lands.

Bjorn 25/Nov/2005 at 07:30 PM
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I’d say they’d have Enedwaith, and the Brown Lands.
ElendilTheFair 25/Nov/2005 at 07:45 PM
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Rohanya, regarding bringing them closer to their ancestral lands, these lay close to the northern regions of the Anduin.  Therefore, the only expansion towards their ancestral lands would take place in the regions north of the Limlight, which was, as I mentioned above, a definate possibility if a growth in the population demanded it.  Also, in regards to grazing grounds, which grounds are these?  Yes, there is ample plainland in the east, but not close to Rohan.  To the east of Rohan you have (from south to north): 1) Anorien, which is Gondorian territory.  2) the Nindalf, which is marshland.  3) the Emyn Muil, not exactly a good place for horses.  4) the Brown Lands, not exactly a good place for grazing either.
Erkendorn 25/Nov/2005 at 08:09 PM
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This is quite an interesting topic, mostly due to the lack of evidence, and it is a good topic to speculate about so I commend you on that. In regards to the topic itself, I would not agree, like Elendil, the Rohirrim expansion eastwards to the Emyn Muil and Nindalf, due to the reasons Elendil has pointed out. Considering the population increase in Rohan, I would agree to the area between the Westmarch and the sea, since it does seem rather unpopulated, and still a good place for extra land, and also considering during wartime, before and during the War of the Ring, it would have been a rather safe place. The Brown Lands is not the best option either, due to its geograpical format and as an outside defense against any incoming Easterlings, if there is any. The lands near the Sea of Rhun are quite unknown, except for the possibility of the valley of Dorwinion on one of the rivers flowing from the inland sea, so its hard to make a conclusion on that.
Rohanya 25/Nov/2005 at 08:22 PM
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Elendil, the UT is more specific. In an earlier time, `their settled homes were in the eaves of the Forest, and especially in the East Bight, which had largely been made by their felling of trees.` So, while they were first known during the period when they were on the west side of the forest, `between the Carrock and the Gladden Fields,` they came from the opposite direction.

It is my belief that a primitive people, like the Rohirrim, would make special importance of their place of origins -- it would occupy a place in their hearts. If offered the chance, yes, they would undoubtedly desire to reclaim those lands.

Hence, as for grazing in the Brown Lands, tis a minor point. The reason just given is more central to my argument.

Nor forget that the Rohirrim were warriors. What do warriors do? By definition, fight, and conquer (or lose).

Erkendorn, sorry I can`t respond to yours just yet. I do not want to write something too lengthy. But do join the debate and I shall return.

ElendilTheFair 25/Nov/2005 at 09:00 PM
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Oops, ’tis been a while since I’ve read the UT.

However, I still doubt very much that the Rohirrim would expand this far east and north.  Firstly, just to take hold of the Brown Lands, they would have to maintain control of an area almost equal to the entire Kingdom as it currently (at the time of the WR) exists.  In addition to the large area, the land itself is largely inhospitable, especially for an equestrian culture.  The Brown Lands would provide little or no chance of producing food for any settlers, let alone providing grazing land for their mounts.  I realize that I am reiterating my point from above, however, I still feel that they are valid.  The Rohirrim were indeed a primitive people, however primitive does not mean that they are not practical.  I don’t believe that they would attempt to colonize new land that can support neither the settlers, nor their horses.

Rohanya 25/Nov/2005 at 09:15 PM
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Elendil, I suppose I should rephrase my earlier comments. I would not see this as a bona fide colony. On the whole, it would be a buffer region, and in fact there would be no real need at the end of the 3rd Age to have all the warriors in Rohan proper -- for both Saruman and Sauron are gone.

The Dunlendings, as always, would have to be thought of however.

But you still have to account for that fact: We know Eomer did participate in a campaign (at least one) east of the Sea of Rhun. Campaigns tend to produce alterations in geography to boundaries. What, then, do you suppose was the consequence of it?

We have zero reason to believe Elessar lost. Indeed, we must assume it was a victorious campaign. So, yes, what results where Rohan was concerned?
Erkendorn 25/Nov/2005 at 09:27 PM
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No problem Rohanya

In regards to the Brown Lands, as well as the Rohirrim being soldiers, it is also about tactics in a way. For the Rohirrim to take a foothold on the lands, which is large, as Elendil points out, it basically cannot provide for the men and their people and horses. The Brown Lands also do not have distinct borders to the east, and no geographical feature to border them apart from south Mirkwood, the Emyn Muil and the Anduin’s Undeeps, which can also be a tactical suggestion about not taking those lands. Just by looking at the map, the land seems to be ruined, previously fruitful, and then scorcyhed and burned many years back, and has become a desolate land where nothing grows. So the Rohirrim will then have to replenish the land first if they wish to live there.

Rohanya 25/Nov/2005 at 11:13 PM
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Erkendorn, the same argument applies to you. What are the consequences of presumed Gondorian-Rohirric victories far to the east? As for the Emyn Muil, all that is needed is a few posts -- even one -- high atop an eastern hill (the last in the range, perhaps); but there is no reason not to claim the land as a result, it is close to Rohan, and Gondor would probably not be opposed -- indeed, they would wish to reward The Mark for its all-important participation in the recent War of the Ring.

Plains are perfect for cavalry -- no problems there, tactically. Whether or not it is later worth the effort to defend, mile by mile, is for generals and kings to decide.

Again, are Rohirrim potters or are they warriors? If the latter, what conclusions likely follow?
ElendilTheFair 26/Nov/2005 at 10:36 AM
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Rohanya, a buffer, huh?  Well, what do you think the East Emnet is?  It is essentially deserted, likely with a few settlements, and some herdsmen driving their herds about the plains.  Also, just a quick question about making the Brown Lands a buffer.  What would be the point?  A buffer is an area of land that is largely deserted, and allows a nation space to prepare for an invading force.  However, do the Rohirrim really have to claim the Brown Lands to make them a buffer?  Technically yes, since they don’t actually control it.  However, no one really seems all that keen to pursue any claim on the land, so it is essentially acting as a buffer for the Rohirrim anyway, is it not?

I think the point that Erkendorn is trying to make regarding tactics is the issue of overextension.  The Rohirrim quite frankly don’t have a large enough force to maintain control over these lands, due to their large area.  Most of the soldiers of Rohan were not career soldiers, they were called upon in times of battle.  However, what happens if you have the army on duty at all times (as would be necessary if you were to control and maintain a larger area)?  And the problem of supplying these troops comes into play once again.  Essentially, any food or water for both the horse and the Rider would have to be brought into the Brown Lands by the Riders themselves, unless they were to stay near the Anduin.

Finally, your point about the Emyn Muil.  I really don’t think that this would be a good idea for the Rohirrim, largely due to the nature of the Emyn Muil itself.  Any retreat from such an outpost at the eastern edge of the Emyn Muil would essentially be cut off from Rohan.  Sure, a retreat back into the hills could be called, but, as I said above, this would be on foot, and would take a lengthy period of time.  The only other option would be to ride around the Emyn Muil, which would alert any invading force to their presence.

Rohanya 26/Nov/2005 at 11:02 AM
Warrior of Imladris Points: 2902 Posts: 6872 Joined: 28/Jan/2005

Elendil, you still have to address my underlying arguments.

1) The Rohirrim were involved in a campaign east of the Sea of Rhun. We have every reason to believe they won. What, therefore, probably happened as a consequence? Expansion, likely. (See Appendix)
2) The Rohirrim have compelling mythic reasons to wish for such, regardless of terrain. For there would be linkage with their ancestral lands. Once more, I am not implying by this that they would, in the event of unexpected invasion (probably no longer much of a genuine threat, given (1)), therefore have to defend it to the bloody end. If regarded as unwise in years to come, then I am sure it would be surrendered, at least  temporarily. Moves such as this do not necessarily dictate future response; it is no straightjacket, militarily.
3) There was population growth. This would also produce more troops. (See Appendix)
4) The two greatest dangers had been vanquished -- Sauron and Saruman. So there were more soldiers available for other duties. Yes, a great many of The Mark`s troops were not `professional soldiers.` But they existed. Again, is it a militaristic culture or not?
5) Is there a power vacuum after The War of the Ring or isn`t there? I claim there is/was. And political realities being political realities, this is usually an occasion for territorial expansion. (Grab before somebody else does)

I do not see why boats could not be utilized to cross the Anduin. Surely boats could be utilized, and, yes, ones that would carry a horse or two. It is no great distance across the Anduin, so several trips could be made, relatively quickly. 

Spotting the enemy far away gives you more time to formulate an adequate military response, that is, when it looks like the more important areas are to be attacked: In wars, this is crucial. Enemies have traditionally come from the east and/or south. The Emyn Muil allows for long vistas of both.


ElendilTheFair 26/Nov/2005 at 12:41 PM
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1) I agree, but this specific campaign would only open up lands in Rhun, which are out of Rohan’s reach (realistically).

2) It is possible that Rohan would lay claim to the Brown Lands, but I believe that this claim would be minor, since no one would live there, and there is no use for the land itself.  As a bridge to their ancestral lands, I would only see this as being beneficial in one of two ways.  A) They establish a permanent colony near the eastern eaves of Eryn Lasgalen (possible, but would isolate themselves from the rest of Rohan).  or B) They establish a sort of pilgrimige there (which I doubt).

3) A population growth means more than just more potential troops.
A) A greater demand for land.  Rohan has more than enough land to spare, and the best land for expansion (if needed), lies west and north, not east.
B) A greater demand for food.  Once again, there is plenty of opportunity for good agricultural growth within the existing bounds of Rohan itself (particularily in the lower East Emnet, near the Mouths of Entwash).  Once again, the best land for expansion lies north and west.  This would also require more farmers, taking away from this potential military.
C) A greater demand for other goods and services.  This uses more of this potential military.

4) Does this really free up more soldiers?  There were no soldiers guarding Mordor.  There were no soldiers guarding Isengard itself, since the depth of Saruman’s trechery was not known.  The soldiers in the Battles of the Fords of Isen were all from the Westfold (they are there anyways).

5) Most of the good territories in Rohan’s reach were, once again, in the north and in the west.  Why not "grab" there?

6) I do not deny the potential merits of placing a guard upon the eastern Emyn Muil, and yes, boats could be used to cross the Anduin.  However, the problem is not in the crossing of the Anduin, but in reaching the Great River in the first place.  Crossing the Emyn Muil is not an easy task.  You can easily get lost in the many hills, granted this is less likely for those who are familiar with the terrian.  However, even if one knew the way, it would still take some time to cross the range, due to the sheer difficulty of the terrain itself.  Of course, one could always go around the Emyn Muil.  However this involves travelling across the very plainland that the enemy that you have spotted is approaching on.  It is about 100 miles (an estimate based on my map) from the easternmost point of the Emyn Muil to the Great River.  This does not take into account the north-south distance that must be travelled as well, depending on where in the Emyn Muil your post is.

Just another point of contention, just how large was Rohan’s permanent military?  Did it extend beyond the eoreds of the Three Marshals (only 360 men!)?

Rohanya 26/Nov/2005 at 09:05 PM
Warrior of Imladris Points: 2902 Posts: 6872 Joined: 28/Jan/2005


1) I do not understand what you mean here. Given that there is at least 400 miles to the Sea of Rhun, what might you be hinting at? However, I give it more weight than you do; this is not a what-if, it is a fact. There was such a campaign, and almost certainly a victorious one. Victorious campaigns usually lead to expansion. This alone shunts debate in the direction of the east, not north or west.

2) When you say `there is no use for the land` you must be thinking of agriculture. However, the Rohirrim are not what I would label a farming society, not at least in the usual sense: `They loved best the plains, and delighted in horses and in all feats of horsemanship.` On that level, the Brown Lands are no blight, no obstacle. And in fact the very centre of that land is never more than 100 miles away from either Mirkwood or the Nindalf. So there would be grazing land within a day`s journey. They also have military importance; it is an almost universal rule of warfare that bases closer to the enemy are to be preferred over bases closer to your own heartlands. (I would not want to bring in computer strategy games here, but, yes, that is the basic goal. Do that in Age of Empires II and you will win every time.)

Nor are all expansions caused by reason and reason alone. Was American expansion to the west, in the 18th and 19th centuries explainable by such? The desire to expand is probably just as often caused by something more gripping, akin to a passion. Power-vacuum being there, why not, then, the unleashing of such? Mythic motives are almost always the most compelling:  The wish to reacquire Ancestral Lands could be the catalyst. So, my argument at least addresses the irrational parts of the soul as well.

However, returning to that which can be assessed rationally, yes, some small habitations on the eaves of Mirkwood would make sense. I agree with you there. Pilgrimage route? It sounds odd but why not, if only for a few? (The high and mighty)

3) A) If this is the case -- that there was more than enough land already in Rohan (I am not denying this, in fact) then it destroys the basis of your own argument. No expansion in any direction. But see below.

B) I would agree that good land is to be had to the north (and even west). But north includes northwest and northeast. If on the east side of the Anduin, then the Brown Lands would be acquired anyway. However, I do not think you have such in mind, basically, expansion across the Limlight (Rohan`s northern border) to Lothlorien. That is a small area, on the whole: about 50 miles by 100. Mind you, if you read the UT account of the Balchoth invasions, it would appear that they crossed the Anduin somewhere in this very same area  (quickly leading to Battle of Celebrant). How safe does that sound? Furthermore, I question the spatial strategy: Would you rather lengthen the realm, or widen it? There are no no enemies to the north; the east is the traditional direction of invaders. It makes more sense to widen it, thereby annexing portions across the river.

Once more, having a buffer zone gives more time to prepare an adequate strategy. I think this is one of the lessons, by the way, of the recent Saruman campaign. `Saruman`s attack was not unforeseen, but it came sooner than expected.` (UT, The Battles Of The Fords Of Isen)

As for your (B) and (C) in relation to what you suggest could be dwindling military forces, who really can say? Kings are kings; if they see a need to maintain forces of a certain number, or even increase them, they make that policy. And in fact JRR`s own accounts of Rohirric history seem to suggest increases in military strength went hand in hand with general increases in population. Finally, the argument, pushed to its logical conclusion, implies that if population continues to increase, the military will eventually disappear altogether.

But, again, please clarify. Are you saying no expansion is best? That no expansion is unavoidable, given dwindling forces? Or instead, that expansion to the north and/or west is ideal? You seem to have at least two arguments, two directions, within yours.

4) Yes, the vanquishing of two foes, of great power, would most certainly make forces available for other duties. I do not see how you can seriously question this.

5) Rohan actually has territory in the west (I just want to make sure you are aware). Hence, that triangle between Angren and Adorn rivers belongs to the Mark, given long ago by Cirion. So I assume you mean, west of the Adorn, or across the Isen (though with this image in mind). There are two problems. Theoden seems to have guaranteed the Dunlendings peace, as long as they never cross the Isen. Ethical Problem 1. It is not clear just how big an area Dunland is, but if they believe the Westfold theirs, it would probably be the same with lands much closer. Rohirric crossing of the Isen would therefore be tantamount to a declaration of war. What kind of war? War of extermination? Ethical Problem 2. And then again, one major war has just ended. More bloodshed? Finally, JRR has two opinions re Enedwaith as a whole: It was or was not part of the older Gondor. So, for book reason, hard to judge. If it was traditionally Gondorian territory, then Rohan would have to respect that: we just don`t know with any certainty, at any rate. 

6)I do not see any need to cross the Emyn Muil, either west or east. Boat journey just north of Rohan`s Western Emyn Muil. Anybody landing can then ride northeast, shielded by the hills on the east. (And judging by my map, my eyes, 50-70 miles to a suitable location, at the northern end. Done easily in a day.)

As for your question right at the bottom of your post, hard to say. There were the King`s permanent forces, plus, it would seem, those of the Marshals. Yet we should not think, as a result, that everybody else was conscripted only in time of war. That would surely not be the case -- training is still essential. (For example, from The Battles Of The Fords Of Isen; at the very beginning, it speaks of how Theodred `ordered a retreat. This the Riders, well trained in the manoeuvre, managed in good order and with little further loss.`) We should think instead of others serving terms, perhaps a season, then replaced by fresh `part-timers.` I would assume a few thousand men were always on duty or training. However, speculation on my part.

Finally, Rohan, and the merits or demerits of expansion, should not be viewed in isolation. For it was very much part of a team: Gondor-Rohan. I am sure that presented playable cards for The Mark, the Power of Gondor being very real; and those who attacked Rohan attacked Gondor,  by doing so.

Finally, I think it likely Gondorian troops would be stationed in North Ithilien, not far from the Emyn Muil. So imagine a line extending north, all the way up to Mirkwood: Yes, that would be what I have in mind, and with Rohan taking the lion`s share, doing what Gondor has always counted on them to do, defend the eastern approaches.

Erkendorn 26/Nov/2005 at 09:08 PM
Guard of the Mark Points: 2432 Posts: 1832 Joined: 29/Jun/2004

To your underlying arguments:
1) I agree with Elendil, the lands to the east were quite a distance away from the main land of Rohan, and also would involve populating those areas, despite the population increase, it would be up to the people whether they choose to move their abodes eastwards to where they once feared. Expansion is almost definite IMO, but its which lands to the east that still make us wonder.

2) There are the lands that would somehow link them to their ancestral lands, and finding convenient lands regarding military defences and outposts would be difficult to find, as well as having those lands support the troops and any other people in the area.

3) We are certain of the boost in troops, and I would have to agree again with Elendil, the most suitable lands for supporting the larger population lies in other directions. As I see it, I don’t think a great deal of the available lands to the east were fit to support a new community, apart for the plains that can assist horses and cavalry, militarily. But for the military to be present, they would need support from the land. Of course, provisions and supplies can be brought in from the mainland across the Anduin if these lands would be made into a military outpost only, such as the outpost in Emyn Muil, but is it necessary?

4) Yes, the culture does have a military sense in it, much like its historical comparisons, but as you say, the two main dangers were vanquished. So where does the real danger come from if the campaign to the east has been won (to what we think), Gondor lies to the south if the Haradrim break the peace with Elessar, from the north, there are few dangers and the two elven kingdoms lie there, and to the west, the gap of Rohan is already holding the mainland’s defence. But of course there is the element of danger somewhere in Middle Earth.

5) Indeed, I believe of the surge for power, and yes, I agree with Elendil again, the best part of the available lands lay to the west and north.

Rohan’s permanent military was each marshal’s personal eored, his own household, so yes, I assume that there were 360 for the three marshals, but then there were also the King’s Royal Guards and the doorwardens of Meduseld, which may be an eored full, so just under 500 of the full military would have been full time, yet there may have been more that were full time garrison soldiers, such as in Helm’s Deep in the Westfold, Aldburg and possibly Dunharrow.

ElendilTheFair 27/Nov/2005 at 12:46 AM
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1) Sorry, I was unclear with this point, but you actually addressed my point in your post.  The very fact that Rhun lay at least 400 miles to the east, I find that expansion into the territories of Rhun to be essentially impossible for the Rohirrim.  Yes this conquest would open up new territories, but I believe that the distance of the subjugated lands to be too far from Rohan for the Riders to take control of it.

2)  I was not referring directly to the Brown Lands being poor agriculturally.  And I agree that there were good grazing lands within a day’s ride.  However, it is still difficult to sustain an encampment in an area that is not self-sustainable.  There is a reason that armies encamp close to water sources.  Essentially, any military encampment in the Brown Lands would have to be supplied from without.  This would involve very regular shipments of food and water into the camp (since I doubt that animal life would be especially plentiful in the Brown Lands either).  I agree that a camp close to enemy territory is beneficial, just very hard to maintain (not to mention rather isolated) in this case.

It seems to me that your passionate reasons would lead people to wish to settle closer to Mirkwood.  However, I think this expansion would likely lead to settlements in the eaves of the forest, not in the Brown Lands themselves.

3)  I agree that an expansion north of the Limlight would widen the realm, but not by an overly large amount (about 50 miles, give or take).  Personally, the aquisition of 5000 square miles (which is a reasonable estimate for the area) of good agricultural land can’t really hurt a nation too badly.  Then again the possibility of attack is greater, so I guess expansion in this direction would only be necessitated by a larger need for food (ie, for a growing population).

Yes kings make general policies, but it is foolish to make a policy that takes too many troops from other essential jobs (ie, farming, services, etc).

As for my general arguement, I hope this clarifies it.  I don’t really see the need for any real expansion by Rohan.  However, if such an expansion became necessary, I contend that it would be better suited in the northward (beyond Limlight, not Anduin) and westward (see below) directions.

4)  Rohan did not have a single troop guarding against invasion from Mordor, so I don’t see how Sauron’s defeat frees up any more troops.  Also, although Saruman’s defeat affects troop deployment, it essentially just allows the troops that were guarding the approaches from Isengard to return to their normal posts.

5) I did take into account Rohan’s existing territories west of the Gap of Rohan.  The expansion I was referring to was primarily south and west from Swanfleet, below the Isen.  The only expansion across the Isen was to the east of the Gap of Rohan, not into Enedwaith itself.  I don’t think that the Dunlendings would respond with excessive hostility to this move.  Sorry if I failed to make this clear before.

6) In your posts above, you had argued for an outpost in the eastern Emyn Muil.  This requires traversing the Emyn Muil.  However, moving the outpost to the northern regions makes it much more feasible.

7 (formally the bottom of the previous post))  I agree that there would likely be some sort of "rotating" force undergoing training, but I think a few thousands would be a bit unreasonable, considering there were only 10 000 able-bodied men at the Muster.  I know this was not the full force available, but consider doubling that number.  Two thousand troops on duty at all times would imply that a full one tenth of the male population was in the military at any given time, a rather large number, even for a nation delighting in battle.

Just a quick point for both Rohanya and Erkendorm, the King’s Royal Guard was their eored, so this wouldn’t add to the number of permanent troops (360 for the King (the First Marshall), as well as the Second and Third Marshalls).

Oh, and Rohanya, I agree.  This thread is gestating nicely!

Rohanya 27/Nov/2005 at 02:59 AM
Warrior of Imladris Points: 2902 Posts: 6872 Joined: 28/Jan/2005

Elendil, hope I did not come across as testy in my last post. These comments. 

1) I never wished to give the impression that Rhun, as in the area around the sea of same name, was to be colonized or manned after the end of that particular campaign. Yes, too far. Far too far, if we can coin a phrase: pretty obvious. I did believe -- still do -- however that the campaign had to have produced some changes in territorial boundaries. Traditional problem for Rohan -- how to `keep the heathens` at bay? Hope that the  Anduin and Eastemnet are sufficient in themselves? No, Brown Lands buffer, with small communities on eaves of Mirkwood, scouting parties, small in size, roaming the lands to the centre. As indicated in my prior post, oh, to about 100 miles east of the river, running from imaginary line that `continues` the North Ithilien Road...all the way up to Mirkwood.
(2) We do know of one conspicuous feature in Southern Mirkwood: Dol Guldur. The Encyclopedia of Arda cautions us not to think of it, necessarily, as meaning Hill (Head perhaps), but if place of height somewhat substantial, that could suggest movement of rainwater. Not shown on the map but do not forget that `the more numerous` Rohirric habitations, long ago, were in the East Bight. That is even farther from water judging by the main maps, yet we hear of no major problems. And in fact the Anduin is available as water source; from it to the southern tip of Mirkwood -- farthest extremity south -- is perhaps 50 or so miles. This would not appear to be a problem.
3) I can see the attractiveness of northward movement across the Limlight. However, it does extend the boundaries in a manner marshals could question. Shapes are useful strategic images; again, I think any stretching should be in the opposite direction -- east. Once more, the Balchoth had, it would seem, no difficulties crossing the river at that point. I would think it wise, therefore, for such colonization to be protected, to whatever degree possible, by Rohirric encampments on the east side of the river. What would a general in modern days worry about ? Precisely that -- the other side of the river, and not just hoping for the best.

I do not think we will agree on population to numbers of soldiers. Defense is simply a priority, in my book. That is both wise and fairly ordinary. And it is also an Imperial Age, we might say; Gondor takes the lead but Rohan, too, shares the burden. Imperial Age (Reunited Kingdoms) and such requires protecting.
4) Saruman turned out to be the major threat (something you yourself grant as unforseen, at least initially). But Mordor was the traditional threat...it and/or allies. So we can indeed speak of a freeing up of troops. There will not be invasions, in the future, from either Isengard or the direction of Mordor (which would have taken place eventually). As for no troops fighting Mordor, no, I do not think that true. For orcs had been coming over the river, stealing horses. There was response. Appendix A states, for instance, how around 2995, `Sauron had arisen again, and the shadow of Mordor reached out to Rohan. Orcs began to raid in the eastern regions and slay or steal horses. Others also came down from the Misty Mountains [ie., in the service of Mordor, I should think].` Eomer`s father, Eomund, was killed in 3002, when he `pursued a small band to the borders of the Emyn Muil, and was there surprised by a strong force that lay in wait in the rocks.` Eomer himself and his battle...
5) Really? You still do not think that the Dunlendings would react in anger? I certainly do. I think, too, they would take it as contradictory to the spirit of the initial peace offering, for Theoden had said nothing about future Rohirric expansion, in their traditional lands. But if the west is to be done, at all, why not farther south, basically following the Isen right to the sea? I do not know about its width, but possibly navigable by boat. JRR himself, in one of the HOME books initially envisaged Eomerian Rohan as expanding this way.
6) Well, technically it is still eastern. Specifically, the northeast tip of the Eastern Emyn Muil.
7) Hard to say, but I can appreciate your point. That said, training is required. I should think everybody got some training every year. Or at least the vast majority. If not, how could they be more than warriors, in other words, highly skilled ones?

Excuse any typos.

Iarwain Ben-adr 28/Nov/2005 at 04:13 AM
New Soul Points: 79 Posts: 45 Joined: 28/Nov/2005
Hey there. New soul typing.

There is one simple explanation to the supposed expansion of Rohan, and that is, it won’t expand significantly at all. The entire point of Rohan is that it IS Gondor. Sorry to all you Rohan patriots out there but if Gondor says march, then Rohan marches. Ever since the Oath of Eorl was taken Rohan was a subculture of Gondor. Rohan may expand a bit, up into Mihirith and Dunland, but the vales of the Anduin is unlikely due to the large elvish presence (when Dol Guldor fell Celeborn intended to make southern Mirkwood north Lorien) and the ever growing presence of the Woodsmen and Beornings. Rohan culture will definitely be felt in Rohvanion but only as part of a larger invasion that will certainly be led by Gondor and its lesser counterpart, Rohan. Gondor has never mounted an invasion with Rohan, but just as surly that Rohan will come to the defense of Gondor so will it come to mount invasions. Eventually the two cultures will mix and The United Kingdom will grow ever larger, incorporating Rohan and all its possessions. It may still be ruled by a separate government, but that government will be ruled over its self by the King. In short, Rohan will expand when Gondor tells it to expand.

Another point against the expansion of Rohan is that... well... why WOULD ROHAN EXPAND? Gondor expanded to provide buffer sates between the barbarian tribes and there major cities. And to get more farmland and residential space (I guess real estate prices were soaring in Minas Anor) Rohan is not an imperial power. It is a kingdom populated by semi-nomadic clans. It has a standing military of a couple hundred, the rest of the Eothred is called up from the peasants of the Riddermark. These peasants, like the early American militias, are unlikely to ever be used for an offensive operation.

Ok, so lets assume that Rohan does need to expand and that it’s grasslands are no longer suitable for such large numbers. Then Rohan will ever so slowly expand. Not through military might but by their peasant and peasant wives spreading west to Dunland and across the great river. If Rohan expands then it will not be through colonization of the neighboring lands. I know, not exactly as cool as massive cavalry charges, but just as effective.

In summery, Rohan will expand military simply as aid for Gondor but will expand socially, economically and culturally very slowly, seeping over the surrounding lands.

Rohanya 28/Nov/2005 at 04:35 AM
Warrior of Imladris Points: 2902 Posts: 6872 Joined: 28/Jan/2005

Iarwain Ben-adr. Welcome to the Plaza! And small world, the place you list as home on your profile is mine as well! Yes, the very same. 

 An interesting way of looking at things. As much as I am tempted to respond (that elven angle, for example, `But after the passing of Galadriel in a few years Celeborn grew weary of his realm and went to Imladris to dwell with the sons of Elrond.` Not that anybody here is arguing for the possession of Mirkwood as such), I shall let somebody else, having had a lengthy turn above.

Durin of Moria 06/Jun/2006 at 09:19 PM
Scribe of Erebor Points: 467 Posts: 260 Joined: 24/Mar/2006
The Rohirrim might go to settle in Dunlendish lands,due to the expansion of Rohan’s army and Dunlendish threat to Rohan.They might also settle in the brown lands because of the fertile land there.The brown land is inhabited by no one.They might also settle in places around Isengard.(Not Isengard because of the Ent settlement there.) At least, I think they will settle around the southern end of the Misty Mountains.
Kaulargorn 14/Jun/2006 at 05:48 PM
Messenger of Minas Tirith Points: 938 Posts: 149 Joined: 30/May/2006
I beleive that the Rofirrim would find it difficult to expand to the East because Gondor is more possible to do so. So why not they expand to the west where they would proceed unopposed. Moreover , in the eastern areas exist deserts and lands which the enemy activity has affected deeadly, so the Rohirrim would have problems in advancing their cavalry. The plains at the west of Rohan should do the job
Nalion 25/Jun/2006 at 10:58 PM
Guard of the Mark Points: 2650 Posts: 2484 Joined: 30/Aug/2003

Hmm. Anybody ever considered that one day, Rohan and Gondor might fight for territorial borders?

Land and territorial disputes is bad. Really bad.

Bearamir 28/Jun/2006 at 12:56 PM
Emeritus Points: 16276 Posts: 16742 Joined: 21/Sep/2008
Ladies & Gentlemen:  My compliments on an excellent thread.  With your permission, (since someone has already reactivated the discussion) lets move this to Ad Lore to (hopefully) spark the attention of a few more of our Lore Masters.  Without further ado...please prepare for move to Ad Lore.
Eglaernil 05/Jul/2006 at 09:45 PM
Garment-crafter of Lothlorien Points: 493 Posts: 39 Joined: 25/Jun/2006
Why would they need to advance anywhere for many hundreds of years? They can barely populate the area they have now. And even if they did, which would just be pure greediness, well they are Men (no offense intended), why don’t they spread to their ancestral roots past the Brown Lands. You know, between the River Anduin and the Sea of Rhun.
Althain 05/Jul/2006 at 11:31 PM
Mercenary of Minas Tirith Points: 547 Posts: 158 Joined: 29/May/2005
I do not believe that there is any mention of Rohan expanding its borders beyond their current point.  It is merely stated that Eomer renewed the Oath of Eorl to Aragorn, and that Aragorn renewed the possession of Rohan to Eomer, but nothing is said about expansion.  However, we can speculate that in the coming wars (for there were still wars, because there were many still of the servants of Mordor that were as of yet undefeated and still wreaked havoc in the world) that Rohan, as its power increased, would have also increased its lands.  I would guess that they might have expanded west to the river Anduin, as far north as the river Limlight (which feeds into the Anduin close to the Field of Celebrant), and as for the east that is a more difficult question.  To the east lays Dunland, and the gates of Moria, and (of course), Isengard.  Now, I think that they wouldn’t have minded subduing the people of Dunland, who had risen up against them in support of Isengard (although led on false pretenses), but if the dwarves came back to Moria (if the goblins were ever wholly driven out), then I don’t know how they would have felt with the people of Rohan occupying the lands all around their east gate.  However, Isengard returned back into the keeping of Gondor, and the Rohirrim might have been charged with occupying/protecting/monitoring it.
Kaulargorn 24/Sep/2006 at 10:58 AM
Messenger of Minas Tirith Points: 938 Posts: 149 Joined: 30/May/2006
The Rohirrim is a people that its mainly task throughout the third age is war.They do not have the cultural background of Gondor so after the end of the third age I can’t imagine that the character of the Rohirrim would change rapidly and become a nation without a war industry.their philosophy wil still be imperial.So they would expand,as their population grows up,but where.Definitely to the north and maybe to the west.At east lies Gondor and southwards are the White Mountains.They need great plains for their horses and they came a long time ago from the north.So,firstly they should expand to the north.At the west lies the Shire which is favored by Gondor and should be left in piece according to Aragorn.
NineFingered 26/Sep/2006 at 01:06 PM
Crafter of the Shire Points: 2251 Posts: 1253 Joined: 17/Jul/2005
As this is a speculative thread, I believe I can have my little own opinion about this. In the first place, I wonder if Rohan had to "expand" at all, for they seemed to have lots of room for horses. Besides, they were not an agricultural people, it seems, so they do not need to expand for new lands if the grasslands they already have supplies enough food for their horses. Of course, I suppose they must plant something, but it is not as obvious as the hobbits that they liked to till the land. Anyway, in case they should need new lands, I would recommend them (sounds impressive) to go Northwest towards Eriador or Hollin. In ancient times elves dwelt there, so it can’t be too bad. If the king of Gondor agrees, I should see no problem why, because they can even provide a buffer against Dunland. But in any case, their horses have to decide if they like the grass there or not.
Telemanes 02/Oct/2006 at 05:37 AM
Apprentice of Minas Tirith Points: 193 Posts: 16 Joined: 26/Sep/2006

i agree. Rohan wouldnt expand much at all. at the start of the fourth age i believe they would be trying to sort their own kingdom out after it was ravaged by the wildmen an orcs sent by saruman. this could take months, probably years.

they are numerically small so would not need to expand for necessity of space and being a kingdom under Gondor they wouldn’t expand as this might mean going to war when Gondor is trying to make peace with the other races of men.

great earendil 08/Oct/2006 at 08:42 AM
Banned Points: 822 Posts: 170 Joined: 21/Sep/2006
I have to disagree with you people over her, i strongly feel that rohan would indeed expand as is custom for all states after a victory in a battle. Sure, gondor would expand much more and faster than rohan(by way of the desertion of mordor), but that doesn’t mean rohan won’t.....for one thing, i think that the boundary between gondor and rohan will further shift to isengard....i.e rohan and one side of isengard and gondor on the other.
KingODuckingham 09/Oct/2006 at 07:04 PM
Grey Counsellor of Isengard Points: 15053 Posts: 15390 Joined: 27/Aug/2006
Rohan can only expand as far as Aragorn would have let them, really. The rights to the lands that they actually have were granted to them by the Stewards, and reaffirmed by Aragorn, but they really have no right to go expanding in any direction available to them because it is all Gondorian/Arnorian property of the king. So if Aragorn granted them more territory, that would be one thing. I don’t know why he would deny them territory if they needed it, but it hardly seems like they needed it at the beginning of the 4th age. If they were to expand it would most likely be into Dunlendish territory to the West, there isn’t much horse-friendly land to the East.