After Rohan was founded by Eorl the Young, he gave rise to a line of Kings that ruled in unbroken succession through nine generations. It was not until the time of Helm Hammerhand that this First Line of Kings came to an end; in his war against invading Dunlendings, King Helm and both of his sons were slain.
It was Helm's nephew Fréaláf Hildeson who drove the Dunlendings out of Rohan, and as the old King's nearest surviving kin, he was made the first King of the Second Line. That line lasted through eight generations, with its final representative being Théoden. Both Théoden and his natural heir Théodred were slain in separate battles during the War of the Ring; the Kingship of Rohan then passed to Théoden's nephew and appointee Éomer, who thus began the Third Line of the Kings.
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