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  • Updated 17 October 2015
  • Updates planned: 2

Marshal of the Mark

Title of the military leaders of the Rohirrim

The highest military title of the Rohirrim - one of (normally) three commanders responsible for mustering and leading the warriors of Rohan in time of war.

The Riders of Rohan had traditionally been placed under the command of one of three Marshals, the highest military rank in the land. Assignments to these ranks were made as events dictated, and it was not necessarily the case that all three Marshals would be appointed, especially in times of peace.

First Marshal The First Marshal was the commander of the King's forces, and leader of the Muster of Edoras, as well as Harrowdale and other parts of Rohan that fell close to the capital. This title had at one time been held by Éomund the father of Éomer, but in the years leading up the War of the Ring there was no official First Marshal. The garrison of Edoras was under the command of Elfhelm at this time, but he did not hold the true title of Marshal.
Second Marshal The Second Marshal was not assigned a particular region, but rather given a command that suited the military needs of the time. In the years leading up the War of the Ring, the King's son Théodred held the title of Second Marshal, and was based at the Hornburg to counter the potential threat of Isengard. After the fall of Théodred, Elfhelm assumed the duties (but not formally the title) of the Second Marshal, and when Saruman had been defeated he was assigned to the Muster of the East-mark, since that was now where the chief danger lay.
Third Marshal Like the Second Marshal, the Third was appointed as needed. At the time of the War of the Ring, the Third Marshal was the King's nephew Éomer, based at his ancestral home of Aldburg in the Folde. During that War, Éomer effectively took on the role of the First Marshal and chief adviser to King Théoden. His responsibilities as Third Marshal - though not the title itself - then went to Grimbold of Westfold. With the East-mark now under the command of Elfhelm, the Muster of the West-mark fell under Grimbold's command.

After the War of the Ring, the new King Éomer reorganised the Marshals of Rohan. The position of the First Marshal was maintained, but the Second and Third Marshals were replaced by two new positions. Each of these two new Marshals commanded a fixed geographical part of the Muster of Rohan, and were held to be equal in rank to one another.

Marshal of the West-mark The commander of the Muster of the West-mark. After the War of the Ring this rank was conferred on Erkenbrand, lord of Westfold.
Marshal of the East-mark The commander of the Muster of the East-mark, raising Riders from the lands between Entwash and Anduin. The first holder of this post was Elfhelm.

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