The Encyclopedia of Arda - an interactive guide to the world of J.R.R. Tolkien
Dates
Raised on 3 March III 3019 (following the Second Battle of the Fords of Isen fought on the previous night)
Location
On the eyot in the middle of the Fords of Isen
Origins
Made by Rohirrim gathered and directed by Gandalf
Race
Division
Culture
Outflow
The river Isen flowed around the Mound and on southwards before turning westward toward the Great Sea

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About this entry:

  • Updated 26 September 2020
  • Updates planned: 1

Mound of the Riders

The burial mound at the Fords of Isen

In the days leading up the great Battle of the Hornburg in Rohan, the forces of Saruman tested the western defences of the land. At the Fords of Isen, Théoden's son Théodred commanded the defence of Rohan, but he fell in battle. Afterward the enemy withdrew from that engagement, known as the First Battle of the Fords of Isen. In the middle of the Fords, the river Isen split into two branches and ran round an eyot or river island, and on that island Théodred's body was placed within a burial mound beneath his own banner.

Eight days later a more determined force came against the Fords of Isen, and this time they could not be driven off. In this Second Battle of the Fords of Isen, many of the defending Rohirrim were slain, and the survivors were forced to flee. This left the Fords in the power of Saruman, and the way into Rohan open to his soldiers. Thus the Men and Orcs gathered at Isengard were able to cross the Fords unchallenged, and pass on to Helm's Deep where the Battle of the Hornburg would be fought.

With the aid of the Ents of Fangorn, the Rohirrim were victorious at the Hornburg. King Théoden set out northwards towards Isengard with his Men, a journey that would bring them to the crossing of the Fords of Isen. They expected to find the bodies of their companions left where they had fallen two days beforehand, but this was not the case. A great mound had been made on the eyot of the Fords, apparently over the smaller mound of Théodred,1 and within this Mound of the Riders the fallen of Rohan had been buried. The Mound was ringed with stones, and set with the spears of those whose bodies lay within.

The Mound of the Riders had been made on the orders of Gandalf. He had found Men scattered after the Second Battle and rallied them. Some of these Riders he sent to the Fords to make the Mound, so that their fellow soldiers could rest in peace. Éomer expressed a hope that the Mound would stand and guard the Fords long into the future of Rohan.


Notes

1

We do not know for sure what happened to Théodred's mound on the eyot. Presumably, the Riders who later made the greater Mound for their fellows simply built over and expanded the smaller mound of the King's son. Alternatively, they might perhaps have built the main Mound of the Riders beside Théodred's grave, but this does not seem to have been the case. In the description of Théoden and his people coming to the Fords and discovering the site, only a single Mound is recorded there.

Indexes:

About this entry:

  • Updated 26 September 2020
  • Updates planned: 1

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