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  • Updated 9 February 2019
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The Thrice-renowned

A title of King Thengel of Rohan

Fengel
Unnamed
sister
Unnamed
sister
Thengel
the Thrice-renowned
Morwen
Steelsheen

Unnamed
daughter
Théoden
Unnamed
daughter
Unnamed
daughter
Théodwyn

A title evidently given to King Thengel of Rohan, who ruled that land between the years III 2953 and III 2980 and was the father of Théoden. Our only evidence for the title is from a second-hand usage: Saruman addressed Théoden as the son of Thengel the Thrice-renowned, but he failed to offer an explanation for the title.

'Thrice' is an old word for 'three times', so one potential implication of the title is that Thengel performed three great deeds during his lifetime. If so, we have no specific record of what those three sources of renown might be. One of the few details we have about Thengel's life, however, is that he spent his youth dwelling in Gondor, and won great honour in service to Steward Turgon. If Thengel was renowned both in Gondor and in Rohan, this might offer an alternative explanation for the title (though of course this would leave him only 'Twice-renowned', with a third source of renown still left to be explained).


It should be said that Saruman's attribution of the title 'Thrice-renowned' is not completely unambiguous: his actual address to Théoden was as 'O worthy son of Thengel the Thrice-renowned!' (The Two Towers III 10, The Voice of Saruman). By far the most natural reading here seems to be that 'Thrice-renowned' was Thengel's title, but it should perhaps be noted that there is a (slim) possibility that Saruman was granting it to the 'worthy son' rather than his father.


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About this entry:

  • Updated 9 February 2019
  • This entry is complete

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