The Encyclopedia of Arda - an interactive guide to the world of J.R.R. Tolkien
Dates
Rohan was founded in III 2510, and survived into the Fourth Age
Location
Running along the eastern banks of the river Isen, southward of Isengard
Race
Culture
Settlements
Forts were built to guard the Fords of Isen
Source
The Isen rose at the southern end of the Misty Mountains, at the northern extent of the Marches
Outflow
After passing the southern end of the Marches, the Isen turned sharply westward to flow towards the Great Sea
Passes
The Gap of Rohan lay westward of the Marches' southern part
Meaning
Marches is an old word for borderlands

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About this entry:

  • Updated 17 August 2019
  • Updates planned: 1

West Marches

The western borderlands of Rohan

Running northward from the White Mountains, the western border of Rohan was marked by the course of the river Isen, and among the Rohirrim this border region of their realm was known as the West Marches. Its most strategic point was at the Fords of Isen, where the river broke briefly into two shallow branches, and over which the North-South Road ran through the Gap of Rohan.

The Rohirrim constructed forts to guard the Fords, forts that were tested in the year III 3019 when Saruman sent his forces against Rohan. Because Saruman controlled the sources of the Isen, he was able to send his soldiers down both of its banks, and a part of his force raided southwards through the West Marches themselves. The ensuing Battles of the Fords of Isen sorely tested Rohan's defences, seeing the King's heir Théodred slain in the First Battle, and the Fords themselves captured in the Second Battle. Rohan's loss of the Fords and the West Marches set events into motion that would lead to the Battle of the Hornburg the following day.


A little confusingly, the western borders of Rohan contain two distinct regions with almost identical names. The West Marches were the northern part of Rohan's western border, following the course of the Isen. The West-march, despite the closely similar name, lay lower on the course of the Isen, forming a tongue of land between that river and the Adorn to the south.


Indexes:

About this entry:

  • Updated 17 August 2019
  • Updates planned: 1

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