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Fréaláf Hildeson lived III 2726 - III 2798 (72 years), and was King of Rohan from III 2759 (ruled 39 years)
Edoras (at least after the expulsion of Wulf)
'Son of Hild' (Hild means 'battle')
Title of


About this entry:

  • Updated 11 February 2023
  • This entry is complete


The surname of Fréaláf of Rohan



An extended genealogy of Fréalàf Hildeson showing his descent from the First Line of the Kings of Rohan through Hild, daughter of King Gram and sister to King Helm Hammerhand.

The surname given to Fréaláf, the tenth King of Rohan, whose mother was Hild, the sister of Helm Hammerhand. During his early life, Fréaláf was only indirectly within the line of succession: his uncle Helm was King, and had two sons of his own, Haleth and Háma. In the year of the Long Winter, III 2758, great disaster fell on Rohan, and the battles that followed would see Fréaláf Hildeson emerge as the new King of Rohan.

In the year of the Long Winter, Rohan was invaded and overrun by Dunlendings from the west, whose leader Wulf installed himself on the throne of Rohan in Meduseld. Helm's son Haleth fell in the defence of the Golden Hall, and King Helm and his people were forced to flee into the mountains. Helm's second son Háma was later lost in the fighting, and finally Helm Hammerhand himself also lost his life.

As the Long Winter began to break in the following year, Fréaláf gathered his people in Dunharrow, and launched a desperate attack on the usurper Wulf in Edoras. With the advantage of surprise, the small band of Rohirrim succeeded: Fréaláf slew Wulf and regained Edoras for the Rohirrim. He was later aided by Beregond, son of Steward Beren of Gondor, and was able to drive the invaders from his realm entirely, even recovering the long-occupied complex of Isengard.

As the son of Helm's sister Hild, Fréaláf was the natural heir to his uncle, and was crowned King of Rohan later that year. In annals he is recorded with the full name of 'Fréaláf Hildeson' (where Hildeson denotes 'son of Hild') to recognise the fact that he was not Helm's direct natural heir.1 As for his mother Hild, we are not told of her fate, but it may be that she survived the hardships of the Long Winter to witness her son's accession to the throne.

After the war with the Dunlendings, the body of Helm Hammerhand had been laid to rest in the Barrowfield of Edoras, beneath the ninth barrow on the field's western side. When Fréaláf himself died after a reign of thirty-nine years, he was placed in a new barrow on the eastern side of the field, marking his founding of the Second Line of the Kings of Rohan. This new line of Kings would descend from father to son through seven generations, down to the time of Théoden and the War of the Ring.



Actually, Hildeson has a double meaning. The name of Fréaláf's mother Hild meant 'battle', so Hildeson can also be read as 'son of battle', an appropriate name indeed, given the means by which he achieved the Kingship of Rohan.


About this entry:

  • Updated 11 February 2023
  • This entry is complete

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