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Dated back at least to the rule of Folcwine (that is, before III 2903)1
Stationed at Edoras
Other names


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  • Updated 15 September 2023
  • This entry is complete

King’s Company

The éored of the King of Rohan

The name given to the first éored of the Riders of Rohan, a company of one hundred and twenty Riders who belonged to the personal household of the King, and answered his orders directly. Also called the King's Riders, the company formed the royal bodyguard, and by tradition rode with the King of Rohan at the head of the Rohirrim when they went to war. The Riders of the company seem to have ridden white horses, at least on ceremonial occasions.2

We have little information about the history of the King's Company. Given that the Riders were divided into éoreds even among the Men of the Éothéod before Rohan was founded, then the tradition of a lord's personal éored might realistically have dated back to the time of Eorl or even earlier. We know that King Folcwine (great-grandfather to Théoden) had a company of household Riders, which would be the first direct historical reference to a King's Company. Regardless of the details of its history, by the time of Théoden at the end of the Third Age, the King's Company was well established.

To serve in the King's Company was an evident honour, and a suitable role for the sons of nobility. Erkenbrand, for example, was an officer in the King's Riders in his youth, before going on to become the lord of Westfold and ultimately Marshal of the West-mark.

When Théoden rode to war at the end of the Third Age, his King's Company followed him throughout the campaign. They were at the Battle of the Hornburg, and accompanied Théoden to the parley with Saruman in Isengard before joining the Full Muster and taking the long road to Minas Tirith. In the chaos of Battle of the Pelennor Fields, however, they were unable to save their King. After a charge into the line of the Haradrim, many of the King's Company were slain, and the rest were carried away by their terrified horses when the Witch-king descended onto the battlefield. Left unprotected, Théoden fell, but he was avenged when the Lord of the Nazgûl was slain in turn by Éowyn and Merry Brandybuck.

After the War of the Ring, Éomer had succeeded Théoden as King, and the new King has his own King's Company. When Éomer rode to Minas Tirith in preparation for Théoden's funeral procession, he brought with him an 'éored of the fairest knights of the Mark' (The Return of the King VI 6). That same éored followed the old King's body back to Edoras, where they marked his passing by riding their white horses around his funeral barrow.



The only direct historical reference to the King's Company is in Théoden's time, but an equivalent company of household guards seems to date back at least as far as Théoden's great-grandfather Folcwine. We have records of Folcwine reorganising the military forces of Rohan, and those records specifically mention Riders of the King's Household, who would have been the King's Company or their direct forerunners. Before Folcwine's time, the Kings of Rohan must surely have maintained a dedicated guard, but it's unclear whether those earlier companies could be directly compared with the King's Company of the late Third Age.


At the funeral of Théoden, the King's Company are noted to be riding white horses, though the significance of this fact is not explained. It may be that the company always rode white horses by tradition, or that this was something specific to an important event such as a royal funeral.


About this entry:

  • Updated 15 September 2023
  • This entry is complete

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