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Oath of Eorl

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The Oath of Eorl, also called the Oath of Cirion,[1] was the alliance sworn between the nations of Rohan and Gondor.

Also agreed was whenever help was needed, the two kingdoms would aid each other. The signal that help was needed was the Red Arrow, a symbol of danger. For faster communication between the two allies, the warning beacons of Gondor were used. These beacons were placed on seven hills along the northern ridge of the White Mountains.

The Oath

Ted Nasmith - The Oathtaking of Cirion and Eorl

The Oath was first sworn in T.A. 2510 by Cirion, the twelfth Ruling Steward of Gondor, and by Eorl, King of the Éothéod (later first King of Rohan) following the Battle of the Field of Celebrant. The Oath stated that the province of Calenardhon would be forever of Rohan, established its borders, and an alliance between the kingdoms. The two rulers swore their oaths on the Halifirien hill at the site of the tomb of Elendil.

Eorl spoke his oath in his own language. In addition to his oath, Cirion spoke an invocation in Quenya and the Common Speech, calling the Valar and Eru to witness the oaths that were taken.

"Vanda sina termaruva Elenna-nóreo alcar enyalien ar Elendil Vorondo voronwë. Nai tiruvantes i hárar mahalmassen mi Númen ar i Eru i or ilyë mahalmar eä tenn' oio"
― Cirion

Eru's name was very rarely invoked in oaths, and indeed had not been since the time of the Last Alliance. Among people of Numenorean descent, it was held that only the King could call upon Eru, but Cirion had that authority as Steward and regent for the King.[2]

History of the Oath

In T.A. 2710 King Déor asked the help of Steward Egalmoth to drive off the Dunlendings from the occupied Ring of Isengard, but a renewed war against the Orcs prevented the Steward from fulfill the Oath.[3][4]

In T.A. 2885, when Ithilien was invaded in great strength, King Folcwine of Rohan fulfilled the Oath and sent many men to Gondor. With their aid Steward Túrin II won a victory at the crossings of Poros, though the princes Fastred and Folcred were slain.[5]

During the War of the Ring, the Red Arrow was brought to King Théoden of Rohan by a messenger of Gondor while Minas Tirith was besieged by Sauron.

The Oath was renewed by Aragorn and Éomer upon their accessions to the thrones of Gondor and Rohan.


  1. J.R.R. Tolkien, "The Rivers and Beacon-hills of Gondor" (edited by Carl F. Hostetter), in Vinyar Tengwar, Number 42, July 2001, p. 20
  2. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), Unfinished Tales, "Cirion and Eorl and the Friendship of Gondor and Rohan"
  3. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Peoples of Middle-earth, "The Heirs of Elendil"
  4. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), Unfinished Tales, "The Battles of the Fords of Isen"
  5. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix B, "The Third Age"