|"Theoden Espies the Serpent Banner" by Michael Kaluta|
|Other names||Ednew, Horsemaster|
|Titles||King of Rohan|
|Language||Rohirric, Westron, Sindarin|
|Birth||T.A. 2948 |
|Rule||T.A. 2980 - 3019|
|Death||15 March T.A. 3019 (aged 71)|
Battle of the Pelennor Fields
|House||House of Eorl|
|Parentage||Thengel & Morwen|
|Siblings||Théodwyn, three unnamed sisters[note 1]|
|Hair color||Long, thick, braided white hair|
|Gallery||Images of Théoden|
- "Out of doubt, out of dark, to the day's rising
he rode singing in the sun, sword unsheathing.
Hope he rekindled, and in hope ended;
over death, over dread, over doom lifted
out of loss, out of life, unto long glory."
- ― Gléowine
 Early Life
Théoden was the only son of Thengel, and became king after the death of his father in T.A. 2980. Théoden spoke Sindarin and Westron rather than Rohirric, for he had been born in Gondor and spent his youth there.
Théoden loved his sister Théodwyn most of all. After she and her husband both died he adopted her children Éomer and Éowyn as his own. He had a son, Théodred, whose mother Elfhild died in childbirth.
In T.A. 3014 Théoden's health began to fail. This may have been due to natural causes (he was sixty-six) or it may have been induced or increased by subtle poisons administered by Gríma. Gríma (or Wormtongue as most others in the Mark called him), was secretly in the employ of Saruman the White.
 War of the Ring
As the war approached Théoden was increasingly misled by his chief adviser Gríma. In the last years before the War of the Ring, Théoden let his rule slip out of his hands completely, and Gríma became increasingly powerful. Rohan was troubled again by Orcs and Dunlendings, who operated under the will of Saruman, ruling from Isengard. On Gríma's orders Éomer had been arrested and imprisoned after Éomer's foray to destroy the Orcs that had crossed Rohan.
On their way, they got news that the border was lost and he retreated into battle at Helm's Deep. After this he became known as Théoden Ednew, the Renewed, because he had thrown off the yoke of Saruman.
After the battle he visited Isengard where he witnessed as Gandalf deposed Saruman from their order. On their way back to Rohan, they stopped by the Helm's Deep, where he noticed that the lonely Hobbit of their company, Meriadoc Brandybuck felt out of place, and offered to ride with him for the rest of the journey. The hobbit was delighted, as he felt useless among the Riders and offered Théoden his sword in service of Rohan.
Aragorn left the Rohirrim's company for Dunharrow, and Théoden and the Riders took a safer path to Edoras. Near the outer hills of Rohan, Théoden dismissed Éomer's urge not to go to the war, and with the remaining Riders he rode to the Hold at Dunharrow, where his people took shelter.
 Fulfilling the Oath of Eorl
After reuniting with Éowyn and while resting, a Gondorian named Hirgon entered his tent, bringing the Red Arrow from Denethor II. Théoden responded to him that 6000 Riders would reach Minas Tirith in the week. Indeed they set off the next morning (the Dawnless Day); before leaving he ordered his squire, Meriadoc, to stay behind at Edoras.
On their way to Minas Tirith, Théoden's forces were alerted to a host of Orcs upon the road from the city moving towards them. A leader of the Woses, Ghân-buri-Ghân, offered to lead the Rohirrim by secret paths through the Drúadan Forest so they could avoid the Orcs. Taking the forgotten road down Stonewain Valley the riders of Rohan were able to come to the Pelennor Fields undetected.
To his dismay, they found Hirgon dead and understood that the Gondorians were unaware of their arrival; Minas Tirith was being destroyed. Théoden was reinvigorated by a sudden great flash of light from the city. He ordered to charge as the Darkness was fading. He led the Rohirrim to the aid of Gondor at the Battle of the Pelennor Fields. In that battle he challenged the Black Serpent of the Haradrim, and slew him and his standard-bearer. 
He was immediately avenged by Éowyn and the Hobbit Meriadoc Brandybuck, both of whom had ridden to war in secret. He claimed to Merry at his death on the field that he was satisfied, for he had felled the Black Serpent.
His nephew Éomer succeeded him as King of Rohan. In July he returned to Minas Tirith and brought Théoden's body back to Edoras. On 10 August the funeral of Théoden took place. Gléowine composed a poem for him and other Kings of the line of Eorl.
The Old English word þeoden, means "lord, king", and contains the element þeod "people" (éothéod "horse-people"). It is related to the Old Norse word þjóðann, meaning "Leader of the People" (i.e. "King").[source?]
 Other versions
In one of Tolkien's early drafts, Théoden also had a daughter by the name of Idis, but she was eventually removed when her character was eclipsed by that of Éowyn.
2870 - 2953
2905 - 2980
2948 - 3019†
2963 - 3002
2978 - 3019†
2991 - Fo.A. 63
2983 - Fo.A. 82
 Portrayal in adaptations
- Valentine Dyall voiced the part of Théoden.
- The voice of Théoden was provided by Philip Stone.
- Erik Bauersfeld provided the voice of Théoden.
- Théoden is voiced by Don Messick, though he speaks very little. His death is narrated by John Huston as Gandalf.
- This film deviates from Tolkien's story by having Théoden (played by Bernard Hill) actually possessed by Saruman rather than simply deceived by Gríma. He then goes to Helm's Deep to take his people to safety rather than to make a stand against the enemy.
- Théoden at first refuses to come to the aid of Gondor saying that Gondor did not come to the aid of Rohan at the Battle of the Hornburg. His death is placed after the coming of the Haradrim, and is depicted differently; he is not crushed by Snowmane, but wounded by the fell beast. In general, his personality is changed from a "kindly old man" to that of a callous and somewhat obstinate character, though he has several tender moments at the grave of his son and near Éowyn.
- Théoden is a hero in the Rohan faction. He is voiced by Phil Proctor.
- Théoden is a hero in the Men faction. He is voiced by Phil Proctor.
- Théoden is voiced by Brian George.
House of Eorl
|17th King of Rohan|
T.A. 2980 – 3019
 See Also
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix A, "The House of Eorl", "The Kings of the Mark"
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 2.2 J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Two Towers, "The King of the Golden Hall"
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Return of the King, "Many Partings"
- ↑ J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), Unfinished Tales, "The Battles of the Fords of Isen"
- ↑ J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Return of the King, "The Passing of the Grey Company"
- ↑ 6.0 6.1 J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Return of the King, "The Muster of Rohan"
- ↑ J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Return of the King, "The Ride of the Rohirrim"
- ↑ J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Return of the King, "The Battle of the Pelennor Fields"