16 November 2011

365 Days of Middle-earth ~ Day 139: Helm Hammerhand

Helm Hammerhand (TA 2691-2759) was the ninth King of Rohan (from TA 2741-59), and the last of the First Line of the Mark. As King, he came into conflict with a powerful and wealthy landowner named Freca, who sought Helm’s consent in an arranged marriage between his son, Wulf, and Helm’s daughter.

In an attempt to intimidate him into consent, Freca marched with a group of men to the King’s council in Edoras. After slaying Freca with a single blow from his fist, Helm received the nickname ‘Hammerhand;’ it was this act which precipitated civil war in Rohan. Freca’s son Wulf led a force of Dunlendings in an attack against the Mark, slaying Helm’s elder son Haleth. Helm, after losing a battle at the Crossings of Isen, was forced to seek refuge in the Hornburg (which was later named after him – Helm’s Deep). 

When the Long Winter struck in TA 2758-59, those held up within the Hornburg were exposed to extreme cold and famine. Helm’s younger son, Háma, perished as a result. In his grief, Helm clothed himself in white, stalking his enemies in the snow. One morning, he failed to return, and his body was later found standing in the snow, eyes wide open and ready to fight.

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