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First attested in III 3019, but doubtless dated back into the history of Rohan and possibly even earlier1
The banner of the land of Rohan
The emblem of the House of Eorl
Horses lay at the heart of the culture of Rohan2
Other names


About this entry:

  • Updated 7 October 2023
  • This entry is complete

White Horse upon Green

The emblem of the Rohirrim

The symbol of Rohan and its Kings, at least in the later Third Age and the early Fourth. The exact symbolism of the White Horse is uncertain: it may have simply represented the importance of horses to the Rohirrim, or it may represent the great mearas, or perhaps even Felaróf, the horse of Eorl. Whatever its origins, we know that the White Horse on Green remained in use well into the Fourth Age, when the Riders of King Éomer rode with Gondor in the East of Middle-earth.



We have no definite references to the White Horse upon Green preceding the War of the Ring, with the oldest potential exception being references to shields that carried the device (and one of these, used by Gimli, was said to date back to the time of Théoden's father Thengel). Beyond this, all we can say for certain is that it was used as a banner by the Rohirrim at the time of the end of the Third Age, but it is implied that it was rather older than that. The natural assumption would probably be that it dated back to the time of the foundation of Rohan in III 2510, though this is not stated specifically. Indeed, the emblem of a white horse on a green field would have fitted the forebears of the Rohirrim equally well, and it is not impossible that the symbol might have originated among the Men of the Éothéod, or perhaps even the Northmen of Rhovanion long before the foundation of Rohan.


In an abstract sense, the White Horse was a natural symbol for the Rohirrim, for whom horses formed a vital part of their culture. It is not impossible, however, that the White Horse upon Green had a more specific reference. It may be related to the extraordinary horses known as mearas that the Rohirrim bred, or perhaps even a depiction of Felaróf, the white steed of Eorl the founder of Rohan.

See also...

Silver Swan


About this entry:

  • Updated 7 October 2023
  • This entry is complete

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