The Éothéod were a people whose ancestors were first known to Gondor in the days of King Calimehtar before 1936 ThA, for they were descended from the Northmen of Rhovanion. In 1856, Rhovanion was invaded and enslaved by Wainriders, but these were overthrown when the Northmen revolted and assisted the forces of Gondor to defeat the Wainriders in 1899. The Northmen under the lead of their King Marhwini then departed Rhovanion and removed to the Vales of Anduin, between Carrock and the Gladden Fields. Their famed love of horses probably dates from this time, although they may have carried it with them from Rhovanion. They allied with Gondor on several occasions to battle the Wainriders of the East.

In the days of King {Eärnil II}?, the expanding populations of the Éothéod moved north to lands north of Mirkwood and east of the MistyMountains -- lands which had recently been abandoned by the defeated Angmar. Fram, their King, and son of the King who had led them to these lands, built their capital at Framsburg near the sources of Anduin. Fram's other claim to fame was that he slew the dragon Scatha, who had long terrorised the Dwarves of the Grey Mountains, and lay claim to the dragon's hoard. One item among the treasures he discovered would one day be the Horn of Buckland presented to Merry. The Dwarves claimed the treasure and demanded it be returned, but they received only a necklace made from Scatha's teeth, and so slew Fram in repayment for this insult (hence the icy relations between Dwarves and Northmen which resurface in The Hobbit and The Two Towers)*. (*See J. E. A. Tyler's Complete Tolkien Companion).

Their last King was Eorl who rode with his men in answer a plea for aid from Steward Cirion of Gondor, in 2510 ThA. Gondor was desperately trying to hold off an invasion of Balchoth from the East into Calenardhon, for it had hitherto been forced to leave the EmynMuil undefended owing to constant attacks from Mordor and Harad. The Balchoth had also been making inroads into the territory of the Northmen of Dale. The beleaguered forces of Cirion sent a squad of messengers up-river to Éothéod--only one of these, Borondir, survived. So it was that Eorl led a host of Riders out of the north to Celebrant. Galadriel aided them along the way, for as they passed Dol Guldur, they were shrouded in a mist which concealed them from the eyes of the Enemy. The Riders found the hosts of Gondor caught between the invading Balchoth and an incursion of Orcs from the Misty Mountains, and swept aside the enemy hordes, pursuing them far across the fields of Calenardhon. Not for the last time, they had saved Gondor.

After the battle, Cirion and Eorl rode to the Firien Wood, and made their way by secret paths to Amon Anwar, the Hill of Awe, where lay the tomb of Elendil. There they swore an Oath of Alliance*, and Cirion ceded to the Éothéod the province of Calenardhon, to which the folk of Eorl removed, and became the Rohirrim (*see Oaths of Eorl and Cirion).

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