Shieldmaiden of Rohan

In the culture of Rohan, some unmarried and childless women chose to be trained and to fight as warriors. These were the shieldmaidens, examples of which can also be found in many Scandinavian and Germanic myths and legends. It is unclear to what extent the shieldmaidens of Rohan were expected to do battle, but it is imporant to remember that the most renowned of the shieldmaidens, Éowyn, was not forbidden to join the Ride of the Rohirrim because she was a woman. She was a shieldmaiden and had been trained for war, her gender was not the issue; rather, she was commanded to remain behind as the interim ruler of Rohan. We are told that Éowyn was the only shieldmaiden who rode to the aid of Gondor with the muster of the Rohirrim, so it seems that the others may have been required to stay behind to defend their villages in case the field was lost at Pelennor.

It may be that shieldmaidens took part in other battles in and around Rohan during the war. Here is one such shieldmaiden, ready to defend the Fords of the Isen. She is armoured in iron scales and a strong breastplate, and her helm bears the brazen likeness of a charging horse. A triple crest of horsehair forms the horse’s flowing mane. She wields a stout spear and a shield of heavy wooden planks with an iron boss. She is well-equipped, well-trained, and prepared to fight to the death defending her land.

The helm used in this outfit was at one time an extremely rare and coveted drop from (rumour has it) the rewards chests at Glân Vraig in the Ettenmoors. It is possible that it is or was an exceptionally rare world drop as well. These days, it is readily available as a purchase from the Store. The helm is fancy, but my favourite part of this outfit is actually the cloak. Even though it has no symbol or design on it, something about it just says “Rohan” to me — I’m not sure why!

  • Head: Helm of Rohan (purchased — LOTRO Store), burgundy
  • Shoulders: Steel Shoulder Guards (purchased — Bree-town heavy armour vendor; or looted — world drop/general), rust
  • Back: Heavy Quilted Cloak (crafted — tailor T2; or looted — world drop/general), Rivendell green
  • Chest: Armour of Fém (quest reward — Angmar [43] Crannog’s Fifth Challenge), Rivendell geen
  • Hands: Gauntlets of Fém (quest reward — Angmar [43] Crannog’s Second Challenge), rust
  • Legs: Plate Leggings of Fém (quest reward — Angmar [43] Crannog’s Third Challenge), Rivendell green
  • Feet: Breelander’s Leather Boots (purchased — LOTRO Store), Rivendell green
  • Shield: Yew Round Shield (purchased — Combe heavy armour vendor)

Tips: The various pieces of the Armour of Fém share their appearance with the Armour of the North-drake (world drop), and the Breelander’s Leather Boots have the same appearance as the Boots of the Sun-lands (looted — world drop/level 49) and Rudhrod’s Boots (bartered — Iorelen’s Camp odds and ends trader). Note that the vendor-purchased shoulder pieces come in both distressed and a brand-new appearances. I’ve chosen the distressed version here, becuase I envision this shieldmaiden as having already been through several battles.

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3 Responses to Shieldmaiden of Rohan

  1. lotrosavvy says:

    Awesome helm 🙂 I got it from the store when i saw it on someone but i’ve yet to find an outfit to go with it! I’ll have to have an attempt sometime. I love the story behind this outfit too ❤

  2. Bee says:

    Hi! I agree that this looks very Rohan. The colors are very fitting! Maybe it’s because of the movies, but I do imagine people of the mark donned in browns and greens.

    I was just wondering, are shieldmaidens canon in Tolkien’s writing? If so, where can I find them or a reference to them in the books or the appendices? I’d really like to know about them.

    Thank you! 🙂 Keep it up!

    • Hi Bee, welcome to the blog and thank you for your comment! 😀

      In answer to your question, yes, Tolkien mentions shieldmaidens in The Return of the King. At the Houses of Healing, Éowyn says to Faramir: “Shadow lies on me still. Look not to me for healing! I am a shieldmaiden and my hand is ungentle.” But like many things in his writing, Tolkien is bringing in the concept from pre-existing Germanic mythology, so he doesn’t describe the concept in detail. So to learn more about shieldmaidens you have to go outside of Tolkien. Good places to start are Hrólf’s saga, the Hervarar saga, and the Völsungasaga, which Tolkien also adapted as The Legend of Sigurd and Gudrún.

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