In the Return of the King it seems that the entire royal family of Rohan fought in the battle at Gondor: Théoden, Éomer and Éowyn.

Théoden of course dies in the battle, and it would not have been unfathomable for all three of them to have met their ends there. If all three had died, was there anyone left of that line to assume the throne in Rohan? Or would someone else have had to have been chosen? If the later, is there any information on who that would be?

  • 3
    Grima thought he was on the fast-track but a wheel came off.
    – Morgan
    May 5, 2014 at 1:21

3 Answers 3


I'm not sure how it would have held up after the fact as the Eorlingas tended to hold the royal family in high regard. However, as he originally departed to fight Saruman's forces, when he appointed Éowyn to rule in his place while he was gone, and named Éomer as his heir, he specifically said that if neither of them were to return the people were to choose their own new lord.

'Behold! I go forth, and it seems like to be my last riding,' said Théoden. 'I have no child. Théodred my son is slain. I name Éomer my sister-son to be my heir. If neither of us return then choose a new lord as you will.'

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    I missed this passage, and it's clearly the right answer.
    – user8719
    May 5, 2014 at 11:09

Return of the King Appendix A, Kings of the Mark, notes the following of Thengel, Théoden's father:

He took no wife until late, but in 2943 he wedded Morwen of Lossarnach in Gondor, though she was seventeen years the younger. She bore him three children in Gondor, of whom Théoden, the second, was his only son. When Fengel died the Rohirrim recalled him, and he returned unwillingly. But he proved a good and wise king; though the speech of Gondor was used in his house, and not all men thought that good. Morwen bore him two more daughters in Rohan; and the last, Théodwyn, was the fairest, though she came late (2963), the child of his age.

Théodwyn was the mother of Éomer and Éowyn but Théoden had 3 other sisters, all of whom were older than her. We don't know if they married or had children but - assuming they did - they may have had better claim on the kingship had Théoden not named Éomer his successor at Pelennor.

Presumably one of their hypothetical children would therefore have been next in line for the succession.

Éomer was actually the first of the third line of kings of Rohan, as Helm and his sons had died during the Long Winter, thereby starting the second line with Helm's nephew (sister-son, as Tolkien puts it) Fréaláf.


Not sure what the canon-base for this is, but I've found a family tree where Theodon had three other sisters beyond Eowyn and Eomer's mother http://bestlovedsons.wikia.com/wiki/%C3%89omer

It isn't unreasonable to assume that there other distaff members of Theoden's family tree.

Out of the characters met in the book, Erkenbrand would be a candidate to take the crown.

  • A common way historically for a strong candidate like Erkenbrand to marry, or have his sons marry someone from the distaff line to unite a new line with the old blood as best as possible.
    – Oldcat
    May 5, 2014 at 17:19
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    The wiki you quoted states on its intro page that it is a wiki for Tolkein-based fanfiction stories, aka the 'Unabeauverse', hence the lineage you found stating it is part of their Unabeauverse. So that isn't official. May 5, 2014 at 23:56

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