East Rohan, ancestral home of the horse-lords, spans the land from the river Limlight in the north to the Snowbourn in the south, from the Entwash in the west to the Great River Anduin in the east. The region is filled with rich cultural heritage, not all of which is described in detail in the original Tolkien literature. Instead, the team at Turbine drew inspiration from the poem sung by Aragorn, Lament for the Rohirrim, as the army from Edoras nears Helm’s Deep by extracting key ideas with which to shape the atmosphere and culture of those towns.
Where now are the horse and the rider? Where is the horn that was blowing?
Where is the helm and the hauberk, and the bright hair flowing?
Where is the harp on the harpstring, and the red fire glowing?
Where is the spring and the harvest and the tall corn growing?
They have passed like rain on the mountain, like a wind in the meadow;
The days have gone down in the West behind the hills into shadow.
Who shall gather the smoke of the deadwood burning,
Or behold the flowing years from the Sea returning?
For the purposes of their game, Turbine interpreted this poem as a call to arms by Aragorn, wondering where help was to be found across fragmented Rohan. “Where is the helm and the hauberk” becomes “Where is the support from Cliving and Harwick?” This poem also serves as the basis for some of the settlements in West Rohan and not all of the towns in East Rohan were seemingly not directly inspired by the poem. Elthengels, for example, reflects the colossal statues of Argonath in its emblem.
These objects become the literal identifiers of these towns reproduced on shields and armor displayed throughout the towns. The emblems of Cliving, Eaworth, Harwick and Snowbourn, being the largest settlements in their respective areas, show up on the war-steed armor gifted to players as quest rewards and in Hytbold, a sort of crossroads and assembly point of the four areas. The roots of East Rohan’s visual backstory is much more apparent than in the West which draws more inspiration from the landscape and the history of the region than this poem.