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Gamling

Gamling

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In J. R. R. Tolkien
J. R. R. Tolkien
John Ronald Reuel Tolkien, CBE was an English writer, poet, philologist, and university professor, best known as the author of the classic high fantasy works The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings, and The Silmarillion.Tolkien was Rawlinson and Bosworth Professor of Anglo-Saxon at Pembroke College,...

's legendarium
Legendarium
Legendary may refer to:*A hagiography, or study of the lives of saints and other religious figures**The South English Legendary, a Middle English legendary*A legend-Entertainment:*Legendary, an album by Kaysha*Legendary...

, Gamling is a Man
Man (Middle-earth)
The race of Men in J. R. R. Tolkien's Middle-earth books, such as The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, refers to humanity and does not denote gender...

 of Rohan
Rohan
Rohan is a realm in J. R. R. Tolkien's fantasy era of Middle-earth. It is a grassland which lies north of its ally Gondor and north-west of Mordor, the realm of Sauron, their enemy . It is inhabited by the Rohirrim, a people of herdsmen and farmers who are well-known for their horses and cavalry....

. He appears in The Two Towers
The Two Towers
The Two Towers is the second volume of J. R. R. Tolkien's high fantasy novel The Lord of the Rings. It is preceded by The Fellowship of the Ring and followed by The Return of the King.-Title:...

, the second volume of The Lord of the Rings
The Lord of the Rings
The Lord of the Rings is a high fantasy epic written by English philologist and University of Oxford professor J. R. R. Tolkien. The story began as a sequel to Tolkien's earlier, less complex children's fantasy novel The Hobbit , but eventually developed into a much larger work. It was written in...

. An older man (he is called "Gamling the Old"), he was from the Westfold.

Gamling means "old man" in Old English, (cf. OE gamol "old") which is used to represent the language of Rohirric
Rohirric
In the fictional world of Middle-earth by J. R. R. Tolkien, Rohirric is the language of the Rohirrim of Rohan.-Description:...

. Thus "Gamling" is not the character's actual name. Nevertheless it is a linguistic pun reflecting the character's age. The word and its meaning still survive in modern Swedish
Swedish language
Swedish is a North Germanic language, spoken by approximately 10 million people, predominantly in Sweden and parts of Finland, especially along its coast and on the Åland islands. It is largely mutually intelligible with Norwegian and Danish...

, Danish
Danish language
Danish is a North Germanic language spoken by around six million people, principally in the country of Denmark. It is also spoken by 50,000 Germans of Danish ethnicity in the northern parts of Schleswig-Holstein, Germany, where it holds the status of minority language...

, Norwegian
Norwegian language
Norwegian is a North Germanic language spoken primarily in Norway, where it is the official language. Together with Swedish and Danish, Norwegian forms a continuum of more or less mutually intelligible local and regional variants .These Scandinavian languages together with the Faroese language...

 and Icelandic
Icelandic language
Icelandic is a North Germanic language, the main language of Iceland. Its closest relative is Faroese.Icelandic is an Indo-European language belonging to the North Germanic or Nordic branch of the Germanic languages. Historically, it was the westernmost of the Indo-European languages prior to the...

.

Gamling understood the language of Dunland and was familiar with the hatred that the Dunlendings had for the Rohirrim.

In Tolkien's book, Gamling is left in charge of the forces defending Helm's Dike (a fortification across the Deeping-coomb before the stronghold of the Hornburg
Helm's Deep
In J. R. R. Tolkien's Middle-earth writings, Helm's Deep was a large valley in the north-western Ered Nimrais .The valley was described as being blocked over its entire width by the natural series of hills called Helm's Dike and behind that lay the fortress of Aglarond or the Hornburg, at the...

 defending Helm's Deep
Helm's Deep
In J. R. R. Tolkien's Middle-earth writings, Helm's Deep was a large valley in the north-western Ered Nimrais .The valley was described as being blocked over its entire width by the natural series of hills called Helm's Dike and behind that lay the fortress of Aglarond or the Hornburg, at the...

) by command of Erkenbrand
Erkenbrand
Erkenbrand is a fictional character in J. R. R. Tolkien's legendarium. He appears in The Two Towers, the second volume of Tolkien's fantasy novel The Lord of the Rings....

. About 1,000 men had been left to defend Helm's Dike, including Gamling's grandson, and Gamling notes that most of the defenders were either very old (like himself) or very young (like his grandson).

King Théoden
Théoden
Théoden is a fictional character in J. R. R. Tolkien's fantasy novel, The Lord of the Rings. He appears as a major supporting character in The Two Towers and The Return of the King.-Appearances:...

 of Rohan arrives at Helm's Deep with reinforcements from Edoras on March 3, 3019. As the forces of Isengard
Isengard
In J. R. R. Tolkien's fictional universe of Middle-earth, Isengard , a translation of the Sindarin Angrenost, was a large fortress. Both names mean "Iron fortress" In J. R. R. Tolkien's fictional universe of Middle-earth, Isengard , a translation of the Sindarin Angrenost, was a large fortress....

 approach, Gamling and his men pull back from Helm's Dike and enter the stronghold of the Hornburg. Gamling hears Gimli
Gimli (Middle-earth)
Gimli is a fictional character from J. R. R. Tolkien's Middle-earth legendarium, featured in The Lord of the Rings. A Dwarf warrior, he is the son of Glóin ....

's warning that Orcs
Orc (Middle-earth)
In J. R. R. Tolkien's fantasy writings, Orcs or Orks are a race of creatures who are used as soldiers and henchmen by both the greater and lesser villains of The Silmarillion and The Lord of the Rings — Morgoth, Sauron and Saruman...

 have entered a culvert under the wall and leads the Men of the Westfold in a charge that drives them back.

Gamling then asks Gimli to help block up the opening with small boulders and broken stones with the remark, "We must stop this rat-hole. Dwarves
Dwarf (Middle-earth)
In the fiction of J. R. R. Tolkien, the Dwarves are a race inhabiting the world of Arda, a fictional prehistoric Earth which includes the continent Middle-earth....

 are said to be cunning folk with stone. Lend us your aid, master!" However, Saruman
Saruman
Saruman the White is a fictional character and a major antagonist in J. R. R. Tolkien's fantasy novel The Lord of the Rings. He is leader of the Istari, wizards sent to Middle-earth in human form by the godlike Valar to challenge Sauron, the main antagonist of the tale, but later on aims at gaining...

's forces later breach the Deeping Wall using an explosive device. Gamling retreats into the Deep with Gimli and Éomer
Éomer
Éomer is a fictional character in J. R. R. Tolkien's legendarium. He appears in The Two Towers and The Return of the King, the second and third volumes of Tolkien's fantasy novel The Lord of the Rings....

. There they defend the narrows before the entrance to the Glittering Caves until dawn, when Gandalf and Erkenbrand arrive with reinforcements, and the Battle of the Hornburg
Battle of the Hornburg
The Battle of the Hornburg is a fictional battle in J. R. R. Tolkien's novel The Lord of the Rings. The battle pitted the forces of the Wizard Saruman against the Rohirrim under King Théoden, who had taken refuge in the mountain fortress of the Hornburg at Helm's Deep...

 is won.

He is not mentioned again, but presumably rides with the Rohirrim to Minas Tirith
Minas Tirith
Minas Tirith , originally named Minas Anor, is a fictional city and castle in J. R. R. Tolkien's Middle-earth writings. It became the heavily fortified capital of Gondor in the second half of the Third Age...

 and fights in the Battle of the Pelennor Fields
Battle of the Pelennor Fields
In J. R. R. Tolkien's fantasy fiction, the Battle of Pelennor Fields is the battle for the city of Minas Tirith between the forces of Gondor and its allies, and the forces of the Dark Lord Sauron...

, or goes with Erkenbrand to protect Edoras. It is also possible that he dies.

In adaptations



In Peter Jackson’s
Peter Jackson
Sir Peter Robert Jackson, KNZM is a New Zealand film director, producer, actor, and screenwriter, known for his The Lord of the Rings film trilogy , adapted from the novel by J. R. R...

 movie adaptations
The Lord of the Rings film trilogy
The Lord of the Rings is an epic film trilogy consisting of three fantasy adventure films based on the three-volume book of the same name by English author J. R. R. Tolkien. The films are The Fellowship of the Ring , The Two Towers and The Return of the King .The films were directed by Peter...

, the character of Gamling is slightly modified: Gamling, as played by New Zealand actor Bruce Hopkins, is portrayed as a middle-aged man.

In the movies he accompanies King Théoden and plays a role in directing the construction of added defences in the Hornburg and the arming of every available man prior to battle. Gamling serves as a sort of page to Théoden and arms him. In the DVD extras, Bernard Hill
Bernard Hill
Bernard Hill is a British actor of film, stage and television. In a career spanning thirty years, he is best known for playing Yosser Hughes, the troubled 'hard man' whose life is falling apart in Alan Bleasdale's groundbreaking 1980s TV drama, Boys from the Blackstuff...

 (who plays Théoden) explained that he did not think Théoden would seem very authoritative if he was shouting out his own orders; he felt a king should have a lieutenant that shouted out the king's orders to his troops, so Gamling's character was expanded to follow Théoden around throughout the movies.

In The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers Gamling seems to be right hand man to Háma, captain of the King's guard at Edoras, and takes over most of the duties of the captain of the guard after Háma's death. Gamling is among the defenders of Helm's Deep who ride out to meet the Orc forces before the fortuitous arrival of Gandalf
Gandalf
Gandalf is a character in J. R. R. Tolkien's novels The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings. In these stories, Gandalf appears as a wizard, member and later the head of the order known as the Istari, as well as leader of the Fellowship of the Ring and the army of the West...

 and the reinforcements under Éomer
Éomer
Éomer is a fictional character in J. R. R. Tolkien's legendarium. He appears in The Two Towers and The Return of the King, the second and third volumes of Tolkien's fantasy novel The Lord of the Rings....

.

He is also present at the Battle of the Pelennor Fields in The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King
The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King
The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King is a 2003 epic fantasy-drama film directed by Peter Jackson that is based on the second and third volumes of J. R. R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings...

;

He is present at the coronation in Minas Tirith standing next to Éomer wearing the helmet of the Royal Guard of Rohan. He has presumably taken over as Captain of The Royal Guard.