War of the Rohirrim: who is Freca the Dunlending?

Who is Freca the Dunlending in Lord of the Rings: War of the Rohirrim? The new Lord of the Rings movies will see all new antagonists, including Freca

Lord of the Rings War of Rohirrim - Freca explained

Who is Freca the Dunlending in Lord of the Rings: War of the Rohirrim? The new Lord of the Rings movie, Lord of the Rings: War of the Rohirrim is the next adventure movie set in Tolkien’s Middle-earth to come to the big screen.

The fantasy movie will be animated, and already has an impressive voice cast. Already confirmed for the anime movie are Miranda Otto, who will be reprising her role as the shield-maiden Éowyn, as well as the star of the drama series Succession Brian Cox, who will be lending his voice to Helm Hammerhand.

War of the Rohirrim will be set several hundred year before the the events of the War of the Ring and the destruction of the One Ring. It is set to explore the kingdom of Rohan in its greatest fight against the Dunlendings, who will be led by the new antagonists Freca the Dunlending, and his son Wulf the Dunlending. However, these Lord of the Rings characters are much less well-known, so let’s get into everything we know about Freca the Dunlending, before the War of the Rohirrim comes out in 2024.

Who is Freca the Dunlending?

The information about Freca the Dunlending is found in Tolkien’s Appendix A: Annals of the Kings and Rulers, II: The House of Eorl at the end of the Lord of the Rings books. In these, Freca is described as a powerful and influential leader among the Dunlendings of Dunland, who are the race of Men inhabiting the regions around Rohan.

He is one of the most important players in the history of Rohan, because he was involved in the escalation of the war between the Dunlendings and the Rohirrim. He was distrusted by Helm Hammerhand, who was the ninth king of Rohan, and he claimed to be descended from the ancient king of Rohan.

Lord of the Rings War of the Rohirrim - Freca explained: The Dunlendings in Lord of the Rings

Freca the Dunlending’s meeting with Helm Hammerhand

In the year 2754 of the Third Age Freca the Dunlending came to Helm Hammerhand in the capital of Rohan, Edoras, in order to propose a marriage between his son Wulf and Helm Hammerhand’s daughter, who will be named Hèra in the War of the Rohirrim movie. 

Freca’s proposal of marriage was a tool that he believed would improve his power and influence. He believed that having a connection through marriage to the Rohan royal family would cement his position as the most powerful Dunlending lord. However, Helm Hammerhand mocked his proposals and discounted them immediately, insulting Freca.

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How did Freca die?

Freca was killed by Helm Hammerhand after he proposed the marriage between their children. At the end of the meeting, Helm Hammerhand struck Freca and killed him in one blow. He then cast Freca’s son, Wulf, out of Edoras proclaiming him to be an enemy of Rohan.

Freca’s son Wulf, furious about his father’s death and his treatment by Helm Hammerhand, plotted to unite the Dunlendings and form an army to conqueror Rohan and overthrow Helm Hammerhand. Wulf was temporarily successful in this, and he was able to declare himself as the king of Rohan for a short period before being killed by Helm Hammerhand’s nephew Fréaláf Hildeson.

Who plays Freca the Dunlending in War of the Rohirrim?

Shaun Dooley is the actor who does the voice work for Freca the Dunlending. Dooley, who is known for his gravelly Yorkshire accent, has previously appeared in TV series Doctor Who, Broadchurch, and Misfits.

For more on Middle-earth, take a look at our guide to Rings of Power season 2. Or, check out our deep dives on the characters Sauron, Galadriel, Elrond, Celebrimbor, and Durin.