When considering a Rohan design, we wished to depict the culture and iconography of the Rohirrim, as described in The Lord of the Rings - proud people with a strong monarchy, known for their skilled cavalry and horse training.
"I have been among them," [said] Aragorn. "They are proud and wilful, but they are true-hearted, generous in thought and deed."
The design took inspiration from tapestries, depicting historical tales, which were said to line the halls of Meduseld (the Hall of the King of Rohan), as well as descriptions of the banner of Rohan and Théoden's shield:
"They saw now that the pillars were richly carved, gleaming dully with gold and half-seen colours. Many woven cloths were hung upon the walls, and over their wide spaces marched figures of ancient legend, some dim with years, some darkling in the shade."
"A small shield he also took. It bore the running horse, white upon green, that was the emblem of the House of Eorl."
(All quotes from The Lord of the Rings, The Two Towers)
Working with the idea of intertwining lines we began to develop initial ideas around Celtic knot-work and a horse strong horse icon. Working with these essential elements, the layout proved to be something of a challenge and through many stages of development, actually resulting in a number of new patterns.
For instance, at this stage we developed the Misty Mountains design: intended as a background for the horse, the design team realised that this would create something too busy and so it was separated out to become a stand-alone pattern.
Once the team finally arrived on a layout (settling on the interlocking shield-like formations, which reference the proud warrior tradition of the Rohirrim), we developed these basic concepts into their final form, spending painstaking hours on the knotwork and adding the sun iconography.
You can see some of the stages of development below which involved a pillar element with and without 'carved horse' heads for some time.
We hope you love the final design as much as we do. You can also find an adapted version for mugs and accessories as well as throws.