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Thread: Elfhelm, Marshal of Rohan

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How do you suppose Elfhelm got or was given his name? As you know, he was the Marshal of Rohan, with whom Éowyn and Merry rode to the Battle of Pelennor Fields. His name doesn't sound much like a Rohirrim name to me.
Do you suppose he or one of his parents found or inherited an old helmet that came from the Gladden Fields or some other battlefield where an Elven warrior lost his hat when it blew off in the maelstrom?
That might be so. Aragorn gets dubbed Elessar (Elfstone) by the Gondorians for the gift of Arwen/Galadriel - perhaps Elvish heirlooms were scarce enough among the men of Gondor and Rohan in the Third Age that having one would automatically garner you a nickname or surname name that started with "Elf"....

The Elves, being Firstborn and all, probably did not have any similar practice of nicknaming other Elves after heirlooms of other races (imagine: hey, "Dwarfnecklace!")
problably found a old dusty gondorian winged helm of the kind used by the tower guards in some old room at armories of the mark and claimed it as his and having no knowledge of elves the rohirrim deemed the gleaming thing a elven helm Smile Smilie
hopefully it was not because, at birth , he was rather misshapen in the head which looked so much like a battered helm they gave him the name. This , in their estimations would change peoples' reaction from one of staring to admiration, for who except the old meanie orcs don't love elves and helms? Smile Smilie
Ye mean ta say Leelee, ye hope ta poor wee bairn's ears were neither pointed like an elf's nor wing-shaped like the helm of the Gondorian king, perish the thought. I also hope so too; just the imaginary image of it makes me shudder.
I think if one seemed especially 'lucky' in battle, for instance, he or she might be called Elfhelm, as the name might mean something like: 'protected (as if) by Elves (magic)'?

Just a guess. The name occurs in Primary World sources, and Leonid L. Korablev's The True Elves of Europe suggests a meaning (not necessarily in a Tolkien context, although '(cf. Elfhelm of Rohan)' is also noted): 'protected by Elves? (helm-protection by Elves)'. The site also notes:

Searle's "Onomasticon" (mentioned by Arundell Lowdham, a character of JRRT's "Notion Club Papers") contains 35 different names of the form AElf + adjective (noun); it mentions 75 recorded bearers of the name AElfwine "Elf-friend".

Elfhelm fits in with Tolkien using Old English to represent 'some name' in the actual language of the Rohirrim (Elfhild, Elfwine, for examples).