Dagorhir began with a dream.

In 1977, Maryland college freshman Brian Wiese saw the movie “Robin and Marion” with its intense, realistic battle scenes and read “The Lord of the Rings” for the first time.  An avid improvisational actor, Brian wanted to LIVE the excitement and energy of a medieval/fantasy battle…but HOW?

This was before the modern Internet existed; no email, FaceBook, web sites, or Google searches to find other adventurous souls.  So Brian created what he initially called, “Hobbit Wars,” later renamed “Dagorhir” – Elvish words meaning “Battle Lords” in Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings trilogy.




Click the links above to delve deeper into each phase of Dagorhir’s History

Wiese recruited like-minded friends and placed ads on local alternative radio station WGTB calling for warriors to fight with foam-padded swords and shields in dark-age battles.  In October, 1977, they gathered to fight the first prototype battle, and what we today call Live-Action Role Playing (LARP) was born.


Dagorhir’s combat rules evolved over years of play-testing.  The battle game’s focus shifted over the decades to be more focused on combat and competition and less on LARPing, creating niches for every type of player.

Now, more than 40 years later, Dagorhir has grown into a widespread combat sport across much of the US with some chapters popping up in other countries.  Battles, tournaments, practices, and feasts happen somewhere every week of the year. Regional events have hundreds or even thousands of attendees and include many varied activities beyond just fighting: craftwork classes, competitions for singing and story-telling, children’s activities, and more!

To delve deeper into eras of Dagorhir’s history, click the links in the timeline above.  Welcome to the Great Game!