Tumgir
#Horn That Was Blowing {Rohan}
middle-earth-mythopoeia · 10 months ago
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But I can’t talk about climactic sentences in Tolkien’s works without mentioning what is, in my opinion, one of the best things that has ever been written in the English language.
And in that very moment, away behind in some courtyard of the City, a cock crowed. Shrill and clear he crowed, recking nothing of wizardry or war, welcoming only the morning that in the sky far above the shadows of death was coming with the dawn. And as if in answer there came from far away another note. Horns, horns, horns. In dark Mindolluin’s sides they dimly echoed. Great horns of the North wildly blowing. Rohan had come at last.
This is unparalleled. This gives me chills every time I read it. It may be my favorite quote in all of Tolkien’s works, except that choosing a favorite quote would be an impossible decision to make. It’s so inspiring. It’s so moving. It’s so heroic. And obviously, it’s a moment of pure eucatastrophe. Rohan had come at last.
And the moment that Pippin hears the horns of Rohan:
When the dark shadow at the Gate withdrew Gandalf still sat motionless. But Pippin rose to his feet, as if a great weight had been lifted from him; and he stood listening to the horns, and it seemed to him that they would break his heart with joy. And never in after years could he hear a horn blown in the distance without tears starting in his eyes.
I LOVE LORD OF THE RINGS SO MUCH
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tolkienmatters · 9 days ago
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Where now the horse and the rider? Where is the horn that was blowing? Where is the helm and the hauberk, and the bright hair flowing? Where is the hand on the harpstring, and the red fire glowing? Where is the spring and the harvest and the tall corn growing? They have passed like rain on the mountain, like a wind in the meadow; The days have gone down in the West behind the hills into shadow. Who shall gather the smoke of the dead wood burning, Or behold the flowing years from the Sea returning?
- An old hymn about Eorl The Young, founder of the House of Eorl and ancestor of Rohan’s royal family. Sung by Aragorn in Rohirric to his companions on the way to Edoras. Lord Of The Rings, The Two Towers, The King Of The Golden Hall.
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lesbiansforboromir · 6 months ago
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Seeing these promo images for the Rohirrim anime makes me worry yet more that this and RoP will just be Pete Jackson film nostalgia bait that will not be willing to stray too far from his version of the setting. I just really want to see a middle earth on screen that isn’t just his.
Right I'm gonna use this to talk about the War of the Rohirrim since people seemed confused.
So this is an anime film that was announced quite a few months ago now. All we got was the title screen back then and a general synopsis; the film would be centering Helm Hammerhand, the ninth king of Rohan, and his war with the Dunlendings during the fell winter. We also already had confirmation that it was going to be basically a part of the Warner Bros cinematic universe, Phillipa Boyens is writing it in part and visually year it's gonna be the films, which I agree is depressing.
A quick recap for you all is that the Dunlendings had held Isengard for a long while by the time he became king, (Saruman not yet set up there) and there had been a lot of warring between them. Gram, Helm's father, had been killed in battle. Freca was the leader of these Dunlendings at the time, but he also claimed royal rohirric ancestry and made a bid to marry his son, Wulf, to Helm's daughter.
Negotiations started off very badly and ended with Helm punching Freca SO HARD he just DIED so. More war after that. Though it was four years before Wulf began his assault upon Rohan. Now! Admittedly I had forgotten they had in fact gained the direct support of the Corsairs AND the Easterlings whilst ALSO engaging the Haradrim to attack Gondor. So Rohan and Gondor were both doubly beleaguered at the same time as the Long Winter came down upon them (probably orchestrated by Sauron). Hence, Gondor could not immediately come to Rohan's aid. Haleth, (helms son) was killed defending Edoras and Helm's army was defeated at the crossings of the isen river, forcing him to retreat into Helms Deep (originally called Suthburg, renamed after Helm in honour of this whole debacle). He held out there under siege for? Many months, can't remember how many. Essentially just... blowing his horn, wandering into the enemy camp, killing a bunch of them and then leaving again. He became a kind of horror story to the dunlendings. His other son Hama was also killed, leaving only his nephew, Frealaf, son of his sister Hild.
Essentially, as soon as the snows died down, Beregond (son of Steward Beren) came to Frealaf's aid and drove out the last of the Dunlendings after winning his own war against the corsairs and haradrim. But Helm died before that, literally just freezing stiff in the middle of battle, left standing like a terrifying corpse warrior. LIKE... The story is depressing as all hell. But like... honestly I'm more interested in this period of history than I am in the second age, especially because Beregond's one of my favourite Stewards, I love this guy.
But so getting back to the point, recently we got some concept art for the film.
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So these are both obviously here to portray the attack at Edoras, where Haleth dies. Originally I was very confused by the lack of snow and abundance of Mumakil. I'm still thoroughly confused by the Mumakil, the only reason the Corsairs got up there was because they sailed over and marched up the the isen fords. Can you bring Oliphants on ships?? Idk! I GUESS.meme!! But I dont think the long winter set in until later on in their... siege... or did it? My refusal to look this up is just because I am sleepy uwu ANYWAY! Yes you can easily see it's just PJ's lotr edoras with brown lands and rustic utterly unadorned base architecture. And the dunlendings all look miserably 'uncivilised' and 'barbaric' which is even more depressing. But it's a good expectation setter and I just... hope that perhaps... when/if I see Beregond I will not be made too sad. ;v;
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damnbert · a year ago
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With that he seized a great horn from Guthláf his banner-bearer, and he blew such a blast upon it that it burst asunder. And straightway all the horns in the host were lifted up in music, and the blowing of the horns of Rohan in that hour was like a storm upon the plain and a thunder in the mountains.
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anghraine · 7 months ago
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When I think of things I love about Tolkien’s writing, I think first of LOTR, but it’s hard to choose a specific passage from it that I prefer above the rest. I do, however, very much love this:
And as if in answer there came from far away another note. Horns, horns, horns. In dark Mindolluin’s sides they dimly echoed. Great horns of the North wildly blowing. Rohan had come at last.
It’s such a great moment in terms of the plot and structure of the story, but I also don’t think it would be as effective if it were written differently. The word-by-word execution is just wonderful, as are Théoden’s speeches, and the description of Théoden’s ride and the first phase of Rohan’s part in the battle at the end of “The Ride of the Rohirrim.” I especially like the and ... and ... and ... of the final lines.
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rearranging-deck-chairs · 3 months ago
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THE BEACONS ARE LIT
*blows summoning horn*
and rohan closes its blinds
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tirlaeyn · 5 months ago
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I need you all to know there is another important anniversary to mark today.
The Battle of the Pelennor Fields
***
In rode the Lord of the Nazgûl. A great black shape against the fires beyond he loomed up, grown to a vast menace of despair. In rode the Lord of the Nazgûl, under the archway that no enemy ever yet had passed, and all fled before his face.
All save one. There waiting, silent and still in the space before the Gate, sat Gandalf upon Shadowfax: Shadowfax who alone among the free horses of the earth endured the terror, unmoving, steadfast as a graven image in Rath Dínen.
“You cannot enter here,” said Gandalf, and the huge shadow halted. “Go back to the abyss prepared for you! Go back! Fall into the nothingness that awaits you and your Master. Go!
The Black Rider flung back his hood, and behold! he had a kingly crown; and yet upon no head visible was it set. The red fires shone between it and the mantled shoulders vast and dark. From a mouth unseen there came a deadly laughter.
“Old fool!” he said. “Old fool! This is my hour. Do you not know Death when you see it? Die now and curse in vain!” And with that he lifted high his sword and flames ran down the blade.
And in that very moment, away behind in some courtyard of the city, a cock crowed. Shrill and clear he crowed, recking nothing of war nor of wizardry, welcoming only the morning that in the sky far above the shadows of death was coming with the dawn.
And as if in answer there came from far away another note. Horns, horns, horns, in dark Mindolluin’s sides they dimly echoed. Great horns of the north wildly blowing. Rohan had come at last.
***
Arise, arise, Riders of Théoden!
Fell deeds awake, fire and slaughter!
spear shall be shaken, shield be splintered,
a sword-day, a red day, ere the sun rises!
Ride now, ride now! Ride to Gondor!
Ride now, ride now! Ride to Gondor!
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beautifultypewriter · 5 months ago
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I just need to rant for a minute. If you haven’t seen Lord of the Rings and you don’t want to spoil important plot points then just scroll right past this please.
Okay, so Merry and Pippin just jump out of those bushes without a second thought, without any regard for their personal safety or their lives in order to distract the Uruk-hai and give Frodo the chance to get away. And they’re running and their plan is working and everything is great, but then they get cut off by another group of Uruk-hai and just when they think it’s all over, the love of my life, Boromir comes bursting through the trees and starts cutting enemies down. He’s fighting with everything to protect those little hobbits, pushing them back trying to save them. But they’re being overrun, so he’s blowing the horn of Gondor and still fighting. And he tells them to run, but they don’t. They stay right there and they fight with him. They have every reason to run away and no one would judge them for that, but they stay. And then Boromir falls. That third arrow puts him out of the fight and Merry and Pippin should run, but they pick up their swords and attack.
Boromir has to watch them being dragged away, knowing that he couldn’t save them. He dies knowing that. He dies thinking that that was the end of those two little hobbits.
But it wasn’t. Merry and Pippin escape the Uruk-hai and they lead the ents into battle against Isengard. They fight for Rohan and Gondor. Merry saves Éowyn and Pippin saves Faramir.
And Boromir didn’t get to see any of it, but he would have been so proud.
I just… I’m not okay.
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warrioreowynofrohan · a year ago
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Today in Tolkien - March 15th
Today is the Battle of the Pelennor Fields, and it’s hard to know what to say about it because all the events are already so well-known to readers of The Lord of the Rings. But I’m going to try to situate things more clearly in time, because one of the things I noticed on this read is how fast everything happens - when Aragorn arrives it is still only mid-morning.
It should also be noted that the Battle of the Pelennor Fields is not the only battle of the day: Thranduil and the elves of Mirkwood defeat the forces of Dol Guldur in the Battle under the Trees, and Lothlórien repels the second assault by enemy forces.
Pre-Dawn
In the night, Frodo and Sam gather gear and food and make their escape from the Tower of Cirith Ungol. Their escape from the main gate produces a cry from the Watchers, and a Nazgûl dives down in response, but they are not spotted by it and escape down the road, then jump off a bridge of stone into thorn-bushes. They rest a while and then move northwards alone a ravine; they are in the Morgai, the foothills of the mountains of Mordor.
Aragorn with the ships of the Corsairs comes near the city:
“At midnight hope was indeed born anew. Sea-crafty men of the Ethir gazing southward spoke of a change coming with a fresh wind from the Sea. Long ere day the masted ships hoisted sail, and our speed grew, until dawn whitened the foam at our prows.”
The assault on the main gate of Minas Tirith begins:
Far behind the battle the River had been swiftly bridged, and all day more force and gear of war had poured across. Now at last in the middle night the assault was loosed. The vanguard passed theough the trenches of fire by many devious paths that had been left between them. On they came, reckless of their loss as they approached, still bunched and herded, within the range of bowmen on the wall. But indeed there were too few now left there to do them great damage, though the lught of the fires showed up many a mark for archers of such skill as Gondor pnce had boasted. Then perceiving that the valour of the City was already beaten down, the hidden Captain put forth his strength. Slowly the great siege-towers built in Osgiliath rolled forward through the dark.
At the same time, the news that the first circle of the city is burning and men have abandoned the walls is the final straw that drives Denethor fully to despair, and produces his choice to burn both himself and Faramir to death. Pippin follows him to the tombs of the stewrads and kings, and when Denethor gives the orders for the pyre Pippin at last understands what he intends. He first tells one of the servants on guard to move slowly and not bring fire, then tells Beregond what is going on, and then runs to find Gandalf. He has to run a long ways, since the Silent Street is in the sixth circle and Gandalf is at the Great Gate in the first circle. And as he arrives the gates of the city are broken.
In rode the Lord of the Nazgûl. A great black shape against the fires beyond he loomed up, griwn to a vast menace of despair. In rode the Lord of the Nazgûl, under the archway that no enemy ever yet had passed, and all fled before his face.
All save one. There waiting, silent and still in the space before the Gate, sat Gandalf upon Shadowfax: Shadowfax who alone among the free horses of the earth endured the terror, unmoving, steadfast as a graven image in Rath Dînen.
“You cannot enter here,” said Gandalf, and the huge shadow halted. “Go back to the abyss prepared for you! Go back! Fall into the nothingness that awaits you and your Master. Go!”
The Black Rider flung back his hood, and behold! he had a kingly crown; and yet upon no head visible was it set. The red fires shone between it and the mantled shoulders vast and dark. From a mouth unseen there came a deadly laughter.
“Old fool!” he said. “Old fool! This is my hour. Do you not know Death when you see it? Die now and curse in vain!” And with that he lifted high his sword and flames ran down the blade.
Gandalf did not move. And in that very moment, away behind in some courtyard of the City, a cock crowed. Shrill and clear he crowed, recking nothing of wizardry or war, welcoming only the morning that in the sky far above the shadows of war was coming with the dawn.
And as if in answer there came from far away another note. Horns, horns, horns. In dark Mindolluin’s sides they dimly echoed. Great horns of the North wildly blowing. Rohan had come at last.
This whole passage is exceptional, but I have to draw attention to that third-last line, heralding the coming of the Rohirrim with the same alliteration (“In dark Mindolluin’s sides they dimly echoed.”) that is characteristic of their poetry. This is Tolkien at the height of his craft.
Dawn
The Rohirrim ride from the forest to the city during the night. The arrangement of the battlefield is as follows: first the out-wall of the Pelennor, the Rammas Echor, with breaches in it from the army of Mordor’s attack; then enemy armies; trenches of fire around the city, with gaps in them for siege engines; more enemy armies; and then the city wall. The Rammas Echor is largely unguarded, its forces having been drawn off for the attack on the city. (The Rammas Echor here is still about 3 leagues, or 9 miles, from the city.)
The Rohirrim, split into three groups for easier mobility, pass the Rammas Echor, and hear the ram break the gates of the city, and at that moment they blow their horns and charge.
Morning came, morning and a wind from the sea; and darkness was removed, and the hosts of Mordor wailed, and terror took them, and they fled, and died, and hooves of wrath rode over them. And then all the host of Rohan burst into song, and they sang as they slew, for the joy of battle was on them, and the sound of their singing that was fair and terrible came even to the City.
Frodo and Sam also see the darkness break:
Away to their left, southward, against a sky that was turning grey, the peaks and high ridges of the great range began to appear dark and black, visible shapes. Light was growing behind them. Slowly it crept toward the North. There was battle far above in the high spaces of the air. The billowing clouds of Mordor were being driven back, their edges tattering as a wind out of the living world came and swept the fumes and smokes towards the dark land of their home. Under the lifting skirts of the dreary canopy dim light leaked into Mordor like pale morning through thr grimed windows of a prison.
“Look at it, Mr Frodo!” said Sam. “Look at it! The wind’s changed. Something’s happening. He’s not having it all his own way. His darkness is breaking up out in the world there. I wish I could see what is going on!”
Morning
It would be far too long to describe in detail all the events of the morning - Théoden’s victories and death, Eowyn slaying the Witch-king, the battles against the mûmakil, and the arrival (still at mid-morning - about 9am, “the third hour of the morning” as Gimli later tells it) of Aragorn, Legolas, Gimli, the Dúnedain, and the men of South Gondor in the ships of the Corsairs, suddenly displaying the standard of the King of Gondor to the dismay of their foes.
Pippin brings Gandalf to the tombs of the kings, and Denethor burns, and Faramir is saved. All this happens rapidly too; it is all over by the time they hear the death-cry of the Lord of the Nazgûl. Pippin find Merry and brings him to the Houses of Healing, and Eowyn too is brought there, and Faramir is there already.
Frodo and Sam follow an orc-path northward from the ravine, and almost-miraculously find water.
Afternoon
The afternoon is much more briefly told than the morning. The Battle of the Pelennor Fields continues until sunset, while Gandalf waits with the patients at the Houses of Healing. Frodo and Sam move east through the Morgai, and then rest and eat.
Evening
Gandalf bring Aragorn to the Houses of Healing, where Aragorn heals Faramir, Eowyn, and Merry. And then through the night he goes to the houses throughout Minas Tirith where there are wounded people, and heals them, as do Elladan and Elrohir.
Frodo sleeps, and Sam keeps watch for a time.
Far above the Ephel Dúath in the West the night-sky was still dim and pale. There, peeping among the cloud-wrack above a dark tor high up in the mountains, Sam saw a white star twinkle for a while. The beauty of it smote his heart, as he looked up out of the forsaken land, and hope returned to him. For like a shaft, clear and cold, the thought pierced him that in the end the Shadow was only a small and passing thing: there was light and high beauty for ever beyond its reach. His song in the Tower had been defiance rather than hope; for then he was thinking of himself. Now, for a moment, his own fate, and even his master’s, ceased to trouble him. He crawled back into the brambles and laid himself by Frodo’s side , and putting away all fear he cast himself into a deep untroubled sleep.
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arofili · a year ago
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men of middle-earth ♞ house of éorl ♞ headcanon disclaimer
           Helm was the son of Gram, and the ninth King of Rohan. He inherited the throne in the midst of a war with the Dunlendings, a struggle that continued throughout his reign. His wife was the shieldmaiden Gledhild, and together they had three children: a daughter, Saulwyn, and two sons, Haleth and Háma.           Saulwyn was a beautiful maiden, and many men sought her hand, though she thought little of them and spent her days in the making and singing of songs. Helm would not force her into marriage, and resentment against the king grew amidst her admirers. At last, when Saulwyn was in her thirties and remained happily unwed, one such man beseeched his father to secure the princess for him, and the father agreed.           This was Freca, a Lord of Rohan with Dunlendish blood who claimed also to be descended from King Fréawine’s younger son Grimwine. He had for years neglected his duties as a servant of King Helm, but now he rode to Edoras with a great force of men, threatening rebellion should the king not concede for Saulwyn to be wed to Wulf, his son. Freca’s demands enraged Helm, who insulted him and struck him with his fist. The blow was so mighty that Freca was killed, and afterward Helm was known as Hammerhand for his great strength.           Freca’s men fled Edoras as traitors and exiles, but four years later they returned in greater force, allied with the Dunlendings and led by Wulf. They invaded and overtook Edoras, slaying Helm’s elder son Haleth at the doors of Meduseld, the last of its defenders, and Wulf usurped the throne of Haleth’s father. At the same time, a separate force engaged Helm at the Crossings of Isen, but their forces were too great, and he withdrew into Súthburg, enduring a long siege.          Here Helm and those loyal to him held the fortress through the dreadful Long Winter of 2758-9. He blew his great war-horn every time he rode out to battle, breaking through the Dunlending ranks all in white, stalking men like a snow-troll and slaying them with his bare hands. Yet as the winter stretched on, the Rohirrim grew weaker and weaker from famine and siege. Against his father’s counsel, Helm’s younger son Háma led a party out into the snow to find food, but they were lost in a snowstorm and never returned; shortly thereafter, Queen Gledhild was slain in combat, leaving Helm all alone save for Saulwyn his daughter.           Helm grew gaunt from grief and famine, but still his horn sounded as he rode to war, filling his foes with fear. On one such nighttime sortie, Helm did not return, and when the sun gleamed on the morrow a white figure was seen standing still upon the Dike, alone, for none of the Dunlendings dared come near. There stood Helm, dead as stone, still standing and ready to fight: he had been slain by famine and cold, not by the hand of another.           Saulwyn alone of his immediate family survived him, but his sister-son Ethelward lived also, and with Saulwyn’s support gained the trust and favor of the Rohirrim, rising to power as their king. He would defeat the Dunlendings and overthrow Wulf, becoming King Fréaláf, establishing a second line of kings. Saulwyn his cousin was ever stalwart at his side, a faithful counselor to the end of her days.           When Saulwyn was very old and near to death, she returned to the great valley now known as Helm’s Deep seeking the wraith of her beloved father, rumored still to roam the walls of the keep that had been renamed the Hornburg. Her body was never recovered, but at the time of her disappearance Helm’s great horn was heard once more, and it is said that Saulwyn and her father yet wander through Rohan, defending their people and bringing comfort to them through song.
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nightbringer24 · a year ago
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Just a reminder that, today in the calendar of Middle-Earth, March 14th of the year 3019, the battle of the Pelennor Fields was fought before the walls of Minas Tirith.
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Then suddenly Merry felt it at last, beyond doubt: a change. Wind was in his face! Light was glimmering.... 
 But at that same moment there was a flash, as if lightning had sprung from the earth beneath the City. For a searing second it stood dazzling far off in black and white, its topmost tower like a glittering needle: and then as the darkness closed again there came rolling over the fields a great boom. 
At that sound the bent shape of the king sprang suddenly erect. Tall and proud he seemed again; and rising in his stirrups he cried in a loud voice, more clear than any there had ever heard a mortal man achieve before:
Arise, arise, Riders of Théoden!    Fell deeds awake: fire and slaughter!   spear shall be shaken, shield be splintered,     a sword-day, a red day, ere the sun rises!     Ride now, ride now! Ride to Gondor!
With that he seized a great horn from Guthláf his banner-bearer, and he blew such a blast upon it that it burst asunder. And straightway all the horns in the host were lifted up in music, and the blowing of the horns of Rohan in that hour was like a storm upon the plain and a thunder in the mountains.
Ride now, ride now! Ride to Gondor!
Suddenly the king cried to Snowmane and the horse sprang away. Behind him his banner blew in the wind, white horse upon a field of green, but he outpaced it. After him thundered the knights of his house, but he was ever before them. Éomer rode there, the white horsetail on his helm floating in his speed, and the front of the first éored roared like a breaker foaming to the shore, but Théoden could not be overtaken. Fey he seemed, or the battle-fury of his fathers ran like new fire in his veins, and he was borne up on Snowmane like a god of old, even as Oromë the Great in the battle of the Valar when the world was young. His golden shield was uncovered, and lo! it shone like an image of the Sun, and the grass flamed into green about the white feet of his steed. For morning came, morning and a wind from the sea; and the darkness was removed, and the hosts of Mordor wailed, and terror took them, and they fled, and died, and the hoofs of wrath rode over them. And then all the host of Rohan burst into song, and they sang as they slew, for the joy of battle was on them, and the sound of their singing that was fair and terrible came even to the City.
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hetaczechia · a year ago
Conversation
ELROND: Now, next question. Whom in the fellowship has a horn? [buzzer] Legolas.
LEGOLAS: Boromir.
ELROND: Correct Legolas, one more point. That's good, remember that you represent the Elves. It is a highly--
MERRY: [interrupting Elrond once again, upset] I too have a horn!
[Everyone turns to Merry]
MERRY: I too have a horn. A horn which I received from the hands of the white lady of Rohan! [takes out his horn and blows it]
LEGOLAS: Ahh! My poor elven ears! The horror!
ELROND: Meriadoc Brandybuck, stop that right now! [takes Merry's horn]
MERRY: No one takes the possession of a Brandybuck! You will not get away with this!
PIPPIN: I'm right behind you!
MERRY/PIPPIN: For the Shire!
[Pippin kicks Elrond on the knee]
BOROMIR: I hate it when he does that.
PIPPIN: Owww! My ankle!
[Merry and Pippin jump on Elrond and wrestle him down]
BOROMIR: That's gotta hurt.
[The screen goes blurry. A textline appears that reads "Temporary technical problems". After a few seconds the screen goes black and the text reads "To be continued"]
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dalleyan · a year ago
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Tutelage  (Ch 2 of LoTR story posted, 9-9-20)
Lothiriel happily lived her life vicariously through her reading, but then she met Eomer of Rohan, and found not everything was contained in her beloved books. [Complete in 7 chapters.]
 Chapter 2
(17 Jul, 3019 III)
The next day proved rather quiet. Her father was in various meetings, and her brothers had wandered off who knew where.  She did not mind particularly as it gave her an opportunity to return to the library, and continue making her notes about Rohan. Supper was a subdued affair at home, though their cousin, Faramir, joined them and spent the evening telling them much of his lady.  The rest of her family had met Eowyn briefly, and knew something of her personally, but as she was not returning to Minas Tirith with her brother to retrieve Theoden’s body, Lothiriel would have to wait until they reached Edoras to see the woman for herself.  Faramir had remained unmarried for so long that she was most eager to meet the woman who could capture his heart, particularly since said woman seemed so remarkable.  A woman riding into battle disguised as a man!  She had never heard of such a thing, but oh the tales the woman could likely tell her.  She hoped Eowyn proved to be as agreeable as Faramir and the others deemed her, for she had many questions to ask.
She was fortunate that she had exhausted the library’s information on Rohan that day, because the next day proved too busy for her to slip away.  Her family kept her occupied most of the morning and then, not long after the noon meal, the Rohirrim were due to arrive.  Many in the city were eager to witness their return, and she was looking forward to watching them from the walls.  Perhaps it would be a little like it had been when they rode into view on that fateful morning in March, coming to aid the White City and vanquish the enemy. As soon as the noon-day meal ended, she hurried off to find a good spot on the wall before all the best places were taken.  She had induced Amrothos to join her, though he was not nearly so fascinated by the event as she. 
“Will they blow their horns, do you think?” she asked, scanning the horizon.
Her brother chuckled.  “I should doubt it.  Perhaps once to announce their arrival when they are fairly close, but they are not leading a charge, Lothiriel!  How you do let your imagination run away with you!”
“I understand they sing when they ride into battle.  Did you get to hear them?” she queried, ignoring his admonishment.
Sighing resignedly, he nodded. “Yes, I heard them.  It was a marvelous thing to behold.  All the horns in the host were lifted up in music, and the blowing of the horns of Rohan in that hour was like a storm upon the plain and a thunder in the mountains.  They began to ride forward as the dawn broke, and the enemy was clearly alarmed at the sight. Then all the host of Rohan burst into song, and they sang as they slew, and the sound of their singing was both fair and terrible.  It could even be heard in the City.  Orcs were flying towards the River like herds before the hunters; and the Rohirrim went hither and thither destroying them.  But they had not yet overthrown the siege, nor won the Gate.”  He fell silent and then blinked as though coming out of a dream, giving his sister a rueful grin.  “You catch us all up in your imaginings, Lothiriel!” he commented with slight embarrassment.
Lothiriel eyed him with a raised brow of surprise.  His words had almost been poetic as he described the scene, but they seemed oh so fitting to what she thought it must have been like.  Just then, both were distracted as a horn blew in the distance, and one replied from Ecthelion’s tower.  “They are here,” Amrothos told her quietly, turning to look over the Pelennor. After a moment, he pointed. “There.”
continue reading on AO3:
              https://archiveofourown.org/works/26304934/chapters/64263967#workskin
 [Can’t believe I was actually able to post on Tumblr.  Not holding my breath that it will continue to be the case, but I’ll take what I can get.]
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elenyafinwe · 8 months ago
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Hey 👋
For the lotr & hobbit ask:
I really want to know the answer for 2, 12 and 22
❤️
Thanks!
2. Who is your favorite Dwarf and why?
I'm probably super uncreative here, but Gimli. I adore his friendship with Legolas and how they overcome their differences and all that. Also: He's funny.
12. Which actor in the movies do you think portrayed their character the best?
Can there be another answer than Sir Christopher Lee? I adore that man, he was incredible, and I was really sad when he passed away. He met Tolkien once, and Tolkien said, that Lee would be a good Gandalf. I'm sure he was right, but he was also an incredible Saruman and understood that character so well. I also remember that scene where Gríma stabs him and Lee explains to Jackson, how that really sounds, and Jackson remembers: "omg, that dude has first hand experience." :D You know, this one.
22. What is your favorite part about the series?
Throughout of all of Tolkien's writing it is definitelly that feeling of deep friendship and love and companionship. That's why I ship rellatively few in that fandom besides canon pairings, tho you can probably call Túrin's and Beleg's relationship a queerplatonic one. (And I'm honestly a bit uncomfortable to ship SamFrodo because of the power imbalance between both.) I enjoy all those great friendships so much, they are awesome and never before or after have I read anything that compares to those feelings Tolkien can convey.
As for one scene: that incredible powerfull moment, when Rohan arrives at the Pelennor field and that one cock crows.
Gandalf did not move. And in that very moment, away behind in some courtyard of the City, a cock crowed. Shrill and clear he crowed, recking nothing of wizardry or war, welcoming only the morning that in the sky far above the shadows of death was coming with the dawn.
And as if in answer there came from far away another note. Horns, horns, horns. In dark Mindolluin's sides they dimly echoed. Great horns of the North wildly blowing. Rohan had come at last.
For the Hobbit & Lotr ask
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readyaiminquire · a year ago
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A paragon of their kind.
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“In rode the Lord of the Nazgûl. A great black shape against the fires beyond he loomed up, grown to a vast menace of despair. In rode the Lord of the Nazgûl, under the archway that no enemy ever yet had passed, and all fled before his face.
[…]
And in that very moment, away behind in some courtyard of the city, a cock crowed. Shrill and clear he crowed, recking nothing of war nor of wizardry, welcoming only the morning that in the sky far above the shadows of death was coming with the dawn. And as if in answer there came from far away another note. Horns, horns, horns, in dark Mindolluin’s sides they dimly echoed. Great horns of the north wildly blowing. Rohan had come at last.”
Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King. Chapter IV – The Siege of Gondor.
Heroes have always fascinated me, both who they are as people, and their actions; what makes one ascend to such a status? It is a topic I’ve been mulling over for quite a time, and not least has my interest in these stories been rekindled by all that has been going on for the past year or so. From doctors and healthcare workers being hailed as heroes, or the heroic acts of delivery drivers and other such, often invisible, ‘unqualified’ workers. What makes a hero is something rather difficult to put one’s finger on. It seems people instinctively know what a hero is, at least within their own social and cultural framing, but often struggle with really pinning down the criteria. We see a hero when we hear the stories of a hero, when the act is laid out in front of us, but it is far more challenging to know what a hero is, in the abstract. Indeed, what are the criteria, and what might such an abstracted checklist say about a culture? Or, perhaps more importantly, what might heroes say about how we remember?
I suspect much of my fascination with heroes stems from my deep-seated love for Tolkien’s legendarium and how his writing made heroes. There is much to say on the topic in general, far too much to discuss here (as is my usual cop-out), as his work features heroes a-plenty. They are an inalienable part of the works’ thematic richness: making flesh, so to speak, the core theme of good fighting evil. Evil has its villains, and within such a framing, the good need their heroes. One of my favourite heroic scenes in both the movies and novels is the arrival of the Rohirrim to lift the siege of Minas Tirith. It is a remarkable moment, both narratively, but also for its heroic aesthetics. It is truly a stand-out piece, and in Peter Jackson’s masterful movie adaptations, the whole segment has an otherworldly feel to it; the sense of a divine intervention [1] manifest through near-absurd levels of heroism, and gosh-darn it, if it doesn’t get me every time!
“Arise, arise!” Théoden, king of Rohan, begins his pre-battle speech; his men eventually chant “death!” in response. “Death” the host chants, and death they bring, as they merge into one entity, a singular collective of 10,000 riders: 60,000 legs barrelling down the gentle slopes of Pelennor Fields. A flash flood of death and destruction, momentum and cohesion maintained by rage and a burning hatred for their enemies and the darkness they bring. The whole scene is deliciously epic.
The text is littered with heroic tropes – the pre-battle speech (the logistics of which I still question), or as my father once noted: “this chanting for death just shows the power of mass psychology”. Buzzkill, certainly, but not wrong. Nonetheless, I think this misses the point. The scene is a narrative constructed and filled with culturally and socially coded ideals to signal the heroicness of the actions themselves. Hero stories are hero stories because they are treated as such. In a blunt sense, heroes are always constructed by narratives; arguably not meant to be accurate, but rather meant to show the transcendental nature of the action or actor(s). As a result, the actors ascend to impossible heights with expectations that cannot be realistically maintained in reality; or perhaps more accurately, that cannot be maintained by the merely human. Instead, their heroic transcendence is maintained by ideology, not by their material existence, and Tolkien, in his text, perhaps inadvertently, makes an important distinction: it is not Théoden-king that has arrived with 10,000 riders: rather Rohan had come at last.
What do I mean by this? A hero is transcendental by definition, a symbolic paragon of their kind; an individual or group of individuals who have done something that so perfectly aligns with overarching cultural values and morals that through these actions they transcend their mere humanity and, in effect, become part of the cultural Big Other. However, human is still only human, and such transcendence into the overhanging moral structure is, practically speaking, impossible. It is always a product of narrative: it is always a story; an inspirational tale; a noble lie.
There are a surprising number of commonalities between the heroic figure and what’s been called The King’s Two Bodies. In the European monarchical traditional, there has at times existed a clear distinction between a monarch’s corporeal body – the blood-and-flesh, breathing, eating, shitting, imperfect human body – and his body politic: the transcendental body, the perfect body, the body imbued with divine might, the body chosen by God. The symbolic division between the individual and the power they hold is just as clear in the present with, for example, the different connotations between Boris Johnson-the-man and the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, or indeed Joe Biden-the-man and the President of the United States of America. Such a leader-follower dynamic seeks to establish a sense of divine kinship, a sense of relatedness to the leader in question by invoking the Nation, a belief, or other ideological constructs. The leader-figure becomes, in effect, a material embodiment of the dominant cultural-ideological environment; a figure imbued with charismatic power which, following Max Weber, is an inspirational individual that people want to follow without promise of reciprocity.
Nonetheless, the tension between the body that shits, and the body blessed by God cannot be ignored. A hero is not the same as a leader, of course. The hero is a paragon, the embodiment of the moral-cultural framework that defines them. However, both leader-figures and the hero-figures are maintained by the existence a second body. This creates a Two-Body Problem. Heroes invariably suffer from a tension that arises between their transcendental heroic self and their excremental human self, and this is a tension that cannot be reconciled effectively. The only course of action is to ignore the tension, as is often done: ignoring a historical individual and instead embrace the mythic figure. The individual subject must be destroyed and replaced by the mythic, the transcendental.
Winston Churchill wrote that “history will be kind to me, for I intend to write it,” a statement which, by and large, turned out to be true. The Churchillian figure is now a trope, and the heroic figure in modern British society par excellence. Nonetheless, even with Churchill’s considerable success, his human self has not been fully exorcised. Criticism against his rampant racism, his colonial policies, and his (lack of) action during the Bengal Famine still exist in public discourse, and become points of contestation, as they painfully highlight the tension between the historical and the mythic figure. If the ol’ British Bulldog was such a remarkably heroic figure, a shining beacon, he cannot be shown to have filth on his underbelly. Even here the Two-Body Problem remains, and short of complete destruction of the historical record (challenging in its own right), it cannot be circumvented – and this is not to mention the implications for a heroic figure that is still live (ritualistic hero-murder might be a somewhat charged suggestion…).
That being said, the destruction of the individual subject can also be read as more metaphorical than literal. The most obvious way of destroying the individual subject is by placing the subject within a collective: to celebrate heroic acts carried out by a group, over those specifically made by an individual. Folding the individual into a collective, which may include any number of otherwise questionable individuals, shifts the focus away from how these individuals may or may not have behaved in the rest of their lives, and instead emphasises the actions of the group, allowing the heroic actions to speak for themselves. The group, as a collective entity, also ceases to exist eventually, insofar as it cannot be maintained indefinitely, and thus circumvents the Two-Body Problem.
The Rohirrim’s chant before their charge at the gates of Minas Tirith was, in a way, correct. “Death,” they chanted; literally and figuratively, did they bring death with them, that is to say, the destruction of the individual in favour of a collective cohesion that they created during their change, just as much as the literal death of crushed Orc-skulls underhoof. Théoden may have been their king, but the charge was not carried out by him. The Charge of the Rohirrim, as a collective, brings to the fore the body politic of the people of Rohan: their courage, their sacrifice, their loyalty, their heroism. Much can be gleaned from this approach to heroism and commemoration – in short: deeds not men! – for without Rohan’s collective heroism, Minas Tirith would have surely fallen.
… As long as they don’t raise a goddamned statue of Théoden.
Selected Bibliography
Yurchak, Alexei. 2015. The Bodies of Lenin: The Hidden Science of Communist Sovereignty.
Michelutti, Lucia. 2013. “We are all Chávez:” Charisma as an embodied experience.
[1] Likely not by accident, and all the more fitting when the charge of the Rohirrim was allegedly inspired by the lifting of the siege of Vienna in 1683 by the Holy League.
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chicagodice · a year ago
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The Home of the Horse Lords – Part II
The Home of the Horse Lords – Part II
Where now are the horse and the rider? Where is the horn that was blowing? Is it too early to say, “mission accomplished”? I promised painted models by Part II and here you have it! I realize that having completed five Warriors of Rohan is not a major accomplishment but if I’m being honest I’m not even sure the last time I finished a model. It might have been these Waterloo French Line Infantry…
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warrioreowynofrohan · a year ago
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Today in Tolkien - March 3rd
This day and the night of the 3rd-4th cover the bulk of the remaining war between Saruman and Rohan, with the Battle of Helm’s Deep occurring in the night. The forces of the Rohirrim defending the Fords of Isen (led by Erkenbrand, Grimbold, and Elfhelm) have been scattered or slain by the assault of Saruman’s vast armies (well oven ten thousand individuals) the previous night, while Théoden is riding towards the Fords with reinforcements of about a thousand men. So Théoden is vastly outnumbered.
This is extremely long; I apologize. But it did help me get the events of the battle arranged properly in my head for the first time.
At dawn the Rohirrim led by Théoden continue their ride west, followed by a storm out of the east. Legolas can see as far as Isengard, and tells Gandalf what he sees:
I can see a darkness. There are shapes moving in it, great shapes far away upon the bank of the river; but what they are I cannot tell. It is not mist or cloud that defeats my eyes: there is a veiling shadow that some power lays upon the land, and it marches slowly down stream. It is as if the twilight under endless trees were flowing downwards from the hills.
From this Gandalf knows that the Ents have attacked Isengard, though he does not say this to anyone else.
In the afternoon the storm overtakes the Rohirrim. Just after sunset, a rider, Ceorl, meets them; he is from Grimbold’s forces and brings news of the defeat at the Fords, and that Erkenbrand has drawn off what men he can towards Helm’s Deep. Gandalf looks north to Isengard, and advises Théoden to ride for Helm’s Deep, not for the Fords; then he rides away at a gallop.
Here is the layout of Helm’s Deep. There is a coombe (a valley running up between the mountains, making a rough triangle pointing at the mountains), called the Deeping-Coomb. From the mountain-facing point of this valley, there is a gorge winding into the mountains, called Helm’s Deep; behind the gorge, winding under the mountains, are the caves of Aglarond. At the gorge’s mouth, called Helm’s Gate, there is a heel of rock jutting out from the cliff, with walls and a tower (the Hornburg, built by Gondor in the days of its strength); there is also a wall, running from the heel of rock to the other side of the gorge, fully blocking off the entrance to the gorge. This wall, the Deeping Wall, is 20 feet high, with a tall parapet and clefts allowing archers to shoot, and is wide enough for four men to walk abreast. In the wall there is a culvert letting out the Deeping-Stream. There is a stair from the wall to the Hornburg, and three more stairs from it down into the Deep.
Helm’s Dike, a trench and rampart, provides an additional level of defence further out, running from the cliff-walls on either side of the coombe’s point. It is two furlongs (400m, or a quarter-mile) from Helm’s Gate, about a mile long, and there is a wide breech in it to let the Deeping-stream out. A narrow causeway runs out from the Hornburg out to the midpoint of the dike, and crosses the Deeping-stream; where the causeway meets the Hornburg, there is the great gate.
The Rohirrim find wolf-riders already in the coombe when they reach it. Their westward scouts have found many slain men and scattered companies, do not know where Erkenbrand is, and report a large force of Saruman’s troops marching from the Fords to Helm’s Deep. Many have seen Gandalf riding to and fro, but have no idea what he is up to. As they ride into the coombe, they find few foes, and those they do see flee before they can be captured or killed. The Rohirrim can see and hear a large army pursuing them, and burning homesteads in the valley.
When they reach Helm’s Dike, they learn that there are about a thousand men at Helm’s deep, those left by Erkenbrand and those who retreated from the Fords and came to the Deep; but many are old man or boys. Théoden’s army has another thousand, making two thousand total. There are also refugees from the Westfold (in the caves of Aglarond). Théoden’s forces enter Helm’s Deep via the causeway in single file, dismounted.
Eómer organizes the defense. Théoden, the men of his household, and many of the men of Westfolf are stationed in the Hornburg, while the bulk of the forces - including Eoómer, Aragorn, Legolas and Gimli - are placed on the Deeping Wall.
Around midnight, Saruman’s forces overrun Helm’s Dike, and the rearguard of Rohirrim escapes to the Deep. At the same time, the storm out of the east hits, with thunder, lightning, and rain. The enemy attacks the Deeping Wall and the causeway, are pushed back several times, but then manage to get up the causeway and reach the gate from the causeway into the Hornburg with battering-rams. Eómer and Aragorn in a flash of lightning see the gate’s danger.
Running like fire, they sped along the wall, and up the steps, and passed into the outer court upon the Rock [Hornburg]. As they ran they gathered a handful of stouts swordsmen. There was a small postern-door that opened at an angle of the burg-wall on the west, where the cliff stretched out to meet it. On that side a narrow path ran round toward the great gate, between the wall and the sheer brink of the rock. Together Éomer and Aragorn spring through the door, their men close behind. The two swords flashed from the sheath as one...Dismayed the rammers let fall the trees and turned to fight; but the wall of their shields was broken as by a lightning-stroke, and they were swept away, hewn down, or cast over the Rock into the stony stream below.
However, the gate is badly damaged, and the most that can be done is to barricade it from within the Hornburg. Éomer is tripped and nearly killed by orcs who were pretending to be dead, but is rescued by Gimli, who had followed the sortie. The storm has now largely passed and the moon is shining.
The assault continues, both against the gate and - with ropes and ladders - against the Deeping Wall. Orcs creep into the Deep through the culvert and attack within the Deep at a moment when the attack on the wall is strongest; Gimli jumps down into the Deep to fight them, and some of the defenders of the Hornburg hear him and join him, killing the orcs. Gimli helps them block up the culvert. However, the enemy uses some some explosives developed by Saruman to blow the culvert open again, and flood into the Deep, while pushing a fresh assault against the wall at the same time. The Deep is taken and the defenders of the wall are swept away, either back to the caves (Gimli, Éomer) or to the Hornburg (Aragorn and Legolas, who defend the stairs up to the Hornburg until everyone else has retreated).
Aragorn brings news of the events to Théoden in the tower of the Hornburg. Théoden plans to ride out at dawn against the enemy, and Aragorn commits to ride with him. Until then, Aragorn, Legolas, and the other defenders continue to repel attacks on the outer wall of the Hornburg. At dawn Saruman’s forces break the great gate of the Hornburg with blasting fire, but at that moment the horn of Helm Hammerhand is sounded and Théoden and his men ride out, with Aragorn, sweeping over the causeway and all the way to Helm’s Dike; and forces that retreated to the caves push out into the Deep, driving back the enemy, reinforced by all the Rohirrim remaining in the Hornburg.
And they see in the sunlight that all the Deeping-coomb is filled with trees, with open ground only extending 400m (a quarter-mile) from the dike; and Saruman’s army is packed within that area. Then Erkenbrand and his men - a thousand infantry - with Gandalf, arrive on the ridge on one side of the coomb, and charge Saruman’s army. The orcs flee into the trees and are destroyed; the remaining men in Saruman’s army surrender.
Ugh, I still need to cover events elsewhere. Okay, as briefly as possible:
Gandalf spent the night 1) riding to Isengard to get Treebeard to send the Huorns south to Helm’s Deep; 2) finding Erkenbrand; 3) sending some of Grimbold’s men to join Erkenbrand, and others to bury the Rohirrim who fell at the Second Battle of the Fords; and 4) sending Elfhelm and his men to Edoras to reinforce its defences.
As for the Ents: in the early morning of the 3rd Treebeard calms them down from their destruction of Isengard and tell them his plan to flood Isengard to deal with Saruman’s fires. They spend the day on this work, damming and diverting the Isen. Gandalf arrives some time after dusk (shocking Merry and Pippin, who thought he was dead), has a hurried conversation with Treebeard, and rides off again; Treebeard sends the Huorns south. Around midnight the Ents flood Isengard.
Frodo and Sam continue their journey to Mordor, across dry slopes of mud.
For two more nights [the 2nd-3rd and 3rd-4th] they struggled on through the weary pathless land. The air, as it seemed to them, grew harsh, and filled with a bitter reek that caught their breath and parched their mouths.
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