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#My Lord & Kin {Théoden}
warrioreowynofrohan · a year ago
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Not by might, and not by power…
One of the things that stands out in The Silmarillion and The Lord of the Rings is is the idea that fighting evil isn’t enough. In fact, Morgoth and Sauron both have a terrible genius for twisting people’s desire to fight them to serve their own ends. Fëanor whips up the Noldor to go fight Morgoth using Morgoth’s own lies about the Valar imprisoning them and keeping them from Middle-earth so Men could rule it, and leads them immediately to first killing their kin and then betraying the greater part of his own army. The narrative explicitly recognizes this irony: His wrath and hate were given most to Morgoth, and yet well nigh all that he said came from the very lies of Morgoth himself.
Likewise, Morgoth specifically exploits Túrin’s desire to fight Angband openly. Both Dor-Cúarthol and the campaigns of Nargothrond reveal Túrin to him, and the latter also reveals Nargothrond to him and enables him to first destroy the army of Nargothrond in the Battle of Tumhalad, and then capture the fortress itself.
The Oath is perhaps the central example of this in The Silmarillion - sworn in hatred of Morgoth and in wrath at his theft of the Silmarils, it ultimately drives the sons of Fëanor against everyone except Morgoth: the Teleri, Finrod, Beren, Lúthien, the Doriathrim, Dior, Nimloth, Elwing, the people of Sirion, and at last the Valar. This too is called out by the narrative: their oath…had harmed [Morgoth] never and turned always to his mightiest aid.
The pattern continues through the later ages. Ar-Pharazôn conquers Sauron and in so doing becomes his most dreadful servant and tool. The central temptation the Ring deploys is the offer of the power to defeat Sauron: to Boromir, to Gandalf, to Galadriel, faintly to Denethor, and even (rather ridiculously and futilely) to Sam. It is Saruman and Denethor’s desire for more information with which to fight Sauron that drives them to the palantirí which he uses to control the one and manipulate the other.
So what does succeed, in the end? The desire not primarily to destroy and defeat what is evil, but to save and nurture and create what is good. Fingon’s rescue of Maedhros, Finrod giving his life to save Beren, Beren and Lúthien being willing to risk their lives for their love and so obtaining a Silmaril, Eärendil and Elwing taking that Silmaril into the West to intercede with the Valar, the Valar’s compassion for the people of Middle-earth that leads them to the War of Wrath, Isildur saving a fruit from the White Tree of Númenor nearly at the cost of his life, Elrond’s establishment of a home for wanderers and fostering of the heirs of Isildur, Frodo’s desire to save the Shire, Gandalf’s I shall not fail wholly of my task if anything passes through this night that can still grow fair or bear fruit and flower again in days to come, Eómer’s willingness to help and trust strangers against orders, Faramir’s willingness to help and trust strangers, the friendship and devotion to each other of the whole cast of characters - Frodo and Sam, Merry and Pippin, Aragorn, Legolas and Gimli, Merry and Théoden - Frodo’s and eventually Sam’s compassion for Gollum.
And many of these things involve little or no combat. Frodo is the only member of the Fellowship who kills no one throughout the entire story, and it is his endurance and compassion that saves Middle-earth. Fingon’s rescue of Maedhros, Beren and Lúthien’s infiltration of Angband, Eärendil and Elwing’s journey to Valinor, none of them involve fighting, and yet they are some of the most important deeds in the whole story. (Lúthien’s particular approach in Angband is something I want to get into in my next installment of the Leuthian Reread.) Tolkien has interwoven the heroic epics that he loved with the ideals of his Christian faith to create a herioc epic in which great deeds in battle play a decidedly subsidiary role (and are successful rather than destructive only to the extent that they are willing to play such a role), and the heroism of love and support and compassion and healing rises to the forefront.
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headcanonsandmore · a year ago
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A Hobbit And A Lady
Summary:  Merry Brandybuck finds himself growing closer with the Lady Éowyn after the battle of the Pelennor Fields. Canon divergence, with a mix of the 'Merry knew Éowyn was disguised as a male soldier' scenario from the film adaptation of ROTK and smaller aspects of the book.
This is a little different to what I normally write (I've never written fanfiction outside of 'Harry Potter' before), but I hope you enjoy it nonetheless.
Tagging: @spectraling (who helped inspire this fic with their awesome  Éowyn/Merry artwork), and @the-little-fox-in-the-box (who loves hobbits in general) and @thehufflepuffpixie (because they think the pairing is sweet). 
TWs are in the tags. 
                 Read on FFN.                                       Read on AO3. 
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Merry Brandybuck was a long way from home.
In a country he did not know well, surrounded by death and destruction. A short blade in his hand and his head shielded in a helmet made for a human child.
It was a long way from the sleepy Brandybuck Hall that he had grown up in, and the quiet byways of the Shire on the other side of the river.
The last few months had been tumultuous to say the least. He had left the Shire with Frodo, Sam and Pippin, and had been incorporated into the fellowship at Rivendell. And now, here he was, fighting as part of the Rohan army, on a battlefield full of the sounds of war. Merry wasn’t sure he understood a lot of the sounds occurring around him. He wasn’t sure whether he could do much in the long run. He was, after all, just a hobbit wanting to help his friends.
Merry wasn’t sure about a lot of things, but he was certain as to why he stabbed the black rider at that precise moment.
It was the immediate desire to pull the creatures focus away from the Lady Éowyn. The fair maiden of Rohan had been accosted by the black rider (who, Merry was later to discover, had once been the Witch-King of Angmar). Her shield had fallen away from her.
Without taking into account his own safety, Merry threw himself forward, stabbing his short blade into the knee joint of the creature. His mind immediately became filled with the darkest, harshest pain he had ever know; it was as if poison had been sent directly into his veins at the moment his blade struck.
His eyes streaming in pain, Merry collapsed backwards onto the ground. The black rider reeled, falling onto its knees.
Lady Éowyn regained her footing, brandishing her sword.
‘But no living man am I!’ she declared, pulling her helmet off to look her enemy directly in the eyes. ‘You look upon a woman! Éowyn, I am; Eomund’s daughter! Begone, if you be not deathless!’
The black rider screamed, and Lady Éowyn thrust her sword into the creature. There was a blinding wail as it stood there, before the sword of the lady of Rohan flew backwards. Lady Éowyn cried out in pain as her arm broke, and she fell to her knees.
The black rider took one last gasp, before falling, it’s limbs disappearing into mist on the wind.
‘My lady!’ Merry cried, scrambling to his feet as best he could. ‘Lady Éowyn, are you alright?!’
‘M-Merry!’ she gasped, falling sideways onto the grass. ‘Merry, are you hurt?’
‘Never mind me!’ Merry gasped, as he reached her, using his unwounded arm to help her to her knees. ‘My lady, your arm is broken!’
‘S-such is expected of a soldier of Rohan,’ she whispered. ‘But now…’
‘Éowyn?…Good niece?..’
‘My lord!’
The two of them scrambled over, and knelt beside the king. His breathing was shallow, and the ground around him was damp with his blood.
‘My lord!’ Éowyn cried again, her eyes beginning to blossom with tears. ‘I am sorry; I have disrespected your wishes!’
But the aged king shook his head, placing his hand gently around hers.
‘Disrespected? Nah. You have shown bravery beyond what even I expected, child. You have made Rohan proud. That accursed creature that you two destroyed can harm no other. But… speaking of the two of you…’ he said, turning to look at Merry. ‘Master of the shire-folk, you are here too?’
‘Yes, Théoden king,’ Merry said, tears already dripping down his face. ‘I am sorry; I have failed you in my service.’
‘You have protected my kin, and fought bravely this day.’ Théoden said, smiling kindly up at the hobbit. ‘You have more than lived up to your oath. I consider it my honour and privilege to have known you, Master Brandybuck.’
‘Do not speak with such finality!’ Éowyn cried. ‘You still have breath left in you, my lord!’
‘Do not weep for an old man, Éowyn,’ Théoden replied, placing his hands on both her and Merry’s palms, linking them together. ‘I have lived a long and fruitful life. Although I must admit that I will be sorry not to discuss with this sweet hobbit about the lore of pipeweed.’
‘As will I, my lord!’ Merry said, gripping the kings hand. ‘As will I!’
Théoden placed their two hands together, and Éowyn gripped Merry’s hand with a gentle firmness that he drew strength from.
King Théoden smiled one last time, his eyes crinkling at the edges, and then he departed this world.
Merry’s eyes were foggy from the tears, but he continued to hold onto the fair ladies hand, the sounds of the battle around them blurry around them. Looking to his side, Merry could see Lady Éowyn’s face creased up in tears, but she held on tightly to Merry’s hand.
‘Sister!’
His head already growing drowsy, Merry turned. Éomer was striding towards them. The swordman’s eyes flitted from Éowyn to Merry to Théoden, whose hands they were still gripping.
As Éomer called for stretchers, Merry found the world around him growing very faint. All he was sure of was the feel of Lady Éowyn’s hand against his.
Blackness took him, and Merry knew no more.
 *
 ‘Merry?... Merry?...’
Dimly, Merry became aware that a familiar voice was calling him. He was also aware that he was lying against soft, warm bedding.
Slowly, he opened his eyes.
‘Merry? You are awake!’
Pippin was grinning happily down at him.
‘Pip?’ Merry gasped, his mouth feeling parched and dry. ‘What? How?’
‘That prince of Rohan brought you here!’
‘And what of the lady?’
‘Lady?’
‘The Lady of Rohan; Éowyn.’
‘I believe she is recovering too. Merry, what in the name of goodness happened to you?
Merry rose up on his pillows, and Pippin handed him a glass of water from the cabinet beside the bed.
‘I have brought you some pipeweed,’ Pippin said, putting his satchel onto the bedspread. ‘I always think you can’t beat a good smoke when you’re feeling exhausted.’
Merry chuckled, as Pippin began to roll the pipeweed into small chunks. They sat there for a while, smoking together as if they were sat on a leafy mound back in the Shire. Pippin talked about all that had happened  since they had last spoken, and of the lord Denethor and his good son Faramir (the brother of their deceased friend Boromir).
 ‘Master Brandybuck?’
Éomer was stood in the doorway.
‘My lord!’ Merry exclaimed. ‘Are you well?’
‘Given that I am standing while yourself has been bedridden for several days, I would say so,’ Éomer chuckled. ‘I would have never believed that hobbits could display such bravery, and yet I find myself in awe of yourself, good sir.’
‘I don’t follow?’
‘I have been told by my sister that you were there with her at the defeat of the black rider, and that you held my dear uncle’s hand as he passed from this world.’
To Merry’s shock and bewilderment, Éomer knelt down, bowing his head low before the hobbit.
‘Thank you,’ Éomer said, his voice exceedingly earnest. ‘I am sorry to have doubted you.’
‘Please do not bow,’ Merry gasped. ‘I am just a simple hobbit, Lord Éomer. Us from the Shire are not known for such acts.’
Éomer smiled again, and stood up.
‘Regardless, I will inform my sister that you are recovering nicely. She has been asking after you ever since she awoke.’
‘The lady Éowyn?’ Merry exclaimed, scrambling out of the bed despite Pippin’s protests. ‘How is she?’
‘My sister is healing as you yourself are,’ Éomer said. ‘If you so wish, I will bring you to her.’
‘Yes, please,’ Merry said.
The House of Healing was a quiet, calm place. It reminded Merry almost of Rivendell, with its contemplative atmosphere and sense of quiet dignity. A place where relaxation and recuperation were always welcome. After walking through numerous corridors and gateways, Éomer opened a door, and ushered Merry inside.
Merry’s heart seemed to catch in his throat.
The Lady Éowyn was sat in bed, her long fair hair left without braids. As she looked up and saw the hobbit, her mouth broke into a wide smile.
‘Merry!’ she exclaimed. ‘How are you? I’m heard very little other than that you were resting-’
Before he knew what he was doing, Merry had crossed the room and thrown his arms around her shoulders, holding her close.
‘Lady Éowyn!’ he cried, his eyes already beginning to blossom with tears. ‘Thank goodness, for a while, I… I thought…’
He was incredibly aware of how frail she was, but he also knew that he himself was frail. He still made sure that his strength did not cause harm to her.
‘Oh, sweet Merry!’ she said, holding him close. ‘I have been most worried for you.’
The lady smelled of sweet flowers mixed with the rugged outdoorsy scent that he had become used to on their long journey from Rohan. Merry felt his heat beat faster as her hands gently rubbed his back.
‘M-my apologies,’ Merry gasped, pulling back. ‘It was inappropriate for a lowly servant to hold your ladyship thus so-’
‘No, it was not,’ Lady Éowyn replied, tenderly. ‘You were embracing a friend and a fellow soldier. And I thank you for it, Merry.’
‘But… my lady, you are ill!’
The fair lady smiled.
‘I am, indeed. Those within the House of Healing believe it was caused by the black rider.’
‘My lady… I felt the same sickness when awakening earlier, but less so now! My dear friend, Peregrin Took, brought me pipeweed, and the effect was heartily wonderful. Please, my lady, may I ask you to join me for a smoke? I have a spare pipe I keep on me?’
Lady Éowyn smiled again.
‘You may, and I will.’
Merry grinned.
‘To sit outside is best, my lady.’
‘Then I will go with you. I am sure I can walk that far at least.’
Drawing a cloak around her, the fair lady followed Merry slowly through the corridors, and within a short space of time, they had found themselves in a quiet garden, filled with flowers of every kind.
Lady Éowyn took Merry’s hand as she made to sit down on a bench, and Merry was shocked to feel how cold her skin was to the touch.
It was clear that the lady had not much in the way of experience with smoking, and so Merry prepared the pipes himself, taking care to not stock Lady Éowyn’s with too much of the weed. It would not do for her lungs to become overwhelmed by a new sensation when she was still so frail.
He placed the pipe softly in her hands, and the lady raised it to her lips. She took a tentative draw, and exhaled slowly. A calm expression wreathed her face, and her eyes closed gently.
‘My lady?’
‘I feel better already, Merry,’ she said, opening her eyes again. ‘If I could develop a tenacity such as you yourself have just from this pipeweed, I would be out and about on Windfola’s back in a matter of days.’
‘I would happily join you, my lady.’
‘As would I if you did, Merry,’ she replied. ‘But what worries you? You look so grave suddenly.’
Seeing that there was no denying it, Merry put down his pipe.
‘My lady, I must express my deepest shame.’
The lady Éowyn looked puzzled.
‘Whatever for, Merry?’
‘I… I could not protect the king. My lord Théoden has passed from the world.’
‘Merry…’ lady Éowyn pressed her hand gently onto his. ‘My lord’s death was not of your making. You protected him. Merry, you are a true knight of Rohan. If anything, I should feel shame for how I acted, for I could not protect my lord and kin.’
‘No,’ Merry said, placing his other hand over hers. ‘My lady, if I should not feel ashamed, neither should you.’
They smiled at each other, and sat there in the garden, watching the sun climb into the sky.
‘Merry?’
‘My lady?’
‘In future, just… “Éowyn” will suffice, I think. You, of all people, have no need to refer to me as “my lady”. If you keep insist on doing so, I will be forced to refer to you as “my lord”, simply to make things clear.’
Merry looked at her, wishing that he wasn’t blushing so much.
‘Er… if you so wish it… Éowyn.’
Éowyn smiled, her cheeks dimpling. And Merry found that her hands were no longer as cold as they had been when they had first entered the garden.
 *
 The war had been won. The dark lord had been defeated. Sam and Frodo had been rescued from the fires of the exploding Mount Doom, and Middle Earth could finally rest, at least for a while.
Gondor had a new king. Aragorn.
Merry, much to his surprise, was given pride-of-place seating at the coronation, along with Pippin, Frodo, Sam, Gimli and Legolas.
As the coronation began to fill up with people around them, Merry turned to Sam, who was sat next to him.
‘Sam, I find myself rather conflicted.’
‘How so, Mister Merry?’
‘It’s well… a matter of the heart.’
‘Ah, well,’ Sam said, his frow furrowing for a moment. ‘That’s difficult, that is. My old dad used to say that the best thing for matters of the heart was to be straightforward and truthful. Best to do that as best you can. It’s all any of us can do.’
Merry nodded.
Sometime later, Éowyn arrived, and was sat on Merry’s other side, wearing a simple dress of plain fabrics. As much as Merry tried to stop himself, throughout the ceremony he seemed unable to focus on the coronation itself and would instead find himself staring idly out of the corner of his eye at Éowyn.
On a few occasions, he almost thought he saw Éowyn looking at him.
After the ceremony ended, Eomer approached Aragorn (or King Elessar Telcontar, to give him his official title), and bowed. After Aragorn nodded at him to rise, Eomer spoke.
‘For great deeds, I wish to create two new knights of Rohan.’
Aragorn nodded again.
Éomer turned to face the assembled crowd.
‘The battle for which King Théoden gave his life was a heavy one, but we overcame. Thanks, in no less part, to the actions of two soldiers of the mark. For whom, I owe my personal commendation and thanks. Step forward… Lady Éowyn and Master Brandybuck!’
Merry’s mouth fell open. He looked to his side to see that Éowyn had the same expression.
‘M-my lord,’ Merry gasped, scrambling to his feet. ‘While I am greatly honoured to be considered as high as the fair lady herself, I surely do not owe such a high accolade from the mark-’
‘Merry, do not be so doubtful of your own valour,’ Éowyn said, standing next to him. ‘Surely I have no right to the title, as I have done so little-’
‘My lady, you should not doubt yourself either!’
‘My lord, did I not warn you to simply call me Éowyn?’
Éomer let out a hearty laugh.
‘I think I can safely say that the two knights are clearly both worthy of the title, if they would stop bickering like an elderly married couple long enough to receive their insignias of rank.’
Merry and Éowyn both blushed, and looked away from each other.
Éomer handed them both insignia, of a horse resplendent on a green brooch, with a sword and shield to match. Merry couldn’t help but smile to himself as he and Éowyn returned to their seats, despite his blushes.
It didn’t hurt that Éowyn slipped her hand into his as they sat down. Their hands remained there until the ceremony ended.
 *
 Some hours later, Merry found himself wondering along the city wall, watching the various peoples of Gondor beginning to leave.
‘Oh, hello Merry.’
Éowyn was sat on a bench nearby.
‘M-my lady- I mean, Lady Éowyn- I mean… Éowyn,’ Merry stammered, feeling his ears burn. ‘My apologies, it is a difficult habit to break.’
Éowyn chuckled, a glorious sound that seemed to Merry much like the birdsong along the Brandywine river.
‘I suppose I will have to stay with you some time to make sure the habit disappears in its entirety.’
Merry smiled, as he sat down beside her.
‘I would be honoured, although I doubt I would be much use to Lord Éomer’s court.’
‘You still doubt your own abilities?’
‘No. But I find myself longing for my homeland once again. The quiet and happy places of Brandybuck Hall, and the sunny byways of the Shire.’
‘Is it a happy place?’
‘It is, indeed. Although I am not sure whether I should return home just yet.’
‘I find myself thinking the same thing.’
There was a pause. Merry swallowed nervously, before he lost his courage.
‘I… well…’
Éowyn turned her head, inquisitively.
‘Éowyn, w-would you… would you, maybe, like to accompany me to the Shire? It is a long way, but it is a decent and peaceful place. I would much like to show you all the happy hills and valleys of my homeland, just like you have shown me the open plains of yours.’
Éowyn leaned forward, and pressed a gentle kiss to his cheek.
‘Merry, I would like that very much indeed.’
 ~~~~~~~~~~~
Thanks for reading, everyone! Hope you liked it!
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coast-dweller · 4 months ago
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i always knew that they kinda screwed Éowyn over in the NL films (through no fault of Miranda Otto, whom I pray to every night), but i just rewatched the scene where she confronts the witch king and she has like,,
NO dialouge??
how is the scene from the book is easily my favourite, bar none; and yet I'm only just realizing this??
For comparison the film does this:
The Witch-King swoops down on his fellbeast, throwing Théoden under his horse. Éowyn watches in Terror. The Witch-King commands the beast to "Feast on his flesh" before Éowyn jumps in front, proclaiming "I will kill you if you touch him!" to which the Witch-King replies "Do not come between the Nazgûl and his prey". She then decapitates the fellbeast, followed by the Witch-King getting up and swinging his flail around until he eventually knocks Éowyn to the ground and says "You fool, no man can kill me...", then he gets stabbed in the knee by Merry and we get the famous "I am no man!" quote as Éowyn plunges her sword into the Witch-King's face killing him.
So that's... two lines for Éowyn in the film, and three for the Witch-King.
Whereas the book does THIS:
Then out of the blackness in his mind he thought that he heard Dernhelm speaking; yet now the voice seemed strange, recalling some other voice that he had known. 'Begone, foul dwimmerlaik, lord of carrion! Leave the dead in peace!' A cold voice answered: 'Come not between the Nazgûl and his prey! Or he will not slay thee in thy turn. He will bear thee away to the houses of lamentation, beyond all darkness, where thy flesh shall be devoured, and thy shrivelled mind be left naked to the Lidless Eye.' A sword rang as it was drawn. 'Do what you will; but I will hinder it, if I may.' 'Hinder me? Thou fool. No living man may hinder me!' Then Merry heard of all sounds in that hour the strangest. It seemed that Dernhelm laughed, and the clear voice was like the ring of steel. 'But no living man am I! You look upon a woman. Éowyn I am, Éomund's daughter. You stand between me and my lord and kin. Begone, if you be not deathless! For living or dark undead, I will smite you, if you touch him.'
now, i get that movies have to make certain sacrifices when adapting stuff, but to reduce one of the most bad-ass fucking moments in the entire trilogy into 5 okayish lines is honestly despicable; i WISH i could have seen Miranda Otto respond to the WK's graphic and grusome threats with the fucking chad line "Do what you will; but I will hinder it, if I may." or at least - AT FUCKING LEAST - give me the raw bad-assery that is "You stand between me and my lord and kin. Begone, if you be not deathless! For living or dark undead, I will smite you, if you touch him."
but NO, all we get is "I will kill you if you touch him" and "I am no man",,
BULL - FUCKING - SHIT
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moretreasurewithin · 2 years ago
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Tag Drop; Éowyn of Rohan
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gerrydelano · 2 years ago
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ron is back on his LOTR bullshit again!
the characters the archives crew and co. would assign themselves when watching LOTR would change dramatically in PBR, and i’m going to scream.
EDIT: I HAD TO FIX THIS SO MUCH SINCE LAST YEAR BECAUSE SO MANY DYNAMICS CHANGED LOL.
tim is still boromir but it’s worse. i can’t even elaborate you already know my feelings on this comparison. it’s just, like. so much worse here.
the issue is he switches to aragorn after the first movie because of [SPOILERS].
gerry is aragorn. running from his bloodline, doubtful of whether he can hold up when he takes that responsibility, ran off to be a ranger despite his actual status/expectations, handsome goth. it starts off as a joke because tim is flirting with him but then they realize it actually makes sense and they go ._. he’s so... soft spoken but so steady in everything he says, so certain even in his own uncertainty, he’s so Gentle with people but he’s always encouraging them and telling the truth. like. half of his spoken words are almost whispers but he makes such silly faces and laughs with people and has human worries and gets lost sometimes but always always always tries to do the right thing and take care of everyone he can. he almost pushes love away because he doesn’t want people to sacrifice things in order to love him and be with him but g-d he needs them.
i will say he switches to arwen afterward though in weird mirror with tim because he just wants to be the pretty wife sometimes and also she spends a lot of it crying and draped on a couch and he just goes honestly, mood sometimes. can i get a chaise and a husband with some stubble i’d like to retire peacefully and tim goes yes ma’am.
jon is. well. jon is pippin! he isn’t in the same position as frodo and wouldn’t take on that exact storyline/association because he’s not the archivist, for one, but he has a bunch of other things going on. originally when i made this post i had him as arwen for slightly more serious reasons because of an emphasis on his growing up with vast!miriam and also his generally kind of esoteric atmosphere but Times Have Changed and let’s be real. the pippin and gandalf dynamic is a Meaner version of how he trails after adelard and Will absolutely mess up eventually because he just gets too ahead of himself and touches evil things he shouldn’t BUT. end of the day he’s actually so smart and brave and is doing his g-d damn best and yes in PBR he’s a lot goofier because he’s got enough breathing room to be. he’s just pippin.
martin is sam, still, because he’s been kinning him since he was like 12 in a very genuine sense and isn’t actually bothered at all by no one currently being frodo because when they watch LOTR in PBR canon it’s like very soon after his induction into the archives so the relationships haven’t quite built yet. i cannot even go too deep into WHY martin is sam because the essay would be So Long but we all kind of know this one already.
sasha claims eowyn. not because she has some weird crush on gerry or anything but [gestures to her entire thing about wanting to fight for the people she loves and also being the singular most badass character in the ENTIRE trilogy.] she was raised by a loving guardian (théoden be my dad) like how i imagine her family dynamics being, she is SO capable and strong but so graceful and beautiful and just a wonderful fucking character why WOULDN’T sasha wanna be her. “i am no man” kneecapped us all. 
melanie is merry! the first of the hobbits to actually get serious when things start to look suspicious, but so sunny and courageous and lively when he’s at rest! he’s often put into positions of needing to be the mature one, to take care of other people, to make decisions he shouldn’t have to make, and sometimes he’s judgmental or harsh but ultimately he just wants to defend his friends and fight for his people and do his part to contribute and be taken seriously. points to melanie and her family history, her aptitude for communication and her desire to be respected in her field, and also how she pals around with sasha to do cool shit later that i’m not revealing just yet :-) i’ll leave the friendship with jon to your imaginations.
georgie is legolas, because she claims him purely to fuck with everyone. she claims him and they go “what. why?” and she’s like um Isn’t It Obvious? and jon joins in without missing a beat like “yeah, it’s actually sort of glaring. it’s kind of insulting that none of you know her well enough to see it? for shame.” and melanie catches on and goes yeah jeez and everyone else is trying so hard to understand but they’re all just pulling this elaborately obtuse prank with no end goal. ultimately she just accepts and enjoys being the guy who was never given any actual cues a lot of the time and was just told to stand somewhere and say a line so he looks very distant and confused so much of the time but Somehow ALWAYS knows what’s going on anyway? he’s hilarious. he’s so fucking funny. he has his shit together on the surface but DEFINITELY DOES NOT in his head and georgie’s like word that’s very relatable. also i would love to prance around shooting things with arrows. that shield slide? i could do it.
and for some random characters like. tim and martin argue over which interns are who and like try to place random acquaintances/staff as other people and jon is here like “who the hell is jacob from accounting.” but apparently he’s a LOT like haldir or something. who knows.
and now outside of them watching it and actively kinsigning, this by extension means that other people have roles in this based on these assignments! i am emo.
adelard is gandalf. old, wise, guiding light, dies tragically too early and leaves everyone feeling very lost. but his visage (literally for gandalf, more figuratively for adelard) returns in times of great need and continues taking part in the fight. everyone trusts and respects him so deeply and he’s always getting into crazy shit behind the scenes this old man is not some neatly refined stiff gandalf can PARTY and SO CAN ADELARD. they are ROWDY BY DEFINITION. they will DESTROY you. gandalf and the balrog is just adelard vs amherst except instead of a cool sword he has a cement mixer.
which means gertrude is elrond. she’s the one sending them on this “quest” after all, she’s at the head of the war council. also, makes the way that he tries to hem arwen in and keep her from what she wanted most pretty sad the big difference though is elrond actually loves his daughter and gertrude is just a jackass. love and light<3
will i tell you who the frodo figure is? no<3 but there is definitely a frodo figure.
michael is gollum. “you were not so very different from a hobbit once.” the multitudes he contains, the discord in his identity and the way he splits himself into pieces, the way like... some part of him kind of wants to help, but there’s another that’s just too deeply fucked up by the Powers That Be to ever fully get away from it. also follows the protags around being like. dubiously helpful depending on the situation, but overall still a pretty dangerous and complicated individual who doesn’t just end up being won over by the good left in him; he doesn’t pull through that. he couldn’t.
and also there will definitely be some kind of moment where elias tries to fuck around with them and tim turns around like “he thinks he’s so cool because he can see inside men’s minds because galadriel can. but he is not galadriel.” and everyone just agrees that elias WISHES he was galadriel, but could never be.
OKAY ALSO. returning to aragorn 1 and his bf boromir and aragorn 2 and his gf arwen.
boromir and aragorn WERE in love. you know that one scene in lothlorien when boromir is talking about gondor and how much he loves it there and wants to save it, and basically says, “come home with me.” that the city will say, “the lords of gondor have returned.” like my buddy that WAS proposal adjacent. y’all have been on this road trip for such a long time. might as well get married!
in PBR gerrytim are the first relationship to establish and it IS relatively like. okay we spend so much fucking time together i can’t avoid knowing things about you that make it impossible to Not get attached, fuck. so yeah, don’t think about boromir’s death with this context that shit hurted. don’t think about how aragorn saying he will not let the white city fall, “nor our people fail” was basically a callback to and acceptance of that pseudo-proposal. that was literally him saying he loved him and would have gone with him and this is his last chance to say it.
that’s not to say that anyone proper dies in PBR like this! but there is definitely some drama!!!! you’ll have to wait and see but Yeah! gerrytim are cute as all HELL but there is a lot going on with them and them watching this fucking movie (since boromir is only in ONE) is like. half hilarious flirting and trying to embarrass each other, half holding hands under a blanket because some bits hit a little close to home. 
then they just fight over who kins aragorn in the rest of them because tim is kinless now and so they just bicker about finding gerry a new kin when tim is like “sasha said it’s MY turn on the aragorn.” and gerry is like i have the range to be both aragorn AND arwen and tim can’t even argue.
Alright! Did Not Expect To Go Fuck Wild With This Post But Here I Am. i love how different the assignments would be given the AU kjfndkjfndk like YES! CANON JON IS FRODO WITHOUT A DOUBT! but not here! not here! here, he puts his hands on all SORTS of spooky orbs he ain’t supposed to!
in the words of galadriel herself, “the world is changed.” boy! sure is!
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terribleoldwhitemen · 3 years ago
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ghstfcers replied to your post: a non-comprehensive list of the unfinished fics on...
HELLO @ haldir/theoden & the snow-pov hunger games!!!!
@ghstfcers I will weep!!! I am overjoyed that there are people out there as hungry for this shit as I am????  
listen the snow-pov hunger games rewrite is actually finished at around 38k; only problem is it needs heavy editing. I’ve been threatening myself about it for years. maybe soon?? idk!! it’s got a very special place in my heart, tho; bc until Devils came along it was the longest thing I’d ever finished.
...haldir/theoden snippet, anyone? (in which haldir does not fall at helm’s deep, but instead accompanies theoden and his kin all the way to the fields of pelennor.)
//
“Do not think us, for all our long lifespans, to be immune to loss. I saw many of my kinsfolk slain in the Deep; elves whose friendship I have known for ten of your lifetimes.” 
There is only the shadow of a rebuke in his tone. Théoden, though his pride recoils like a wounded boar from a spear-tip, cannot but wish it to have been stronger. Perhaps such a condemnation would have driven an apology past his lips. He grimaced. “Can I say nothing that would diminish me in your regard?”
“Nothing is the only thing you could say which would accomplish such a thing. In his own halls, a king should speak his mind with the authority accorded by his rule.” He paused. “Though I would be no true advisor if I should allow his words to pass unexamined.”
Théoden met Haldir’s eyes and saw that a smile lurked there, ready to emerge if bade, though his mouth remained unbent. “Aye. And a most frustrating advisor you have proven.”
Finally, Haldir’s reserve broke, and his smile spread. 
“Come. The hour is late, and I am not so skilled as I once was at resisting the call of my bed, old as I have grown.”
“In a contest of ages, you shall not win,” Haldir reminds him.
Theoden tilts his chin, considering a reply, but settles for a mere grunt as Haldir sinks deeper into his seat by the central hearth. 
In the hall to his chambers, he passes Eowyn, dressed for sleep. 
“My lord,” she says, stopping short. A smile flits across her face, hesitating in its path to her eyes, as though unsure it would be welcome there. “You look—very well.” She shifts, peering over his shoulder.
He takes her hand. “Is that so uncommon?”
“I only—”
“Nay, do not answer,” he says, and when he goes to brush a kiss across her knuckles, he does at last feel the smile upon his own lips. 
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trivialqueen · 3 years ago
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The Queen’s Choice, A Grimowyn AU: 1. Holding Hands
Disclaimer: One Disclaimer to rule them all – I own not but the mistakes. No offence nor infringement intended.
Summary: Éowyn is the last heir of the House of Eorl, but in order to take her throne she must become a woman by custom, she must marry. Éowyn likes few of her courtiers and trusts even less of them. She does trust one thing; however, she trusts that Gríma son of Gálmód loves her. It’s not a lot but it is enough, especially if she is ever going to have a chance to leave her mark on the pages of history. Grimowyn AU.
Notes: Inspired in part by auri_mynonys who showed me how wonderful this ship can be. Also inspired by the fact that apparently if one wants more Grimowyn stories one has to write them. Loosely based around a series of prompts on DeviantArt a few years ago, the 30-Day OTP Challenge. Please feel free to comment and critique! I will be the first to admit that it has been some time since I read Lord of the Rings/ saw the movies. I know characterization will likely be off, I just hope it’s not too painful. Also, I apologize up front for the characterization of Théodred, please forgive the AU.
Théodred died as he had lived - in a woman’s bed. He died without legitimate issue, a fact Éowyn almost mourned more than her cousin’s death. Three years ago, King Théoden died, wasted away by a disease that ate him from the inside out. Three years before that Éowyn’s elder brother, Éomer, had fallen, along with the rest of his fellow riders, in a vicious warg attack as they patrolled the Misty Mountains. Seven years before that she lost both her parents – one to battle, the other to grief. At nigh twenty Éowyn, daughter of Éomund, niece of Théoden, was utterly without family. Her chest ached with the emptiness of orphanhood, loneliness drew the tears to her eyes and flavored them with salt and bitterness. What made her body shake and throat burn with blood and acidic bile, however, was not being utterly alone in the world. It was the larger issue, as large as Rohan itself. She was the last member of her family. She was the last legitimate member of the House of Eorl. She was now Queen.
Théodred had been retrieved from one bed and place in another, cleaned, groomed, and dressed in the softest white tunic and breeches, silver and gold thread forming intricate knots and patterns at the neck, wrist, and hem. On the morrow he would be interred but for now he was laid in a side chamber for visitation. He is peaceful in his eternal sleep Éowyn thought, trying to stem the tide of tears, though her thoughts did not stray far from the morbid. For whatever reason that fact amused her. Her amusement amused her further until she giggled. The first was soft but a second came swiftly, a throaty arpeggio in contrast to her more wrenching sobs. The twitters dissolved into silent tremors – emotions too confused to sound. Éowyn – Queen – standing over the last of her kin giggling with tear stained cheeks and an emptiness that made her sway.
“My Lady?” His sonorous voice was full of concern, yet its worried tone lost none of its richness. Éowyn turned at the words and, damnit - shieldmaidens did not swoon - she felt the world shift under her unprepared feet. He, and his rich voice were to her in a moment, a gentle hand on her arm to steady her, to ground her. “Forgive me, my Lady, I did not intend to startle you so.”
Éowyn did not have to raise her eyes far to meet the piercing, crystal blue gaze of Gríma, son of Gálmód, Lord Counsellor. His deep-set eyes were focused on her intently, like he could read her very soul. Not that it was difficult at the moment, her soul was shattered, raw and bleeding along the broken edges. A tear rolled off her cheek and landed on her collarbone, breaking the spell the Counsellor’s eyes cast. Gently he removed his hand to retrieve his handkerchief. He pressed the cloth into her hand, it felt clean although it was rumpled and covered in faded ink stains. She dropped her gaze to the cloth, were his hand lingered on hers.
“I am needed?” Her voice was brittle. She made no move to dry her eyes, nor he to draw back his hand.
“No. I came to see if you needed...something.” He meant to say someonebut clearly thought “something” to be a more appropriate choice. What Éowyn needed was her family alive and with her again. What she needed was not to be sole heir to the throne. What she needed was not to be alone. She knew that Gríma knew this though he would not say it. She knew it like she knew that in spite the pain and trials of the world the sun would rise again. People feared Gríma, hated him as well. Théodred himself couldn’t stand the man but couldn’t be buggered to do the business of statecraft and so could not remove him from the small council. Had Éomer lived Éowyn knew he would have hated Gríma more than Théodred. Éowyn knew all the reasons to hate Gríma, son of Gálmód, from his mixed blood to his suspected mixed loyalties, his sorcery to his spiteful, often cruel temper. He was not to be trusted, Éowyn was well aware and yet also very willing to overlook it. His flaws were lessoned – not expunged – but blunted in her mind by one grace. One saving grace. Gríma sawher. He saw her, Éowyn, not daughter of the noble Éomund or the White Lady of Rohan, not Princess, not Queen but Éowyn. And what he saw he did not seek to change but rather sought to understand and what he could not he took in stride.
“I need my family.” She said, finally raised her hand and his handkerchief to dry her eyes, and more importantly buy her time to phrase her request.
“Would that I could, my Lady, I would reunite them at your side.” He offered, hand twitching slightly. Few people touched her, even fewer she suspected touched the man known at court as “Wormtongue”. Did he miss contact as much as she, she wondered suddenly.
“You are a truly loyal man, but I am aware you have limits.” Her face was dry, but she loathed to give up the now damp cloth in her hand. “I am not ready to leave.” Her eyes turned back to her cousin, the King while still above ground, silent but regal still. To leave would mean to enter a new reality, one she felt utterly unprepared for. “I am not ready to leave but cannot bare to be alone.” She returned her gaze to his and could see her own pain reflected in his eyes. If anyone knew what ‘alone’ was, it was this bastard son of Rohan. “Would you sit a while with an orphan?” She meant the question to lighten the mood. It did not. Gingerly she reached for his hand. A closer study of his face – his eyes, the set of his muscles where eyebrows should grow – told her he was still deciding how best to comfort her, feeling how much of her tone was safe sarcasm designed to shield other feelings. She laced her sword calloused fingers through his writing calloused ones and led him to the seat she had occupied and its long cold companion.
She sat, hand in his, forcing him to sit as well. Gently she squeezed his pale fingers.
“Perhaps soon I will be ready to face-” she paused, unsure of how to correctly articulate what had her so very – Valar she couldn’t even pick an emotion – trepidatious about the world and her new place in it.
Gríma squeezed her hand in return. He understood.
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warrioreowynofrohan · a year ago
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On Gondor and Nationalism
Gondor, and particularly Denethor and Boromir, is characterized more than any other realm in The Lord of the Rings by nationalism, and there is a sharp contrast between its actual role in the war and the way Denethor and Boromir percieve its role. Two quotes in The Return of the King form the core of Tolkien’s discussion of nationalism, and both are conversations between Denethor and Gandalf.
The first:
Denethor: Yet the Lord of Gondor is not to be made the tool of other men’s purposes, however worthy. And to him there is no purpose higher in the world as it now stands than the good of Gondor; and the rule of Gondor, my lord, is mine and no other man’s, unless the king should come again.
Gandalf: ...I will say this: the rule of no realm is mine, neither of Gondor nor any other, great or small. But all worthy things that are in peril as the world now stands, those are my care. And for my part, I should not wholly fail of my task, though Gondor should perish, if anything passes through this night that can still grow fair or bear fruit or flower again in days to come. For I also am a steward. Did you not know?
And the second, discussing Denethor’s views on what should have been done with the Ring:
Denethor: It should have been kept, hidden, hidden dark and deep. Not used, I say, unless at the uttermost end of need, but set beyond his grasp, save by a victory so final that what then befell would not trouble us, being dead.
Gandalf: You think, as is your wont, my lord, of Gondor only. Yet there are other men and other lives, and time still to be. And for me, I pity even his slaves.
Denethor: And where will other men look for help if Gondor falls?
Both of these conversations point to the fundamental flaw in Denethor’s worldview, and it is a nuanced one. He is not the weak, selfish old man presented in the films; he is intelligent, pragmatic, and realistic, and his strategy and tactics are thoughtful. Again unlike the movies, the mission he sends Faramir on - to prevent the armies of Mordor from crossing Anduin, and cause them heavy losses if they do cross - is not a pointless suicide mission but a crucial and tactically necessary battle. He is wrong in his attitude towards and treatment of Faramir, not in sending him into danger.
Denethor represents (as, in another way, does Saruman) the wisdom of the world. His statement that, as the steward of Gondor, his highest purpose must be the good of Gondor, would be approved by many political theorists. But in the wider vision of the story of The Lord of the Rings, expressed by Gandalf, it is critically flawed in its narrowness and arrogance. The war against Sauron is not about the victory or preservation of one realm alone; it is about saving anything and everything good in Middle-earth, in the present or the future. This is the moment when Gandalf comes closest, of any point in the story, to stating outright who he is and what his purpose is; he doesn’t say outright that he was sent by the Valar to preserve the world against Sauron, but he comes near enough to it that Denethor, an intelligent and learned man, could pick up on it if he wanted to. It is important to Gandalf to at least try to get Denethor to understand the importance of what he’s saying.
In the second conversation, though, Denethor has fallen still farther from the truth. In the first one, he only said that Gondor’s good had to be his highest priority, as its ruler; now he says that if Minas Tirith falls, Sauron’s conquered the world anyway and it doesn’t matter if he gets the Ring. In his eyes, Minas Tirith is the only thing standing against Sauron, and the only thing that matters; its defeat is to him synonymous with the destruction of the world. People across Middle-earth are fighting against Sauron: on the very day of the Battle of the Pelennor Fields, the elves of Lothlórien are fighting off an assault by Sauron’s forces, as are the wood-elves in Mirkwood; the Battle of Dale in which the kings of both Dale and the Lonely Mountain fall will be two days later. Gondor is not alone in this war; it is not the only realm fighting and not the only one whose battles matter. It is not the bulwark sheltering the peaceful rest of the world from war; the rest of the world is fighting. But Denethor chooses to regard it as the only place of importance.
These are perspectives that he passed on, in part, to his eldest son, as seen in some of Boromir’s deeds at the Council of Elrond as well as in his later temptation by the Ring. At the Council, he takes the tone that Gondor is unacknowledged and unappreciated and is doing all the work of fighting Sauron: “Few, I deem, know of our deeds, and therefore guess little of their peril, if we should fail at last...By our valour the wild folk of the East are still restrained, and the terror of Morgul kept at bay; and thus alone are peace and freedom maintained in the lands behind us, bulwark of the West...those who shelter behind us give us praise, if ever they hear our name: much praise but little help.” He also - very importantly - instantly conflates “Doom” in the prophecy he hears with “the Doom of Minas Tirith”: the same thing Denethor is doing when he says that, if Minas Tirith falls, the world has already fallen and there’s no point in keeping the Ring away from Sauron. When he is told that the Ring cannot be wielded to defeat Sauron by force of arms, he acts as though the other members of the Council are abandoning Gondor. And so the Ring tempts him with the power to save Minas Tirith, because that’s the only way he can concieve of for the world to be saved.
Aragorn’s response to Boromir, in speaking of the Rangers, is not a counter-boast but an attempt (like Gandalf’s with Denethor) to give Boromir a broader perspective: many people are fighting and resisting Sauron and other evil things, in their own ways (“the servants of the Enemy...are found in many places, not in Mordor only”). Gondor is not alone; it is playing one particular role, while others play other roles.
This attitude, that its battles are the only ones that matter, is quite unique to Gondor. Legolas and Gimli, fighting in the wars of Rohan and Gondor, recognize that their kin cannot come to them: “They have no need to march to war...war already marches on their own lands”. The hobbits continually think little of themselves and their actions, even while achieving great things. (One example that amuses me is the contrast at the Council of Elrond between Boromir, who thinks his comparatively uneventful journey quite heroic - “since the way was full of doubt and danger, I took the journey upon myself” - and Frodo, who regards his achievement of escaping to Rivendell while pursued by all nine of the Nazgûl, and surviving a wound that would have been worse-than-fatal to most other mortals, with an attitude of ‘well, I rather muffed that up’.) The Ents very much have their own priorites - Treebeard says “I am not really on anyone’s side, as no one is really on my side - no one cares for the woods these days” - but they involve themselves in the war beyond merely defending Fangorn, by destroying the orcs who invade Rohan from the north. Théoden likewise keeps the big picture, not just the narrow ‘good of Rohan’ in mind, continuing with his army to the relief of Gondor even as news comes of Rohan being invaded from the north and east (the aforementioned orcs whom the Ents deal with).
Frodo comes closest to understanding what Gandalf is saying in the first-quoted conversation with Denethor. After seeing the Witch-king’s army march out from Minas Morgul, Frodo is tempted to despair: “Even if my errand is performed, no one will ever know. There will be no one I can tell. It will be in vain.” But he resists this: what he had to do, he had to do, if he could, and whether Faramir or Aragorn or Elrond or Gandalf or Galadriel or anyone else ever knew about it was beside the purpose. Aragorn, too, understands it: the march on the Black Gate is the antithesis of Denethor’s perspective: sacrifice of the armies of Gondor and Rohan without even knowing what may happen after they are defeated, in the hope that they may enable someone else to win the victory. They have no way of guessing that Frodo and Sam will reach Mount Doom at the same time as the armies clash at the Black Gate; their hope is founded on the idea of distracting Sauron long enough that Frodo and Sam can destroy the Ring days later, after the armies are all dead.
And Denethor and Boromir’s attitudes are all the more ironic because, in the end, Gondor doesn’t hold up very well. They fall apart and stop even trying to man the walls of Minas Tirith after a mere two days of siege, when food supplies haven’t even begun to be an issue. For a fortified city, especially one as well-designed for defense as Minas Tirith, that’s a very short amount of time to hold out against a siege! During the march on the Black Gate, even the sight of the Plains of Gorgoroth is too much for some of the men of Gondor and Rohan, and they can’t keep going. Yes, they’re just regular people and have never seen anything this horrible before, but Frodo and Sam and now Pippin are also just regular people used to peaceful lives, and they keep going. The purpose of this comparison isn’t to run down the Men of Gondor, but to point out how deeply wrong the idea is of them being the only ones whose fight matters, the only ones with the nerve and determination to protect the rest of the world. The hobbits, who don’t think of themselves as anything special or important or strong, are the ones who save the world, and they do it through hope, endurance, self-sacrifice, love, and compassion, not through military might.
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moretreasurewithin · 2 years ago
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also ♘ - a memory of their sibling(s) for eowyn!
memory meme
@melnchly
“Mamma and Papa are not coming back.” A little golden haired girl announced to her brother, with a sense of calm far beyond her years. 
“No, Éowyn. They aren’t.” The boy replied. “But you needn’t fear. We will be safe with our king and uncle.”
“I’m not afraid.” Éowyn replied, with a little shake of her head. “I pity Mamma’s grief, but I shan’t break like she did. I’ll be strong, like Papa asked. And I’ll learn to wield a sword, and make him proud.” 
“A shieldmaiden you shall be, eh, sister?”
“Yes. I shall. And I’ll do great things. There will be songs sung of my valor.” 
Éomer laughed, not unkindly, but a little patronizingly. “Well, until that time, you’ll always have me. Unless Éowyn daughter of Éomund is too good for the care of her brother?”
Smiling, she reached out and took his hand, not knowing how often in the future she would need his protection. 
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moretreasurewithin · 2 years ago
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That is grievous. And yet it is good beyond all that I dared hope in the dark days, when it seemed that the House of Eorl was sunk in honor less than any shepard's cot. And what of the king's esquire, the Halfling? Éomer, you shall make him a knight of the Riddermark, for he is valiant!
Éowyn to Éomer, of Théoden & Merry.  J. R. R. Tolkien, The Return of the King
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moretreasurewithin · 2 years 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?”
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