Finally, finally, Rohan arrives. Today’s page ends the chapter by bringing this side of the story up into line with the horn blasts that Pippin heard at the end of his last section.
Riding into the field, Théoden braces as the sun rises. Shouting louder than any could imagine, he summons the Riders of Rohan to battle, and blows on a horn so hard that it snaps in two. As such, he rides forward at such speed that none can catch him, riding and singing to the aid of Gondor.
-Guthláf: Théoden’s standard-bearer, getting this crazy late mention right before the battle.
-Oromë: One of the great Valar, known as a huntsman, horseman, and horn-blower. No stretch that he comes up here.
This part gives me chills every time. I think it’s partially in knowing the outcome for many of these characters, and in how much the battle is turned by the arrival of Rohan. This really is a huge moment, when the two kingdoms finally come together, and when some of our characters finally appear in the same place together again.
However, it’s mostly about Théoden. He’s the obvious foil to Denethor, leading by example with honor and courage. He’s intensely lovable, made more so by Denethor’s failings. As for structure, with this scene coming second to Denethor’s madness, we’re left with a much better feeling than we would have been if the two were flipped. In essence, Denethor has been taken out of the battle, while Théoden shows up to change fortunes. The comparison given to Oromë is stunning. In this moment, Théoden becomes just as strong at heart and in battle as this legendary god.
Once again, look forward to a possible perspective shift tomorrow. I actually didn’t even glance ahead to figure out who we might be going to, if even shifting at all.
Words My Computer Didn’t Like:
Ride now, ride now! Ride to the rest of your day!
Days Until The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug: 67
“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.”