Monday, February 10, 2014

LOTR Read-Along: Helm's Deep (TTT Ch. 7)

Another favorite chapter!  It's funny -- I get kind of tired of the Helm's Deep section in the movies, but in the book?  It's stellar!  The movie goes on and on and on, but in the book it's only like fifteen pages and so brilliant.  If you ever want to write a suspenseful action scene where the tension and excitement spiral tighter and tighter, and you're looking for an example of a scene that does exactly that, read this chapter.  By the end of it, I'm in goosebumps.  I'm in goosebumps just typing about it!  The horn starts blasting, Theoden and Aragorn ride forth, and then we see the trees.  And Erkenbrand.  And Gandalf.  It's amazing.  I might cry with joy.
(That's Gandalf arriving on Shadowfax -- it looks better on my TV.  Huh.)

Random other note:  in the movie, Eowyn leads the women, children, and elderly to Helm's Deep.  Here, she's not there at all, she's taken them all to some place called Dunharrow.  I totally forgot that.

Favorite Lines:

Even as they looked he was gone:  a flash of silver in the sunset, a wind over the grass, a shadow that fled and passed from sight (p. 516).

"Trust not to secret ways," said the king (p. 517).

"Give me a row of orc-necks and room to swing and all weariness will fall from me!" (p. 520).

"...oft the unbidden guest proves the best company" (p. 522).

"None knows what the new day shall bring him," said Aragorn (p. 527).

Possible Discussion Questions:

Do you find the eleventh-hour arrival of Gandalf, Erkenbrand, and the forest all together to be totally awesome, or a little too convenient?  How do you think the battle would have gone if any one of them had not shown up?


  1. In a lesser story by a lesser author, perhaps the arrival of Gandalf would be too convenient. But it's Tolkien and The Lord of the Rings - so I would say it's perfect!

    1. I agree. It's set up a little better in the movie, IMHO, with Gandalf telling them to look for him at dawn on the third day or what have you, but it still works very nicely here.


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