Saturday, May 10, 2014

LOTR Read-Along: The Ride of the Rohirrim (ROTK Ch. 5)

I'm very fond of Ghan-buri-Ghan and his Wild Men.  They're kind of like the Ents -- something rather unique to Tolkien that I've never really run into in other legends and mythologies.  Which, granted, I haven't read nearly enough of for even my own liking, but whatever.  They're kind of the like earth personified, the same way the Ents are trees personified, and I dig them a lot.

And yeah, this is one of those thrilling chapters where I just cheer and cheer, and clap my hands and bounce up and down as the Rohirrim go charging into battle.  And they sing!  "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" (p. 820).  Such a cool image, these singing warriors slaying orcs with joy.  Oh, I love those Rohirrim so much!

Favorite Lines:

"Need brooks no delay, yet late is better than never," said Eomer (p. 817).

"Forth now, and fear no darkness!" (p. 818).

Possible Discussion Questions:

"There seemed to be some understanding between Dernhelm and Elfhelm, the Marshal who commanded the eored in which they were riding" (p. 812).  So Elfhelm presumably knows that Dernhelm is actually Eowyn, and he's cool with that?  And he and the others in that eored know that Merry wasn't supposed to come along, but they turn a blind eye to his presence.  Do they all also know Dernhelm is actually Eowyn?  Just how good or bad is her disguise, anyway?  I mean, Merry doesn't recognize her, but he's only met her a couple of times.  Seems like this Elfhelm guy plays kinda fast and loose with obeying the king's orders about stuff, doesn't it?


  1. I can't remember...but isn’t the term "shield-maiden" used sometimes in reference to Eowyn/the women of Rohan? Somehow I've never thought it was a completely foreign concept for them to fight when necessary, but I could be wrong. If so, maybe she was able to bring some authority to bear or Elfhelm felt it was her right--or he just pitied her. Either way, it’s interesting as he still didn't go to the king or Eomer.

    And there are pine woods in Anorien!!! :-)

    1. Yes, Eowyn describes herself as a Shieldmaiden of Rohan, and I believe someone else uses the word for her as well. Clearly, she has training and ability. So a woman warrior wasn't unheard of, but Theoden King told her to stay behind, and she disobeyed his direct order by coming, which means Elfhelm basically did too. I'm guessing he just felt it was wrong to make her stay behind, or perhaps she pulled rank on him and said, "Look, buddy, my uncle's the king, I was betrothed to his son, and my brother is now heir to the throne. I'm going."

  2. There is so much content in Lord of the Rings and Tolkien's work at large which is not elaborated upon, like the Wild Men, the Ents and the life of the Rangers in the North. It just shows what an elaborated world Tolkien build in his mind that even in such an epic work as Lord of the Rings he couldn't put all of his ideas!

    1. Yes! That's what makes it the richest, most complex fantasy world ever -- he didn't just make up what he needed to included, he made the whole world and then included what he needed. So amazing.


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