It's still February, so I still have time to join this month's Inklings link-up hosted by Heidi here at Along the Brandywine. This month, the prompt is a snow scene in book or film.
I'm choosing the attempt to pass through the Redhorn Gate in the White Mountains of Middle-earth in The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring by J.R.R. Tolkien. The fellowship is trying to make their way through the mountains, but a mysterious and evil snowstorm falls upon them and forces them to halt. They realize they must turn back, but they've become cut off by vast mounts of snow, both before them and behind them. The snow is so deep, it's far over the heads of the hobbits, and they'll never be able to struggle through it. So Aragorn and Boromir decide to force a path through it for the others to follow.
Aragorn was the tallest of the Company, but Boromir, little less in height, was broader and heavier in build. He led the way, and Aragorn followed him. Slowly they moved off, and were soon toiling heavily. In places the snow was breast-high, and often Boromir seemed to be swimming or burrowing with his great arms rather than walking (p. 284).
I love that image of the two mighty warriors and leaders of men turning themselves into snowplows to make a path for the smaller members of their company. And that's not all they do! When they return, the hobbits worry that still the snow will be too deep underfoot for them to get through.
"Have hope!" said Boromir. "I am weary, but I still have some strength left, and Aragorn too. We will bear the little folk. The others no doubt will make shift to tread the path behind us. Come, Master Peregrin! I will begin with you."
He lifted up the hobbit. "Cling to my back! I shall need my arms," he said and strode forward. Aragorn and Merry came behind. Pippin marvelled at his strength, seeing the passage that he had already forced with no other tool than his great limbs. Even now, burdened as he was, he was widening the track for those who followed, thrusting the snow aside as he went (p. 285-86).
Again, what an amazing example of true leadership! The heir to the stewardship of Gondor and the rightful king of all Middle-earth use their strength to serve others. They're not too proud or too busy or too filled with their own self-importance to serve even the smallest person. What mighty leaders!
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