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Grey Company

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The Grey Company by Jef Murray

The Grey Company was a company of thirty Northern Dúnedain (clad in grey) commanded by Aragorn's kinsman Halbarad.[1]

History

The company, aided by Elladan and Elrohir, rode south to fight beside their Chieftain Aragorn in the War of the Ring, after they received a mysterious message requesting that they come to his aid. They found him near Dol Baran before dawn on 6 March, T.A. 3019[2]. Halbarad gave his kinsman a standard, which was a gift from Arwen, and Elrohir conveyed a message from Rivendell to take the Paths of the Dead. They journeyed with the Rohirrim to Helm's Deep, where they parted ways.[1]

The Rangers rode through the plains of Rohan and reached Dunharrow by morning of 7 March.[2] Théoden had not yet arrived, and Éowyn in vain begged Aragorn to avoid the Paths of the Dead.[1]

Spurred only by the strength of Aragorn's will, the Company with Legolas and Gimli entered the dark path the next day. At midnight Aragorn summoned the Dead at a clearing to follow him to the Stone of Erech. After creeping in the darkness for what seemed like ages, the Company emerged from the Paths and rode quickly through the mountain fields with the Dead behind. They followed the river Morthond briefly to Erech. The inhabitants of the surrounding countryside fled in fear, calling Aragorn the "King of the Dead".

At the Stone of Erech

Arriving at the large, black Stone of Erech, the legion of the Oathbreakers announced their allegiance to Aragorn. Aragorn unfurled a black flag and pronounced himself the Heir of Isildur’s kingdom. The Company rides on to Anduin.[1]

On 9 March[2] they led the Oathbreakers over Tarlang's Neck, across the Ciril and Ethring on the way to Pelargir and reached Calembel.[1] A day later they passed across the river Ringló.

While in Lamedon, the Dead drove forth the assailants from Linhir, but the staunch defenders fled as well, except for Angbor. Aragorn bade him gather his folk and follow them. After Linhir they reached Lebennin. The Corsairs of Umbar were beaten back to Pelargir the next day.

The Fleet of Harad by Darrell Sweet

On 13 March[2] they found Pelargir overrun by Corsairs once again with fifty great ships and many more smaller vessels ready to sail to Harlond. The Company and the Dead drove the Corsairs away. After manning the Black Ships, Aragorn released the curse of the Dead.[3] Halbarad captained a Corsair ship and they sailed toward Harlond.

They arrived at the Battle of the Pelennor Fields on 15 March,[2] where Halbarad fell.[4]

Portrayal in Adaptations

1980: The Return of the King (1980 film):

In the opening narration, Gandalf mentions Aragorn travels with a small band of kinsmen.

2010-: The Lord of the Rings Online:

The Grey Company forms during Volume III: Allies of the King. There are more than thirty Rangers in the company, but by the time they meet with Aragorn their numbers are reduced to thirty. Members of the Grey Company include many of the important rangers met over the epic storyline in the game, including Calenglad, Candaith, Corunir, Daervunn, Dagoras, Golodir, Halbarad, Halros, Lothrandir, Mincham and Saeradan.

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Return of the King, "The Passing of the Grey Company"
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix B, "The Great Years"
  3. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Return of the King, "The Last Debate"
  4. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Return of the King, "The Battle of the Pelennor Fields"