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Arise, arise, Riders of Theoden!

"Arise, arise, Riders of Théoden!" is a rallying cry spoken by Théoden to the Riders of Rohan. Variations of it appear when he is first restored by Gandalf, and later preceding their charge into the Battle of the Pelennor Fields.

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[edit] Text

Arise now, arise, Riders of Théoden!
Dire deeds awake: dark is it eastward.
Let horse be bridled, horn be sounded!
Forth Eorlingas!

Arise, arise, Riders of Théoden!
Fell deeds awake: fire and slaughter!
Spear shall be shaken, shield be splintered,
a sword-day, a red day, ere the sun rises!
Ride now, ride now! Ride to Gondor!

[edit] Influences

The lines are written in imitation[clarify] of Germanic and Scandinavian, specifically Old English (Anglo-Saxon), alliterative verse.

The second variant is probably[clarify] inspired by part of the Old Norse poem Völuspá, part of the Elder (or Poetic) Edda, which describes the chaotic state of humankind in the End of Days just prior to Ragnarok, the final battle of the Norse Gods.

Brœðr muno beriaz
ok at bǫnom verða,
muno systrungar
sifiom spilla.
Hart er í heimi,
hórdómr mikill.
Skeggǫld, skálmǫld,
skildir ro klofnir.
Vindǫld, vargǫld,
áðr verǫld steypiz.
Mun engi maðr
ǫðrom þyrma.

Brothers shall fight
and fell each other,
and sisters' sons
shall kinship stain.
Hard is it on earth,
with rampant whoredom;
Axe-time, sword-time,
shields are splintered.
Wind-time, wolf-time,
ere the world falls.
Nor ever shall men
each other spare.

[edit] Portrayal in adaptations

1980: The Return of the King (1980 film)

Théoden just says "Ride now! Ride to Gondor!" before their charge at Minas Tirith.

1981: The Lord of the Rings (1981 radio series)

Théoden says the first variant to the Riders of Rohan at Edoras as he did in the book, in full.

2003: The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King

Théoden says the second variant to the Riders of Rohan before their charge as he did in the book, the lyrics being slightly altered:

Arise, arise, Riders of Théoden!
spear shall be shaken, shield shall be splintered,
a sword-day, a red day, ere the sun rises!
Ride now, ride now, ride! Ride for ruin and the world's ending!
Death! Death! Death!
Forth Eorlingas!

In the book, it is Éomer who cries "Death! Ride, ride to ruin and the world's ending!" after he goes berserk with grief upon discovering Théoden and Éowyn's bodies. He orders a reckless charge and the Riders cry "Death" with one voice.

[edit] See also