The Battle of the Pelennor Fields
|The Battle of the Pelennor Fields|
|Chapter of The Return of the King|
|Event||Éowyn reveals herself and, with Merry, slays the Witch-king.|
|Date||15 March 3019|
|< The Ride of the Rohirrim|
|The Pyre of Denethor >|
The Battle of the Pelennor Fields is the sixth chapter of the first book in The Return of the King.
Suddenly, a massive black beast swooped down upon Théoden, hitting his horse with a poisoned dart. The steed reared up, and the king fell beneath his horse, crushed. The Lord of the Nazgûl loomed above on the back of his flying steed. Terrified, Théoden's guards fled in panic—all but Dernhelm. Thrown from his horse but unharmed, Dernhelm challenged the Witch-king. Merry, crawling on all fours in a daze, heard Dernhelm speak, and he recognized the warrior’s voice. Dernhelm threw back his hood and revealed to the Nazgûl that he was in fact Éowyn, the Lady of Rohan, in disguise.
The winged steed struck at Éowyn, but she dealt it a fatal wound, cutting off its head. The Witch-king leapt off his dead mount and shattered Éowyn’s shield with a blow from his club, breaking her arm. He raised his spiked club again, but just before he struck, Merry sneaked up behind him and stabbed the Nazgûl through the leg. Bowed over, the creature let out a terrible shriek. Éowyn, with her final strength, slashed at his face with her sword, the blade shattering upon impact. The Witch-king's armour fell shapeless at Éowyn’s feet, and his crown rolled away. Éowyn collapsed on top of the Nazgûl’s remains.
The dying King Théoden appointed Éomer as his heir. Éomer, seeing his sister Éowyn’s fallen body, led the Rohirrim in a furious attack. The men of Minas Tirith, led by Imrahil, Prince of Dol Amroth, emerged from the city and drove the enemy from the gate. Théoden's body was taken to the city, along with Éowyn, but Imrahil alerted her rescuers that she was not dead.
The allies of Mordor reassembled as new soldiers of Sauron arrived from Osgiliath. The men of Rohan and Gondor dwindled. As the tide turned against Gondor again, a fleet of black ships appeared on the Anduin River. The defenders of Gondor turned for the city at the sight of the enemy ships. Éomer, though he realized he was defeated, continued to fight bravely, laughing in a mix of hope and despair.
Suddenly, the frontmost black ship unfurled the Standard of Elendil bearing the white tree of Gondor and the seven stars and crown of Elendil— the symbols of the ancient high-kingdom of Arnor. Aragorn had arrived in the black ships, along with the Rangers of the North, Legolas, Gimli, and reinforcements from the southern kingdoms. Wielding the legendary sword Andúril, reforged and burning like a star, Aragorn led a fierce battle to save Gondor. The armies of Mordor were defeated, and Aragorn, Éomer, and Imrahil returned to the city.