The Ride of the Rohirrim

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The Ride of the Rohirrim
Chapter of The Return of the King
EventThéoden and the Rohirrim attack the besiegers of Minas Tirith.
Date13-15 March 3019
LocationDrúadan Forest; Pelennor Fields
<  The Siege of Gondor
The Battle of the Pelennor Fields  >

The Ride of the Rohirrim is the fifth chapter of the first book in The Return of the King.

Summary[edit | edit source]

Four days into their journey to Minas Tirith, Merry remained hidden among the Riders of Rohan. He worried that he was a burden to the Rohirrim, and he felt unwanted and small. While the group rested, the Riders encountered the Woses, the Wild Men of the Woods. Troubled by Orcs, the Woses offered their services to Théoden. They were a little-known yet ancient people, stumpy and brutish. The Woses' leader Ghân-buri-Ghân, informed Théoden that all roads to Minas Tirith were blocked, save the secret ways the Woses knew. The Wild Men promised to show the Riders through these paths, though they would not fight alongside Rohan.

The Riders emerged from the forest just north of Minas Tirith, and the Woses bade them farewell and vanished. To Théoden's dismay, the Riders discovered two dead bodies, one of them the earlier messenger from Gondor, still clutching the red arrow.[1] Apparently, Minas Tirith did not know the Riders were coming to its aid. Dernhelm, still carrying Merry, broke rank and drew closer to Théoden as the Riders reached the out-walls of Gondor.

Théoden looked sadly upon the destruction of Minas Tirith.[2] Suddenly, a great flash of light sprang from the city with a booming sound. Reinvigorated, Théoden commanded his Riders into battle with a great cry: "More clear than any there had ever heard a mortal man achieve." The singing Rohirrim routed the Orcs and armies of Mordor. The Darkness dissipated with a fresh wind from the sea.

At the arrival of the Rohirrim, the Witch-king sensed the Darkness fading and the tide of battle turning. He vanished from the city gate to enter the fray. Meanwhile, Théoden rode in fury ahead of the Rohirrim. The chieftain of the Southrons—allies of Mordor—led his men against Théoden. Though outnumbered, Théoden and Éomer charged through the line of enemy scimitars handily, striking down the Southrons’ chieftain.