Category: merry

‘Not by the hand of man will he fall’ – Prophecy and End of Kings

One of the most enduring moments of the Lord of the Rings is Eowyn’s slaying of the Witch King and fulfilling the Prophecy of Glorfindel, but where did this prophecy come from? During the Witch King’s conquest of Arnor, King Eärnil II sent his son Prince Eärnur with a small army to help defend their ally. Eärnur’s army merged with an Elven host under Glorfindel, and the Host of the West met the Witch King’s army at Fornost. During the battle the Witch King rode issuing a challenge of single combat to Eärnur, who accepted the challenge, but the Witch King’s malice and intimidating aura frightened the Gondorian horses, and Eärnur’s horse fled in fear – taking the Prince with him. The Witch King mocked him for this, and as Glorfindel’s army came the Witch King escaped the battle. Eärnur regained control of his horse and wanted to chase them, but Glorfindel warned against it prophesying “Do not pursue him! He will not return to this land. Far off yet is his doom, and not by the hand of man will he fall”. Eärnur did not pursue, and though the battle was won his pride was hurt, and ultimately Arnor was destroyed. Mordor soon took Minas Ithil, Gondor’s chief position in Mordor, and made it into Minas Morgul, a fortress of dark sorcery. Eärnur came to the throne after the death of his father, and upon his ascension to the throne the Witch King, now based in Minas Morgul, issued his challenge again. Eärnur wished to fight him but was held back by his steward Mardil. Years later the Witch King issued another challenge, but this time Eärnur accepted. He left the Crown of Gondor on his father’s tomb, gathered an escort of knights and rode to Minas Morgul. He and his escort were never seen or heard from again. There was no heir and nobody claimed the throne. The line was broken and nobody wanted to risk another Kin-Strife. So began the Ruling Stewards as the caretakers of the throne, and the Crown of Gondor remained in the tombs until the Fourth Age and the coronation of King Elessar. Glorfindel’s prophecy remained part of legend and gave the Witch King more infamy. Hundred years later, During the Battle of Pelennor Fields in the War of the Ring, Merry the Hobbit broke the Witch King’s armor with a barrow-blade, and Dernhelm revealed himself to be Eowyn, Shieldmaiden of Rohan, who then slew the Witch King. His doom was met by the hand of Woman and Hobbit, and thus the prophecy came to pass.

“Now the descendants of the kings had become few. Their numbers had been greatly diminished in the Kin-strife; whereas since that time the kings had become jealous and watchful of those near akin. Often those on whom suspicion fell had fled to Umbar and there joined the rebels; while others had renounced their lineage and taken wives not of Númenorean blood. So it was that no claimant to the crown could be found who was of pure blood, or whose claim all would allow; and all feared the memory of the Kin-strife, knowing that if any such dissension arose again, then Gondor would perish. Therefore, though the years lengthened, the Steward continued to rule Gondor, and the crown of Elendil lay in the lap of King Eärnil in the Houses of the Dead, where Eärnur had left it. “

– The end of the line of kings from the Third Age into the Fourth. Appendices, Annals of the Kings and Rulers, The Numenorean Kings, Of Numenor

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The Grey Havens (Sindarin: Mithlond) was a major
Elvish city in Eriador, on the coast of Lindon. Founded at the beginning of the
Second Age by elves who survived the War of Wrath, the city is noted for being
the primary port from Middle-Earth to Valinor.

Círdan

The
Shipwright was the lord of the Havens and Lindon after Gil-Galad’s death, Círdan ruled throughout
the Third and Fourth Ages. Notable people who came to Middle Earth through
Mithlond include the first Númenóreans, The Istari (Gandalf received the ring
of Narya from Círdan when he arrived), and the Gondorian fleet that fought
Angmar during the Angmar’s conquest of Arnor. The port was the biggest emigration
point for Elves leaving Middle Earth for Valinor. After the War of the Ring the
Last Riding of the Keepers of the Rings occurred, where Elrond, Galadriel,
Bilbo, Frodo, and most of the remaining High Elves went to the Havens and
sailed to Valinor. In the Fourth Age the Last Ship left from the Grey
Havens, which carried

Círdan

and
Celeborn. The Grey Havens never fell to siege or violence, and had an almost
religious significance to the Elves, as it was their final sight of Middle
Earth before they passed into the Blessed Realm.

“‘Well, here at last, dear friends, on the
shores of the Sea comes the end of our fellowship in Middle-earth. Go in peace!
I will not say: do not weep; for not all tears are an evil.’

Then Frodo kissed Merry and
Pippin, and last of all Sam, and went aboard; and the sails were drawn up, and
the wind blew, and slowly the ship slipped away down the long grey firth; and
the light of the glass of Galadriel that Frodo bore glimmered and was lost. And
the ship went out into the High Sea and passed on into the West, until at last
on a night of rain Frodo smelled a sweet fragrance on the air and heard the
sound of singing that came over the water. And then it seemed to him that as in
his dream in the house of Bombadil, the grey rain-curtain turned all to silver
glass and was rolled back, and he beheld white shores and beyond them a far
green country under a swift sunrise.”

– Gandalf saying goodbye as him and Frodo board the ship to go West. Samwise, Pippin, and Merry had gone with them to say goodbye. Of the remaining Hobbits Samwise would eventually cross the sea, as he had been a ringbearer, albeit briefly. Return of the King, The Grey Havens.

l-o-t-r:

“I knew you’d find me..”

The Houses of Healing was a large infirmary in the higher levels of Minas Tirith. As it’s name implies, it was used as a hospital for the sick and injured of Gondor. It features prominently after the Battle of Pelennor Fields. Faramir was sent here after being saved from Denethor’s attempt to burn him. Merry and

Éowyn

were also sent here after fighting the Witch King in the battle, where they both contracted the Black Shadow. Ioreth, the eldest woman working in the Houses of Healing, was worried about all three, and their fatal conditions, proclaiming that ‘The hands of the king are the hands of a healer. And so the rightful king could ever be known.’. Gandalf heard this and summoned Aragorn to the Houses to help, where Aragorn proved his kingship (and knowledge of old lore) by caring for them all with Athelas (Kingsfoil in Common tongue), the herb that healed them and could defeat the Black Shadow. While the Armies of the West marched on the Black Gate Faramir and

Éowyn

had still not left the Houses, and though

Éowyn

initially wanted to join the battle, she decided to remain with Faramir, where the two fell in love.

“So at last Faramir and Éowyn and Meriadoc were laid in beds in the Houses of Healing; and there they were tended well. For though all lore was in these latter days fallen from its fullness of old, the leechcraft of Gondor was still wise, and skilled in the healing of wound and hurt, and all such sickness as east of the Sea mortal men were subject to. Save old age only. For that they had found no cure; and indeed the span of their lives had now waned to little more than that of other men, and those among them who passed the tale of five score years with vigour were grown few, save in some houses of purer blood. But now their art and knowledge were baffled; for there were many sick of a malady that would not be healed; and they called it the Black Shadow, for it came from the Nazgûl. And those who were stricken with it fell slowly into an ever deeper dream, and then passed to silence and a deadly cold, and so died. And it seemed to the tenders of the sick that on the Halfling and on the Lady of Rohan this malady lay heavily. Still at whiles as the morning wore away they would speak, murmuring in their dreams; and the watchers listened to all that they said, hoping perhaps to learn something that would help them to understand their hurts. But soon they began to fall down into the darkness, and as the sun turned west a grey shadow crept over their faces. But Faramir burned with a fever that would not abate.“

– The wounded after the Battle of Pelennor Fields, and before Aragorn comes to the rescue. Return of the King, The Houses of Healing.

The Barrow-downs (Sindarin: Tyrn Gorthad) were a hilly area near Bree, in Eriador, that served as a graveyard for the kings of Arnor and the Edain. Initially the region was inhabited by the Edain during the First Age; the first Men in Middle Earth who fought during the War of Wrath. When the

Númenóreans

came they settled in the region and upon Elendil’s arrival the Barrow-downs were brought into the Kingdom of Arnor. During this time it became marked with large tombs and barrows for the Kings of Arnor. Arnor broke up and was ultimately destroyed by Angmar, under the Witch-King. Cardolan (The Arnorian splinter kingdom where the barrows are located) became a refuge for the

Dúnedain

fleeing south from Angmar’s conquests, they were eventually defeated and the area became desolate. In order to ensure the

Dúnedain

could not re-establish Cardolan or hide in the Barrows, the Witch-King cursed the land and sent Wights to haunt the region. During the Third Age the Barrow-downs are feared by the men of Bree and the hobbits of the Shire. Frodo, Sam, Merry, and Pippin ventured into the Great Barrows during their quest to Rivendell. After leaving Tom Bombadil’s House they got lost in the great fog and were captured by the Wights. They awakened in one of the dark tombs, surrounded by old treasures and the chanting Wights. Frodo awoke first, broke free of the Wight’s spell, and sang Tom Bombadil’s song. Tom Bombadil broke into the tomb, banished the wights, and helped Frodo carry his companions out. He then gifted the Hobbits each a dagger from the barrows, which to them was long enough to be a sword. These swords were made by the

Númenóreans

of Arnor. The barrow-blades would serve the hobbits throughout their quest. During the Battle of Pelennor Fields the Witch-King’s armor would be undone by Merry stabbing him in the back, as only a blade of Westernesse (Númenórean) work could destroy his armor. Pippin would slay a troll during the Battle at the Black Gate. Sam lost his sword in Cirith Ungol but recovered it from Gandalf. Frodo remained with Sting.

“They heard of the Great Barrows, and the green mounds, and the stone-rings upon the hills and in the hollows among the hills. Sheep were bleating in flocks. Green walls and white walls rose. There were fortresses on the heights. Kings of little kingdoms fought together, and the young Sun shone like fire on the red metal of their new and greedy swords. There was victory and defeat; and towers fell, fortresses were burned, and flames went up into the sky. Gold was piled on the biers of dead kings and queens; and mounds covered them, and the stone doors were shut; and the grass grew over all. Sheep walked for a while biting the grass, but soon the hills were empty again. A shadow came out of dark places far away, and the bones were stirred in the mounds. Barrow-wights walked in the hollow places with a clink of rings on cold fingers, and gold chains in the wind.’ Stone rings grinned out of the ground like broken teeth in the moonlight.

The hobbits shuddered. Even in the Shire the rumour of the Barrow-wights of the Barrow-downs beyond the Forest had been heard. But it was not a tale that any hobbit liked to listen to, even by a comfortable fireside far away. These four now suddenly remembered what the joy of this house had driven from their minds: the house of Tom Bombadil nestled under the very shoulder of those dreaded hills. They lost the thread of his tale and shifted uneasily, looking aside at one another.”

 – Tom Bombadil telling the Hobbits about the regions of Eriador. Fellowship of the Ring, 

In the House of Tom Bombadil

thorinds:

“Then Frodo kissed Merry and Pippin, and last of all Sam, and went aboard; and the sails were drawn up, and the wind blew, and slowly the ship slipped away down the long grey firth; and the light of the glass of Galadriel that Frodo bore glimmered and was lost. And the ship went out into the High Sea and passed on into the West, until at last on a night of rain Frodo smelled a sweet fragrance on the air and heard the sound of singing that came over the water. And then it seemed to him that as in his dream in the house of Bombadil, the grey rain-curtain turned all to silver glass and was rolled back, and he beheld white shores and beyond them a far green country under a swift sunrise.”

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When spring unfolds the beechen-leaf and sap is in the bough,
When light is on the wild-wood stream, and wind is on the brow,
When stride is long, and breath is deep, and keen the mountain air,
Come back to me! Come back to me, and say my land is fair!

When Spring is come to garth and field, and corn is in the blade,
When blossom like a shining snow is on the orchard laid,
When sun and shower upon the earth with fragrance fill the air,
I’ll linger here, and will not come, because my land is fair!

When Summer lies upon the world, and in a noon of gold
Beneath the roof of sleeping leaves the dreams of trees unfold,
When woodland halls are green and cool, and wind is in the West,
Come back to me! Come back to me, and say my land is best!

When Summer warms the hanging fruit and burns the berry brown;
When straw is gold, and ear is white, and harvest comes to town;
When honey spills, and apple swells, though wind be in the West,
I’ll linger here beneath the Sun, because my land is best!

When Winter comes, the winter wild that hill and wood shall slay;
When trees shall fall and starless night devour the sunless day;
When wind is in the deadly East, then in the bitter rain
I’ll look for thee, and call to thee; I’ll come to thee again!

When Winter comes, and singing ends; when darkness falls at last;
When broken is the barren bough, and light and labour past;
I’ll look for thee, and wait for thee, until we meet again:
Together we will take the road beneath the bitter rain!

Together we will take the road that leads into the West,
And far away will find a land where both our hearts may rest.

elevnns:

“That was good” 

“Let’s get another”