spear shall be shaken, shield be splintered, a sword-day, a red day, ere the sun rises!

Théoden is a fictional character in J. R. R. Tolkien's fantasy novel, The Lord of the Rings.

No one could dismiss him as a mere “kindly old man.”. The King and Lord of the Mark of Rohan, he appears as a major supporting character in The Two Towers and The Return of the King. Among them, Steve Walker calls it "almost epic in its amplitude", inviting the reader's imagination by alluding "to unseen complexity", a whole mythology of Middle-earth under the visible text. We were sent here to live life to the full. It is but thirteen days since Gandalf came to Edoras and restored a shrivelled old man to life and to vigour.

Tears will flow as the great songs are sung once more and pride rekindled in the hearts of the people. The Hobbits and Strider Set Out From Bree to Rivendell.

[T 6][T 7] In that battle, he routed the Harad cavalry, personally killing their chieftain.

Arwen finds the choice of her husband to lay down his life a hard one but Aragorn replies, “Take counsel with yourself, beloved, and ask whether you would indeed have me wait until I wither and fall from my high seat unmanned and witless.”, Aragorn chooses the grace given to the Númenorians by the Valar of old to lay down their lives freely and so entrust themselves to the mystery of death unafraid.

It is Prince Imrahil of Dol Amroth who leads a charge from the city to come to the aid of the Rohirrim, led now by Éomer, but even with their forces combined upon the field and with their great skill in battle upon horseback the sheer number of their foes is ultimately too great and Éomer prepares to make a final stand.

In this adaptation he is voiced by Jack May.

In Ralph Bakshi's 1978 animated version of The Lord of the Rings, the voice of Théoden was provided by Philip Stone. From Théoden’s puzzled look and unsentimental address—”I know your face”—to Éowyn’s refusal to believe what is evident: “I am going to save you.” You are glad that these two people have found each other in the welter of war, and that Theoden does not go to his fathers alone. It’s proof of what all fantasy readers know: that something doesn’t have to be real to be true.

Lewis, J.R.R.

I quoted the Irish poet and priest, John O’Donohue from his wonderful book, Eternal Echoes, in which he writes about the different types of inner prison that we build for ourselves. It is the fate of the people of Rohan.

Théodred's mother Elfhild died giving birth to him. The desire to do some good and the strength to do it come together irresistibly. At the ending of The Tale of Aragorn and Arwen Aragorn speaks to Arwen as he draws near to the end of his great life. In the 1981 BBC Radio 4 version of The Lord of the Rings, Théoden's death is described in song rather than dramatized conventionally. But he is resisted. If we do not do this then we and our children may have to pay a great price for our pride and their humiliation.

At that sound the bent shape of [King Théoden] sprang suddenly erect. “Farewell, Master Holbytla!” he said.

And so we recall once again the satisfaction that Théoden feels, even as life ebbs from his body, that he can face his forefathers without shame, that what has happened upon this terrible day can be spoken of with pride alongside the great deeds of the past.

When first introduced, Théoden is weak with age and sorrow and the machinations of his top advisor, Gríma Wormtongue, and he does nothing as his kingdom is crumbling. Théoden’s is a good death, according to the values of his culture.

Another apparent similarity is the death of King Theodoric I of the Visigoths on the Catalaunian Fields and that of Théoden on the Pelennor.

He set Grimbold in command with fifty dismounted Riders, while Théodred himself manned the eyot, to cover Grimbold if he was driven back.

Legolas and the Sea.

The White Tree of Gondor Teaches us about Death and Resurrection. You also cry every time, no matter how many times you have watched the scene—or at least you do if you are me.

[4], According to the scholar Elizabeth Solopova, the character of Théoden was inspired by the concept of courage in Norse mythology, particularly in the Beowulf epos: the protagonist of a story shows perseverance while knowing that he is going to be defeated and killed.

He plants his banner upon a hillock and laughs as he cries out, “Out of doubt, out of dark to the day’s rising I came singing in the sun, sword unsheathing.

This is reflected in Théoden's decision to ride against Sauron's far superior army in the Battle of the Pelennor Fields.

Frodo Leaves the Shire and Goes Into the West.

“Out of doubt, out of dark, to the day’s rising he rode singing in the sun, sword unsheathing. (Rom. [T 8], Théoden's body lay in Minas Tirith until it was buried in Rohan after the defeat of Sauron. Her debut novel Sorcerer to the Crown is available this week from Ace Books (US) and Tor UK (UK and Commonwealth). Ride now, ride now! His spiritual formation has been made there and he knows that what is expected of him is to make a good death with his face turned towards his foes and with his men about him.

A grim morn, and a black day, and a golden sunset!”.

And such power comes to those who desire some good for others and never for some selfish end. At that moment and for that moment only it is as if no power can stand before them. Hope he rekindled, and in hope ended; over death, over dread, over doom lifted, out of loss out of life, unto long glory”. "I am Wounded; it will Never Really Heal". Tall and proud he seemed again; and rising in his stirrups he cried in a loud voice, more clear than any there had ever heard a mortal man achieve before: 'Arise, arise, Riders of Théoden! Doubt enters the Ringwraith’s mind and amazement the mind of the terrified hobbit and, within moments, Éowyn and Merry have pierced the sinews of the Black Captain that he had thought invulnerable to all hurt “and a cry went up into the shuddering air, and faded to a shrill wailing, passing with the wind, a voice bodiless and thin that died”.

In a few short days they defeat the armies of Saruman at Helms Deep and at the very limits of endurance they break the siege of Minas Tirith at the Battle of the Pelennor Fields. Théoden is a fictional character in J. R. R. Tolkien's fantasy novel, The Lord of the Rings. Éowyn I am, Éomund’s daughter. The second variant is probably[clarify] inspired by part of the Old Norse poem Völuspá, part of the Elder Edda, which describes the chaotic state of humankind in the End of Days just prior to Ragnarök, the final battle of the Norse Gods. “Never had any king of the Mark such company upon the road as went with Théoden, Thengel’s son to the land of his home.”. Théoden is an important character in Peter Jackson's film adaptation of the Lord of the Rings trilogy. “Frodo and Samwise rode at Aragorn’s side, and Gandalf rode upon Shadowfax, and Pippin rode with the knights of Gondor; and Legolas and Gimli as ever rode together upon Arod.”, And in Théoden’s funeral procession the Queen Arwen, Celeborn and Galadriel and their people, Elrond and his sons and the princes of Dol Amroth and Ithilien with the knights of Gondor ride to do him honour. And Gléowine, the king’s minstrel makes his last song for his lord. He was avenged by his niece Éowyn and the hobbit Meriadoc "Merry" Brandybuck, who had ridden to war in secret; together, they destroyed the Witch-king. Théodred was slain by an Orc-man in the Firs… Frodo Begins to Fade Away From the Shire.

Théoden spoke Sindarin and Westron more often than Rohirric, due to the influence of his father, and spent a part of his youth growing up in the mountain vales of Gondor, his mother's homeland.His sister Théodwyn lived with him in Edoras, and after she and her husband both died he adopted her children Éomer and Éowyn as his own. Barcelona's Multiverse | Art | Culture | Science, a journey through the imaginative worlds of C.S. There aren’t that many stories about how to make a good death. [6] There are also repeated references by Tolkien to a historic account of the Battle of the Catalaunian Fields by the 6th century historian Jordanes. It is this divine power that comes to Merry and to Éowyn at this critical moment. [7], Numerous scholars have admired Tolkien's simile of Théoden riding into his final battle "like a god of old, even as Oromë the Great in the battle of the Valar when the world was young".

Eomer Prepares for a Good Death in Battle. It sounds a bit morbid!

Once roused by Gandalf, however, he becomes an instrumental ally in the war against Saruman and Sauron. And now he makes his return to Edoras in glory as a true king should, honoured by all free peoples.

[12] However, unlike in the books, the Lord of the Mark is actually possessed and prematurely aged by Saruman (Christopher Lee). Many who have achieved something of significance in their lives have spoken of an energy, a strength, that is given to them at a critical moment.

After the fall of the Lord of the Nazgûl and the death of Théoden the battle upon the Pelennor Fields flows one way and then another. [1][2][3] As with other descriptive names in his legendarium, Tolkien uses this name to create the impression that the text is "'historical', 'real' or 'archaic'". Then Tolkien names each member of the Fellowship in their turn.

All of this is a celebration of a few short days after years of darkness and they are right to make this praise.

And then Gandalf, Aragorn, Legolas and Gimli come and with their burning ardour overthrow the prisons of Wormtongue and his master, Saruman.

Théoden is overthrown at the last by the Lord of the Nazgûl but dies at peace and without shame as he prepares to meet his ancestors. At the end of his great book, Man’s Search for Meaning, Viktor Frankl, a survivor of Auschwitz, puts it like this, “Man is that being who invented the gas chambers of Auschwitz; however, he is also that being who entered those gas chambers upright, with the Lord’s Prayer or the Shema Yisrael on his lips.” Frankl recognised that our choice to find life as meaningful is the greatest one that we make and that we must make it daily.

Begone, if you be not deathless! [10][a] Peter Kreeft writes that "it is hard not to feel your heart leap with joy at Théoden's transformation into a warrior", however difficult people find the old Roman view that it is sweet to die for your country, dulce et decorum est pro patria mori.[11]. Éowyn wanted only a death in battle to obliterate the unendurable pain of rejection that she has had to bear since Aragorn’s departure. And the song-makers will take the deeds of the day, the hewing of Forlong the Fat with axes as he fights on alone and unhorsed, and the trampling to death of Duilin of Morthond and his brother beneath the terrible feet of the mûmakil, and they will make them beautiful. The fear that robs all who try to cross his path of the strength even to try and resist him has no power over her for she is beyond fear, and then something new and entirely unexpected is brought to the story. Théoden is introduced in The Two Towers, the second volume of The Lord of the Rings, as King of Rohan.

The powerful may for the time being be able to contain the angry by means of the security apparatus but we see that even the highest walls cannot keep all anger at bay.

Once more this good man is generous in his “passion and vulnerability” and life comes to bless him.