Aragorn arrives at Dunharrow
Event Type: General
Age: 3rd Age - Ring War
Date: March 7, 3019
[While] Théoden went by slow paths in the hills, the Grey Company passed swiftly over the plain, and on the next day in the afternoon they came to Edoras; and there they halted only briefly, ere they passed up the valley, and so came to Dunharrow as darkness fell.
The Lady Éowyn greeted them and was glad of their coming.... And when they sat at supper with her,... she heard of all that had passed since Théoden rode away..., and... her eyes shone.
But at last she said: 'Lords, you are weary and shall now go to your beds with such ease as can be contrived in haste. But tomorrow fairer housing shall be found for you.'
But Aragorn said: 'Nay, lady...! If we may lie here tonight and break our fast tomorrow, it will be enough. For I ride on an errand most urgent, and with the first light of morning we must go.'
She smiled on him and said: 'Then it was kindly done, lord, to ride so many miles out of your way to bring tidings....'
'... I could not have come hither, if it were not that the road which I must take leads me to Dunharrow.'
And she answered...: 'Then, lord, you are astray; for out of Harrowdale no road runs east or south; and you had best return as you came.'
'Nay, lady,' said he, 'I am not astray; for I walked in this land ere you were born.... There is a road out of this valley, and that road I shall take. Tomorrow I shall ride by the Paths of the Dead.'
Then... her face blanched.... 'But, Aragorn,' she said at last, 'is it then your errand to seek death? For that is all that you will find on that road. They do not suffer the living to pass.'
'They may suffer me to pass,' said Aragorn; 'but at the least I will adventure it. No other road will serve.'
'But this is madness,' she said. 'For here are men of renown and prowess, whom you should not take into the shadows, but should lead to war, where men are needed. I beg you to remain and ride with my brother; for then all our hearts will be gladdened....'
'It is not madness, lady,' he answered; 'for I go on a path appointed. But those who follow me do so of their free will; and if they wish now to remain and ride with the Rohirrim, they may do so. But I shall take the Paths of the Dead, alone, if needs be.'
The Return of the King, LoTR Book 5, Ch 2, The Passing of the Grey Company
Elena Tiriel 5Mar07