Théoden arrives at Dunharrow
Event Type: General
Age: 3rd Age - Ring War
Date: March 9, 3019
So the King of the Mark came back victorious out of the West to Dunharrow beneath the feet of the White Mountains. There he found the remaining strength of his people already assembled; for as soon as his coming was known captains rode to meet him at the ford, bearing messages from Gandalf. Dúnhere, chieftain of the folk of Harrowdale, was at their head.
'At dawn three days ago, lord,' he said. '... Gandalf brought tidings of your victory to gladden our hearts. But he brought also word from you to hasten the gathering of the Riders. And then came the winged Shadow.'
'The winged Shadow?' said Théoden. 'We saw it also, but that was in the dead of night before Gandalf left us.'
'Maybe, lord,' said Dúnhere. 'Yet the same, or another like to it... passed over Edoras that morning, and all men were shaken with fear.... Then it was that Gandalf counselled us not to assemble in the fields, but to meet you here in the valley under the mountains. And he bade us to kindle no more lights or fires than barest need asked. So it has been done. Gandalf spoke with great authority. We trust that it is as you would wish....'
'It is well,' said Théoden. 'I will ride now to the Hold, and there before I go to rest I will meet the marshals and captains. Let them come to me as soon as may be!'....
[The] valley... was at that point little more than half a mile in width....
On all the level spaces there was great concourse of men. Some thronged to the roadside, hailing the king and the riders from the West with glad cries; but stretching away into the distance behind there were ordered rows of tents and booths, and lines of picketed horses, and great store of arms, and piled spears bristling like thickets of new-planted trees....
Merry wondered how many Riders there were.... [It] looked to him like a great army, many thousands strong.... [The] king's party came up under the looming cliff on the eastern side of the valley; and there suddenly the path began to climb, and Merry looked up in amazement. He was on a road the like of which he had never seen before.... Upwards it wound..., boring its way across the sheer slope of rock. Steep as a stair, it looped backwards and forwards as it climbed. Up it horses could walk, and wains could be slowly hauled; but no enemy could come that way..., if it was defended from above....
At last the king's company came to a sharp brink, and the climbing road passed into a cutting between walls of rock, and so went up a short slope and out on to a wide upland. The Firienfeld men called it, a green mountain-field of grass and heath, high above the deep-delved courses of the Snowbourn, laid upon the lap of the great mountains behind....
Such was the dark Dunharrow, the work of long-forgotten men....
Merry... saw that there were clusters of tents and booths... [that] seemed... to huddle... towards the brink of the cliff. The greater number were on the right, where the Firienfeld was wider; and on the left there was a smaller camp, in the midst of which stood a tall pavilion. From this side a rider now came out to meet them, and they turned from the road.
As they drew near Merry saw that the rider was a woman with long braided hair gleaming in the twilight, yet she wore a helm and was clad to the waist like a warrior and girded with a sword.
'Hail, Lord of the Mark!' she cried. 'My heart is glad at your returning.'
The Return of the King, LoTR Book 5, Ch 3, The Muster of Rohan
Elena Tiriel 8Mar07