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Timeline Event

Gandalf and the Three Hunters ride to Edoras

Event Type: General

Age: 3rd Age - Ring War

Dates: March 1, 3019 ~ March 2, 3019


An event in the aftermath of the Orc-raid at Parth Galen and the prelude to the Battle of the Hornburg; see those entries for overviews:
[Gandalf] wrapped himself again in his old tattered cloak, and led the way... until they stood again upon the grass beyond the eaves of Fangorn....

Three times he whistled.... Before long there came the sound of hoofs....

As soon as Shadowfax saw Gandalf, he checked his pace and whinnied loudly; then trotting gently forward he stooped his proud head....

Gandalf caressed him. 'It is a long way from Rivendell, my friend,' he said; 'but you are wise and swift and come at need. Far let us ride now together, and part not in this world again!'

Soon the other horses came up and stood quietly by, as if awaiting orders. 'We go at once to Meduseld, the hall of your master, Théoden,' said Gandalf, addressing them gravely. They bowed their heads. 'Time presses, so with your leave, my friends, we will ride. We beg you to use all the speed that you can.'...

[Said Legolas,] 'Did you know that [Shadowfax] was at hand, Gandalf?'

'Yes, I knew,' said the wizard. 'I bent my thought upon him, bidding him to make haste; for yesterday he was far away in the south of this land. Swiftly may he bear me back again!'

Gandalf spoke now to Shadowfax, and the horse set off.... After a little while he turned suddenly, and... waded the river, and then led them away due south into a flat land, treeless and wide.... There was no sign of road or track, but Shadowfax did not stay or falter....

The Two Towers, LoTR Book 3, Ch 5, The White Rider

They rode on through sunset, and slow dusk, and gathering night. When at last they halted and dismounted... Gandalf only allowed them a few hours' rest.... Under the cold moon they went on once more....

Hours passed and still they rode on.... Hasufel and Arod, weary but proud, followed their tireless leader.... The miles went by....

Dawn came clear and bright.... Suddenly Shadowfax stood still and neighed. Gandalf pointed ahead.

'Look!' he cried... 'Edoras those courts are called,' said Gandalf, '... But we must ride more warily; for war is abroad, and the Rohirrim... do not sleep, even if it seem so from afar. Draw no weapon, speak no haughty word, I counsel you all, until we are come before Théoden's seat.'

The Two Towers, LoTR Book 3, Ch 6, The King of the Golden Hall

Following the winding way up the green shoulders of the hills, they came at last to the wide wind-swept walls and the gates of Edoras.

There sat many men in bright mail, who sprang at once to their feet and barred the way with spears. 'Stay, strangers here unknown!' they cried in the tongue of the Riddermark....

'Well do I understand your speech,' [Gandalf] answered in the same language; 'yet few strangers do so. Why then do you not speak in the Common Tongue, as is the custom in the West, if you wish to be answered?'

'It is the will of Théoden King that none should enter his gates, save those who know our tongue...,' replied one of the guards. 'None are welcome here in days of war but our own folk, and those that come from Mundburg.... Who are you that come heedless over the plain thus strangely clad, riding horses like to our own horses?... Never have we seen other riders so strange, nor any horse more proud than is one of these that bear you. He is one of the Mearas, unless our eyes are cheated by some spell. Say, are you not a wizard, some spy from Saruman, or phantoms of his craft? Speak now and be swift!'

'We are no phantoms,' said Aragorn, 'nor do your eyes cheat you. For indeed these are your own horses that we ride, as you knew well ere you asked.... But seldom does thief ride home to the stable. Here are Hasufel and Arod, that Éomer, the Third Marshal of the Mark, lent to us, only two days ago. We bring them back now, even as we promised him. Has not Éomer then returned and given warning of our coming?'

A troubled look came into the guard's eyes. 'Of Éomer I have naught to say,' he answered. 'If what you tell me is truth, then doubtless Théoden will have heard of it.... It is but two nights ago that Wormtongue came to us and said that by the will of Théoden no stranger should pass these gates.'

'Wormtongue?' said Gandalf, looking sharply at the guard. 'Say no more! My errand is not to Wormtongue, but to the Lord of the Mark himself.... Will you not go or send to say that we are come?'...

'Yes, I will go,' he answered slowly. 'But what names shall I report?'...

'... I am Gandalf. I have returned. And behold! I too bring back a horse. Here is Shadowfax the Great, whom no other hand can tame. And here beside me is Aragorn son of Arathorn, the heir of Kings.... Here also are Legolas the Elf and Gimli the Dwarf, our comrades. Go now and say to your master that we are at his gates and would have speech with him, if he will permit us to come into his hall.'

'Strange names you give indeed! But I will report them as you bid and learn my master's will,' said the guard. 'Wait here a little while, and I will bring you such answer as seems good to him.'.... After some time he returned. 'Follow me!' he said. 'Théoden gives you leave to enter....'

The Two Towers, LoTR Book 3, Ch 6, The King of the Golden Hall

Elena Tiriel 24Jan05

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