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Borondir the Stirrupless

Location(s): Gondor

Race/Species: Man

Type/Kind: Dunadan of Gondor

Dates: died: III 15 April 2510

Description:

Borondir is the hardy rider who carried the message from Cirion, Steward of Gondor, to Eorl, Lord of the Éothéod, requesting aid to repel the Invasion of Calenardhon by Balchoth and Orcs; he subsequently rode in the Ride of Eorl and died in the Battle of the Field of Celebrant:
In this peril Cirion's thought turned at last in desperation to the Éothéod, and he determined to send messengers to them. But they would have to go through Calenardhon and over the Undeeps, and then through lands already watched and patrolled by the Balchoth before they could reach the Vales of Anduin. This would mean a ride of some four hundred and fifty miles to the Undeeps, and more than five hundred thence to the Éothéod, and from the Undeeps they would be forced to go warily and mostly by night until they had passed the shadow of Dol Guldur. Cirion had little hope that any of them would get through. He called for volunteers, and choosing six riders of great courage and endurance be sent them out in pairs with a day's interval between them. Each bore a message learned by heart, and also a small stone incised with the seal for the Stewards, that he should deliver to the Lord of the Éothéod in person, if he succeeded in reaching that land. The message was addressed to Eorl son of Léod, for Cirion knew that he had succeeded his father some years before....

The first pair of messengers left on the tenth day of Súlimë;1 and in the event it was one of these, alone of all the six, who got through to the Éothéod. He was Borondir, a great rider of a family that claimed descent from a captain of the Northmen in the service of the Kings of old.2 Of the others no tidings were ever heard, save of Borondir's companion. He was slain by arrows in ambush as they passed near Dol Guldur, from which Borondir escaped by fortune and the speed of his horse. He was pursued as far north as the Gladden Fields, and often waylaid by men that came out of the Forest and forced him to ride far out of the direct way. He came at last to the Éothéod after fifteen days, for the last two without food; and he was so spent that he could scarce speak his message to Eorl.

It was then the twenty-fifth day of Súlimë. Eorl took counsel with himself in silence; but not for long. Soon he rose, and he said: "I will come. If the Mundburg falls, whither shall we flee from the Darkness?" Then he took Borondir's hand in token of the promise.

Unfinished Tales, Part 3, Ch 2, Cirion and Eorl and the Friendship of Gondor and Rohan: The Ride of Eorl

It is said that Eorl led forth some seven thousand fully-armed riders and some hundreds of horsed archers. At his right hand rode Borondir, to serve as guide so far as he might, since he had lately passed through the lands.

Unfinished Tales, Part 3, Ch 2, Cirion and Eorl and the Friendship of Gondor and Rohan: The Ride of Eorl

For when at last the host drew near to Dol Guldur, Eorl turned away westward..., and then he rode on within sight of Anduin. Many of the riders turned their eyes thither... to glimpse from afar the shimmer of the Dwimordene.... But now it seemed shrouded in a gleaming mist and to their dismay the mist passed over the river and flowed over the land before them.

Eorl did not halt. "Ride on!" he commanded....

As they drew nearer they saw that the white mist was driving back the glooms of Dol Guldur, and soon they passed into it, riding slowly at first and warily; but under its canopy all things were lit with a clear and shadowless light, while to left and right they were guarded as it were by white walls of secrecy.

"The Lady of the Golden Wood is on our side, it seems," said Borondir.

"Maybe," said Eorl. "But at least I will trust the wisdom of Felaróf. He scents no evil. His heart is high, and his weariness is healed: he strains to be given his head. So be it! For never have I had more need of secrecy and speed."

Unfinished Tales, Part 3, Ch 2, Cirion and Eorl and the Friendship of Gondor and Rohan: The Ride of Eorl

His name was long remembered in the song of Rochon Methestel (Rider of the Last Hope) as Borondir Udalraph (Borondir the Stirrupless), for he rode back with the éohere3 at the right hand of Eorl, and was the first to cross the Limlight and cleave a path to the aid of Cirion. He fell at last on the Field of Celebrant defending his lord, to the great grief of Gondor and the Éothéod, and was afterwards laid in tomb in the Hallows of Minas Tirith. [Author's note.]

Unfinished Tales, Part 3, Ch 2, Cirion and Eorl and the Friendship of Gondor and Rohan: Notes, Note 27


Notes
1Súlimë is 'March' in Quenya.
2[Since Rómendacil II] needed men, and desired to strengthen the bond between Gondor and the Northmen, he took many of them into his service and gave to some high rank in his armies....

In 1250 Rómendacil sent his son Valacar as an ambassador to... make himself acquainted with... the Northmen. But Valacar... married Vidumavi, daughter of Vidugavia.... From this marriage came later the war of the Kin-strife.

The Lord of the Rings, Appendix A, Annals of the Kings and Rulers: Gondor and the Heirs of Anárion

3... éohere, the term used by the Éothéod for the full muster of their cavalry in time of war....

Unfinished Tales, Part 3, Ch 2, Cirion and Eorl and the Friendship of Gondor and Rohan: Notes, Note 49

Contributors:
Elena Tiriel 16Jun08

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