Memorial Day Onlist Challenge

War and Remembrance

15. Hope Beyond Despair

Eomer surveyed the site that was once the proud fortress of Helm's Deep. He was looking among the bodies of both men and orcs that lay strewn outside the Deeping Wall, hoping to find some sign of life. He saw a hand rise from among the dead, and as quickly as he was able he ran over to it. Grasping it in his, he looked down upon the face of a boy, no more than sixteen years of age. The young soldier had been seriously wounded. He knew he was going to die, and saying nothing he gripped Eomer's hand tight and spent his last few seconds of life gazing into Eomer's eyes. His hand loosened and slipped down to the ground. As Eomer looked upon the cold gaze of the now expired youth he fought every urge he had to weep as he closed the young man's eyes. Then he looked over to his right. Another man laid beside him, and he was holding something in his hand. Taking a closer look, Eomer realized that it was a locket, probably given to him by a loved one that still dwelled in the caves.

As Eomer stood he cursed and kicked the earth into the air. He had never witnessed a battle this terrible in his lifetime, but it could not be avoided. If they did nothing, they would die. If they fought, they would die. He found himself questioning the meaning of all this, and the meaning of life in general. What good is the valor of the slain if they are all to die anyway? Hope? Is that it? Hope for what? At that time Theoden came up and placed his hand on his nephew's shoulder, saying only one thing that made sense out of all of Eomer's doubts.

"Our people are safe"

This answer rang crystal clear in Eomer's heart. Yes, that is why they fought. To give hope to those who cannot fight, and as long as just one man still drew breath, no sacrifice would be in vain. As long as those with courage in their hearts stand fast in the face of the swirling tides than nothing can stand against them.

Eomer resolved to be strong. For himself, and for his people.


This is a work of fan fiction, written because the author has an abiding love for the works of J R R Tolkien. The characters, settings, places, and languages used in this work are the property of the Tolkien Estate, Tolkien Enterprises, and possibly New Line Cinema, except for certain original characters who belong to the author of the said work. The author will not receive any money or other remuneration for presenting the work on this archive site. The work is the intellectual property of the author, is available solely for the enjoyment of Henneth Annûn Story Archive readers, and may not be copied or redistributed by any means without the explicit written consent of the author.

In Challenges

Story Information

Author: HA Writers Group

Status: General

Completion: Ongoing Serial

Rating: General

Last Updated: 05/28/03

Original Post: 05/25/03

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