Gandalf rescues Faramir from the winged Nazgûl on the Pelennor
Event Type: Military/Strategic
Age: 3rd Age - Ring War
Date: March 10, 3019
An event in the prelude to the Siege of Minas Tirith; see that entry for an overview:
[Said Beregond,] '... my lord Faramir is abroad, beyond the River on some perilous errand....'
The Return of the King, LoTR Book 5, Ch 1, Minas Tirith
The Pelennor lay dim beneath [Pippin].... But now wheeling swiftly across it, like shadows of untimely night, he saw in the middle airs below him five birdlike forms, horrible as carrion-fowl yet greater than eagles....
'Black Riders of the air!.... They are looking for something... See how they wheel and swoop, always down to that point over there! And can you see something moving on the ground?.... Yes, men on horses: four or five.'....
Another long screech rose and fell, and he threw himself back again from the wall.... Faint and seemingly remote through that shuddering cry he heard winding up from below the sound of a trumpet ending on a long high note.
'Faramir!.... It is his call!' cried Beregond. '... But how can he win to the Gate, if these foul hell-hawks have other weapons than fear? But look! They hold on. They will make the Gate. No! the horses are running mad. Look! the men are thrown; they are running on foot. No, one is still up, but he rides back to the others. That will be the Captain: he can master both beasts and men. Ah! there one of the foul things is stooping on him. Help! help!'....
Ashamed of his terror, while Beregond of the Guard thought first of the captain whom he loved, Pippin... peered out. At that moment he caught a flash of white and silver coming from the North, like a small star down on the dusky fields. It moved with the speed of an arrow and grew as it came, converging swiftly with the flight of the four men towards the Gate. It seemed to Pippin that a pale light was spread about it and the heavy shadows gave way before it....
'Gandalf!' he cried....
But now the dark swooping shadows were aware of the newcomer. One wheeled towards him; but... he raised his hand, and from it a shaft of white light stabbed upwards. The Nazgûl gave a long wailing cry and swerved away; and with that the four others wavered, and then rising in swift spirals they passed away eastward vanishing into the lowering cloud above; and down on the Pelennor it seemed for a while less dark.
Pippin watched, and he saw the horseman and the White Rider meet and halt, waiting for those on foot.... [Soon] they all passed from sight under the walls.... Guessing that they would come at once to the Tower and the Steward, he hurried to the entrance of the citadel....
Presently Pippin saw... two horsemen riding slowly: one was in white but shining no longer...; the other was dark and his head was bowed. They dismounted, and as grooms took Shadowfax and the other horse, they walked forward to the sentinel at the gate: Gandalf steadily... the other, clad all in green, slowly, swaying a little as a weary or a wounded man.
Pippin pressed forward... and when he saw the pale face of Faramir he caught his breath. It was the face of one who has been assailed by a great fear or anguish, but has mastered it and now is quiet.
The Return of the King, LoTR Book 5, Ch 4, The Siege of Gondor
Elena Tiriel 5Sep04