Gimli rescues Éomer before the gates in the Battle of the Hornburg
Event Type: Military/Strategic
Age: 3rd Age - Ring War
Date: March 4, 3019
An event in the Battle of the Hornburg; see that entry for an overview:
'We did not come too soon,' said Aragorn, looking at the gates. Their great hinges and iron bars were wrenched and bent; many of their timbers were cracked.
'Yet we cannot stay here beyond the walls to defend them,' said Éomer. 'Look!' He pointed to the causeway. Already a great press of Orcs and Men were gathering again beyond the stream. Arrows whined, and skipped on the stones about them. 'Come! We must get back and see what we can do to pile stone and beam across the gates within.' ...
They turned and ran. At that moment some dozen Orcs that had lain motionless among the slain leaped to their feet.... Two flung themselves to the ground at Éomer's heels, tripped him, and in a moment they were on top of him. But a small dark figure that none had observed sprang out of the shadows and gave a hoarse shout: Baruk Khazâd! Khazâd ai-mênu! An axe swung and swept back. Two Orcs fell headless. The rest fled.
Éomer struggled to his feet....
The postern was closed again, the iron door was barred and piled inside with stones. When all were safe within, Éomer turned: 'I thank you, Gimli son of Glóin!' he said. 'I did not know that you were with us in the sortie.' ...
'I shall not find it easy to repay you,' said Éomer.
'There may be many a chance ere the night is over,' laughed the Dwarf. 'But I am content. Till now I have hewn naught but wood since I left Moria.'
The Two Towers, LoTR Book 3, Ch 7, Helm's Deep
A curious point arises in Gimli's remark after his rescue of Eomer during the sortie from the postern gate...: 'Till now I have hewn naught but wood since I left Moria.' This is clearly inconsistent with Legolas' words in 'The Departure of Boromir', when he and Gimli came upon Aragorn beside Boromir's body near Parth Galen: 'We have hunted and slain many Orcs in the woods'; compare also the draft of a later passage ... where, when Aragorn, Legolas and Gimli set out in pursuit of the Orcs, Gimli says: '... those that attacked Boromir were not the only ones. Legolas and I met some away southwards on the west slopes of Amon Hen. We slew many, creeping on them among the trees ...' I [Christopher Tolkien] do not think that any 'explanation' of this will serve: it is simply an inconsistency never observed.
The War of the Ring, HoME Vol 8, Part 1, Ch 2, Helm's Deep
Elena Tiriel 11Dec05