Gandalf tends the ill in the Houses of Healing
Event Type: General
Age: 3rd Age - Ring War
Date: March 15, 3019
An event in the aftermath of the Siege of Minas Tirith; see that entry for an overview:
So at last Faramir and Éowyn and Meriadoc were laid in beds in the Houses of Healing; and there they were tended well.... But... there were many sick of a malady that would not be healed; and they called it the Black Shadow, for it came from the Nazgûl. And those who were stricken with it fell slowly into an ever deeper dream, and then... died. And it seemed to the tenders of the sick that on the Halfling and on the Lady of Rohan this malady lay heavily.... [They] would speak, murmuring in their dreams; and the watchers listened..., hoping perhaps to learn something that would help them to understand their hurts.... But Faramir burned with a fever that would not abate.
Gandalf went from one to the other full of care, and he was told all that the watchers could hear. And so the day passed, while the great battle outside went on with shifting hopes and strange tidings; and still Gandalf waited and watched and did not go forth; till at last the red sunset filled all the sky, and the light... fell on the grey faces of the sick....
Then an old wife, Ioreth, the eldest of the women who served in that house, looking on the fair face of Faramir, wept, for all the people loved him. And she said: 'Alas! if he should die. Would that there were kings in Gondor, as there were once upon a time.... For it is said in old lore: The hands of the king are the hands of a healer. And so the rightful king could ever be known.'
And Gandalf, who stood by, said: 'Men may long remember your words, Ioreth! For there is hope in them. Maybe a king has indeed returned to Gondor; or have you not heard the strange tidings that have come to the City?'
'I have been too busy with this and that to heed all the crying and shouting,' she answered. 'All I hope is that those murdering devils do not come to this House and trouble the sick.'
Then Gandalf went out in haste, and already the fire in the sky was burning out, and the smouldering hills were fading, while ash-grey evening crept over the fields.
The Return of the King, LoTR Book 5, Ch 8, The Houses of Healing
Elena Tiriel 14Mar08