Gandalf heals Théoden in Meduseld
Event Type: General
Age: 3rd Age - Ring War
Date: March 2, 3019
An event in the prelude to the Battle of the Hornburg; see that entry for an overview:
[Suddenly Gandalf] changed. Casting his tattered cloak aside, he stood up and leaned no longer on his staff; and he spoke in a clear cold voice. 'The wise speak only of what they know, Gríma son of Gálmód. A witless worm have you become. Therefore be silent, and keep your forked tongue behind your teeth. I have not passed through fire and death to bandy crooked words with a serving-man till the lightning falls.' He raised his staff. There was a roll of thunder. The sunlight was blotted out from the eastern windows; the whole hall became suddenly dark as night.... Only Gandalf could be seen, standing white and tall before the blackened hearth.
In the gloom they heard the hiss of Wormtongue's voice: 'Did I not counsel you, lord, to forbid his staff? That fool, Háma, has betrayed us!' There was a flash as if lightning had cloven the roof.... Wormtongue sprawled on his face.
'Now Théoden son of Thengel, will you hearken to me?' said Gandalf. 'Do you ask for help?' He lifted his staff and pointed to a high window. There the darkness seemed to clear, and through the opening could be seen, high and far, a patch of shining sky. 'Not all is dark. Take courage, Lord of the Mark; for better help you will not find. No counsel have I to give to those that despair. Yet counsel I could give, and words I could speak to you. Will you hear them?... I bid you come out before your doors and look abroad. Too long have you sat in shadows and trusted to twisted tales and crooked promptings.'
Slowly Théoden left his chair. A faint light grew in the hall again.... with faltering steps the old man came down from the dais and paced softly through the hall.... They came to the doors and Gandalf knocked.
'Open!' he cried. 'The Lord of the Mark comes forth!'
The doors rolled back and a keen air came whistling in. A wind was blowing on the hill. 'Send your guards down to the stairs foot,' said Gandalf. 'And you, lady, leave him a while with me. I will care for him.'
'Go, Éowyn sister-daughter!' said the old king. 'The time for fear is past.'...
'Now, lord,' said Gandalf, 'look out upon your land! Breathe the free air again!'
From the porch upon the top of the high terrace they could see beyond the stream the green fields of Rohan fading into distant grey. Curtains of wind-blown rain were slanting down. The sky above and to the west was still dark with thunder.... But the wind had shifted to the north, and already the storm that had come out of the East was receding.... Suddenly through a rent in the clouds behind them a shaft of sun stabbed down. The falling showers gleamed like silver, and far away the river glittered like a shimmering glass.
'It is not so dark here,' said Théoden.
'No,' said Gandalf. 'Nor does age lie so heavily on your shoulders as some would have you think. Cast aside your prop!'
From the king's hand the black staff fell clattering on the stones. He drew himself up, slowly, as a man that is stiff from long bending over some dull toil. Now tall and straight he stood, and his eyes were blue as he looked into the opening sky.
'Dark have been my dreams of late,' he said, 'but I feel as one new-awakened. I would now that you had come before, Gandalf. For I fear that already you have come too late, only to see the last days of my house. Not long now shall stand the high hall which Brego son of Eorl built.... What is to be done?'
'Much,' said Gandalf. 'But first send for Éomer.'
The Two Towers, LoTR Book 3, Ch 7, Helm's Deep
Elena Tiriel 17Jan05