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Discussing: Let's talk about Cormallen!

Let's talk about Cormallen!

Hello all,

Sorry if this has already been covered in a prior discussion--in fact, I'm almost sure it has, somewhere, but I can't find it.  Because I am inept.   Also, this is not a hard-and-fast factual query, but more of a "So, what do you guys think...?"

I'm writing a story that takes the main battles of the Ring War and the time leading up to Aragorn's coronation, from a Minas Tirith-centric perspective.  I'm trying to sketch out what sort of things are going on between the final Mt. Doom blowup and Aragorn and company's return to Minas Tirith, and if I am reading my Appendices correctly, they spend about a month hanging out on Cormallen before going home.  Holy crap!  I know everyone's all tuckered out, but that's a long time.

Here's my question--since Tolkien devotes maybe a paragraph to most of this time, what do we think is going on?  Is it, like, a 30-day tent party with roast boar and sing-a-longs every night?  Have they set up some sort of field hospital?  What about one of those giant outdoor movie screens?  Is it just the main entourage that's hanging out for that long, and did other people go back to the MT right away?  Are there people constantly going back and forth?  Would a lot of support and administrative personnel from Minas Tirith and Rohan have come out to meet them and help set things up (and party)?  Where do they all stay?

Anyway, any input you have on this would be most helpful.  How have you dealt with this period in your own stories?  Also, is there something else really big and obvious in the book that I'm missing here, that manages to explain away one or all of the questions above?  (I would not be surprised, yo.)





Re: Let's talk about Cormallen!

Hi Aliana,

Sorry I haven't been around to respond to your question, haven't been at my computer very much in the last few weeks.

I am not good at speculating, sorry! But it seems to me that the aftermath of the Battle of the Morannon would share similarities to the aftermaths of other major battles, as well. So, I compiled a list of Research Library entries that describe "Things that Occur after Major Battles"... in Tolkien's own words.

Some of these would not be directly applicable, like Eorl leads the Éothéod to Calenardhon... except that probably Aragorn was thinking and conferring about things like giving the land around the Sea of Núrnen to Sauron's slaves, or renewing the Oath of Eorl... these decisions didn't just spring up fully formed in the days after the coronation. ;-)

Anyway, I hope these help!

- Barbara

Battle of the Morannon:
Sauron's forces scatter at the Destruction of the One Ring
Host of the West defeats the remnants of Sauron's forces
Gimli finds Pippin on the battlefield
Aragorn heals Frodo and Sam on the Field of Cormallen
Frodo and Sam awaken
Ring-bearers honoured

Battle of the Pelennor:
Théoden and Éowyn borne in honour from the battlefield
Merry falls after slaying the Witch-king in the Battle of the Pelennor
Nazgûl brings news of the Witch-king's death to Sauron
Tidings of Sauron's passing reach Minas Tirith
last debate of the Captains of the West
Rohirrim rout Sauron's forces from Anórien
Húrin of the Keys takes temporary command of Minas Tirith
Faramir assumes his authority as Steward of Gondor

Battle of the Hornburg:
Erkenbrand shows mercy to the Dunlendings
Huorns dispose of the Orcs after the Battle of the Hornburg

Battle of the Field of Celebrant:
Cirion and Eorl exchange oaths on the Hill of Awe
Cirion grants Calenardhon to Eorl
Cirion and Eorl define the boundaries of Calenardhon
Eorl leads the Éothéod to Calenardhon



Re: Let's talk about Cormallen!

Tolkien didn't always cover the practical details, especially of troop movements, etc. 

I would think that there would have been considerable partying for at least a few days, maybe a week - all the armies had endured years of misery, fear of death, loss of loved ones and friends and comrades; and now the Dark Lord has wafted away in a puff of smoke, of course they would Party!  (I'm imagining a Rohir/Swan Knight conga line with Gondorian troops doing an impromptu drum accompaniement, with Legolas playing the flute or something.  Think of Imrahil getting drunk with the Peredhil and exchanging tips on best-dressed warhorses or something)

But I doubt the party would last forever.  There would be too much to do - possible enemy stragglers to handle, all those horses to manage, worry over the injured (and the Ring-bearers), transporting some of those wounded to the Houses of Healing in Minas Tirith, and setting up facilities for others at Cormallen, and burying the dead.  I would imagine that some troops would have been sent back to Minas Tirith to help with the reconstruction and cleanup there.

Eomer would also be overseeing his men, who, after fighting and partying, might get restless and need practice, contests, blacksmithing, something to occupy their time (start of Rohan-Gondor Olympics, perhaps).  And I wonder how they're feeding all the horsies, not to mention all the warriors.

And there would be a flurry of delegations going back and forth between King and Steward, or at least a few secretaries, scribes, notaries.  It wouldn't surprise me if Faramir and Aragorn managed to meet somewhere privately, outside of Minas Tirith, before the coronation, so that Faramir wouldn't be undecorously surprised at being given the Stewardship in perpetuity, as well as the Princedom of Ithilien. 

It could also be that Aragorn lay low for awhile - didn't it take a couple of weeks for Sam and Frodo to awaken - Aragorn might have been tired after pouring his strength into their healing for so many days?   I'm not sure to what extent Aragorn would treat with representatives of foreign government, or the leaders of the freed slaves of Nurn, before he was crowned.  I could see Aragorn spending a lot of time with Gandalf, as well as his own Dunedain, planning the future. 

Just some speculations...





Re: Let's talk about Cormallen!

I would think that there would have been considerable partying for at least a few days, maybe a week - all the armies had endured years of misery, fear of death, loss of loved ones and friends and comrades; and now the Dark Lord has wafted away in a puff of smoke, of course they would Party!

I hate to be a wet blanket, but as unforgettable as the Rohir/Swan Knight conga line would be Laugh out loud , I doubt there was partying until much later.  Historically, a serving field soldier's idea of a good time was sleep, and lots of it.  Then as much food/drink as he could find (I doubt they brought the supplies for a good kegger with them to the Black Gate), and then someone to not sleep with.  Officers in large armies actively squelched partying: overwrought, drunken men with weapons too often end up killing people.

Particularly in this case, where they are camped on a wasteland, surrounded by leaderless Orcs (somehow I don't think they all dropped dead on the spot the moment the Ring dissolved) and assorted bad-lot Men, they probably didn't get a chance to "stand down" until they got back to Cormallen.  Even then, things were probably pretty sober.  It was/is difficult (economically and logistically) to feed a large army at the best of times, and these are not fat times for Gondor.  I think people would find a mug of ale to share with a comrade ample celebration.

I suspect Aragorn had been planning for the future for decades, and needed to do no more than fine-tune things based on recent developments in Gondor.  He would have been able to meet and assess most of the important nobles and military men by walking around the camp, a la Henry V.  A feudal monarchy is only as strong as the relationships between a king and his lords; Aragorn needs to know them as more than names, and that takes time.





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