Aragorn dismisses the faint-hearted
Event Type: Military/Strategic
Age: 3rd Age - Ring War
Date: March 23, 3019
An event in the prelude to the Battle of the Morannon; see that entry for an overview:
The Host passes out of Ithilien. Aragorn dismisses the faint-hearted.
The Lord of the Rings, Appendix B, The Tale of Years: The Third Age
Upon the fourth day from the Cross-roads... they... began to pass into the desolation that lay before the gates of the Pass of Cirith Gorgor.... So... deep [was] the horror that lay on them that some of the host were unmanned, and they could neither walk nor ride further north.
Aragorn looked at them, and there was pity in his eyes rather than wrath; for these were young men from Rohan, from Westfold far away, or husbandmen from Lossarnach, and to them Mordor had been from childhood a name of evil, and yet unreal, a legend that had no part in their simple life; and now they walked like men in a hideous dream made true, and they understood not this war nor why fate should lead them to such a pass.
'Go!' said Aragorn. 'But keep what honour you may, and do not run! And there is a task which you may attempt and so be not wholly shamed. Take your way south-west till you come to Cair Andros, and if that is still held by enemies..., then re-take it, if you can; and hold it to the last in defence of Gondor and Rohan!'
Then some being shamed by his mercy overcame their fear and went on, and the others took new hope, hearing of a manful deed within their measure that they could turn to, and they departed. And so..., it was with less than six thousands that the Captains of the West came at last to challenge the Black Gate....
The Return of the King, LoTR Book 5, Ch 10, The Black Gate Opens
Elena Tiriel 23Jul06