Hosts of Isengard breach the Deeping Wall 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:
Éomer and Aragorn leant wearily on their swords. Away on the left the crash and clamour of the battle on the Rock rose loud again. But the Hornburg still held fast, like an island in the sea. Its gates lay in ruin; but over the barricade of beams and stones within no enemy as yet had passed. ...
Even as they spoke there came a blare of trumpets. Then there was a crash and a flash of flame and smoke. The waters of the Deeping-stream poured out hissing and foaming: they were choked no longer, a gaping hole was blasted in the wall. A host of dark shapes poured in.
'Devilry of Saruman!' cried Aragorn. 'They have crept in the culvert again ... and they have lit the fire of Orthanc beneath our feet. Elendil, Elendil!' he shouted, as he leaped down into the breach; but even as he did so a hundred ladders were raised against the battlements. Over the wall and under the wall the last assault came sweeping like a dark wave upon a hill of sand. The defence was swept away. Some of the Riders were driven back, further and further into the Deep, falling and fighting as they gave way, step by step, towards the caves. ...
A broad stairway climbed from the Deep up to the Rock and the rear-gate of the Hornburg. Near the bottom stood Aragorn. In his hand still Andúril gleamed, and the terror of the sword for a while held back the enemy, as one by one all who could gain the stair passed up towards the gate. Behind on the upper steps knelt Legolas. His bow was bent, but one gleaned arrow was all that he had left, and he peered out now, ready to shoot the first Orc that should dare to approach the stair.
'All who can have now got safe within, Aragorn,' he called. 'Come back!'
Aragorn turned and sped up the stair; but as he ran he stumbled in his weariness. At once his enemies leapt forward ... yelling, with their long arms stretched out to seize him. The foremost fell with Legolas' last arrow in his throat, but the rest sprang over him. Then a great boulder, cast from the outer wall above, crashed down upon the stair, and hurled them back into the Deep. Aragorn gained the door, and swiftly it clanged to behind him.
'Things go ill, my friends,' he said, wiping the sweat from his brow with his arm.
'Ill enough,' said Legolas ... 'Where is Gimli?'
'I do not know.' said Aragorn. 'I last saw him fighting on the ground behind the wall, but the enemy swept us apart.'
'Alas! That is evil news,' said Legolas. ...
Aragorn now passed into the citadel ... and mounted to a high chamber in the tower. There stood the king ...
'The Deeping Wall is taken, lord, and all the defence swept away; but many have escaped hither to the Rock.'
'Is Éomer here?'
'No, lord. But many of your men retreated into the Deep; and some say that Éomer was amongst them. In the narrows they may hold back the enemy and come within the caves. What hope they may have then I do not know.'
The Two Towers, LoTR Book 3, Ch 7, Helm's Deep
Elena Tiriel 11Jan05