HASA Resources

Timeline Event

Théoden reinstates Éomer as Marshal of the Mark

Event Type: General

Age: 3rd Age - Ring War

Date: March 2, 3019

Description:

An event in the aftermath of the Attack on the Orc-raiders at Fangorn and the prelude to the Battle of the Hornburg; see those entries for an overview:
'Much [must be done],' said Gandalf. 'But first send for Éomer. Do I not guess rightly that you hold him prisoner, by the counsel of Gríma...?'

'It is true,' said Théoden. 'He had rebelled against my commands, and threatened death to Gríma in my hall.'

'A man may love you and yet not love Wormtongue or his counsels,' said Gandalf.

'That may be. I will do as you ask. Call Háma to me. Since he proved untrusty as a doorward, let him become an errand-runner. The guilty shall bring the guilty to judgement,' said Théoden, and his voice was grim, yet he looked at Gandalf and smiled....

The Two Towers, LoTR Book 3, Ch 6, The King of the Golden Hall

Slowly Théoden sat down again... He clutched his knees with his wrinkled hands.

'Your fingers would remember their old strength better, if they grasped a sword-hilt,' said Gandalf.

Théoden rose and put his hand to his side; but no sword hung at his belt....

'Take this, dear lord!' said a clear voice. 'It was ever at your service.' Two men had come softly up the stair and stood now a few steps from the top. Éomer was there. No helm was on his head, no mail was on his breast, but in his hand he held a drawn sword; and as he knelt he offered the hilt to his master.

'How comes this?' said Théoden sternly....

'It is my doing, lord,' said Háma, trembling. I understood that Éomer was to be set free. Such joy was in my heart that maybe I have erred. Yet, since he was free again, and he a Marshal of the Mark, I brought him his sword as he bade me.'

'To lay at your feet, my lord,' said Éomer.

For a moment of silence Théoden stood looking down at Éomer as he knelt still before him. Neither moved.

'Will you not take the sword?' said Gandalf.

Slowly Théoden stretched forth his hand.... Suddenly he lifted the blade and swung it shimmering and whistling in the air. Then he gave a great cry....

'Westu Théoden hál!' 1 cried Éomer. 'It is a joy to us to see you return into your own.'...

'Take back your sword, Éomer, sister-son!' said the king.... 'Now, Gandalf, you said that you had counsel to give, if I would hear it. What is your counsel?'

'You have yourself already taken it,' answered Gandalf. 'To put your trust in Éomer, rather than in a man of crooked mind.... Every man that can ride should be sent west at once, as Éomer counselled you: we must first destroy the threat of Saruman, while we have time.'

The Two Towers, LoTR Book 3, Ch 6, The King of the Golden Hall

'Do you not remember how eagerly [Wormtongue] urged that no man should be spared on a wildgoose chase northward, when the immediate peril was westward? He persuaded you to forbid Éomer to pursue the raiding Orcs. If Éomer had not defied Wormtongue's voice speaking with your mouth, those Orcs would have reached Isengard by now, bearing a great prize... at the least two members of my Company.... Dare you think of what they might now be suffering, or what Saruman might now have learned to our destruction?'

'I owe much to Éomer,' said Théoden. 'Faithful heart may have froward 2 tongue.'

The Two Towers, LoTR Book 3, Ch 6, The King of the Golden Hall

Éomer was reinstated, and became virtually first Marshal, ready to take command if the King fell or his strength failed; but the title was not used, and in the presence of the King in arms he could only advise and not issue orders. The part he actually played was thus much the same as that of Aragorn: a redoubtable champion among the champions of the King.

Unfinished Tales, Part 3, Ch 5, The Battles of the Fords of Isen: Appendix


Notes
1Westu Théoden hál! — 'May you be healthy, Théoden'. Beowulf greets Hrothgar with the words 'Wæs þu, Hroðgar, hal!' (Beowulf, 3 l. 407).

The Lord of the Rings: A Reader's Companion, by Wayne G Hammond and Christina Scull, Book 3, Ch 6, The King of the Golden Hall

2In the edition of 1994 'froward' was mistakenly reset as 'forward'. The correct reading was restored in the edition of 2004. Froward means 'contrary, perverse'.

The Lord of the Rings: A Reader's Companion, by Wayne G Hammond and Christina Scull, Book 3, Ch 6, The King of the Golden Hall

3Beowulf... is the conventional title of an Old English heroic epic poem consisting of 3182 alliterative long lines, set in Scandinavia, commonly cited as one of the most important works of Anglo-Saxon literature. It survives in a single manuscript known as the Nowell Codex. Its composition by an anonymous Anglo-Saxon poet is dated between the 8th and the early 11th century.

In the poem, Beowulf, a hero of the Geats, battles three antagonists: Grendel, who has been attacking the resident warriors of the mead hall of Hroðgar (the king of the Danes), Grendel's mother, and an unnamed dragon. The last battle takes place later in life, Beowulf now being king of the Geats. In the final battle, Beowulf is fatally wounded.

"Beowulf". Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. 20 Sep. 2010.
<Wikipedia.org en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beowulf>.

Contributors:
Elena Tiriel 13Jan05, 20Sep10

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