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Things of Middle-earth

Rider of the Last Hope

Type: Songs & Stories

Other Names: Rochon Methestel

Description:[Immediately before the Invasion of Calenardhon by Balchoth and Orcs,] Cirion's thought turned at last in desperation to the Éothéod, and he determined to send messengers to them. ... Cirion had little hope that any of them would get through. He called for volunteers, and choosing six riders of great courage and endurance be sent them out in pairs with a day's interval between them. Each bore a message learned by heart, and also a small stone incised with the seal for the Stewards, that he should deliver to the Lord of the Éothéod in person, if he succeeded in reaching that land. ...

The first pair of messengers left on the tenth day of Súlimë; and in the event it was one of these, alone of all the six, who got through to the Éothéod. He was Borondir, a great rider of a family that claimed descent from a captain of the Northmen in the service of the Kings of old.* Of the others no tidings were ever heard, save of Borondir's companion. He was slain by arrows in ambush as they passed near Dol Guldur, from which Borondir escaped by fortune and the speed of his horse. He was pursued as far north as the Gladden Fields, and often waylaid by men that came out of the Forest and forced him to ride far out of the direct way. He came at last to the Éothéod after fifteen days, for the last two without food; and he was so spent that he could scarce speak his message to Eorl.

It was then the twenty-fifth day of Súlimë. Eorl took counsel with himself in silence; but not for long. Soon he rose, and he said: "I will come. If the Mundburg falls, whither shall we flee from the Darkness?" Then he took Borondir's hand in token of the promise.

Unfinished Tales, Part 3, Ch 2, Cirion and Eorl and the Friendship of Gondor and Rohan: The Ride of Eorl

* His name was long remembered in the song of Rochon Methestel (Rider of the Last Hope) as Borondir Udalraph (Borondir the Stirrupless), for he rode back with the éoherë at the right hand of Eorl, and was the first to cross the Limlight and cleave a path to the aid of Cirion. He fell at last on the Field of Celebrant defending his lord, to the great grief of Gondor and the Éothéod, and was afterwards laid in tomb in the Hallows of Minas Tirith. [Author's note.]

Unfinished Tales, Part 3, Ch 2, Cirion and Eorl and the Friendship of Gondor and Rohan: Notes, Note 27

Contributors: Elena Tiriel 25Jul04

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