Things of Middle-earth
Horns of the Rohirrim, The
Other Names: The Horns of Rohan
Description:'Then out of the North there came help beyond hope, and the horns of the Rohirrim were first heard in Gondor.'
The Return of the King, LoTR Appendix A, Annals of the Kings and Rulers: Gondor and the Heirs of Anárion
Many woven cloths were hung upon the walls [of Meduseld], and over their wide spaces marched figures of ancient legend.... But upon one form the sunlight fell: a young man upon a white horse. He was blowing a great horn, and his yellow hair was flying in the wind. The horse's head was lifted, and its nostrils were wide and red as it neighed, smelling battle afar. Foaming water, green and white, rushed and curled about its knees.
'Behold Eorl the Young!' said Aragorn. 'Thus he rode out of the North to the Battle of the Field of Celebrant.' ...
The Two Towers, LoTR Book 3, Ch 6, The King of the Golden Hall
Far over the Great River, and the Brown Lands, leagues upon grey leagues away, the Dawn came, red as flame. Loud rang the hunting-horns to greet it. The Riders of Rohan sprang suddenly to life. Horn answered horn again.
Merry and Pippin heard, clear in the cold air, the neighing of war-horses, and the sudden singing of many men. The Sun's limb was lifted, an arc of fire, above the margin of the world. Then with a great cry the Riders charged from the East....
The Two Towers, LoTR Book 3, Ch 3, The Uruk-Hai
But even as the gate fell, and the Orcs about it yelled, preparing to charge, a murmur ... grew to a clamour of many voices crying strange news in the dawn. The Orcs upon the Rock, hearing the rumour of dismay, wavered and looked back. And then, sudden and terrible, from the tower above, the sound of the great horn of Helm rang out.
All that heard that sound trembled. ... Back from the Deep the echoes came, blast upon blast, as if on every cliff and hill a mighty herald stood. But on the walls men looked up, listening with wonder; for the echoes did not die. Ever the horn-blasts wound on among the hills; nearer now and louder they answered one to another, blowing fierce and free.
'Helm! Helm!' the Riders shouted. 'Helm is arisen and comes back to war. Helm for Théoden King!' ..
There suddenly upon a ridge appeared a rider, clad in white, shining in the rising sun. Over the low hills the horns were sounding. Behind him, hastening down the long slopes, were a thousand men on foot; their swords were in their hands. Amid them strode a man tall and strong. His shield was red. As he came to the valley's brink, he set to his lips a great black horn and blew a ringing blast.
'Erkenbrand!' the Riders shouted. 'Erkenbrand!
The Two Towers, LoTR Book 3, Ch 7, Helm's Deep
But the king sat upon Snowmane, motionless, gazing upon the agony of Minas Tirith, as if stricken suddenly by anguish, or by dread. ...
Tall and proud he seemed again; and rising in his stirrups he cried in a loud voice, more clear than any there had ever heard a mortal man achieve before:
Arise, arise, Riders of Théoden!With that he seized a great horn from Guthláf his banner-bearer, and he blew such a blast upon it that it burst asunder. And straightway all the horns in the host were lifted up in music, and the blowing of the horns of Rohan in that hour was like a storm upon the plain and a thunder in the mountains.
Fell deeds awake: fire and slaughter!
spear shall be shaken, shield be splintered,
a sword-day, a red day, ere the sun rises!
Ride now, ride now! Ride to Gondor!
Ride now, ride now! Ride to Gondor!The Return of the King, LoTR Book 5, Ch 5, The Ride of the Rohirrim
In rode the Lord of the Nazgûl, under the archway that no enemy ever yet had passed, and all fled before his face
All save one. There waiting, silent and still in the space before the Gate, sat Gandalf upon Shadowfax....
Gandalf did not move. And in that very moment, away behind in some courtyard of the City, a cock crowed. Shrill and clear he crowed, recking nothing of wizardry or war, welcoming only the morning that in the sky far above the shadows of death was coming with the dawn.
And as if in answer there came from far away another note. Horns, horns, horns. In dark Mindolluin's sides they dimly echoed. Great horns of the North wildly blowing. Rohan had come at last.
The Return of the King, LoTR Book 5, Ch 4, The Siege of Gondor
When the dark shadow at the Gate withdrew Gandalf still sat motionless. But Pippin rose to his feet, as if a great weight had been lifted from him; and he stood listening to the horns, and it seemed to him that they would break his heart with joy. And never in after years could he hear a horn blown in the distance without tears starting in his eyes.
The Return of the King, LoTR Book 5, Ch 6, The Pyre of Denethor
Then suddenly he beheld his sister Éowyn as she lay, and he knew her. ... A fey mood took him.
'Éowyn, Éowyn!' he cried at last: 'Éowyn, how come you here? What madness or devilry is this? Death, death, death! Death take us all!'
Then without taking counsel or waiting for the approach of the men of the City, he spurred headlong back to the front of the great host, and blew a horn, and cried aloud for the onset. Over the field rang his clear voice calling: 'Death! Ride, ride to ruin and the world's ending!' ...
Stern now was Éomer's mood, and his mind clear again. He let blow the horns to rally all men to his banner that could come thither; for he thought to make a great shield-wall at the last, and stand, and fight there on foot till all fell, and do deeds of song on the fields of Pelennor, though no man should be left in the West to remember the last King of the Mark. So he rode to a green hillock and there set his banner, and the White Horse ran rippling in the wind.
The Return of the King, LoTR Book 5, Ch 6, The Battle of the Pelennor Fields
Contributors: Elena Tiriel 6.22.04; added tidbits: ET 6.24.04; more tidbits: ET 8.20.04