“Begone, foul dwimmerlaik, lord of carrion! Leave the dead in peace!“
A cold voice answered: ‘Come not between the Nazgûl and his prey! Or he will not slay thee in thy turn. He will bear thee away to the houses of lamentation, beyond all darkness, where thy flesh shall be devoured, and thy shrivelled mind be left naked to the Lidless Eye.”
A sword rang as it was drawn. “Do what you will; but I will hinder it, if I may.”
“Hinder me? Thou fool. No living man may hinder me!”
Then Merry heard of all sounds in that hour the strangest. It seemed that Dernhelm laughed, and the clear voice was like the ring of steel. “But no living man am I!”
–JRR Tolkien, The Battle of Pelennor Fields, Return of the King
When spring unfolds the beechen-leaf and sap is in the bough,
When light is on the wild-wood stream, and wind is on the brow,
When stride is long, and breath is deep, and keen the mountain air,
Come back to me! Come back to me, and say my land is fair!
When Spring is come to garth and field, and corn is in the blade,
When blossom like a shining snow is on the orchard laid,
When sun and shower upon the earth with fragrance fill the air,
I’ll linger here, and will not come, because my land is fair!
When Summer lies upon the world, and in a noon of gold
Beneath the roof of sleeping leaves the dreams of trees unfold,
When woodland halls are green and cool, and wind is in the West,
Come back to me! Come back to me, and say my land is best!
When Summer warms the hanging fruit and burns the berry brown;
When straw is gold, and ear is white, and harvest comes to town;
When honey spills, and apple swells, though wind be in the West,
I’ll linger here beneath the Sun, because my land is best!
When Winter comes, the winter wild that hill and wood shall slay;
When trees shall fall and starless night devour the sunless day;
When wind is in the deadly East, then in the bitter rain
I’ll look for thee, and call to thee; I’ll come to thee again!
When Winter comes, and singing ends; when darkness falls at last;
When broken is the barren bough, and light and labour past;
I’ll look for thee, and wait for thee, until we meet again:
Together we will take the road beneath the bitter rain!
Together we will take the road that leads into the West,
And far away will find a land where both our hearts may rest.
(Sung to Merry and Pippin by Treebeard in The Two Towers, written by JRR Tolkien)
wife of Tom Bombadil, she dwelt in the Old Forest. She was the “River-daughter” of the Withywindle River, though her origin, like that of Tom, is unknown. She is thought to be a Maia or nature spirit. Goldberry was beautiful and golden-haired and her concerns were with the natural world and protected the Old Forest with Tom. Goldberry brought shelter and aid to the four hobbits while they were in the Old Forest. She was described as wearing flowers in her hair and belt, wore garments of silver and gold, and her singing resembled a bird song. Although it is unknown how old she is, Tom had been living in the Old Forest before the Elves came. So it can be said that she is probably very old as well.
“I can ride and wield blade, and I do not fear either pain or death.”
Éowyn “One Who Delights in Horses”
also called the White Lady of Rohan and the Shield-maiden of Rohan, she was the beautiful and golden-haired niece of King Théoden and sister of Éomer. She was born in 2995 Third Age, her mother Théodwyn and her father Éomund both died when she was an infant and so she and Éomer were adopted by their uncle Théoden. Éowyn was described as being “stern as steel, a daughter of kings”. She was raised in the land of horses and warriors, therefore, she became an excellent rider and fighter, being skilled with the blade.
During the War of the Ring, Éowyn became very concerned for her uncle, who was under the influence of Saruman and Wormtongue. After Théoden was broken from the spell by Gandalf the White, he and Éomer left to fight at Helm’s Deep. Éowyn ruled Rohan in his place because the people loved her. However, Éowyn felt like she was always left behind and wanted the chance of doing great deeds. She also fell in love with Aragorn, and was grieved when she found out he was attempting the “Paths of the Dead”. Éowyn knew she could never have his love and seemed to give up hope. In fact, Merry said he saw in the eyes of Dernhelm as “one without hope who goes in search of death.” Upset that she was always left behind from battles, Éowyn disguised herself as a man (alias Dernhelm, old english for ‘secret helmet’) and secretly took Merry with her. Merry, at this time, did not know it was Éowyn.
They fought with the Rohirrim at Pelennor Fields and achieved the greatest fame of any warrior and did what no man could do. When met with the Witch-King, Éowyn said, “Begone, foul dwimmerlaik, lord of carrion! Leave the dead in peace!” A cold voice answered, “Come not between the Nazgul and his prey! Or he will not slay thee in thy turn…” A sword rang as it was drawn. “Do what you will; but I will hinder it, if I may.” [said Éowyn] “Hinder me? Thou fool. No living man may hinder me!” [said the Witch-King] “No living man am I! You look upon a woman. Éowyn I am, Éomund’s daughter. You stand between me and my lord and kin. Begone, if you be not deathless! For living or dark undead, I will smite you, if you touch him.” She slew the winged-beast of the Witch-King but he struck back and shattered her shield and broke her arm. Merry then stabbed the Witch-king from behind, killing him. Éowyn then slew the Witch-king but fainted because she was stricken with the poison “Black Breath” of the Ringwraith. Her shield-arm was also broken by the mace of the Witch-King, but the words of Glorfindel’s prohecy came true, that no man would slay the Witch-king. Afterwards in Rohan, Éowyn was known as the Lady of the Shield-arm.
After King Théoden died, Éomer discovered his sister on the battlefield and stood as if pierced by the heart. He had no idea how she had come there and thought she was dead. However, since she was stricken with the “Black Breath”, it only seemed as if she were dead. But Prince Imrahil of Dol Amroth saw her and said she still lived. She was brought out of this poisoned sleep by Aragorn using the magical herb Athelas. While recovering from her sickness, Éowyn befriended Faramir (who also was recovering) and he fell in love with her. They spent much time together, walking around the Houses of Healing and talking with each other. Faramir saw that her loveliness amid her grief would pierce his heart and was impressed by her deeds in battle. Éowyn’s infatuation with Aragorn finally ended, and Éowyn and Faramir were married in 3019. Faramir became the Prince and Guard of Ithilien, and Éowyn was then known as the Lady of Ithilien. There they lived together in Emyn Arnen for many years and had a son named Elboron and a grandson named Barahir.
Éowyn & Faramir Quotes from “The Steward and the King” chapter.
» “It is not lack of care that grieves me. No houses could be fairer, for those who desire to be healed. But I cannot lie in sloth, idle, caged. I looked for death in battle. But I have not died, and battle still goes on.” — Éowyn
» “I wish to ride to war like my brother, Éomer, or better like Théoden the king, for he died and has both honor and peace.” — Éowyn
» “If you will stay in this house in our care, lady, and take your rest, then you shall walk in this garden in the sun, as you will; and you shall look east, whither all our hopes have gone. It would ease my care, if you would speak to me, or walk at whiles with me.” — Faramir
» “Then, Éowyn of Rohan, I say to you that you are beautiful. In the valleys of our hills there are flowers fair and bright, and maidens fairer still; but neither maiden nor lady have I seen till now in Gondor so lovely, and so sorrowful. It may be that only a few days are left ere darkness falls upon our world, and when it comes I hope to face it steadily; but it would ease my heart, if while the Sun yet shines, I could see you still. For you and I have both passed under the wings of the Shadow, and the same hand drew us back.” — Faramir
» “Shadow lies on my still. Look not to me for healing! I am a shieldmaiden and my hand is ungentle. ” — Éowyn
» “Éowyn, Éowyn, White Lady of Rohan, in this hour I do not believe that any darkness will endure!” — Faramir
» “Do not scorn pity that is the gift of a gentle heart, Éowyn! But I do not offer you my pity. For you are a lady high and valiant and have yourself won renown that shall not be forgotten; and you are a lady beautiful, I deem, beyond even the words of the Elven-tongue to tell. And I love you. Once I pitied your sorrow. But now, were you sorrowless, without fear or any lack, were you the blissful Queen of Gondor, still I would love you. Éowyn, do you not love me?” — Faramir
» “That is well, for I am not a king. Yet I will wed with the White Lady of Rohan, if it be her will. And if she will, then let us cross the River and in happier days let us dwell in fair Ithilien and there make a garden. All things will grow with joy there, if the White Lady comes.” — Faramir
» “Then must I leave my own people, man of Gondor? And would you have your proud folk say of you: “There goes a lord who tamed a wild shieldmaiden of the North! Was there no woman of the race of Númenor to choose?” — Éowyn
Galadriel “Radiant Maiden” or “Tree Maiden”
also called Lady of Light, Lady of the Noldor, Lady of Lórien, Lady of the Wood, Mistress of Magic, she was the only daughter of Finarfin (Noldor) and Eärwen (Teleri). Her brothers were Finrod, Orodreth, Angrod, and Aegnor. She is said to be one of the most beautiful of the Noldor and her golden hair captured the radiance of the Two Trees themselves. She wedded Celeborn of Doriath and their only child was Celebrían, the mother of Arwen. She was part of the rebellion against the Valar and went to Middle-earth with her brothers so she could rule her own realm. She and Finrod often visited Thingol in Doriath, which is where she met Celeborn. There was much love between them, and so Galadriel stayed there and learned much lore and wisdom about Middle-earth from Melian. Galadriel would often talk with Melian about Valinor, and she revealed to Melian the story of the Silmarils and how the Noldor Elves were banished from Valinor.
After many of the elves returned to Valinor at the end of the First Age, Galadriel and Celeborn remained in Middle-earth. She alone remained of those who led the Noldor to exile into Beleriand. Galadriel was the keeper of one of the three Elven Rings, Nenya, the Ring of Water that was set in adament. She was the oldest and wisest elf left in Middle-earth, and also the most powerful and she alone remembered the days of Valinor. For a time, she and Celeborn lived in Lindon, the land west of the Blue Mountains by the Sea. In 1981 TA, after the loss of Amroth, Galadriel and Celeborn became Lady and Lord of Lothlórien and dwelt there until the end of the Third Age. She was Queen to the Galadrim who dwelt there and also part of the Council of the Wise (formed 2463 Third Age), which included Elrond, Círdan, other Elf Lords, Mithrandir (Gandalf), and Curunír (Saruman). Curunír was chosen as the Chief, although Galadriel wanted Mithrandir to be head of the council.
During the War of the Ring, Galadriel aided the Fellowship when they reached Lórien and used her Mirror to show Frodo the horrors of what could happen. She gave each member of the fellowship gifts, including the Phial of Galadriel to Frodo. She also aided Gandalf after his battle with the Balrog. Lórien was attacked three times from Dol Guldur, but Galadriel and Celeborn destroyed Dol Guldur and the forest was saved. On September 29, 3021, the last year of the Third Age, Galadriel departs over the Sea with Gandalf, Elrond, Frodo, and Bilbo, and they sail to Valinor. Celeborn remained behind and guarded Lothlórien for a time and then retired to Rivendell. He eventually sails into the West and joins Galadriel.
The Gardner Family is the name taken by the descendants of Samwise Gamgee and Rosie Cotton in honor of Sam’s replanting of the Shire after the War of the Ring.
Rosie (Cotton) Gamgee
Rosie was a hobbit from Hobbiton, she had four brothers: Tom, Jolly, Nick, and Nibs. Her father, Tolman “Tom” Cotton, was a farmer, and her mother was Lily Brown. Rosie was a childhood friend of Samwise Gamgee and they married the first of May in 1420 (Shire Reckoning, or 3020 Third Age), the first spring after the War. They lived in Bag End with Frodo for awhile until Frodo sold it to them before leaving Middle-earth. Their first child, Elanor, was born the 25th of March 1421. Sam is later made Mayor of the Shire. King Elessar visits them in Hobbiton and Sam and Rosie ride to Gondor and stay there for a year. Sam and Rosie keep up good relations with their friends Merry and Pippin and visited them frequently. In fact Faramir Took, son of Pippin, married Goldilocks, Rosie’s daughter. All together, Rosie and Sam had 13 children, 7 daughters and 6 sons. Their names were Elanor, Frodo, Rose, Merry, Pippin, Goldilocks, Hamfast, Daisy, Primrose, Bilbo, Ruby, Robin, and Tolman. Rosie died on Mid-Year’s Day (June 22), 1482. On Sept. 22, Samwise went to the Grey Havens and passed over the Sea.
Elanor (Gardner) Fairbairn
Oldest child of Rosie and Sam Gamgee, she was also known as Elanor the Fair. She was born on March 25 1421 SR. This is also the day the Fourth Age began in Gondor. She was named after the flower elanor, “sun star”, found in Lothlórien that was golden in color. This name was actually a suggestion by Frodo. She was called ‘the Fair’ because of her beauty and many said she looked more like a an elf-maid than a hobbit. She had golden hair, which is rare for hobbits but two other daughter’s of Sam had golden hair as well.
In 1436, at age 25, Elanor was named a maid of honor to Queen Arwen when Aragorn and Arwen visited the Shire. Elanor also stayed in Gondor with her parents for a year (1442), and in 1451, age 30, she married Fastred Fairbairn of Greenholm on the Far Downs. In 1454, Elanor’s son named Elfstan Fairbairn was born. She also has a daughter named Fíriel. Later, Fastred is named Warden of Westmarch by Sam and given the land there by King Elessar. Elanor and Fastred move to Undertowers on the Tower Hills, where their descendents, the “Fairbairns of the Towers”, live for many generations. Before Sam leaves for the Grey Havens in 1482, he gives Elanor the Red Book, which is kept in her family’s possession and passed down through the generations.
Goldilocks (Gardner) Took
The third daughter of Samwise and Rosie, named after her golden hair. She married Faramir Took (the son of Pippin) in 1463 SR and he later became the Thain of the Shire after Pippin retired to Gondor in 1484.
Arwen “Noble Maiden”
Also called Evenstar, or Undómiel, “Daughter of Twilight”, she was the daughter of Elrond and Celebrían of Rivendell and the granddaughter of Galadriel. She had two older brothers, the twins Elrohir and Elladan. Born in 241 in the Third Age, Arwen was 2,777 years old during the War of the Ring. Arwen and Aragorn first met in the woods of Rivendell, where he thought she was Lúthien and called out Tinúviel!. Even though Aragorn was raised by Elrond in Rivendell, they had never met because Arwen spent some time in Lothlórien visiting her mother’s kin. Aragorn loved Arwen, but Elrond told him that he is grieved by the doom that awaits her. Elrond feared that Arwen would choose to stay in Middle-earth and become mortal instead of going with him to the Undying Lands. Aragorn left Rivendell and took to the life of a Ranger, wandering the lands for 30 years.
Years later, Aragorn was allowed to enter Lothlórien, but did not know that Arwen was there as well. They were reunited after their long parting at Caras Galadhon, under the trees and flowers of gold. It was here where they became betrothed, on the evening of Midsummer, on the mound of Cerin Amroth. Aragorn gave her the heirloom of his House, the Ring of Barahir, and Arwen renounced her Elvish lineage and accepted the mortal life. Arwen said, “Dark is the Shadow, and yet my heart rejoices; for you, Estel, shall be among the great whose valour will destroy it.” She called him by his Elvish name that Elrond had given him, Estel, meaning “Hope”.
Elrond was grieved when he learned of Arwen’s decision. He tells Aragorn that he doesn’t want her life to diminish for any less cause and says that Aragorn must become King and reunite Arnor and Gondor in order for them to marry. During the War of the Ring, Arwen met with Aragorn when he went to Rivendell for the Council. After the war, Arwen and Aragorn were married on Midsummer in 3019 Third Age in Minus Tirith. Arwen was parted from her father, but when Elrond grew weary, he left Middle-earth for the Undying Lands and the parting of Arwen and Elrond was very sorrowful, for she loved her father dearly.
As Queen of Elves and Men, Arwen lived with Aragorn for 120 years in great glory. At last she felt the approach of old age. Aragorn went to the House of the Kings in the Silent Street. He told her she still could go back to live with her kin, but Arwen told him the choice was over and that the last ship had already sailed. Aragorn said farewell to his Queen and fell into sleep. Arwen cried, Estel!, but he was already gone.
Arwen said goodbye to her son, Eldarion, and her many daughters, and traveled to Lórien. She dwelt there alone, because Galadriel and Celeborn were gone and the land was silent. At last, before spring had come, Arwen Evenstar laid rest upon Cerin Amroth, the same place where she had been betrothed to Aragorn many years ago, and died.