Skies of Rohan - Did You Know that in <i>The Return of the King</i> - Patty Howerton

Skies of Rohan - Did you know that in The Return of the King . . .

Although the movies are wonderful representations of The Lord of the Rings, the movie-makers had to compress the story in many ways and make alterations appropriate for a theater audience. Because of this process, a great deal of background information and character development had to be left out of the movies. People who have only seen the movies may be surprised and excited to find that the books contain much more information, details and stories about their favorite characters. This document includes tidbits and teasers related to the storyline and characters that are not found in the New Line Cinema movies of The Lord of the Rings. It is the hope of Skies of Rohan that learning more of the details of the story will entice moviegoers into reading the books that are the source of the movies and discovering even more of the magic of Middle-earth.


Did You Know that inThe Return of the King. . .

  • When Treebeard met Legolas, he invited him to visit Fangorn Forest and be his guest. Legolas responded that he would come to Fangorn only if Gimli were also welcome. At first Treebeard was unsure that an axe-bearing dwarf should be made welcome, but was convinced once he heard of the many Orcs Gimli had killed.
  • At the ruins of Isengard, not knowing what it was, Gríma Wormtongue threw Saruman's palantir out of a window in an attempt to hit Gandalf.
  • Gandalf gave Saruman one last chance to renounce his evil schemes and assist the forces of the West in the fight against Sauron. When Saruman refused, Gandalf broke Saruman's staff and cast him out of the order of wizards.
  • Gandalf left Isengard in the care of Treebeard and the Ents. Gandalf admonished Treebeard to be ever vigilant and keep Saruman imprisoned in the Tower of Orthanc.
  • Driven with desire to look at the palantir again, Pippin took it from Gandalf while everyone was sleeping. After Gandalf recovered the palantir from Pippin, he gave it to Aragorn, who as the heir of Elendil, was the rightful owner.
  • A company of Rangers from the North came upon Aragorn and his companions as they rode back to Helm's Deep. The Rangers had been searching for their kinsman Aragorn, to ride with him into battle.
  • Also riding with the Rangers were Elladan and Elrohir from Rivendell. Elrohir carried a message for Aragorn from Elrond, telling him to "Remember the Paths of the Dead".
  • Over the years, Arwen had secretly made a great banner of the High King of Gondor. The Rangers brought the banner with them from Rivendell. Aragorn chose to keep the banner concealed for the time.
  • Merry deeply admired King Théoden and pledged his service to the king on their return to Helm's Deep. King Théoden became very fond of Merry and they spent much time together. Merry pledged his service to the King and became his squire. The King gave him a fine pony and outfitted him in armor befitting a Rider of Rohan.
  • Once back at Helm's Deep, Aragorn used the palantir to show himself and Andúril to Sauron. To know for certain that an heir of Isildur still lived and carried the Sword of Elendil was an enormous blow to Sauron. In his fear, Sauron immediately launched attacks upon Minas Tirith and sent the Witch King of Angmar forth with his army.
  • When Sauron send his forces across the river to assault Minas Tirith, he also sent a great cloud of darkness that covered both Rohan and Gondor and turned the days into night.
  • When Aragorn used the power of the palantir, he saw a fleet of pirate ships, moving swiftly towards Minas Tirith. Only by taking the Paths of the Dead that led through the mountains, could he hope to confront the pirates before they reached the City.
  • The Dead had sworn an oath to Isildur when they were still living, vowing that they would come at the King of Gondor's request and fight Sauron. When Isildur called them, they would not come. So Isildur laid a curse on them, that they would never rest until their oath was fulfilled.
  • Aragorn, Legolas and Gimli were not alone when they took the Paths of the Dead. The Rangers and the sons of Elrond also accompanied them.
  • As he rode the Paths of the Dead, Aragorn summoned the Oathbreakers and called upon them to come to the aid of Gondor.
  • After leaving the Paths of the Dead, Aragorn and his men rode hard across Gondor. The Dead followed in their wake. When they reached the port city of Pelargir they found it under attack from the main fleet of the Umbar pirates.
  • As Gandalf and Pippin approached Minas Tirith, they saw the great beacons light on the mountain tops, as the city called for aid. The beacons had been lit when a great fleet of Corsair pirate ships had been sighted sailing towards the city from the coast.
  • Gandalf and Pippin arrived at Minas Tirith just in time. Within days the City was completely surrounded and under siege.
  • When Pippin took service with Lord Denethor, he became a Guard of the Citadel. The Guard was an elite troop charged with guarding the King and his family. Only the Guard was dressed in the black livery of the heirs of Elendil, bearing the symbol of the White Tree and the Seven Stars. The Citadel of the King was located at the topmost level of the City.
  • The White Tree was one of the main symbols of the royal kings of Gondor, but the last known tree had died many years ago. The dead tree had been left in the Courtyard of the Citadel.
  • Many lands had sent men to Minas Tirith in answer to the beacons, but most could only send a few hundred men.
  • One of the largest contingents that entered the city was Prince Imrahil of Dol Amroth, who arrived with a full company of knights and hundreds of men at arms, all Dúnedain. Prince Imrahil was the highest ranking nobleman in Gondor after the Steward, and was a kinsman of Denethor.
  • At the Muster of Rohan at Harrowdale, a messenger came to King Théoden, bearing a Red Arrow and an urgent request for aid from Lord Denethor. The messenger said that Gondor was in great need and would not long survive unless Rohan sent men to help.
  • King Théoden told the messenger to return to Lord Denethor and tell him that the King of Rohan himself would come.
  • When the Rohirrim prepared to leave Harrowdale, King Théoden forbid Merry to come, as his pony would not be able to keep up with the Riders when they began the last great gallop to Minas Tirith.

  • A young Rider named Dernhelm secretly took Merry up behind him as the Riders departed. Merry did not know or suspect that Dernhelm was Éowyn in disguise.
  • In the six days it took the Riders from Rohan to ride from Harrowdale to Minas Tirith, the presence of Merry and Éowyn was kept hidden from the King.
  • Wild Men of the Woods showed King Théoden and the Rohirrim a forgotten road that allowed them to avoid most of the armies that now surrounded the City.
  • As the Riders drew near to Minas Tirith, they discovered the body of the messenger who had brought the Red Arrow and knew that Denethor had not received word that Rohan would come.
  • Denethor commanded the city with great strength and insight until Faramir was wounded. Then he left command of the city to Gandalf and Prince Imrahil of Dol Amroth and refused to leave Faramir's side.
  • At the break of dawn, after a long night of siege, the great battering ram of the enemy finally broke through the gates of the City. All of the defenders fled in terror from the Witch King of Angmar, except for one. Only Gandalf, mounted on Shadowfax remained to face him.
  • After days of unending night, the wind suddenly changed and began to blow away the Darkness of Mordor.
  • At the moment when Gandalf faced the Witch King, the horns of Rohan were heard. The Witch King abruptly departed to meet the new threat and returned to the battlefield. Gandalf would have followed, but was met by Pippin who urgently requested Gandalf's aid in saving Faramir.
  • Denethor would not have welcomed any heir to the throne of Gondor, but it was likely that Denethor would have recognized Aragorn as the captain Thorongil, whom he had disliked greatly. His past jealousy of Thorongil would have made the thought of surrendering the throne even more distasteful.
  • Before he cast himself into the pyre, Denethor revealed that he possessed a palantir and had used it often in recent days to track the movements of the armies of Mordor. The sight of the approaching fleet of pirate ships had filled him with great despair. When Rohan had not answered the call for aid, he felt the City could not hold out and all was lost.
  • Gandalf felt that Sauron had reached into the very heart of the City through the palantir and caused Denethor's madness and despair. Denethor's madness had also distracted Gandalf at a critical moment and prevented his confrontation with the Witch King of Angmar.
  • Upon the death of his father, Faramir became the Steward of the City of Minas Tirith.
  • The Pelennor was the countryside and fields outside the walls of the City that ran down to the river.
  • The Witch King, who was confident that he could not be killed by any man, was assailed by attackers he had never expected, a hobbit and a woman.
  • Merry stabbed the Witch King with the blade Tom Bombadil had given him. No other blade could have done as much harm as one that had been made with virtues aimed at the defeat of the Witch King himself. It fulfilled its destiny at last and made the Witch King vulnerable to the sword of Éowyn.
  • It was Éomer who discovered King Théoden and Éowyn on the battlefield. Before King Théoden died, he named Éomer to be King of Rohan.
  • When Éomer found the unconscious Éowyn, lying by the King, he thought she had been slain and in his fury led a great charge back into the heart of the battle.
  • Éomer's charge led him far into the ranks of the enemy. Surrounded at last, all hope failed the Rohirrim when the black sails of the pirate ships were seen entering the harbor.
  • It was a great shock to the forces of Mordor when the flag ship of the pirate fleet suddenly unfurled the great banner of the High King of Gondor.
  • The Dead had fought alongside the Rangers with Aragorn at the town of Pelargir until all of the pirates had either been killed or had fled. Aragorn had then released the Dead.
  • The companions of Aragorn, along with men of Gondor from the city of Pelargir manned the pirate ships and set sail for Minas Tirith. They arrived at the Battle of Pelennor in time to join with the Rohirrim and the knights of Dol Amroth and defeat the hosts of Mordor.
  • Sauron had sent armies to all the lands of his enemies, coordinating them to strike Rohan, Gondor, Rivendell, Lothlórien and Mirkwood all over the same time period.
  • Once the Rohirrim had departed from Harrowdale to ride to Minas Tirith, Rohan was invaded by a great army of Orcs. Treebeard and the Ents took up the defense of Rohan in the absence of the King's army. The Orcs had been greatly surprised at the presence of the Ents in Rohan and were soundly defeated. The Orcs left alive fled in terror.
  • The realm of Dwarves and Men in the North were also attacked the same week and a great battle took place at the foot of the Lonely Mountain. The Dwarves and the Men of Dale were victorious, but at great losses. King Dáin of the Dwarves was killed as he stood over the body of his friend, King Brand.
  • Gandalf later said that if it had not been for the Dwarves and Bilbo defeating the dragon Smaug so many years ago, the dragon could have been used against the Elves in Rivendell with terrible consequences.
  • The Elves in Lothlórien and Mirkwood were also attacked by large forces of Orcs the same week that Minas Tirith was assaulted. Knowing the great power of the Elves in Lórien, Sauron sent forces to attack it again and again.
  • When the armies returned victorious from the Battle of Pelennor to the City, Aragorn chose to remain incognito and was identified only as the Captain of the Rangers of the North.
  • When Legolas and Gimli entered the City, they were the first Elf and Dwarf that most people had ever seen.
  • Faramir, Éowyn and Merry had all been wounded by Nazgûl. Although the Healers of the City had tried their best, the wounds could not be healed by normal means. It was only through Aragorn's strength of will and knowledge of herb lore that each were saved. This fulfilled the prophecy that the King would be known by his ability to heal.
  • After victory on the fields of Pelennor, the Army of the West decided to assault Mordor itself in order to distract Sauron from Frodo and Sam and make the great eye look outward.
  • The Army of the West was comprised of men from Gondor, Dol Amroth, Rohan and Rangers from both the North and the South. Legolas, Elladan, and Elrohir were the only Elves present at the Battle of Pelennor and in the Army of the West. Gimli was the lone dwarf and Pippin the only hobbit.
  • Although they left many men behind to guard the City, the attack against Mordor included the greatest names in the West. Among the Captains rode King Éomer of Rohan, Prince Imrahil of Dol Amroth, the sons of Elrond of Rivendell and the son of King Thranduil of Mirkwood. All men whom Sauron would dearly love to kill or capture. But by far, the greatest bait for the trap was the presence of Aragorn, the heir of Isildur and the crown of Gondor and the white wizard, Gandalf.
  • To emphasis his presence, Aragorn unfurled the great banner of the king for the first time. He also had heralds periodically blow trumpets and announce that the King of Gondor has returned to take back his land.
  • When the Host of the West left Minas Tirith to head for the Black Gate of Mordor, Faramir, Éowyn and Merry had to be left behind in the House of Healing.
  • As both Faramir and Éowyn were restricted to the House of Healing for several weeks, they spent much time together and came to know each other well.
  • Although the Black Gates were closed when the Army of the West reached Mordor, the Captains rode forth with heralds and trumpets and displayed the banner of the High King of Gondor. All in an effort to keep Sauron focused on the Gate, instead of elsewhere.
  • When the Black Gate opened, a small party came forth from Mordor. The Lieutenant of the Black Tower held out Frodo's silver mithril coat and Sam's cloak and sword and told them that the hobbits were being held hostage and would be tortured unless the Army agreed to Sauron's terms.
  • In the great battle at the Black Gate, Pippin stabbed a Troll with the blade from Westernesse, but the dying Troll fell on top of him. The last thing Pippin heard before he lost consciousness was the arrival of the Great Eagles.
  • As soon as Frodo put the Ring on, Sauron knew exactly where he was. Knowing he was in great danger, Sauron immediately turned his full attention on Frodo and the Ring and left his Army in chaos and confusion. The Nazgûl were ordered to immediately leave the battle at the Black Gate and fly for Mount Doom.
  • On March 25th, the Ring was destroyed. Both Frodo and Sam were finally overcome by weariness and the fumes and heat of Mount Doom and did not know that they were rescued by the Great Eagles.
  • After the battle ended at the Gates of Mordor, Gimli searched at length for Pippin and finally found his body underneath a Troll. When he detected no sign of life, Gimli feared he was too late.

April

  • When Frodo and Sam awoke, they were amazed and full of joy to discover that Gandalf was still alive.
  • Gandalf told them that the King of Gondor awaited them. To Sam's amazement, the King turned out to be Strider, who had delayed his coronation until Frodo and Sam were well enough to attend.
  • At the celebration of their recovery, a minstrel came forth to sing the story of Frodo and the Ring of Doom. Frodo and Sam laughed to hear their fantasy come true.
  • Sam was very puzzled over the fact that both Merry and Pippin had grown taller since he had seen them last.

May

  • The coronation of the king occurred on May 1st at Minas Tirith. As Steward of the City, Faramir surrendered his office and gave Aragorn the crown of the last king of Gondor. Aragorn asked that Frodo be given the honor of bringing him the crown.
  • When Aragorn fulfilled his destiny to become King of Gondor, he took the name that had been foretold for him and was known as King Elessar, the Elfstone.
  • Aragorn made Faramir a Prince and gave him the land of Ithilien.
  • After the coronation, Éomer and Éowyn departed for Rohan to see to their people and prepare for the burial of King Théoden.
  • Elrohir and Elladan also left to return to Rivendell. Frodo had wished to leave for Rivendell with them, so that he might see Bilbo, but Aragorn asked him to stay just a little longer.

June

  • Gandalf and Aragorn found a sapling of the White Tree. Aragorn planted it in the courtyard of the Citadel. The tree grew and blossomed as Midsummer's Eve approached.
  • On Midsummer's Eve, a large party of elves arrived at the City of Minas Tirith, led by Glorfindel, Elladan, Elrohir and the entire household of Rivendell. The Lady Galadriel and Celeborn also arrived, along with many other elves from Lothlórien. Last to arrive was Master Elrond, escorting his daughter Arwen. Although he greatly desired to be there, Bilbo was unable to make such a long journey.
  • Aragorn had not truly believed that Elrond would finally grant his wish to wed Arwen, until the moment he saw them arrive.
  • Aragorn wed Arwen Evenstar on Midsummer's Day.

August

  • Éomer returned to the city with a company of Rohan's knights to escort the body of King Théoden back to Rohan. There he met Galadriel and Arwen for the first time. Éomer told Gimli that now that he had seen Galadriel, he still would not say she was the fairest lady that lives. Before Gimli could send for his axe, Éomer went on to say that he felt Arwen was the most beautiful, and should he call for his sword?
  • King Théoden was escorted home by Aragorn, Arwen, Galadriel, Celeborn, Prince Imrahil, Elrond, Gandalf, Legolas, Gimli, the four hobbits and the elves of Rivendell and Lothlórien. A king of Rohan had never had such an escort.
  • At the funeral feast for King Théoden, King Éomer announced that Prince Faramir of Ithilien, the Steward of Gondor, had asked the Lady Éowyn to be his wife and she had accepted. So a sad occasion became joyous for all.
  • The elves of Rivendell and Lórien departed Rohan, along with Aragorn, Gandalf, Legolas, Gimli and the hobbits. Arwen remained in Rohan to await Aragorn's return.
  • Before they left Arwen gave Frodo the gift of her place on the ship at the Grey Havens.
  • After leaving Rohan, the company traveled to Helm's Deep. There Gimli and Legolas visited the Glittering Caves of Aglarond that lay beneath the fortress.
  • When the company arrived at Isengard, Treebeard informed them that he had let Saruman go free, feeling that he could do no more harm.
  • The Fellowship was finally parted when Legolas and Gimli left with Treebeard to visit Fangorn Forest.
  • Gandalf, the Elves and the hobbits parted from Aragorn at the Gap of Rohan.
  • Aragorn told Pippin that he did not release him from his service as a Guard of the Citadel and only considered that he was on leave for awhile.
  • A week after the company had parted from Aragorn, they came across Saruman and Wormtongue. Gandalf and Galadriel offered Saruman help and a last chance. He refused all of their offers.
  • Before he departed, Saruman warned the hobbits that the Shire might not be as they left it.
  • The hobbits and their party reached Rivendell the day before Bilbo's 129th birthday.

October

  • Although they visited with Bilbo and the Elves for a few weeks, both Frodo and Sam felt that they needed to return to the Shire. Sam worried about his father and the vision he had seen in Galadriel's mirror. When the hobbits departed for the Shire, Gandalf came with them.
  • When they arrived in the border town of Bree, Gandalf and the hobbits stopped to visit the innkeeper at The Prancing Pony.
  • The innkeeper told them that there was trouble in the Shire and that things had not been right since the Rangers had left. He was sorry that they had not appreciated before what the Rangers had done for them.
  • Gandalf told the innkeeper that the Rangers had returned and that there was a new King in Gondor who would be sure that the evil things were driven away. And the Road would soon be in use again with fair folk and messengers of the King.
  • Gandalf parted from the hobbits on the Road outside of Bree so that he could visit with Tom Bombadil. Gandalf was confident that the hobbits could handle any trouble that was found in the Shire.
  • The hobbits returned to the Shire thirteen months after they had left.
  • Once in the Shire, they discovered that men who were ruffians and brigands had entered the Shire not long after the departure of the Rangers. These men now ruled over every movement in the Shire. Homes had been looted and burned. The water of the rivers and ponds had been fouled and many beautiful trees cut down and destroyed. Ugly buildings and shacks had been built and the air reeked with smoke. Hobbits who had protested or tried to rebel were imprisoned.
  • Sam's father was discovered unharmed, but his home had been destroyed.
  • Merry and Pippin raised the Shire and led the rebellion against the thugs. At the conclusion of the Battle of Bywater, over 70 men and 19 hobbits lay dead, but the hobbits were victorious in taking back the Shire and driving the men out.
  • It was discovered that Saruman had been behind all of the evil deeds in the Shire. He had sent men to act as spies and began taking power once Gandalf and the Rangers were no longer present.
  • After the encounter with Gandalf and Galadriel on the Road, Saruman and Wormtongue had traveled to the Shire, where they had taken over Frodo's former home, Bag End. Out of revenge and spite, Saruman personally directed even more wanton acts of destruction and spitefulness against the inhabitants of the Shire.
  • Saruman attempted to stab Frodo, but the blade snapped when it struck the mithril coat of mail that Frodo still wore.
  • Frodo told the hobbits to spare Saruman's life and told him to depart the Shire forever. As they departed Bag End, Wormtongue killed Saruman and was himself killed by archers from the Shire.
  • Merry and Pippin took charge of hunting the last of the brigands and thugs from the Shire.
  • Sam used his gift from Galadriel, the dust from her garden, to restore the trees, flowers and gardens of the Shire. The harvest of the next year, was the finest ever seen in the Shire, with an especially fine crop of strawberries. In the Party field, a tree previously only found in Lothlórien grew and was the wonder of the Shire.
  • When Bag End had been put to rights, Frodo moved back in. When Sam married Rosie Cotton later that year, the two of them moved in with Frodo.
  • Aragorn and Arwen were wed for more than sixty years and had one son and two daughters.
  • King Éomer married the daughter of Prince Imrahil. Eómer and Eówyn often sent for Merry to come and visit.
  • King Elessar and King Éomer remained close friends and rode to war together many times. Although Sauron had passed, the hatreds and evils he had bred had not died.
  • Gimli brought many dwarves to live in the Glittering Caves of Aglarond below Helm's Deep. The dwarves also undertook to repair and build many things in both Rohan and Gondor. The gates of Minas Tirith, which had been destroyed by the Witch King, were rebuilt out of mithril and steel, and were a thing of beauty.
  • Legolas brought many Elves from Mirkwood and dwelt in the land of Ithilien.
  • Sam Gamgee was elected the Mayor of the Shire for an unprecedented seven terms.
  • Meriadoc Brandybuck became the Master of Buckland and Peregrin Took became the Thain of the Tooks.
  • King Elessar made the Mayor of the Shire, the Master of Buckland and the Thain of the Tooks, his official Counselors in the North kingdom.
  • Legolas and Gimli remained close friends the rest of their lives. It was rumored that when Legolas at last departed into the West, that he took Gimli, the dwarf with him.

Did you know that in The Return of the King . . . Copyright (C) 2004 - Patty Howerton / Skies of Rohan

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