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Chapter Seventy - A Musing and a Lament
There are times when I wish I had never read any of Tolkien’s stuff….
I am researching Théodred’s death for my epic tale of Denethor. It is not a pleasant death. In fact, it seems to me to be as tragic as Glorfindel’s in the First Age against the Balrog. I wept as I read it again. Especially knowing he dies about twenty-four hours, almost to the hour, before Boromir fell.
For those of you who are elf-lovers, there is no rebuke or slight intended. Glorfindel’s sacrifice was incredible. But so was Théodred’s… and his perhaps even more so – for the man had no hope of ‘returning’ from Mandos’ Halls. His kind, I believe, hoped that they might go somewhere, but where, how, we don’t know.
These Men (Boromir and Théodred) were targets of Sauron. Targets. Unbeknownst to them or those who loved them. The same with Éomer and Faramir, but these two survived; I don’t think it was by their own hand that they were spared.
And yet, not many know of the horror of Théodred’s death, nor the sacrifice of the Men of Rohan at the Fords of Isen. It seems to be only a footnote in the tale. Only if you look to Unfinished Tales, can you find the real story. The disaster that befell such brave Men. I always capitalize Men when speaking of those from Gondor, but I see now, others were just as brave. The Men of Rohan, the Men of Erebor (Dale and Esgaroth), the Beornings. All side stories that no one ever hears of unless a fanfic writer decides to ‘broaden’ our horizons. Or someone is compelled to read beyond the Lord of the Rings.
Théodred was Saruman’s chief target, on the 25th of February. The wizard would have destroyed Rohan, if he had continued on with the battle, but once his forces killed Théoden’s Heir, he stopped for a moment, did not pursue further, and thus lost a portion of the battle for all of Middle-earth.
I just had to stop for a moment and remember this Man.
A Lament for Théodred
I scarce can breathe nor hold my tears,
To crush the land of Rohan deep
So much promise in that blood
I would stand now in the Golden Hall
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