A Tolkien Virgin: The Return of the King - Book V - Chapter 5 - The Journey Continues


"Kill Gorgûn! Kill orc-folk! No other words please Wild Men," answered Ghân. "Drive away bad air and darkness with bright iron!"
Book V
Chapter 5
The Ride of the Rohirrim

Nice. Very nice. The Rohirrim pouring upon the field scattering the Orc host. And dawn?! Wow, something indeed must have slipped in Sauron's plans if dawn has appeared. The work of Gandalf, perhaps?

Let's back it up to the beginning. It struck me as a short chapter, which it is. It's less than half the length of the previous chapter, but understandably so. Tolkien simply has to explain how the Rohirrim get to Minas Tirith past the Orc army that most certainly would have been in the way. But this brings up a bit of a sore spot with me. Namely, secret paths. What with Moria, Minas Ungol, the Paths of the Dead, which granted aren't exactly the same category as the forgotten road in this chapter, it still adds up to a lot of secret paths. I mean, the world is a big place and Sauron certainly can't have his eye everywhere, but all of these secret or unlikely paths are adding up to his ultimate undoing. It's as if all our heroes have to do is take as many secret or unlikely paths as they can think of or happen upon and then, bam, the ring is destroyed, the world is saved. I don't know, is it just me (probably), or could it be Tolkien is relying on this plot device too much? Not that I have a better idea of how to accomplish the destruction of the One Ring, or the saving of Minas Tirith.

I did like the Wild Men. Nice description, interesting behavior. But, as peculiar and nifty as they were, they were obviously non-player characters. Interesting side-characters like the Ents, Tom Bombadil, or even Beorn from the Hobbit; they serve their purpose and the story moves on without them.

Finally, on a different note, there's a reference to the Silmarillion I noticed (and yes I did notice the mentioning of the White Tree back in Chapter 1, although somehow I failed to make mention of it in my review). Well, not exactly a reference to the Silmarillion, but a reference to a character described in the Silmarillion. The battle-cry of Theoden was awesome enough, but likening him to Orome as he charged onto the field made it way way better. Wow. What an image.

So, like I said earlier: Nice. Very nice.

Now as we move on, what will become of the disobedient Merry and Eowyn (and the men who deceived the king and kept them hidden)? But, as much discipline as they deserve for their behavior, I don't think she can be killed, cause she has to end up with Aragorn in the end, right?

till next time,
keep thinking,

Mark-Edmond
Kanazawa, Japan
far(out)

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