“The Rider leaped from his horse. Giving his spear to another who rode up and dismounted at his side, he drew his sword and stood face to face with Aragorn, surveying him keenly, and not without wonder…”
The Riders of Rohan
The hunt is on! They race along, tracking the Orcs and reading the riddles along the way. A fight here, an eagle far above, Pippin’s brooch.
Resisted by Saruman, they fall behind. And what in the world is the source of Saruman’s power? A mighty sorcerer he must have become indeed to slow our Three Hunters by his will from such a distance.
Their chase began hopefully–I was anxiously following, I thought they would be able to catch the Orcs, save the hobbits. But in the realm of Tolkien hopeful things can turn sour from one line to the next.
Enter the Riders of Rohan. Aragorn, after a while, declares himself to the Riders. He is like two people. Strider, the Ranger, but also this legendary hero, Elessar, the heir of Isildur. And the latter is emerging more and more. Legolas and Gimli hadn’t been in his boat under the Argonath, so they hadn’t seen him like this before. I have to say the entire conversation between Aragorn and Eomer (the vast majority of this chapter) was really masterful… I don’t know how else to describe it. Just very real. Then, the wonder of Eomer and his men at how far the Three Hunters had come on foot so fast gave me a sense of pride in them, but even with the horses, their efforts were mostly futile…the hobbits are gone
So now, Aragorn has promised to go to Minas Tirith and Edoras…but, the hobbits are still missing! How’s he going to manage it all in the grand scheme of things I wonder.
And what help were the horses? On cue, and somewhat frustratingly, they and whatever help they promised disapeared. So Tolkien. So very Tolkien. The bad so quickly follows the good. As for the strange tree and the old man, talk about creepy–I’m sure horror never interested Tolkien (scary for the sake of scary), but I bet he could’ve written it. Of course we’re all wondering who that old man was. Saruman? Gandalf? a ghost? On second thought, ghosts probably don’t exist in the realm of Middle-earth, do they? Whatever the case, here’s hoping our Hunters have better luck next chapter. And, what has become of Pippin and Merry?
till next time, keep thinking,