“By order of the king, the city must empty. We make for the refuge of Helm’s Deep.” Háma’s words echoed through the city. I leaned out my window to hear the king’s orders one more time. I truly had no desire to leave Édoras, however; if it was what our king thought was best, then, I would go. “Do not burden yourselves with treasures. Take only what provisions you need.” Háma continued shouting the king’s orders as more villagers crept over to listen to him. Sighing, I turned back into my room, I did not want to hear that proclamation any more. Bláilith was sitting on the bed, clutching her straw doll.
“Elína,” she said staring up at me and frowning slightly, “why are we moving? Are we never going to come back here again? Is this like what happened in our village?”
I sighed once more and resumed throwing our clothing into a basket. “Don’t worry Bláilith. Of course we will come back here, we just need to live in Helm’s Deep, for awhile.”
“But why?” She asked confused.
“Because, we will be safer at Helm’s Deep. Now come help me fold your dresses.” I had long since discovered that Bláilith was easily distracted, and if I gave her something to do she wouldn’t think of whatever was bothering her.
We had been told to take only what we needed, so I reduced everything we owned to two baskets; one filled with blankets and clothing, and the other filled with food and other supplies. I hoped we had enough for a long siege, because that certainly seemed like what would happen.
I sent Bláilith off to find Amérgin and went down to the stables to groom our chestnut coloured horse, Rohan. I had named that horse, not so creatively, after my country. I hoped that he would be up to a long trip carrying our baggage, Rohan was a strong horse but he was growing old and his great muscles weren’t what they used to be. I entered the stables quietly, quietly enough to here the last snippets of a conversation,
“At dawn, look to the east,” before a great white horse pushed ran past me and bowled me over. I toppled to the straw floor, arms stretched out to catch myself. I rolled over and stood up, glancing out the stable doors to see Gandalf the Grey riding away on the white horse that had just knocked me over. “Careless wizard.” I muttered as I dusted myself off.
“My lady, are you alright?” A voice said from behind me. The young elf walked towards me, concern in his eyes. Behind him, there stood the other man they had come with, Aragorn, and the dwarf.
“I am perfectly fine, my lord, thank you for asking.” I answered and curtsied to the three of them. I stood and walked over to my horse blushing. I had done a good job, embarrassing myself in front of our guests, some of which were probably noble.
“I am sorry that Gandalf knocked you over, milady.” The dwarf said gallantly in his low, rough voice, “he was in a bit of a rush.” I nodded politely.
“It was nothing, I’m sure he was off to important business.” I demurred quietly as I set to brushing Rohan. The horse’s mane was a mess of tangles.
“Here, let me help you.” The elf said and came forward, another brush in his hands. I felt my blush deepen, now I had these strangers helping me out of pity!
“Oh, it’s quite alright.” I muttered quickly, “I’m sure you have more important things to do.” The elf shook his head in reply. I glanced over at the other three, Aragorn had disappeared but the dwarf still stood there. When he saw that I was looking at him, he shrugged his shoulders and said,
“I would help you, but I have no gift when it comes to the care of horses.” I nodded, still embarrassed. After a few minutes of awkward silence, the stable door creaked open and in rushed Amérgin. I smiled at him and raised my hand in greeting. He walked over to me and stopped short, a puzzled expression on his face, as he saw both the dwarf and the elf.
“Oh,” I exclaimed quietly before raising my voice slightly and saying, “Amérgin I would like you to meet master, um…” I gestured to the dwarf who said, “Gimli.” I nodded and continued, a little bit flustered. “and master…”
“Legolas.” The elf supplied. I stood there, caught in an awkward moment. Amérgin looked from dwarf to elf and gave a small bow.
“I welcome you to Édoras, masters Legolas and Gimli, and I hope your stay is a pleasant one. May I talk to you for a moment Elína?” His eyes met mine as he rose quickly and pulled me over to the corner of the stable, turning his back to the other two. As he did so, I heard the stable door open as the others left.
“That was not very nice.” I commented dryly.
“Have you heard Théoden’s decision yet?” He snapped, eyes mulish.
“Yes. That is why I am here, preparing our horse for the journey…” I trailed off, noticing the strange look on his face.
“Did you hear that we are going to…”
“Helms Deep, yes I know. Why are you asking?” I interrupted. What was he trying to tell me?
“We will be boxed in there like rats in a trap.” He said angrily as I finally realized what the look on his face was. It was fear. Fear for himself, fear for me and fear for everyone else in Rohan. This was the first time I had heard him truly afraid, and I realized that our haven might become our tomb.
We return to the forests again. Our hobbit friend has lost all faith and finds the true meaning of apathy by the end of this chapter. He is taken captive by a band of elves and one human. This chapter suggests that some of his past will be revealed soon.