I awoke the next morning in the maiden’s chambers. The women of Rohan were placed on pedestals, never to know the fear of battle. I did not belong with them; I had seen more than any of them had or would ever see. I was with their kinsmen at Helm’s Deep, I heard their dying cries, and they would haunt me forever. I walked towards the Great Hall, thinking to myself. Gandalf, Lathrawen, and Pippin were riding to Gondor at this very moment. It would take them three days to get there…then what? What exchange would happen between Gandalf and the Steward of Gondor? I could not foresee it. I found Merry standing in the shadows. His face, no doubt, was a mirror image of my own. He too, seemed lost in thoughts of his companion.
“Good day, Merry.” I said. The little Hobbit jumped, looking startled.
“Oh, hello Lomelindi!” he said, feigning cheerfulness. He looked as though he wished to be alone, so I just smiled at him before continuing on to the Great Hall. As I entered I saw King Theoden, Eomer, and a few of the riders of Rohan gathered together. Legolas was standing off to the side, by himself. I walked up behind Legolas and gave him a kiss on cheek. He turned to me and took my hands in his, rubbing his thumbs over the tops of my fingers. I looked deep into his crystal blue eyes.
He was interrupted by the large wooden doors screeching open; we both looked up to see Aragorn running full speed into the hall.
“The Beacons of Minas Tirith! The Beacons are lit! Gondor calls for aide!” he yelled exasperatedly. There was a long pause, no one spoke. We all looked to King Theoden, you could see his thought process at work.
“And Rohan will answer! Muster the Rohirrim!” the King said enthusiastically.
Eomer bowed quickly and retreated to go assemble his riders. If Gondor needed help, they were about to get it! The Rohirrim had been the reason for Sauruman’s defeat at Helm’s Deep. They were a fine cavalry; it was an honor among men to ride with them. Legolas squeezed my hand and led me outside, following King Theoden and Aragorn.
“Assemble the army at Dunharrow; as many men as can be found. You have two days. On the third, we ride for Gondor. And war!” King Theoden gave the orders, to which his nephew, Eomer, was happy to comply.
Rohan went from a quiet, complacent land to a flurry of activity and preparation in mere minutes. Men rushed to the stables to tack up their valiant steeds, they put on their armor and gathered all the supplies they would need for camp and war. Women and their children stood on doorsteps bidding goodbye to husbands and fathers. Weeping could be heard from behind closed doors and windows. War was not the game we used to play in the rose garden. Families were splintered, wives were devastated, and babies would grow up never knowing their father, never to be picked up and put on his shoulders. I sat silent, grieving for the lives that would march down deaths path. I caught a glance of Aragorn’s face. He looked tired and worn, but he had a Kingly aura about him. He was a born leader, although too humble to admit it. These men trusted him; they would give their lives for him. The men of Rohan had finally found their captain.
“Now is the hour, Riders of Rohan, oaths you have taken! Now, fulfill them all! To Lord and Land!,” Eomer shouted these words to his rallied riders. Legolas walked briskly towards me leading my horse as well as his. I had been so lost in thought that I hadn’t even notice his departure. Silently I thanked that he had been more prepared than I and had gotten ready for us to ride.
We rode towards Dunharrow with great pace; every hour spent could hasten Gondor’s defeat. Aragorn was at the front of the pack with King Theoden with Melriel, Legolas, Gimli, and I behind. Most of the journey was silent, save for the occasional knicker of a horse to which his companion would return his cry. When we arrived we were all tired and had been ready to dismount hours ago. As we were walking around the camp, I could feel the stares of many eyes on my back. Legolas slipped a protective arm around my waist as he noticed my slight discomfort. Most of these men had never seen an Elf before, so the sight of three of them walking around their camp was strange to them. We walked to the edge of a high precipice and looked down to see more men and horses arriving, the setting sun giving their armor a golden glow.
“Oh!” Melriel gasped as she took in the breathtaking view of the sun setting over the vista. “Beautiful!” she cooed.
“Yes…” Legolas sighed, but instead of him looking at the view, I turned to see him gazing at me. To which I responded with my cheeks turning crimson.
“Stop with that, Legolas, can’t you see you’ve made her blush,” grumbled Gimli with a slight chuckle. To which Legolas responded by planting a kiss right on the tip of my nose.