They rode till the sun set over the grassy plains and then they rested. Legolas hunted for a rabbit which they ate cooked but Gandalf allowed them to have a few hours of sleep before he ordered them to rise before the sun rose to continue their pace onward towards Rohan.
It was not long before they stopped to see the city of Rohan standing before them. They rode through the gates and towards the great hall of Meduseld where King Théoden ruled. They dismounted from their horses and walked up the way to the great hall only to be stopped by the gate guards.
“Stay where you stand, strangers here unknown!” spoke the guard, as his sword pointed at them as did the other guard next to him did.
Gandalf spoke to them about their haste to speak with their Lord and Master King Théoden.
The first guard looked at them and then whispered something in the ear of the other guard and backed away from them. He left them under the watch of his comrade as he sought counsel of his Lord and Master King Théoden.
“These are dark days, strangers. My comrade will see about an audience with our Lord and learn our master’s will.” The guard said, gravely. “Not many have gained an audience with him. The last was Eomer, with who was banished for trying to kill the King’s counselor.”
“Where did he try to kill this counselor?” asked Solaris.
“In the throne room of our Lord, milady. Eomer tried to break a code of the Hall by trying to spill the blood of another in the Hall. Wormtongue had him banished.”
“Unlikely, someone must have made Eomer angry for he knows the code of honor well,” stated Solaris, angrily.
“If you do not breathe this to the others, but it was the King’s counselor Grima who made him angry enough to break the code of blood in the Hall.” whispered the guard.
The other guard returned with another man who approached them. He bowed his head in greeting. “I am Hama, the doorward of Théoden. These I must ask of you all, lay your weapons here before you enter the Hall.”
Legolas removed his quiver laden with his arrow; then he removed his silver-hafted knife, and then his bow which he hesitated in handing it to someone. “Keep these well, for they come from the Golden Wood and the Lady of Lothlorien gave them to me.”
Hama stared at the bow and the quiver with awe as he placed them by the wall barely a few seconds went by since they were on Legolas’s back and then lay by the wall. Hama turned to Aragorn who grievously gave up his sword but he didn’t allow Hama to touch it – he placed it against the wall next to Legolas’s bow and quiver. Gimli placed his axe by Aragorn’s sword and stood near him glaring angrily about not having his axe with him. Hama turned to Solaris.
“Now for your weapons, milady?” asked Hama, holding his hand out to Solaris.
Solaris grumbled softly as she removed her bow and quiver from her back. Her voice went harsh, “No one is to touch our weapons or they will feel the cold burn of Solaris’s hands upon their hearts.”
Hama went pale as he heard Solaris words. “They will stay here and untouched. I swear it.”
Gandalf and the others finally moved into the hall and walked the full length of it to see King Théoden, so bent with age that he seemed almost a dwarf; but his white hair was long and thick and it fell in great braids from beneath a thin circlet of gold set around his brow. On the centre of the circlet lay a white diamond. His eyes still burned with a bright light, glinting as he gazed the strangers. Behind his chair stood a woman clad in white. At his feet, upon the steps sat a wizened figure of a man dressed in black, whose face was a pale white compared to the black hair that rained over his face.
Gandalf broke the silence that rained in the throne room, “Hail, Théoden son of Thengel! I have returned. For behold! The storm comes, and now all friends should gather together, lest each singly be destroyed.”
The man rose slowly with the aid of a black staff with a handle made of white bone which he lend on heavily; and now the strangers saw that, bent though he was, he was still tall and must in days of youth have been high and proud indeed.
“I greet you, Master Gandalf but your welcome is doubtful here,” he said, “You have been the herald of woe. Trouble follow you like crows; when I heard that Shadowfax had come back riderless, I rejoiced at the return of the horse, but still more at the lack of the rider; and when Eomer brought the tidings that you had gone at last to your long home, I did not mourn. But news from afar is seldom sooth. Here you come again! And with you come evils worse than before, as might be expected. Why should I welcome you, Gandalf Stormcrow? Tell me that?” slowly he sat back down in his chair.
“Because the hour of war is coming, Saruman has built himself a huge army and they trespass in your lands and they come here,” spoke Gandalf.
“Lies, my lord! Gandalf spreads lies!” hissed the black haired man, looking at the King. “Gandalf the gray is not being truthful.”
Théoden nodded slowly as he leaned back in his chair. “Do not come here spreading lies about our neighbors, Gandalf. They are not true.”
“I am not Gandalf the gray no more! I am Gandalf the white!” with that said, Gandalf flung off his tattered gray old cloak to reveal his white clothes underneath; shocking everyone in the throne room especially the wise man and the lady in white behind the throne.
“I do not want to bicker with you, Grima, as you are not who I wish to speak with. I do see the real person behind the words of Théoden. I will free you from the grasp of Saruman right now!” spat Gandalf, as he started to yell out magical words as he was fighting an unseen foe.
Grima started to slink away from the throne as he watched as Théoden became a young man once again. He turned away and felt a hand around his throat. He looked up to see the red hair of one of the people who came into the room with Gandalf.
“You shall not leave this throne room now, wise man. You have plenty of explaining to do especially to your King,” hissed Solaris, as she dragged him back to be kneeling before the throne of his King.