“Grima, you have shown me treachery by betraying me like you did!” snapped Théoden.
Grima cried beseechingly to Théoden, “I’ve only ever served you, my lord! Please do not send me away!”
Théoden advanced towards Grima who now stood, holding the sword firmly in his hand, “Your leech craft would have had me crawling on all fours like a beast! I should slay you right now and end your time here.”
Théoden raises his sword to kill Grima. Aragorn holds him back. Aragorn whispers, “No, my lord! No, my lord, let him go. Enough blood has been spilled on his account.”
Théoden turned to look at Grima and spoke, voice cold, “Leave this town and never return. You are banished from Rohan. Seek your master out and let him know I will not let him win!”
Grima turned and fled from the Hall as he heard everyone cheering Théoden’s name as he held his sword up high.
Théoden gazed around the Hall and noticed that someone was missing. “Where is Théodred? Where is my son?”
A white flower comes into view, held up by a hand. It is released and spirals down to land among similar flowers, in front of a tomb.
Théoden looks at the tomb before he turned towards Gandalf. “Simbelmyne. Ever has it grown on the tombs of my forebears? Now it shall cover the grave of my son. Alas, that these evil days should be mine. The young perish and the old linger. That I should live to see the last days of my house.”
Gandalf spoke gently and softly. “Théodred’s death was not of your making.”
Théoden shook his head, “No parent should have to bury their child.” Théoden starts to weep.
Gandalf placed his hand on Théoden’s shoulder. “His was strong in life. His spirit will find its way to the halls of your fathers. Westu hál. Ferðu, Théodred, Ferðu. (Be-thou well. Go-thou, Théodred, go-thou.)”
Gandalf turns to start to head for the hall to allow Théoden time to grieve in private. He sees two children on horseback. One of the children collapses and falls off the horse. Later, inside the Golden Hall, the two children are eating at a table with Solaris sitting next to them.
Eowyn turned to Théoden and Aragorn. “They had no warning. They were unarmed. Now the wild men are moving through the Westfold, burning as they go. Rick, cot and tree.”
Freda turned to Solaris and asked, “Where’s mama?”
Solaris wrapped her arm around her and whispered, “Shh…”
Gandalf leans forward and puts a hand on Théoden’s chair. Théoden looks at his hand warily. “This is but a taste of the terror that Saruman will unleash. All the more potent for he is driven mad by fear of Sauron. Ride out and meet him head on. Draw him away from your women and children. You must fight.”
Aragorn spoke, “You have two thousand good men riding north as we speak. Eomer is loyal to you. His men will return and fight for their king.”
Théoden shook his head, “They will be three hundred leagues from here by now. Eomer cannot help us. I know what it is that you want of me. But I will not bring further death to my people. I will not risk open war.”
Gimli, Legolas, Eowyn and Solaris watch as Aragorn and Théoden speak to each other.
Aragorn spat knowing that he was not really listening to him, “Open war is upon you. Whether you would risk war or not, Théoden, it is coming!”
Théoden glared towards Aragorn and spat, “When last I looked, Théoden, not Aragorn, was king of Rohan. I will make the decisions for my people,”
Gandalf looking at Aragorn to sit down and to calm down. He turned towards Théoden, “Then what is the king’s decision?”
“Helm’s deep! They think that will save them from Saruman? Gandalf can’t you convince him to stand and fight here?” asked Solaris, as she placed the brush that she was using on the horse she stood by down.
“I have tried, Solaris. He will not budge from his decision. I must go. Eomer must be brought back. Aragorn, look for me in five days hence to the East. I shall be back with an army to fight,” Gandalf said, as he mounted Shadowfax and galloped out of the stables.
Solaris turned to look at the others. “I hope he will find him in time to help us.”
“I hope so, Solaris. I hope he finds them,” Aragorn whispered softly.
Solaris turned towards Aragorn and spoke, voice showing her anger. “There is no way out of that ravine, Aragorn. Théoden is walking into a trap. He believes he is leading them to safety. What they will get is a massacre. Théoden has a strong will but I fear for him, I fear for his people. I fear for the survival of Rohan. He will need you before the end, Aragorn. The people of Rohan will need you. The defenses HAVE to hold.”
Aragorn turned to look at her and saw wisdom in her eyes, “They will hold.”