The Riders of Rohan ride for two days towards the Fords of Isen where the remnant of the army that had been commanded by Theodred, son of Théoden, until he fell, still strive to hold out. They are met by a messenger who counsels them to go no further.
“Where is Eomer?” he cries, “Tell him there is no hope ahead. He should return to Edoras before the wolves of Isengard get there.”
The whole mood is one of despair and the arrival of Eomer makes no difference to this. But then Théoden rides forward and speaks to the messenger.
“I am here,” he says. The last host of the Eorlingas has ridden forth. It will not return without battle.”
And with those words everything is transformed. The messenger falls to his knees “with joy and wonder”. No new hope has been given. The likely end to this story is still death…
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