Wednesday, November 11, 2015

30 Day Challenge Day XI

Favorite Battle

I am not an expert on war tactics and I don't know much about formations and weapons, but the great thing about Tolkien's world is that you don't have to.  You can enjoy his stories without knowing all of the details--because they're written expertly and engagingly.   Even though I don't know much about battles, I do know that the battle of the Pelenor Fields is my favorite for three reasons.

The first reason I enjoy it so much is because of how it is written.  Sometimes I forget the power of the language in the books itself.  The writing lends itself so strongly to feelings of despair; hopelessness.  I can't help but feel the urge to give up--the exact same urge I am certain the citizens of Gondor are feeling.  Even though I know what is coming, I still feel a sinking in my stomach just waiting for the forces of Mordor to be unleashed.  This is just a testament to Tolkien's skill with words.

The second is how the battle actually plays out.  It starts with despair.  Just to emphasize how the odds are stacked so crookedly, we have the character of Denethor forsake his duty via the pyre.  We are left in the dark for awhile, the cloud of Mordor hanging over our heads.  But then, there is a tiny ray of light that peeks through and the Rohirrim come.  I would urge you to read this part of the book.  Even if you say "no way!" I am not going to read The Lord of the Rings, just read this part.  It is so powerful and...oh it gets me every time!  Reread it, even if you already are familiar with it.  It never gets old.  The real "euchatastrophe" is when Aragorn shows up and meets Eomer on the battle field.  It's overwhelming how powerful this part is.

The final reason is the outcome of the battle.  This is the real turning point of the story.  Prior to this battle, the people of Middle-earth were just waiting for their doom to strike, but after it, Sauron looses his footing and a glimmer of hope is seen.

Of course there are those priceless moments, like Eowyn killing the Witch King and Theoden's passing, Theoden's speech to the Rohirrim and Eomer's desperate final charge after seeing his uncle killed, Merry's courage, and all of the little moments that peek up.

Here are just a few quotes from the battle of the Pelennor Fields that just get me right here.

"Ride now, ride now!  Ride to Gondor!"

"'To me!  To me!' cried Theoden.  'Up Eorlingas!  Fear no darkness!'"

"'Hinder me?  Thou fool.  No living man may hinder me!'...'But no living man am I!  You look upon a woman.  Eowyn I am, Eomund's daugher.  You stand between me and my lord and kin.  Begone, if you be not deathless!  For living or dark undead, I will smite you, if you touch him.'"

"And he looked at the slain, recalling their names.  Then suddenly he beheld his sister Eowyn as she lay, and knew her.  He stood a moment as a man who is pierced in the midst of a cry by an arrow through the heart; and then his face went deathly white, and a cold fury rose in him, so that all speech failed him for a while.  A few mood took him.  'Eowyn, Eowyn!' he cried at last.  'Eowyn, how come you here?  What madness or devilry is this?  Death, death, death!  Death take us all!'...the Rohirrim sang no more.  Death they cried with one voice loud and terrible, and gathering speed like a great tide, their battle swept about their fallen king and passed, roaring away southwards."

"Out of doubt, out of dark to the day's rising 
I came singing in the sun, sword unsheathing.
To hope's end I rode and to heart's breaking,
Now for wrath, now for ruin and a red nightfall."

1 comment:

  1. Can't wait to read it! So beautiful! *sobs* happy tears... :' )