Preparing for War

‘All are weary, and very many have wounds light or grievous,’ said Éomer, ‘and we have suffered much loss of our horses, and that is ill to bear. If we must ride soon, then I cannot hope to lead even two thousands, and yet leave as many for the defence of the City.’

‘We have not only to reckon with those who fought on this field,’ said Aragorn. ‘New strength is on the way from the southern fiefs, now that the coasts have been rid. Four thousands I sent marching from Pelargir through Lossarnach two days ago; and Angbor the fearless rides before them. If we set out in two days more, they will draw nigh ere we depart. Moreover many were bidden to follow me up the River in any craft they could gather; and with this wind they will soon be at hand, indeed several ships have already come to the Harlond. I judge that we could lead out seven thousands of horse and foot, and yet leave the City in better defence than it was when the assault began.’

‘The Gate is destroyed,’ said Imrahil, ‘and where now is the skill to rebuild it and set it up anew?’

‘In Erebor in the Kingdom of Dáin there is such skill,’ said Aragorn; ‘and if all our hopes do not perish, then in time I will send Gimli Glóin’s son to ask for wrights of the Mountain. But men are better than gates, and no gate will endure against our Enemy if men desert it.’

The Return of the King, Book 5, Chapter 9

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The Return of the King

Faramir met Aragorn in the midst of those there assembled, and he knelt, and said: ‘The last Steward of Gondor begs leave to surrender his office.’ And he held out a white rod; but Aragorn took the rod and gave it back, saying: ‘That office is not ended, and it shall be thine and thy heirs’ as long as my line shall last. Do now thy office!’

Then Faramir stood up and spoke in a clear voice: ‘Men of Gondor, hear now the Steward of this Realm! Behold! one has come to claim the kingship again at last. Here is Aragorn son of Arathorn, chieftain of the Dúnedain of Arnor, Captain of the Host of the West, bearer of the Star of the North, wielder of the Sword Reforged, victorious in battle, whose hands bring healing, the Elfstone, Elessar of the line of Valandil, Isildur’s son, Elendil’s son of Númenor. Shall he be king and enter into the City and dwell there?’

And all the host and all the people cried yea with one voice.

—The Return of the King, Book 6, Chapter 5

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The Coasts of Middle-Earth

‘Look!’ he [Legolas] cried. ‘Gulls! They are flying far inland. A wonder they are to me and a trouble to my heart. Never in all my life had I met them, until we came to Pelargir, and there I heard them crying in the air as we rode to the battle of the ships. Then I stood still, forgetting war in Middle-Earth; for their wailing voices spoke to me of the Sea. The Sea! Alas! I have not yet beheld it. But deep in the hearts of all my kindred lies the sea-longing, which it is perilous to stir. Alas! for the gulls. No peace shall I have again under beech or under elm.’

The Return of the King, Book 5, Chapter 9

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