Until the very End


35. The Return of the King - Chapter 2


In the Golden Halls of Edoras, we are having a celebration of our victory. Theoden raises his cup and Aragorn and I led the men to standing. "Tonight we remember those who gave their blood to defend this country. Hail the victorious dead!" Theoden address us, "Hail!" we repeat and take a drink from our mugs.
The party is in full swing and I stand next to Gandalf as we watch Merry and Pippin dance on the tabletops:

"Oh, you can search far and wide
You can drink the whole town dry
But you'll never find a deer so brown
As the one we drink in our home town.
You can keep your fancy ales.
You can drink em by the flagon
But the only brew for the brave and true..."

The pair sing but Pippin stops and looks at Gandalf and I, "Pippin!" Merry calls his name and Pippin looks his way.

"...But the only brew for the brave and true
Comes from the Green Dragon" 

They finish and chug their drinks back. Aragorn comes to my side and wraps his arm around my waist, "No news of Frodo?" he asks Gandalf, "No word. Nothing" Gandalf informs us. "We have time" I reassure the wizard, "Every day Frodo moves closer to Mordor" Aragorn adds in, "Do we know that?" Gandalf questions. "What does your heart tell you?" I ask him, "That Frodo is alive. Yes. Yes, he is alive" he tells us.

The party has finished and everyone has gone to bed. I exit the Golden Hall and approach the only other awake person, Legolas. We stand on the edge of the staircase and look towards Mordor. "The stars are veiled. Something stirs in the East" I point out, "A sleepless malice. The Eye of the enemy is moving" Legolas finishes. After a few moments of silence we both turn to each other, "He is here!" we say and run back into the Golden Hall.

I run into the room to see Pippin stuck to the burning orb, and writhes in pain on the floor. I snatch the Palantir from Pippin and fall to my knees, Legolas catch's me as the Palantir falls from my hands and rolls across the floor. Gandalf throws a cloth over it,"Fool of a Took!" Gandalf says as he turns around to see a terrified Pippin on the floor. I crawl across the floor until I get to Pippin's side, "Look at me" Gandalf tells Pippin, "Gandalf! Forgive me!" Pippin says and looks away from the wizard. "Look at us. What did you see?" I question the hobbit, "A tree...there was a white tree in a courtyard off stone...it was dead. The city was burning" he informs us, "Minas Tirith? Is that what you saw?" Gandalf asks him. "I saw...I saw him! I could hear His voice in my head!" Pippin tells us, "And what did you tell him?" I question, "He asked me my name. I didn't answer. He hurt me!" Pippin says, "What did you tell Him about Frodo and the Ring?" Gandalf questions him and Pippin shakes his head.

Gandalf and I talk to Theoden in the Golden Hall. Aragorn, Legolas, Gimli, Merry and Pippin are also present. "There was no lie in Pippin's eye. He told Sauron nothing of Frodo and the Ring" I inform Theoden, "We've been strangely fortunate. Pippin saw in the Palantir a glimpse of the enemy's plan. Sauron moves to strike the city of Minas Tirith. His defeat at Helm's Deep showed our enemy one thing: he knows the heir of Elendil has come forth. Men are not as weak as he supposed; there is courage still, strength enough perhaps to challenge him. Sauron fears this. He will not risk the people of Middle-Earth uniting under one banner " Gandalf says.  "He will raze Minas Tirith to the ground before he sees a King return to the throne of men. If the Beacons of Gondor are lit, Rohan must be ready fro war" I tell Theoden, "Tell me...why should we ride to the aid of those who did not come to ours? What do we owe Gondor?" Theoden asks. "We will go" Aragorn says as he comes to my side, "No!" Gandalf tells us, "They must be warned!" I argue, "They will be. You must come to Minas Tirith by another road" Gandalf says and stands in front of us. "Follow the river and look to the black ships" he whispers, "Understand this: things are now in motion that cannot be undone. I ride for Minas Tirith" Gandalf tells everyone and looks to the hobbbits, especially towards Pippin, "And I won't be going alone" he says. 








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