Eomer and Haldir

“Will she listen to you?” asked Eomer.

Haldir, gazing intently at the patch of grass before him, did not answer.

“She will not listen to me,” continued Eomer, “and, though I know Legolas wants to stop her as much as I do, he,”—Eomer sighed—“he will let her have her head. So—will she listen to you? Can you persuade her to retract—”

How can you ask that of me?

“I am desperate.”

“We are all desperate!” Haldir pushed the man aside and strode away, along the sloping bank, through the tangle of thorny bushes, far from the cavalcade, far from the lovers at the river’s edge.

Eomer drew his sword and followed, hacking at branches to left and right. “So you will stand back, and let the woman you love die,” he cried, “because she likes to pretend that she is a man, and he is too far under her thumb—”

“No!” Haldir turned on the king. “That is not how it is!” He ran his hand through his silvery hair, leaving it in wild disarray. “If she were mine, I would throw her over my horse and gallop away with her—gallop day and night—until I was sure she was safe.

“And—by the Valar!—how she would hate me for it!

“She would hate me, Eomer…

“So let us thank the Valar that she belongs to Legolas. For he is made of braver stuff than you or I. His love for her is pure. And he will never force her against her will.”

“You make it sound like—rape,” muttered Eomer.

“What else would it be? To say to a woman, ‘You have not the right to decide your own fate, as any man or elf may do, you must accept whatever I decide for you—and I value my own desires above your honour’.”

Then what can we do?” cried Eomer.


They stood side-by-side, in silence, watching the Great River flow by, swift and unstoppable.

Then Haldir sighed. “We can return to the others and play our parts,” he said. “We can make sure that Legolas and Eowyn have—what may be—their last precious hours alone together.

“And we can pray to our gods that she is victorious tomorrow, Eomer.”



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This takes place immediately after Her reasons.