Lord of the Rings : The Return of the Read - Book 5, Chapter 5

A short post for a short chapter.

Prolonged rides into battle are no fun, and for Merry it is perhaps harder than for most.  Those that know who he is know of his affiliation with the King, which sets him apart.  Those that don't are likely to overlook him if they notice him at best, and his best-friend is besieged in a city. 

To some extent the Wild Men remind me of the elves.  The have not the imbued light that burns away the dark, nor the long lives, but they share a desire to exist in the woods separate from the wider world of men.  They give aid, but almost reluctantly, even though the outcome of this war could mean their end.

While riding an entire army to another country takes time, this chapter is particularly short, and is basically non-existent in the film.  Chapter 5 takes us to the point where Chapter 4 ended, with the Rohirrim coming to the aid of Gondor, bringing two of the split story arcs generally back together.  Jackson goes largely counter to Tolkien's representation of the Wild Men, if we get them at all.  We possibly get them as raiders and frustrated antagonists, provoked and set against Rohan by Saruman back in the last film.  Which stands a bit starkly opposed to a culture of men who not only want nothing to do with the war, but show the Rohirrim a major shortcut so the bothersome Orcs can be eliminated.  The only actual presence of this chapter shows up as the Rohirrim line up and then charge into battle, and that is done with more pomp and circumstance than written.


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