CD No. 7 Episode VII : The King of the Golden Hall

t h e k i n g o f t h e g o l d e n h a l l

Pippin: Aren't the Ents ever going to make up their minds? They've been
talking for three days, now.

Merry: I have an odd feeling about them, Pippin. I don't think they are
quite as safe as they seem.

Pippin: And I don't think they like being roused.

[The Ents yell out behind them]

Merry: I wonder what that meant? It sounded as if they decided something.

Pippin: Yes. But what?


To Isengard we come!
With doom we come, with doom we come!

Treebeard: Hoom, hoom! Here we come with a boom. Here we come at last. Come
Merry, come Pippin! Join the Moot. We're off.

Pippin: Where, Treebeard?

Treebeard: To reckon with Saruman at Isengard.

Pippin: The Ents made up their minds rather quickly, after all, didn't

Treebeard: Quickly? Hmm, yes indeed. Quicker than I expected, Pippin.
Indeed I have not seemed them roused like this for many an age.

Merry: What will you do to Isengard?

Treebeard: If we are not hewn down, or destroyed by fire or blasts of
sorcery, we will split Isengard into splinters and crack its walls to
rubble! Of course, it is likely enough that we are going to our doom: the
last march of the Ents.

[The Ents' voices grow steadily louder and nearer behind Treebeard's voice]

To Isengard we come!
Though it be ringed and barred with doors of stone;
Though Isengard be strong and hard, as cold as stone and bare as bone,
We go, we go, we go to war, to hew the stone and break the door;
For bole and bough are burning now, the furnace roars - we go to war!
To land of gloom with tramp of doom,
with roll of drum, we come, we come;
To Isengard we come!
With doom we come, with doom we come!

Treebeard: But if we stayed and home and did nothing, doom would find us
anyway, sooner or later, that is why we are marching now. It was not a
hasty resolve. But now at least, the last march of the Ents may be worth
the song. Come. To Isengard!

Merry and Pippin: To Isengard!

- - - - -

Narrator: As the Ents marched towards Isengard, Gandalf, Aragorn, Gimli,
and Legolas rode across the plains of Rohan. For hours they rode, through
dusk and night and on again until the dawn. They came then to the wide
wind-swept walls and the golden halls of Edoras.

Háma: Stay, strangers here unknown! It is the will of Théoden King that
none should enter his gates save those who are our friends.

Gandalf: Who speaks of Théoden's will?

Háma: I am the Doorward of Théoden. Háma is my name.

Gandalf: Well, Háma, I am in haste. For I am Gandalf. I have returned. And
behold! I bring back a horse, Shadowfax the Great whom no other hand can
tame. And here beside me is Aragorn son of Arathorn, the heir of the Kings
of Gondor. Here also are Legolas the Elf and Gimli the Dwarf, our comrades.
Go now and say to your master that we are at his gates, and would have
speech with him.

Háma: Strange names you give indeed. But I will report them and learn my
master's will.

- - - - -

Narrator: After some time, Háma returned and bade the travellers follow
him. The dark gates were swung open, and entering, they were led to the
doors of Théoden's Hall.

Háma: Here, I must bid you lay aside your weapons.

Legolas: Keep this knife and this bow and quiver well, for they come from
the Golden Wood, and the Lady of Lothlórien gave them to me.

Háma: No man will touch them, I promise you.

Aragorn: I am less willing than friend Legolas here to put aside my weapon.
For it is the sword Andúril, and I am Aragorn son of Arathorn.

Háma: This is the house of Théoden, not of Aragorn. Lay your sword here if
you would not fight alone against all the men in Edoras.

Gimli: Not alone! The axe of Gimli says Aragorn would not fight alone.

Gandalf: Come, come! We are friends here, or should be; for the laughter of
Mordor will be our only reward if we quarrel. My errand is pressing. Here
at least is my sword...

[He lays down his sword]

Gandalf: ...goodman Háma. Now let me pass. Come, Aragorn!

Aragorn: Very well.

[Andúril is unsheathed]

Aragorn: Here is Andúril, and here I set it.

[It is lain down]

Gimli: Well, if it has Andúril to keep it company, my axe may rest here too
without shame.

[His axe is placed down]

Háma: There remains only your staff, Master Gandalf. Forgive me, but that
too must be left at the doors.

Gandalf: Foolishness! Prudence is one thing, but discourtesy is another. I
am old. If I may not lean on my stick as I go, then I will sit out here,
until it pleases Théoden to hobble out himself to speak to me.

Háma: The staff in the hand of a wizard may be more than a prop for age.
Yet I believe you are friends and folk worthy of honour. You may go in.

- - - - -

[Footsteps are heard in the Hall]

Gandalf: Hail, Théoden son of Thengel!

Théoden: Gandalf.

Gandalf: Greetings, Lady Éowyn.

Éowyn: Sir.

Gandalf: I have returned, Théoden. For behold! The storm comes, and now all
friends should gather together, lest each singly be destroyed.

Théoden: I greet you, and maybe you look for welcome. But truth to tell
your welcome is doubtful here, Master Gandalf. You have ever been a herald
of woe. Troubles follow you like crows.

Wormtongue: You speak justly, lord. Send the wandering wizard hence.

Gandalf: Théoden King, does this man still make the decisions which others
to believe to be the will of Théoden?

Théoden: Gríma is our counselor and we will hear his counsel.

Wormtongue: My lord, it is not five days since the bitter tidings came that
Théodred, your son, had been slain. Éomer has proved unworthy of your
trust. And even now we learn that the Dark Lord is stirring in the East.
Such is the hour in which this wanderer chooses to return. Why indeed
should we welcome you, Master Stormcrow? Ill news is an ill guest, they

Gandalf: In two ways a man may come with evil tidings, Gríma Wormtongue. He
may be a worker of evil; or he may be such as leaves well alone, and comes
only to bring aid in time of need.

Wormtongue: What aid have you ever brought, Stormcrow? And what aid do you
bring now? It was aid from us that you sought last time you were here. And
in your insolence you took Shadowfax. At that, my lord was sorely grieved.

Théoden: It is as Gríma says, Gandalf.

Gandalf: I return Shadowfax to you now, King Théoden.

Wormtongue: Do you also bring men with you? And swords and spears? That I
would call aid; for that is our present need. But who are these that follow
at your tail? Three ragged wanderers in grey, and you yourself the most
beggar-like of the four!

[Gimli exclaims in anger]

Gandalf: The wise speak only of what they know, Gríma son of Gálmód. A
witless worm have you become. Therefore be silent, and keep your forked
tongue behind your teeth. I have not passed through fire and death to bandy
crooked words with a serving-man till the lightning falls.

[Thunder rolls in the Hall]

Wormtongue: Did I not counsel you, lord, to forbid his staff? See, now, how
he words enchantment with its aid!

[Lightning cracks through the air. Wormtongue screams and whimpers]

Gandalf: Now Théoden son of Thengel, will you hearken to me? Not all is
dark. Take courage, Lord of the Mark; for better help you will not find. No
counsel have I to give those that despair. Yet counsel I could give, and
words I could speak to you. Will you hear them? They are not for all ears.
I bid you come out before your doors and look abroad. Too long have you sat
in shadows and trusted to twisted tales and crooked promptings.

Théoden: I sit no longer.

Éowyn: My lord!

Gandalf: Leave him a while with me, Lady. I will care for him.

Théoden: Go, Éowyn, sister-daughter! The time for fear is passed.

Wormtongue: My lord, beware this trickery!

Gandalf: Silence, Wormtongue! Open the doors! The Lord of the Mark comes

- - - - -

[Wind blows]

Gandalf: Now, lord, look out upon your land! Breathe the free air again!

Théoden: It is not so dark here.

Gandalf: No. Nor does age lie so heavily on your shoulders as some would
have you think. Cast away your stick. You have no need of any prop!

Théoden: Ah - dark have been my dreams of late, but I feel as one new-
awakened. I would now that you had come before, Gandalf. For I fear that
already you have come too late. What is to be done?

Gandalf: Send first for Éomer. Do I not guess rightly that you hold him
prisoner, by counsel of Gríma Wormtongue?

Théoden: It is true. He had rebelled against my commands, and threatened
death to Gríma in my hall.

Gandalf: Ah! A man may love you and yet not love Wormtongue or his

Théoden: That may be. I will do as you ask. Call Háma to me.

[Théoden sighs quietly to himself]

Gandalf: You look east to Mordor, Théoden. Think you perhaps that way lies
our despair?

Théoden: Indeed, Gandalf. I do greatly fear it.

Gandalf: Verily, it is so. But that way also lies our hope, though our doom
hangs still upon a thread, and it is, I fear, the very merest thread.

- - - - -

Narrator: And so it was. For Frodo and Sam were being led towards the Land
of Shadow by a dangerous guide.

[The wind blows harshly around them. Gollum is muttering to himself in the

Frodo: We must have some food, Sam.

Sam: It certainly makes you hungry, all this walking.

Frodo: Are you hungry, Gollum?

Gollum: Gollum.

Frodo: We have very little to share, but we will spare you what we can.

Gollum: Yes, we are famisshed, precious, yes. What is it? What is it
hobbits eatses, hm? Have they got nice fishsses?

Frodo: No, we have no fish.

[Gollum whines in disappointment]

Frodo: Only these wafers.

[Sam chews on the lembas bread]

Gollum: Oh, is it, uh - crunchable? Is it tasty?

Sam: Here you are, Gollum.

[Gollum sniffs the wafers]

Gollum: Sméagol doesn't like the smell...

[He cries out in disgust and spits]

Gollum: Dust and ashess, he can't eat that! Nasty Elveses' food. He must
starve. Poor Sméagol must... gollum, gollum! Ah, but Sméagol doesn't mind.
Sméagol has promised. He can't eat hobbitses' food. He will starve.

[He laughs]

Gollum: Poor thin Sméagol!

Frodo: I'm sorry, but I can't help you, I'm afraid. I - I think this food
would do you good, in only you would try. But -

Gollum: Gollum.

Frodo: ...perhaps you can't even try, not yet anyway.

[Sam stretches]

Sam: Look here, Mr. Frodo! We both need sleep; but one of us must keep
awake with that hungry villain nigh, promise or no promise. So you get some
sleep, and I'll call you when I can't keep my eyelids propped up.

[Gollum hisses]

Frodo: Perhaps you're right, Sam.

[Gollum hums to himself]

- - - - -

[The wind blows. Sam snores, but wakes suddenly]

Sam: Y- you numbskull, Sam Gamgee! A lot of help you are, dozing off while
you said you'd keep awake. Gollum! Now where's he gone to?

[Gollum laughs]

Gollum: Not far, not far!

Sam: Here, what are you doing?

Gollum: Sméagol is hungry. Be back soon.

Sam: Come back now! Hi! Come back!

[Frodo wakes]

Frodo: Hm? Whats - Is anything wrong, Sam? What... what's the time?

Sam: Well, I - I... I don't know. It's after sundown, I reckon. A - and
Gollum's gone off. Says he's hungry. Poor wretch! But I shouldn't have
dropped off.

[Frodo yawns]

Frodo: Don't worry! There's no help for it. We're neither of us throttled,
and he'll come back, you'll see. The promise will hold a while yet. And he
won't leave his Precious, anyway.

Sam: About the food, Mr. Frodo.

Frodo: Hm?

Sam: Well - how long's it going to take to - to do this job? And when it's
done, what are we going to do then?

Frodo: Samwise Gamgee, my dear hobbit.

[He laughs]

Frodo: Indeed, Sam, my dearest hobbit. Friend of friends! I do not think we
need give thought to that. What hope is there that we ever shall do the
job, as you put it. And if we do, who knows what will come of that? I mean,
if the One Ring goes into the Fire, and we are at hand? I ask you, Sam, are
we ever likely to need bread again? I think not. No, if we can nurse our
limbs to bring us to Mount Doom, that is all we can do.

Sam: Ye - yes, yes, that... that is all we can do. Now, where is that
dratted creature?

Gollum: Is it talking about us, precious?

[Frodo and Sam are startled]

[Gollum laughs]

Gollum: What a nice, friendly hobbit it is to poor Sméagol.

[He begins to eat]

Frodo: I wonder what he found to eat?

Sam: Worms or beetles or something slimy out of holes, I'd say.

[Gollum sighs with satisfaction]

Gollum: Better now.

[He laughs]

Gollum: Are we rested? Nice hobbits ready to go on, hm?

Frodo: Yes, Sméagol. But which way do we go?

Gollum: Ah, there are many ways, but they all lead straight to Him. But
Sméagol knows another way, don't we, hm?

Sam: Which way?

Gollum: Through the Marshes. Through the mists, nice thick mists. More
difficult, not so quick; but better, if we don't want Him to see. Trust
Sméagol. Trust him and you may go a long way! Quite a long way before He
catches you. Yes, perhaps.

[He laughs]

Gollum: Follow Sméagol!

- - - - -

[Frodo, Sam, and Gollum's footsteps are soft in the bog]

Sam: What's all this, Gollum? What are these lights?

Gollum: Yes, yes, lightseses.

Sam: They're all round us now.

Gollum: Yes, yes, they are all round us. The tricksy lights. Candles of
corpses, yes, yes. Don't you heed 'em! Don't look! Don't follow 'em!

[He hisses]

Gollum: Where's master?

Sam: Huh? Mr. - Mr. Frodo! Mr. Frodo! Mr. Frodo, don't look at them! Gollum
says we mustn't. Let's keep up with him and get out of this cursed place as
quick as we can - if we can!

Frodo: All right, Sam. I'm coming... I'm coming.

Sam: What is it, Mr. Frodo? What did you see?

Frodo: Dead things, dead faces in the water. Dead faces!

[Gollum laughs]

Gollum: The Dead Marshes, yes, yes: that's the name. You shouldn't look in
when the candles are lit. Silly master.

Sam: Who are they? What are they?

Frodo: Don't know. They lie in all the pools, pale faces, deep, deep under
the dark water. I saw them: grim faces and evil, and noble faces and sad.
Many faces proud and fair, with weeds in their silver hair. But all foul,
all rotting, all dead.

Gollum: Yes, yess. All dead, all rotten. Elveses and Men and Orcseses. The
Dead Marshes. There was a great battle long ago, yes, so they told him when
Sméagol was young, when I was young before the Precious came. It was a
great battle. They fought on the plain for days and months at the Black
Gates. But the Marshesss have grown since then, swallowed up the graves;
always creeping, creeping.

Sam: But that is an age and more ago. The Dead can't really be there!

Gollum: Who knows? Sméagol doesn't know. You cannot reach them, you cannot
touches 'em. We tried once, yes, precious. I tried once.

Sam: Why?

Gollum: Hobbits ask too many questionsss!

Frodo: I don't want to see them again. Never again! Can't we get on and get

Gollum: Yessss... but slowly, very slowly. Very carefully! Or hobbits go
down to join the dead ones and light little candles. Follow Sméagol. Don't
look at the lightsess! Follow Sméagol.

- - - - -

Gandalf: Our doom hangs still upon a thread, and it is, I fear, the merest
thread. Yet hope there is still, King Théoden, if we can but stand
unconquered for a little while.

Théoden: Alas, Gandalf, that these evil days should be mine and should come
in my old age instead of that peace which I have earned.

Gandalf: You would remember your old strength better, if you grasped a
sword-hilt again.

[A sword is drawn]

Éomer: Take this, dear lord!

[Men mutter amongst themselves]

Éomer: It was ever at your service.

Théoden: How comes it that Éomer, charged as he is with being unworthy to
bear arms for the land of Rohan, should now stand before us with a drawn
sword in his hand?

Háma: It is my doing, lord.

Théoden: Yours, Háma?

Gandalf: Will you not take the sword?

Théoden: Yes. Yes, Gandalf, I will take it!

[The men breathe in wonder]


Arise now, arise, Riders of Théoden!
Dire deeds awake, dark is it eastward.
Let horse be bridled, horn be sounded!
Forth Eorlingas!

[Many swords are drawn with cries of "Command us!"]

Éomer: Westu Théoden hál! It is a joy to us to see you return into your
own. Never again shall it be said, Gandalf, that you come only with grief!

Théoden: Take back your sword, Éomer, sister-son! Go, Háma, and seek my own
sword! Gríma has it in his keeping.

[Éomer sheathes his sword]

Théoden: Bring him to me also.

Háma: My lord!

Théoden: Now, Gandalf, you said that you had counsel to give, if I would
hear it. What is your counsel?

Gandalf: To cast aside regret and fear. To do the deed at hand. Every man
that can ride should be sent west at once. We must first destroy the threat
of Saruman, and the black spawn of Isengard while we have time. If we fail,
we fall. If we succeed - then we will face the next task.

Théoden: This counsel seems good to me now.

Gandalf: When we are gone, Théoden, lead the women, the children, and the
old swiftly to the Hold of Dunharrow in the hills.

Théoden: Nay, Gandalf! You do not know your own skill in healing. It shall
not be so. I myself will go to war, to fall in the front of battle, if it
must be. Thus shall I sleep better.

Háma: My lord, I bring Gríma the Wormtongue before you, as I was bid to do.
Also your ancient blade...

[Herugrim is drawn]

Háma: ...Herugrim.

Háma: It was found in his room.

Wormtongue: Your master himself gave it into my keeping.

Théoden: And he requires it of you again. The Host rides today. Send
heralds forth!

Aragorn: And when the Men of Rohan ride forth, Aragorn son of Arathorn
rides with them!

Legolas: And so too, my lord, will Legolas!

Gimli: And Gimli son of Glóin.

Aragorn: Together we ride; axe, bow, and sword!

Wormtongue: Dear lord! It is as I feared. This wizard has bewitched you.
Are none to be left to defend the Golden Hall of your fathers, and all your
treasure? None to guard the Lord of the Mark?

Théoden: If this is bewitchment, it seems to me more wholesome than your
whisperings. No, not one shall be left, not even Gríma. Gríma shall ride

Wormtongue: Have pity on one worn out in your service. Send me not from
your side. I at least will stand by you when all others have gone.

Théoden: You have my pity. I do not send you from my side. I go myself to
war with my men. I bid you come with me and prove your faith.

Wormtongue: I see. I have come too late. Others, whom the death of my lord
would grieve less, have persuaded him. If I cannot undo their work, then
hear me at least in this, lord! One who knows your mind and honours your
commands should be left in Edoras. Appoint a faithful steward. Let your
counselor Gríma keep all things till your return.

Gandalf: Down, snake! Down on your belly!

[Wormtongue hisses at him]

Gandalf: How long is it since Saruman bought you? What was the promised
price? Perhaps I should tell you? Was it not that when all was finished,
you should have the Lady Éowyn?

[A sword is unsheathed and murmurings surround the group]

Éomer: I should have forgotten the law of the hall and slain him before he
should have touched my sister.

Gandalf: Éowyn is safe now, Éomer. But you, Wormtongue, you have done what
you could for your true master, Saruman. Some reward you have earned at
least. Yet Saruman is apt to overlook his bargains. I should advise you to
go quickly and remind him.

Wormtongue: He lies, my lord. There's no truth in what he says.

Gandalf: I do not lie. See, Théoden, here is a snake! With safety you
cannot take it with you, nor can you leave it behind. Give him a horse and
let him go at once, wherever he chooses. By his choice you shall judge him.

Théoden: Do you hear this, Wormtongue? This is your choice: to ride with me
to war, and let us see in battle whether you are true; or to go now,
whither you will. But then, if ever we meet again, I shall not be merciful.

[Wormtongue hisses, spits, and runs away, screaming]

Théoden: After him! See that he does no harm to any, but do not hurt him or
hinder him. Give him a horse, if he wishes it.

Éomer: And if any will bear him.

Théoden: Now, Gandalf, I would give you a gift ere we go, in gratitude for
all I owe to you.

Gandalf: I will choose a gift, lord, that will fit my need: swift and sure.
Give me Shadowfax! He was only lent before. But now I shall ride him into
great hazard, setting silver against black.

Théoden: You choose well, and I give him how gladly.

Éowyn: Ferthu Théoden hál! Recieve now this cup and drink in happy hour.
Health be with thee at they going and coming!

[Théoden drinks from the cup]

Éowyn: Hail Aragorn son of Arathorn! Will you now drink from this cup?

Aragorn: Hail Lady of Rohan! Gladly will I drink from the cup of Théoden.

Théoden: And now behold! I go forth, and it seems likely to be my last
riding. Before we ride, I name now Éomer my sister-son to be my heir. But
to someone I must entrust my people. Which of you will lead my people to
the safety of Dunharrow? Is there none whom you would name? In whom do my
people trust?

Háma: In the House of Eorl.

Théoden: But Éomer I cannot spare.

Háma: I said not Éomer. There is Éowyn, his sister. She is fearless and
high-hearted. And all love her. Let her be as a lord to your people, while
we are gone.

[The men cry out in agreement]

Théoden: It shall be so. Farewell sister-daughter!

Éowyn: A year shall I endure for every day that passes until you return.

Théoden: To horse, then!

[Many cries of "To horse!" are heard from the surrounding men]

Éomer: Gimli Glóin's son! Will you ride with me?

Gimli: Gladly, Éomer, if Legolas may ride beside us.

Éomer: It shall be so. Legolas upon my left and Aragorn upon my right, and
none will dare to stand before us.

Legolas: Nor shall they, Éomer!

- - - - -

Théoden: Here, now I name my guest, Gandalf Greyhame a Lord of the Mark, a
chieftain of the Eorlingas while our kin shall last; and I give to him
Shadowfax, prince of horses.

Gandalf: I thank you, Théoden King.

Aragorn: Behold the White Rider!

[The men echo: "Our King and the White Rider!"]

Théoden: Forth Eorlingas!

- - - - -

[Sam slips in the bog]

Frodo: Sam!

Sam: Drat!

Gollum: Careful! Hobbitses must be careful!

[He hisses]

Gollum: They should use their handsss more, they should, then they wouldn't
fall over.

Sam: Three precious little Gollums in a row we shall be, if this goes on.

Gollum: Come on, on we go. We're nearly at the end of the nasty marshesss.

[Frodo and Sam sigh in relief]

Gollum: Yes, yes. Nice hobbits! Brave hobbits! Very weary they are, of
courssse. So are we, oh, my precious, all of us. But we must take master
away from the wicked lightses. Yes, yes, we must.

[He sniffs the air]

Gollum: Ah...

Sam: What is it? What's the need to sniff? The stink nearly knocks me down
with my nose held. You stink, and master stinks; the whole place stinks.

Gollum: Yes, yes, and Sam stinks! Poor Sméagol smells it, but good Sméagol
bearss it. Helps nice matter. But that's no matter.

[He sniffs and hisses]

Gollum: The air's moving.

[He sniffs again]

Gollum: Change is comings.

Frodo: What do you mean?

Gollum: Sméagol wonders; he's not happy.

[A Nazgûl screams above them]

Gollum: Gollum, gollum! Gollum...

Sam: What was that?

Frodo: I don't know, Sam. But there is a wind, at last. You feel it?

Sam: It's breaking the clouds up. Look - there's the moon.

[Gollum screams and hisses]

Gollum: Nasty White Face! Nasty, nasty!

Sam: Mr. Frodo, look!

Frodo: What?

Sam: There! It's coming from Mordor! It's got - it's got wings!

Gollum: Gollum!

Frodo: Get down, both of you!

Gollum: Gollum!

Frodo: Get down!

[The Nazgûl cries again]

Gollum: Wraithsess! Wraithesess on wings! The Precious is their master.
They sees everything, everything. Nothing can hide from them.

[He hisses]

Gollum: Curse the White Face! And they tell Him everything. He sees, He
knows. Gollum, gollum, gollum!

Sam: Well, I don't know what that was. But I'm thankful it's gone. Come on,
Gollum, on your feet! It's time to be moving on.

Gollum: Not while the White Face is in the sky. No!

[He hisses]

Gollum: No, not now. Not now.

- - - - -

Narrator: It was not until the moon had sunk that Gollum would get up or
make a move. For three days, they journeyed in darkness, cowering under
black rocks by day like worms, lest the winged terror should pass and spy
them with its cruel eyes. At last, on the fifth morning since they took the
road with Gollum, they came to the desolation that lay before Mordor.

[Bubbles in pools can be heard]

Frodo: What a terrible place this is! It's like being in a nightmare.

[Gollum laughs]

Gollum: Nasty, yess. Poisonous pools that gasp and bubble, little
hobbitses. Slimy, oozy pits and hills of asheses. Not nice. No. But master
said, take me to the gate. And this...

[He hisses]

Gollum: ...this is the only way.

Sam: Well, I feel sick. Dust and foul fumes. Mr. Frodo, you look all-in.
Let's rest; try and get some sleep. We'll move on again when evening comes.

- - - - -

[Sam and Frodo snore lightly. Gollum speaks to himself]

Gollum: Sméagol promised. Yes, yes, my precious, we promised: to save our
Precious, not to let Him have it - never.

[He hisses. Sam suddenly wakes]

Gollum: But it's going to Him, yes...

Sam: Who's he talking to?

Gollum: ...nearer every step. What's the hobbits going to do with it, we
wonders, yes we wonders. I can't help it. Master's got it. Sméagol promised
to help master.

Sam: He's talking with himself!

[Gollum hisses]

Sam: What's he going on about?

Gollum: But if we was master, then we could help ourselfses, yes, and still
keep promiseses. But the Precious holds the promise. Then takes it, and
let's hold it ourselfsess! Then we be master, gollum. Make the other
hobbit, the nasty suspicious hobbit, make him crawl, yes, gollum!

Sam: So much for you, Sam Gamgee!

[Gollum hisses again]

Gollum: But not the nice hobbit? He's a Baggins, my precious, yes, a
Baggins! A Baggins stole it. He found it and he said nothing, nothing.

[He hisses]

Gollum: We hates Bagginses. Not this Baggins. Yes, every Baggins! All
peoples that keep the Precious. We must have it! But He'll see, He'll know.
He'll take it from us!

Sam: What's he going on about? And who's he when he's at home? Does he mean
the Dark Lord? You best keep your ears wide open, Sam.

Gollum: Sss! If we has it, then we can escape even from Him. Perhaps we
grows very strong, stronger than the Wraithsss. Lord Sméagol? Gollum the
Great? The Gollum! Eat fishesss every day, three times a day; fresh from
the sea. Must have it! We wants it, we wants it! But there's two of them.
They'll wake too quick and kill us. Not now. Not yet.

[He breathes a long, raspy breath]

Gollum: She might help.

[He laughs, low and quiet]

Gollum: Yes! She mights, yes.

Sam: Who's she? One of his nasty friends, I suppose.

Gollum: No, no! Oh, not that way! No! Yes. We wants it! We wants it! The

Sam: He's going to attack the master. He can't help himself.

Gollum: The Precious...

Sam: We better put a stop to this!

[Sam feigns waking up, coughing, yawning, and stretching. Gollum is
startled and laughs nervously]

Sam: What - what time is it?

Gollum: Nice hobbits! Nice Sam! It's evening. Dusk is creeping. Time to go.

Sam: Curse him! I wish he was choked! Come on, master. Time to wake up.

[Frodo wakes from his sleep]

Gollum: Nice master! Nice hobbits!

[He whimpers]

Frodo: Ah, I slept well.

[Gollum laughs]

Frodo: I feel much better.

Gollum: Sleepyheads, sleepy - good Sméagol watches over you.

Frodo: Yes, Sméagol. You have guided us well and faithfully.

[Gollum whimpers again]

Frodo: This is the last stage. Bring us to the Gate, and I will ask you to
go no further.

Gollum: To the Gate? To the Gate, master says! Yes, he says so. And good
Sméagol does what he asks, O yes. But when we gets closer, we'll see
perhaps. We'll see then. It won't look nice at all. O no! No!

Sam: Get on with you!

[Gollum cries out]

Sam: Let's get it over.

Gollum: Follow Sméagol. Come, master...

- - - - -

Narrator: Théoden and his host rode on towards the Ford of Isen. Dark
clouds began to overtake them. The sun went down blood-red in a smoking
haze. In the last red glow men in the vanguard saw a black speck, a
horseman riding back towards them.

[Horse hooves are heard]

Ceorl: You have come at last, but too late, and with too little strength.
If Éomer is with you, tell him there is no hope ahead. He should return to
Edoras before the wolves of Isengard come there.

Théoden: To Edoras we shall not return without battle. The last host of the
Eorlingas has ridden forth. Théoden, your King, is here.

Ceorl: My lord! Command me, lord! Pardon me! I thought - I -

Théoden: You thought I remained in Meduseld bent like an old tree under
winter snow. So it was when you rode forth to war. But a west wind has
shaken the boughs. Tell me your news.

Ceorl: Things have gone evilly since Théodred fell. Saruman has emptied all
Isengard upon us. We were driven back yesterday over the Isen with great
loss; many perished at the crossing. Erkenbrand of Westfold has drawn off
those men he could gather towards his fastness in Helm's Deep. The rest are

Théoden: We must waste no more time in words. Give this man a fresh horse!
Let us ride to the help of Erkenbrand!

Gandalf: Yes, ride to Helm's Deep. Go not to the Fords of Isen. I must
leave you for a while. Shadowfax must bear me now on a swift errand. Éomer,
Aragorn, keep well the Lord of the Mark, till I return.

Éomer: We shall.

Gandalf: Await me at Helm's Gate!

[He rides away]

Háma: What does that mean?

Gimli: That Gandalf has need of haste. Even he goes and comes unlooked-for.

Háma: But to forsake us in a time of direst need? Wormtongue, were he here,
would not find it hard to explain.

Gimli: True enough. But for myself, I will wait until I see Gandalf again.

Háma: Maybe Helm's Deep will wait long for his coming.

Éomer: Enough, Háma! We must put our trust in Gandalf Greyhame. The deceits
of Wormtongue linger too long in your mind.

[The horses race across the ground]

Gimli: Éomer, what is this place forth which we ride?

Éomer: Helm's Deep - it is the strong fortress of our kingdom. A great bay
in the mountains commanding the defence of the Westfold of Rohan. There,
Helm defended our realm against the Dunlendings in the old wars. There is
the Citadel of the Hornburg, which has ever proved the defence of Rohan.

Ceorl: It will prove a hard battle, lord. The main strength of the Enemy is
many times as great as all that we have here, and it is ever-increasing.
Orcs and wildmen are hurrying southward.

Éomer: Then let us be swift! Let us drive through such foes as already lie
between us and the fastness. There are caves in Helm's Deep where hundreds
may lie hid, and secret ways lead thence up onto the hills.

Théoden: Trust not to secret ways! Saruman has long spied out this land.
Still, in Helm's Deep, our defence may last long.

Narrator: The rumour of war grew behind them. Countless fiery torches
flickered in the black fields, scattered like red flowers, or winding up
from the lowlands in long flickering lines.

Aragorn: It is a great host and follows us hard.

Théoden: And they're burning as they come, rick, cot, and tree. This was a
rich vale and had many homesteads. Alas for my folk!

Aragorn: Would that they were here and we might ride down upon them. It
grieves me to fly them.

Éomer: We need not fly much further. Helm's Gate is at hand!

[A horn cries]

Guard: Who comes to the Gate of Helm?

Éomer: The Lord of the Mark and the last host of the Eorlingas! I, Éomer
son of Éomund, speak.

Guard: This is good tiding beyond hope. Hasten! The enemy is on your heels.

[They ride forward]

Théoden: Gamling! I had not thought to see an old and trusty warrior like
you in armour in this hour.

Gamling: My armour and I have grown old friends these past weeks. What news
of Erkenbrand? Word came yesterday that he was retreating here with all
that is left of the best Riders of Westfold.

Éomer: We had hoped to find him here. Our scouts have gained no news of
him, and the enemy fills all the valley behind us.

Théoden: I would that he had escaped. He was a mighty man. In him lived
again the valour of Helm the Hammerhand. But we must draw all our forces
now behind the walls. Are you well stored? We bring little provision, for
we rode forth to open battle, not to a siege.

Gamling: Three parts of the folk of Westfold shelter in the caves of the
Deep. But there is great store of food there, and many beasts and their

Éomer: Ah, that is well. The creatures of Saruman are burning or despoiling
all that is left in the vale.

Gamling: If they come to bargain for our goods at Helm's Gate, they will
pay a high price.

Éomer: They will be here soon enough. My lord Théoden, I think you should
hold yourself and the men of your household in readiness within the
Hornburg. I will array our defences along the Deeping Wall, for here our
defence seems most doubtful, if the enemy comes in great force.

Gamling: And what of the defence of the Dike?

Éomer: The enemy must be held back here as long as you can. But no useless
sacrifice. Withdraw within the walls when you can hold on no longer.

Gamling: I will hold the Gate of Helm as long as my old bones have vigour
in them.

- - - - -

[Thunder rolls in the night. Gimli stamps on the stones beneath him]

Gimli: This is more to my liking.

[Legolas laughs]

Gimli: A wall thick enough for four men to stand abreast on. Give me a year
and a hundred of my kind and I would make this a place that armies would
break upon like water.

Legolas: I don't doubt it. But you are a dwarf, and dwarves are strange
folk. I do not like this place, and shall like it no more by the light of
day. But you comfort me, Gimli, and I am glad to have you standing nigh
with your stout legs and your hard axe.

[They laugh]

Legolas: I wish there were more of your kin among us. But even more would I
give for a hundred good archers of Mirkwood. We shall need them.

Gimli: It is dark for archery. Indeed it is time for sleep. I feel the need
of it, as I never thought a dwarf would. Riding is tiring work.

[Legolas laughs]

Gimli: Yet my axe is restless in my hand. Give me a row of orc-necks and
room to swing and all weariness will fall from me!

[Lightning and thunder shake the air. Yells and screams can be heard below]

Legolas: Your wish is granted, Gimli! Orcs - thousands of them scaling the

Ceorl: The enemy is at hand! They have crossed the Dike, though it is
filled with their dead.

Gimli: Since I left Moria, my axe has hewn naught but wood. Now it has
something better to cleave!

Legolas: And darkness or no, I shall see what my bow can achieve. I hope I
have arrows enough!

- - - - -


Hoom, hrum, we come, with horn and drum: ta-rûna rûna rûna rom!

[Treebeard places down a boulder]

Pippin: Are you tired, Treebeard?

Treebeard: Tired? Tired. Well, no, not tired, but stiff. I need a good
draught of Entwash. We've worked hard. We've done more stone-cracking and
earth-gnawing today than we've done in many a long year before. But it is
nearly finished. Wait - there's a bit of Isengard still standing, over
there. I must see to it!

[Treebeard groans and stone cracks and crumbles. Merry and Pippin cough]

Merry: Gandalf! It's Gandalf!

Pippin: Don't be stupid. He's - Gandalf!

Merry: It is.

Pippin: Gandalf, you're alive! Oh, Gandalf!

Gandalf: Get up you tom-fool of a Took! Where, in the name of wonder, in
all this ruin is Treebeard? I want him. Quick!

Pippin: Treebeard!

Merry: Treebeard!

Pippin: Treebeard!

Treebeard: Hoom, hum... Gandalf! I guessed we might be hearing from you.
I'm glad you've come. Wood and water, stick and stone I can manage, but
there's a wizard to manage here.

Gandalf: All in good time, Treebeard. I need your help. You've done much,
but I need more.

Pippin: But, Gandalf, where have you been? And have you seen the others?

Gandalf: Wherever I have been, I am back. Yes, I have seen some of the
others, but news must wait.

Pippin: But, what about our news?

Gandalf: Huh?

Pippin: Did you know that before Treebeard started to smash Isengard to
bits, a great army rode out of the city?

Merry: Orcs and wolves and horrible creatures with squint-eyed, goblin

Pippin: They took nearly an hour to pass through the Gates.

Gandalf: And that is the army that makes for Helm's Deep. This is a
perilous night and I must act swiftly. Treebeard! I need the help of your

Treebeard: Huorns! Act swiftly, you say?

[He laughs]

Treebeard: That's not much in their line of duty, you know. But huorns will
help. Tell me how many you want.

- - - - -

Gimli: Six!

Legolas: Six? I've done a little better with my bow.

[He fires an arrow]

Legolas: Twenty, at the least! But that is only a few leaves in a forest.
The enemy seem to grow greater every minute. Orcs and men from the hills.

[The screams of battle can be heard in the distant background]

Gimli: The Orcs are within the walls!

Ceorl: They have crept up through a culvert. They are pouring in like rats!

Gimli: There are enough for both of us then, Legolas. Khazâd! Khazâd!

[Men scream]

- - - - -

Gimli: Twenty-one! Now my count passes Legolas.

Legolas: Not so! It's been good knife-work on the walls. My count is now

Gamling: You've done well, Master Gimli. I'd heard that Dwarves were great
axemen, and now I have lived to see it proved. But the rat-hole they crawl
through must be stopped-up. Dwarves are said to be cunning folk with stone.
Lend us your aid, Master!

Gimli: We do not shape stone with battle-axes, nor with our finger-nails.
But I will help as I may.

- - - - -

Aragorn: This is a night as long as years. How long will the day tarry?

Éomer: Dawn is not far off. But dawn will not help us, I fear.

Aragorn: Yet dawn is ever the hope of men.

Éomer: But these creatures of Isengard, these half-orcs and goblin-men that
the craft of Saruman has bred, they will not quail at the sun. They will
not give way now for dusk or dawn until Théoden is taken, or they
themselves are slain.

Aragorn: Nevertheless day will bring hope to me. Is it not said that no foe
has ever taken the Hornburg, if men defended it?

Éomer: Aye. So the minstrels say.

Aragorn: So let us defend it, with hope!

[An explosion shakes and crumbles stone. Men cry out, and some cough from
the dust. Stones fall around them]

Gimli: What is it? What's happening?

Legolas: The enemy have blasted a whole in the wall. Some devilry of
Saruman's, I fancy!

[Orcs scream as they pass through the hole]

Gimli: I had come to tell you that my count had reached twenty-seven.

[Legolas laughs]

Gimli: But now there will be work-enough for both of us.

Aragorn: We can no longer hold the wall. The enemy is everywhere! We must
try and hack our way through to the Citadel. It is our only hope!

- - - - -

[A door slams shut]

Legolas: All who can have now got safe within, Aragorn.

Aragorn: Things go ill, my friend.

Legolas: Ill enough, but not yet hopeless, while we have you with us. Where
is Gimli?

Aragorn: Was he not with you?

Legolas: Well, the enemy swept us apart. I - I thought he'd escaped with

Aragorn: He is stout and strong. Let us hope that he reached the caves.

Legolas: Ah, such a refuge would be to the liking of a dwarf.

Aragorn: We must hope that it is so.

Legolas: But I wish that he had come here. I desire to tell Master Gimli
that my tale is now thirty-nine.

Aragorn: If he wins back to the caves, he will pass your count again.

[They laugh]

Aragorn: Never did I see an axe so wielded. But I must go seek the King.

Legolas: And I must seek for arrows. I would that this night would end and
I could have better light for shooting.

- - - - -

Théoden: What is the news, Aragorn?

Aragorn: The Deeping Wall is taken, and all the defence swept away; but
many have escaped here to the Hornburg.

Théoden: And Éomer?

Aragorn: We were parted by the fighting. Gamling was with him. They must
have escaped into the caves. What hope they may have there I do not know.

Théoden: More than we. The air is wholesome there because of the fissures
in the rock. None can force an entrance there against determined men. They
may hold out long.

Aragorn: But the Orcs have brought a devilry from Orthanc. They have a
blasting-fire and with it they took the Wall. If they cannot come in the
caves, they may seal off those that are inside. But now, we must turn all
our thoughts to our own defence.

Théoden: I fret in this prison. If I could have set a spear in rest, riding
before my men upon the field, maybe I could have felt again the joy of
battle, and so ended. But I serve little purpose here.

Aragorn: Here you are at least guarded in the strongest fastness of the
Mark. More hope have we to defend you here in the Hornburg than in Edoras
or even at Dunharrow in the mountains.

Théoden: It is said that the Hornburg has never fallen to assault, but now
my heart is doubtful. The world changes, and all that once was strong now
proves unsure. How shall any tower withstand such numbers and such reckless
hate? Had I known that the strength of Isengard was grown so great, maybe I
should not so rashly have ridden forth to meet it, for all the arts of
Gandalf. His counsel seems not now so good as it did under the morning sun.

Aragorn: Do not judge the counsel of Gandalf, until all is over, lord.

Théoden: The end will not be long. But I will not end here, taken like an
old badger in a trap. When dawn comes, I will bid men sound Helm's horn,
and I will ride forth. Will you ride with me then, son of Arathorn? Maybe
we shall cleave a road, or make such an and as will be worth a song - if
any be left to sing of us hereafter.

Aragorn: I will ride with you, Théoden King. But first, I will see what
words can achieve.

- - - - -

[The Orcs' crass voices scream and laugh]

Aragorn: I wish a parley!

Orc: Come down! If you wish to speak to us, come down!

Orc: Bring out your king!

Orc: We are the fighting Uruk-hai.

Orc: Bring out your king! We will fetch him from his hole, if he does not

Orc: Bring out your skulking king!

Aragorn: The king stays or comes at his own will.

Orc: Then what are you doing here? Why do you look out?

Orc: Do you wish to see the greatness of our army? We are the fighting

Aragorn: I looked out to see the dawn.

[The Orc laughs]

Orc: What of the dawn? We are the Uruk-hai: we do not stop the fight for
night or day, for fair weather or for storm. We come to kill, by sun or
moon. What of the dawn?

Aragorn: None knows what the new day shall bring him. Get you gone, ere it
turn to your evil.

Orc: Get down or we will shoot you from the wall.

Orc: This is no parley. You have nothing to say.

Aragorn: I still have this to say. No enemy has yet taken the Hornburg.
Depart, or not one of you will be spared. Not one will be left alive to
take tidings to the North. You do not know your peril.

[They laugh, mockingly, and a crash is heard]

Théoden: The Gate has fallen! The time for hiding is passed. Let us ride

[A horn is blown. Men cry: "Helm! Helm! Helm! Helm is arisen and comes back
to war! Helm for Théoden King!"]

Théoden: Forth Eorlingas!

[The men answer: "Forth Eorlingas!"]

Narrator: So, King Théoden rode from Helm's Gate and clove his path to the
Great Dike. There, the Company halted. Shafts of the sun flared above the
eastern hills and glimmered on their spears. They sat silent on their
horses and gazed down upon the Deeping Coomb. The land had changed: where
before the green dale had lain, there now a forest loomed.

Théoden: What wonder is this, or do my old eyes begin to play me false?

Legolas: Your eyes do not deceive you. There was a song about the trees
that walked which I heard in my childhood, but never did I think I would
behold them, visible, under the sun.

Aragorn: Whatever they may be, the trees have struck fear into the hearts
of the enemy.

[The Orcs scream in fear and confusion]

Théoden: They are surrounded. The forest has shut off every way of escape.

Gamling: No! There is still the valley to the west.

[A horn blows]

Théoden: And from the west comes their final doom!

Legolas: A mighty host led by a warrior with a red shield.

Gamling: Erkenbrand!

Ceorl: And a Rider, clad in white!

Théoden: Gandalf.

Aragorn: Behold the White Rider!