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Something Wonderful: Ride of the Rohirrim

Arise, arise, Riders of Théoden!
spear shall be shaken, shield shall be splintered,
a sword-day, a red day, ere the sun rises!
Ride now, ride now, ride! Ride for ruin and the world’s ending!

Just imagine it.

You’re in the front line of the King’s Company, facing down more orcs than you’ve ever seen while Gondor burns. You’ve probably got a family back home that you will likely never see again. Your mount keeps bucking beneath you and shifting, its anxious cries twisting with those around you. You can’t distinguish friends amidst the mass of Riders surrounding you. Then suddenly, Theoden’s sword hits your spear as he rides down the line and you’re snapping back to attention. You may not make it back to your family, but this is for them either way. If Gondor is lost, then they’ll be next. You face almost certain death and the horns blare in your ear. Then you move. Slow at first before you can get into a gallop. Your King is beside you, and the orcs are coming closer and closer, and still you know Death is on your side.

Then you ride for ruin, and the world’s ending.

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • David Zincavage February 1, 2020, 11:34 AM

    One scene where Peter Jackson comes closer to the book than in most cases. It always makes me reflect that J.R.R. Tolkien fought in WWI, and knew personally what it feels like to summon up the blood and commit do-or-die to go into action.

    Of course, all Jackson’s military scenes are utterly lacking in real military comprehension. The Riders of Rohan would all be armed with lances. Their swords would only be for back-up, after the rider had shattered his lance on an enemy shield or left it behind planted in a dead orc.

  • TrangBang68 February 1, 2020, 12:02 PM

    I didn’t know the left could muster an army like that of transgenders, ogres, meth heads, terminal syphilitics, psychotics, etc. It’s comforting to see the good guys win anyway.

  • Terry February 1, 2020, 12:07 PM

    True courage. This short segment should be shown at West Point.

  • Joe Krill February 1, 2020, 12:11 PM
  • K. Hekkus February 1, 2020, 12:20 PM

    Thank you and God bless you, Gerard. That clip was a great end to a pretty good week.

  • Quent February 1, 2020, 12:52 PM

    I love the Anglo Saxon themes and references in this film. One of the banners reminds me of the White Horse of Kent. I’m surprised the censors allowed this film to be shown in England. If they aren’t careful, the English will start thinking they are the indigenous people of England.

  • Dan K February 1, 2020, 12:58 PM

    I read once that Tolkien thought of Hobbits as we Americans. Easy for outsiders to underestimate and of unstoppable courage and will when necessary.

  • ghostsniper February 1, 2020, 1:16 PM

    @Joe Krill, how can anyone read your link and not be filled with disgust?

  • captflee February 1, 2020, 3:40 PM

    Joe Krill,

    You beat me to it posting in regard to that fulsomely odious neocon (whom I doubt not is even now ensconced in his lair, plotting regime change and conquest of distant, as yet undiscovered worlds) having hired the Strategic Pastry Reserve and his twin. Anyone submitting to a publisher as a work of fiction in 2015 a thorough recounting of the UniParty nomenklatura’s ongoing coup attempt would be laughed out of the office, dismissed as a lunatic. Today we don’t bat an eyelash. Just think what we shall learn in the near future.

    Dear readers, forgive if you will my denigration of the Walrus. While I, unlike the lead commenter above (assuming that he is the proprietor of Never Yet Melted) am unable to knock Yalie rings with
    Mr. B, I have too well noted the baleful results of his efforts, and damned recently, as I earlier this day spent an hour standing in a cold drizzle by the side of the road, national ensign in one hand, the other holding my hat over my heart, as the cortege of yet another of our sons and brothers passed by, returned from one of our multiple ongoing foreign misadventures.

  • Joe Krill February 1, 2020, 3:54 PM

    Ghostsniper and captflee, I am old enough to say, “Welcome Home”. 15 months in the Central Highlands with the 4th ID. That said, it is my opinion that Bolton should be tried for high crimes against America. If you take the time to find out about him you will see that he would gladly send your children and grandchildren off to war while he scratches his nose to signal his fellow neocon buddies to hang tight. He is a bottom feeder and it appears that he might be the one behind the attempted coup.

  • captflee February 1, 2020, 5:19 PM

    Thank YOU for your service, sir. My brief peacetime stint as a Coastie was nobody’s idea of a glorious military career, in fact the Walrus’s time in the National Guard(s) was by comparison Pullerian. In the civilian decades that followed, however, I got to see rather a lot of naval and military activity, and know the feeling of having to stuff down that paralyzing anxiety, whether from inbound SCUDs or rapidly closing suspicious small craft, and get on with my duties,something with which I wager that Bolton has not contended. The world looks very different when one has skin in the game, does it not?

    Not that I am any sort of peacenik; after all I am a Southron, and we, on the average, are a martial people, if perhaps not on the level of the Prussians, or as you all too well know, the Vietnamese.
    Thoughts of that conflict were much on my mind today as I awaited the procession, of older acquaintances whose homecoming were rather less publicly celebratory if not downright hostile.

    These are contentious times in which we live, perhaps as much so as 1774 or 1859, but today among those around me I saw no blacks or whites, no Republicans or Democrats, no rich or poor, local or transplant, just citizens engaged in common purpose to mourn the passing and celebrate the brief life of one of the best of us. From that I take hope.

  • Patvann February 1, 2020, 5:43 PM

    …How I se the 2020 Nov election…Writ large.

  • OD February 1, 2020, 5:51 PM

    1683. General Jan Sobieski and his Hussars. Gates of Vienna

  • Casey Klahn February 1, 2020, 9:45 PM

    Feeling of the Huey deck as it rumbles under your butt, with the thump thump thump rotor overhead. You stay put for the false LZ as the bird rocks through a small plain, and rushes back over the trees. You recognize the actual LZ and jump off the bird, touching the skid and then the grass and run as fast as you can and drop. You look back to see your platoon still on board the Huey, eyes fixed on you. There’s nothing to do but bound forward in the old “follow me” gait.

    They follow.

    It feels cool jumping into (mock) battle. It looks cool in a fantasy movie. Some here have known the real thing. The game works to get you doing stupid and fearful things automatically. Courage has two components: fitness and moral character.

  • Tanstafl February 2, 2020, 4:00 AM

    That clip is great. This one is better: Aragon’s Speech to the Men of the West at the Black Gate. THIS DAY WE FIGHT! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=17_ImViPryQ

  • Nori February 2, 2020, 12:41 PM

    Jackson’s paternal grandfather, William John Jackson,served in the 2nd Battalion South Wales Borderers on the hellish Western Front during WWI. To commemorate the centenary of that War to End All Wars,Peter was granted access to Imperial War Museum archives,film and audio.
    The result is “They Shall Not Grow Old”a documentary dedicated to his grandad.
    Using current technology he cleaned up the 100 yr old films,restoring and preserving them,as a gift to the IWM. Same with the audio.
    He also colorized most of the film,except the beginning and end. No,it’s not the weird garish Ted Turner colorization. Jackson makes those young men look like you’re sitting across from them in a pub.
    It got an R rating,maybe for the scene of bare backsides lined up on a plank over a pit latrine,but more likely for the very graphic mangled bodies of men and horses ground into the mud.
    Incredible mud. Looks like thick glue. Blasted landscapes.Barb wire and the yellow mist of mustard gas. Surreal.
    It’s an amazing documentary. Funny at times,maddening and poignant.
    A fitting tribute to the men of that “Great War”.

  • Skorpion February 2, 2020, 1:54 PM

    Brilliant scene. Right up there with the *300* battles in depictions of what it must be like to be an elite warrior facing an unbelievable solid mass of hostile soldiers, with your odds of surviving the day almost nil.

  • Butch February 3, 2020, 4:12 AM

    Another “Something Wonderful” candidate?
    Hayde – Wayfaring Stranger: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XWIaeQFcbYg
    Oh, they are out of Oslo, Norway.

  • captflee February 3, 2020, 3:26 PM

    Thanks for that! As explained below, I am not at all surprised to hear damned fine squarehead bluegrass. That lass has a great voice. I had hitherto thought the version by No Speed Limit/ Amber Collins to be my favorite, but may change my mind on that.

    Back in the mists of antiquity when I was a dashing young Chief Mate, my Bosun on a little oceanographic ship had in his past been a Nashville session picker. One of the decent things about that job was that we got a lot of time in port, as the embarked civil service personnel were by contract allowed 7 days in port for every 28 days at sea. First night alongside in Tromso the Bosun got to talking to some local musicians in a downtown club, and was invited up to do his thing on stage to the enthusiastic approval of all present. He performed every night thereafter to large audiences, joined by Norwegian players from as far away as Bergen. After a month in the Vestfjorden, next stop was Trondheim, where the Bosun didn’t even have the opportunity to step ashore before being besieged by club owners and musicians, so the circus resumed there. I was pleasantly surprised that he showed for our sailing home; the man was a true God of the Guitar to those folk.