Fellowship of the Ring
1-1-7. The Black Riders
Gwaihir the Windlord carried Gandalf to Edoras in the land of Rohan, to the halls of Théoden, King of the Mark.
Hail Théoden son of Thengel!
Why comes Gandalf the Grey unlooked-for to my halls?
I have come to seek the aid of the Rohirrim and their King.
I have never heard before that Gandalf sought the aid of any man.
Storm-clouds are gathering, Théoden. And when the storm breaks, nowhere in Middle-earth will be safe from its fury. Not even Théoden's halls.
I know not what storm you speak of, Wandering Wizard.
Then you know not of the rise of the Enemy in Mordor, or of the treachery of Saruman the White?
Gríma, faithful counselor. What say you of Gandalf Stormcrow's words?
I say: Saruman is our ally against the Dark Lord of Mordor, King Théoden, and we should not parley with any who call him traitor.
It is, I believe, as Gríma says. Rohan has no welcome for the warmonger.
I seek not war, Théoden. But if it comes, others than I will draw its bloody sword in Rohan. But if you will not help me, then at least lend me a steed that I may ride elsewhere in search of aid.
Very well, Gandalf! Take a horse and begone!
[Gandalf's footsteps again resonate]
Gandalf strode from Théoden's Golden Hall and went in search of a steed to carry him back to the Shire.
- - - - -
And at Isengard, Saruman was suddenly faced with another unexpected turn of events.
[Many horses ride to a stop]
Come forth, Saruman, that we may speak with thee.
[Black Riders sigh with menace]
Who calls thus on Saruman in such rude fashion?
I am the Lord of the Nazgûl, servant of Sauron the Great.
What seek you here?
We seek knowledge, Saruman. Knowledge of how we may find that part of Middle-earth which is known as the Land of the Halflings.
It is not a land that you look for. I know what you seek, though you do not name it. I have it not, as surely its servants percieve without telling, for if I had it, then you would bow before me and call me lord. I know nothing of this thing or of the land you seek. There is one only whom I guess to have this knowledge.
Mithrandir! He whom some call Gandalf. Gandalf the Grey.
[The Black Riders again sigh]
As it is but two days since this enemy of Sauron departed from Isengard, seek him nearby.
Seek him we shall, Saruman. Come!
[The Nazgûl ride away]
- - - - -
But as the Black Riders of Mordor rode in search of Gandalf, they came upon another.
[Horses come to a halt]
Halt! Who rides there?
I am Gríma, and I ride in haste, my lord. Do not delay me.
Why? What is your haste and where are you bound?
For Isengard, lord.
I carry certain news to Saruman.
That Mithrandir has sought to counsel King Théoden against both Saruman and Sauron.
Where is Mithrandir now?
He seeks only a horse to return him to the Land of the Halflings.
Know you of this land?
Speak or die. Where is this land?
Spare me! I will speak as swiftly as I may. West, through the Gap of Rohan, yonder. And then north, and a little west. The Shire, they call it.
[The Riders sigh]
Come! Riders of Mordor! We will divide our company. Some to find this land and search it; some to seek Mithrandir. Come, away!
[They ride away]
- - - - -
As the Black Riders rode away westward, Gandalf found on the plains of Rohan a horse suited to his needs. A horse that might have been foaled in the morning of the world. Light was his footfall, and swift as the flowing wind was he. By day, his coat glistened like silver and by night, it was like a shade, so that he passed unseen. Shadowfax they called him. Never before had any man mounted him, but Gandalf took him and tamed him, and swiftly he bore Gandalf north.
On, Shadowfax! We must hasten. Time is short!
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