Nuroreiel's Drabbles

Fellowship Set
Other Characters
On the Mountain Set
Men on the Mountain Set
Other Drabbles


A Drabble for Merry

Shadowfax sprang from the stable, a swift white arrow flying towards Gondor. Merry rushed up the tower stairs to watch them disappear into the mountains. He barely felt Aragorn’s hand on his shoulder.

“The closer we are to danger, the safer we’ll be,” he murmured.

“What?” Aragorn asked.

“It’s something Pippin said to Treebeard,” Merry answered. “And now he’s going closer to danger. I hope that means he’ll be safer there.” He leaned his head against the wall. “I should be with him. How can I watch after him from here?”

“You’ll be together again.” Aragorn made it a promise.

For Frodo

I always dreamed of adventures, but it’s easier to dream than to do. Hurried packing -- I’m sure I forgot things -- and leaving at dawn. Poor Sam! He didn’t bargain for this when he snuck up to listen at my window to see if I was alright. Still, I’m glad of his company. It’s pleasant walking through the Shire, although this Thing I carry frightens me. It will be a relief to give it to Gandalf at Bree and then head back home. What’s that I hear? “Sam! Wood Elves!” Maybe a little adventuring isn’t so bad after all.

For Pippin

Pippin sighed and leaned against his chosen pillar. He wondered how long the Council was going to take. He was getting hungry. Merry had bet that Gandalf would take the Ring, but Pippin bet on Strider - there was something about the mysterious Ranger …

Now they were all shouting and suddenly one voice raised above the others. “I will take the Ring!” Frodo??? And Sam was going with him? With one look at each other Pippin and Merry jumped out of their hiding places to join them. Pippin, wishing he’d paid closer attention, smiled, “Great! Where are we going?”

For Boromir:

Slash! Parry! Duck! Stab! Close quarters fighting hard work, but I prefer this to sneaking around in the darkness. Oh no, the cave troll is in! Grab the chain - don’t let it step on the halfling! Now Sam’s safe, but my hand is tangled in the chain and the troll is turning. Dodge, but just a second late, and I’m suddenly half way across the room, seeing stars. Where’s my sword? Suddenly the orc behind me is fixed through - with my sword! Great throw Aragorn! A brief nod and we’re back to our fighting. I’ll thank him later.

For Aragorn:

Gandalf forgot his concern about Bilbo during the party. It was such fun celebrating with the Hobbits. They truly enjoyed the simple things in life, not worried about the doings of the Big Folk. Watching the children chase his firework butterflies made his quiet work protecting them worthwhile. Suddenly there was a loud whoosh and a rocket shot up into the air. Gandalf recognized it immediately and stood alone as the frightened halfings dove for cover from the fiery dragon. Someone was going to get into trouble for that stunt and he had a pretty good idea who that was!

Drabble for Legolas:

Legolas gazed about him in awe. Following Aragorn into Fangorn Forest, he’d been distracted at first, just thinking of Merry and Pippin’s fate. But now he felt the joy of being back among trees and the little creatures of the woods. It seemed so long since Lothlorien, the last time he’d been able to stop and appreciate his surroundings. His keen ears caught the murmur of the trees and he strained to hear what they might tell him. Suddenly he realized they were not alone in the forest. He stiffened and called softly to his companions, “The White Wizard comes…”

Strider's Drabble
I wonder what Strider thought about the Hobbits when they first met. What was going on behind his mysterious façade? Maybe something like this:

Strider regarded the sleeping Hobbits from his seat by the window. He wondered what Gandalf was thinking, entrusting the Ring to these little people. He’d kept unobtrusive watch on their borders over the years and knew them as simple folk who lived close to the land. They were totally unprepared to face this sort of danger - the fiasco downstairs tonight showed that. Tomorrow he would take them into the wild and head for Rivendell. Would they hold up to the journey? Suddenly horses skidded into the courtyard and he watched the sinister figures dismount. Now it really begins, he thought.

Gimli's Drabble

Gimli peered around the corner at the huge group of vicious enemies before him. Although they’d been fighting for hours, the number of opponents didn’t seem to have decreased at all. But there was no choice in the matter - going back was not an option. He felt Aragorn’s determined presence at his back and took courage. The Ranger had been a good leader so far and Gimli wasn’t about to let him down. Still, he hesitated for a moment and his heart quailed at the task before him. Finally he said the fateful words to his companion. “Toss me.”

Sam's Drabble

Sam stood alone on the shore, watching even after he could no longer see the ship. The tears had long since dried on his cheeks and there would be no more for Frodo. Instead, Sam smiled gently to himself, reflecting the smile he had last seen on his dear friend’s face. There had been a spark of genuine happiness in those expressive blue eyes that Sam had not seen for years and that was as comforting as Frodo’s last words to him. Sam straightened and turned to where Merry and Pippin had waited patiently for him. “Let’s go home now.”


Other Characters

For Elrond

Arwen came in to find Elrond staring pensively out the window.

“What troubles you?” she asked.

“So few of them,” he replied. “What chance do they have? A lone elf, Mithrandir, the dwarf, the Southren, Elessar…” his voice trailed off and he sighed. “I would that the little ones had stayed here. They are not suited for such a trial.”

“They would not remain behind while Frodo went,” she reminded him. “You said yourself, the Ring could not remain here. There was no other choice.”

As she left Elrond laid his head on his arms.

“I wonder,” he said wearily.

Drabble for Eomer

I can't help it - I just love looking for a special moment and writing about it.

Eomer strode angrily from the Golden Hall. His lieutenant, waiting for him at the stables, flinched at the look on his face.
“We are banished,” Eomer spat the words out.
“What?” the man gasped.
“I and all who ride with me are banished from Rohan.”
The other’s face hardened. “Wormtongue’s doing,” he said. “Now what? Where will we go? Gondor? They fight the same enemy.”
Eomer didn’t hesitate in his answer. “No, we are Rohirrim. The King may be bewitched by Wormtongue, but we still serve him and Rohan. We will patrol out of sight until the time is right.”

Drabble from ROTK

Thendred blew on his cold hands to warm them. It was warmer in the hut, but his job was to be out here. This watch was not exciting, but he understood how important it was, especially these days.

Suddenly, a light on the far mountaintop caught his eye. Could it be? Yes! Thendred jumped to respond, his hands shaking slightly as he lit the torch.

“Marhame! The beacon is lit! Gondor calls for aid!” he yelled.

“Rohan will answer,” his partner called back. “Gather the provisions while I saddle the horses. The King will have need of all his men.”



My vision is blurred, my mind murky. I barely know anything but the one voice that whispers insistently in my mind. I tried at first to fight, but my soul is tired, so tired. Vaguely I recognize the one who approaches. But wait -- what is he doing? White light, blinding and painful, sears into me. I can feel them fighting within me and then, in one final blow, the occupier is banished. Slowly the world returns into long-lost focus. I draw a long breath, straighten in my throne, see my faithful men again. It is over. I am free.

(This one's dedicated to NorthStar, who shares my passion for the Rohirrim.)


Boromir on the mountain

Boromir was thinking of Gondor and his people when he heard a shout behind him. He turned to see Frodo tumbling through the snow to land at Aragorn’s feet. A glint caught his eye and he bent to pick up the Ring. He straightened slowly, seemingly entranced by its glitter. He could feel it whispering insistently in the back of his mind. No actual words, but it promised the means to save his people if he would claim it for his own. “Such a small thing, to hold the fate of us all,” he murmured, without realizing that he spoke.

I've decided (or my muse decided for me) to write the scene in the snow from each of the Fellowship's point of view. Boromir was before - now here's Frodo:

Frodo’s feet slipped suddenly and he tumbled wildly through the snow. Fortunately, Strider caught him before he fell further. Sitting up, he knew immediately that the Ring was gone. He looked up to see Boromir bend down and straighten slowly, the chain in his gloved hand. The man seemed transfixed by it. Frodo was certain that the Ring was whispering to Boromir, just as it did to him. It was a constant, inarticulate yet insistent voice in the back of his mind and Frodo had already come to both fear and crave its presence. Now, would Boromir give it back?

Gimli on the mountain

Gimli trudged along, daydreaming about Moria. He was startled to awareness by a shout and saw the little Ringbearer tumble past him. Before he could react, Strider had stopped Frodo’s fall. Another movement caught Gimli’s eye and he looked to see Boromir straighten holding the chain with the cursed Ring. Boromir didn’t seem to hear Strider’s first shout - he was staring at the glittering, golden circle. The wind snatched his words and all Gimli heard was “fate of us all”. True words there, Gimli thought grimly, watching Boromir lift his head at the Ranger’s second shout across the snow.

Sam on the mountain

Bill did not like the snow, and at the sudden shout Sam had to calm him down before he could look around to see what had happened. He was dismayed to see that Frodo had fallen. Sam wanted to go to Frodo, even though Strider was there, but he didn’t dare leave Bill. He felt somehow responsible; if he’d been walking with Frodo perhaps he could have caught him as soon as he slipped. Frodo had taken to walking alone the last few days, but Sam resolved to stay near him in the future. Frodo must be his first concern.

Legolas on the mountain

Legolas had not seen snow for a long time and in spite of their serious mission enjoyed the sensation of walking on it again. His quick ears heard Frodo’s feet even as they slipped, but he was too far away to catch him. He watched Aragorn dust off the little Hobbit and frowned to see Boromir pick up the Ring. He didn’t really trust the proud Southerner, but in this he deferred to Mithrandir. Legolas heard Boromir’s murmured words and noted Aragorn’s tension as he told Boromir to return the Ring to Frodo. Had it brought trouble already? he wondered.

Pippin on the mountain

It was hard work walking through snow, Pippin thought. They had winters in the Shire, of course, but no piles of snow like this. In the winter Hobbits preferred to stay inside more. His fond memories of a full mug and heaping plate were interrupted by a shout and he turned in time to see Strider catch Frodo. Pippin shook his head - Frodo had already been hurt by that wraith - he didn’t need bruises as well. He watched curiously as Strider called something to Boromir. Then he was distracted by another thought. “I’m hungry” he whispered to Merry.

Merry on the mountain

Merry shivered and drew his cloak closer about him. The cold here was worse than anything he’d experienced before. He couldn’t remember ever seeing the Brandywine frozen, but they’d passed a creek that seemed to be solid ice. He hoped Gandalf would let them light a fire tonight. At a shout behind him he turned but it took him a moment to realize that Frodo had fallen. He seemed alright, though - Strider was helping him up. Pippin whispered “I’m hungry” and Merry nodded, “I know, I’m freezing.” The two Hobbits huddled together waiting until the group moved on again.

Gandalf on the mountain

Had he made the right decision? Gandalf wondered. Of all his many travels, this was the most important mission he’d undertaken. Worrying about the Hobbits added to his burden - they were not meant for such journeys. As if on cue, he heard Aragorn yell “Frodo!” and turned to see the Ranger catch the falling Ringbearer. Gandalf watched in concern as Boromir picked up the Ring. He knew what pressures Denethor put on his son. He worried that the Ring would seduce Boromir through his desire to protect Gondor. Gandalf gripped his staff tightly and waited to see what would happen.

Aragorn on the mountain

“Frodo!” Aragorn cried, catching him as he rolled down the hill. The Hobbit shook off the snow, then clutched frantically at his chest. Aragorn looked up to see Boromir straighten slowly, the Ring in his hand. He didn’t seem to hear Aragorn’s call. The Ranger felt a sharp stab of alarm and his hand went automatically to his hilt. He called again, “Give the Ring to Frodo.” “As you wish,” Boromir said unconvincingly, “I care not.” Boromir handed the Ring to Frodo and Aragorn gave an inward sigh of relief. They could continue their quest together, at least for now…

One more step. It seemed such a small thing and yet Sam could not bring himself to take it. He saw Frodo stop and look back at him in confusion. Sam had been traveling with him for two days without any hesitation. But now Sam felt that if he took that one more step he would be irrevocably committing himself to something - more. Not just leaving the Shire but leaving himself, somehow stepping into a bigger Sam. He wasn’t sure he was ready for it. But Frodo smiled softly and took his arm and Sam took that one step.


Frodo suddenly realized that Sam wasn’t beside him. He turned to see his friend stopped at the edge of the field. “If I take one more step it’ll be the farthest away from home I’ve ever been.” This had never worried Frodo, who was well-traveled for a Shireling. For a moment he was at a loss, then he smiled and took Sam’s arm. “Remember what Bilbo used to say? It's a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don't keep your feet, there's no knowing where you might be swept off to...”


The Men on the Mountain
(a tale in drabbles)
2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9  10 11 12  13 14 15 16 

Today was the day. Thendred checked the supplies on the packhorse one last time, then turned to his wife.

“I wish you didn’t have to go now,” she said unhappily.

“I know,” he replied, resting one hand on her swollen belly. “But your mother is with you and you’ll be safe here in Edoras.” He tried to sound reassuring. “Marhame and I will be back in two months and you can show me my son.”

“Or daughter,” she smiled at him bravely.

He caught her to him and kissed her soundly. Then he mounted his horse and slowly rode away.


The journey to their post was uneventful, although they did hear disturbing news of raids along the borders. Thendred felt petty to be worrying about Linell, safe in Edoras, when Marhame’s family was surely at more risk on their farm. He broached the topic hesitantly but Marhame replied calmly.

“Our three boys are there,” he said. “And the oldest is nearly your age. He’ll be serving the King next year. If the raiders come, Clea will move the family to Helm’s Deep. It’s some ways, but they’ll be safe there.”

Thendred nodded. Everyone knew that Helm’s Deep couldn’t be breached.


Thendred and Marham arrived at their post on Mt. Alkash at midday. The two men they were relieving greeted them cheerfully.

“About time you got here,” Hakon teased.

“A Rider is never late,” replied Marhame, and they all laughed, for promptness was mandatory among the Company.

Marhame went with Hakon to perform the usual inspection of the hut, stable and beacon. Thendred helped the other man finish saddling their horses and caught him up on the news. Then they were gone.

Marhame set about unpacking and settling the horses while Thendred, as junior member, took first watch at the beacon.

NOTE: I know this isn’t a terribly exciting chapter and I promise not to bore you with a day-by-day account of their time, but we have to get the guys settled in for their watch. Also, I know that Mt. Alkash is not a Tolkien name, but it’s a family joke involving the unlikely combination of Stargate and Middle Earth and I couldn’t resist using the name here.


Dawn was just approaching; the sky was awash in pearly blue tinged with rose. In a few minutes the sun would rise over the distant mountains, setting the heavens ablaze with light.

Thendred leaned against a weathered tree, his hands cupped around his mug of hot broth. The mountain heights were cold, but no-one could deny the beauty of the scenery. Although he wondered about Linell and fretted at the lack of communication, he was glad to have served watch here. Two more weeks and then he and Marhame would head for home. He’d see his brand new child then.


Thendred blew on his cold hands to warm them. It was warmer in the hut, but his job was to be out here. This watch was not exciting, but he understood how important it was, especially these days.

Suddenly, a light on the far mountaintop caught his eye. Could it be? Yes! Thendred jumped to respond, his hands shaking slightly as he lit the torch.

“Marhame! The beacon is lit! Gondor calls for aid!” he yelled.

“Rohan will answer,” his partner called back. “Gather the provisions while I saddle the horses! The King will have need of all his men.”

Marhame and Thendred wasted no time getting down the mountain, but it was dusk as they reached the bottom and they dared not ride after dark. They made a cold camp, begrudging every moment of delay, and were back in their saddles in the predawn light. As they crossed a plain, Marhame noted tracks of a large group of riders. The two exchanged a look and set off in the new direction. Cresting a hill, they saw the Company not far ahead and urged their horses to greater speed. Soon they reached the group and were brought before the leader.

(Of course, they're not actually on the mountain any more, but I'm sticking with the title anyway.)

Éomer looked at the two men who’d been brought before him. “Where are you from?” he asked.

“We rode from Mt. Alkash after lighting the beacon, m’lord,” answered Marhame, and a murmur ran through the Riders.

Éomer nodded sharply. “Ride with us, then,” he commanded, and swung his horse back around.

“Where are we going?” Thendred asked a man near him as they galloped along.

“The muster is at Dunharrow in two days,” the soldier replied. “After that we ride for Gondor.”

Thendred swallowed. He was proud to serve his king, but the thought of riding to battle was intimidating.


Éomer looked at the two men who’d been brought before him. “Where are you from?” he asked.

“We rode from Mt. Alkash after lighting the beacon, m’lord,” answered Marhame, and a murmur ran through the Riders.

Éomer nodded sharply. “Ride with us, then,” he commanded, and swung his horse back around.

“Where are we going?” Thendred asked a man near him as they galloped along.

“The muster is at Dunharrow in two days,” the soldier replied. “After that we ride for Gondor.”

Thendred swallowed. He was proud to serve his king, but the thought of riding to battle was intimidating.


“YAHOO!” The delighted yell rang across the quiet encampment. Startled, several of the Riders jumped to their feet, only relaxing when they heard the ensuing laughter.

“Twins?” exclaimed Thendred. “And Linell? She’s okay?”

“They’re all fine,” reiterated Marshaw, grinning, then he sobered. “It was bad at Helm’s Deep. We lost many comrades. If Eomer hadn’t come…”

“But he did” Gammin interrupted, “and those filthy orcs never breached the inner halls. Your babes reminded us that life goes on.”

“A boy and a girl,” Thendred marveled. “I can’t wait to finish this and get home to them!”

“To victory!” they toasted.


It was dusk at Dunharrow. The sun had already vanished behind the mountains, leaving behind a slowly fading light. Thendred, checking the horses, paused to look up at the stars. Was Linell looking at them, he wondered. Then he smiled to himself. With twins babes, she’d be too busy.

A movement caught his eye and he looked to see a lone white horse carefully traversing the zig-zag path to the King’s camp above. A messenger, perhaps? What news did he bring from Gondor?

Thendred’s smile faded. The time had come. Tomorrow they would ride for Gondor -- and to war.



“Have you heard?” asked the man next to Thendred, grunting a little as he tightened the girth on his saddle. “Lord Aragorn left the camp last night!”

“What?” exclaimed Thendred.

“Yep, the dwarf and elf too.” His voice dropped. “They rode into the mountain.”

Thendred gasped. All Rohirrim knew no-one returned from the cursed mountain.

The horn sounded and as he mounted, he wondered if the rider he’d seen last night had had some influence on Aragorn’s departure.

“Ride now!” came the call, and soon a ferocious thunder of hooves shook the ground as the army of Rohan headed out.


They broke camp in the dark and rode quietly, forming ranks as they came upon open ground. Orders for silence had not been necessary; what needed to be said between camp-mates had already been said. Now it was time for action.

As they rode up an incline Thendred suddenly realized that dawn was rising behind them. The tension gathered as the lines of riders came to a stop. Situated well back, Thendred wondered what the leaders saw before them. Then, as the golden dawn touched the top of the hill, the horns of Rohan sounded clearly in the morning air.


“Death! Death!” Thendred could not hear his King’s words, but he heard the Riders’ reply. It swept through the ranks and all joined in the cry as they urged their horses forward.

Only one thing was sure: neither side would give mercy this day.

It seemed but a moment and then they were in the middle of the madness that is battle. Thendred quickly lost sight of Marhame but he couldn’t worry about it. There was no time to think, only to slash and cut, thrust and block. Right now, there was only the immediacy of kill or be killed.


“Make safe the city!” The King’s command carried through the air. Incredibly, it seemed that
they were turning the tide for Gondor.

Then it was suddenly almost silent and Thendred turned to see what transfixed his comrades. Foreign horns split the air and through the dust approached monsters of immense size, with oddly dressed and painted men on their backs.

“Take them head on!” Theoden cried and his men responded.

Thendred urged his horse forward, grabbing a spear from the chest of a dead orc. Already the newcomers were killing Rohirrim. Thendred scowled fiercely. These mad creatures must be stopped!


It was over. Thendred leaned against Furling’s neck in weariness. “Well done,” he murmured.

He closed his eyes, inhaling the familiar horse scent, blotting out at least for a moment both the carnage around him and the unsettling sight of Lord - no, King Aragorn conferring with the army of the dead. Thendred would never forget the horrifying feeling as the spectral soldiers brushed by him in final fulfillment of their oath.

In a moment, he thought, he should help with the wounded and would look for Marhame as well.

Then suddenly he heard Eomer’s voice raised in wild lament “Nooooo!”


Thendred sat by Marhame on the rough cot. The older man’s shoulder was bandaged but he would be ready for the next battle. “How is she?” he asked anxiously.

Thendred shook his head. “When I helped carry her to the Houses of Healing she seemed barely alive,” he replied heavily.

All the Riders in the medical tent were subdued, glancing frequently up at the White City. The combination of grief for lost King and comrades and concern for Eowyn hung like a pall in the air.

Suddenly a pair of Riders galloped towards the field. “She will live!” they cried.

Top of this Drabble
Top of page

Gandalf's Dilemma

Aragorn found Gandalf outside the hall, looking pensive.
“What troubles you?” he asked.
Gandalf sighed. “All these poems about hair and nothing about mine! I went from grubby grey to dazzling white, from tangled to tamed, and yet no-one has written about it!”
“Be glad,” Aragorn said wryly. “Those poems and limericks can get very annoying.”
“Do you think it’s an age thing?” Gandalf asked anxiously. “After all, I am considerably older even than the elves. Maybe I should have gotten a face-lift along with the new hair style…”
Aragorn shook his head and left the wizard muttering to himself

Their Strength

“I don’t think this is going to work,” Elrond said. “They are too different.”
Gandalf disagreed. “That will be their strength. Each brings something special to the quest.
Aragorn was born to lead.
Boromir is a brave and mighty fighter.
Gimli is strong and faithful.
Legolas has keen senses and his skill with the bow.
Meriodoc and Peregrin have courage they have not yet discovered and they will lighten our load with humor.
You will not find anyone more dedicated to the Ringbearer than Sam.
And Frodo’s quiet courage will inspire them all to continue till the quest is done.”.


The Beacons

A dark night, a dark day. The tide of hope ebbs low. “We are out-numbered!” “We cannot prevail!” But then a spark is lit. The tinder catches fire and light blazes against the sky. As if by magic, an answering flame comes from the distant hill. Now the fire jumps from mountain to mountain, carrying the message, asking for hope and help. Now, “they will come,” people whisper, and word travels as swiftly as flames. Resolve grows. Backs straighten. Weapons are shouldered once again. “We are still out-numbered, but we will hold. We will not give in to the dark.”


Sheer terror - that’s what she felt. She’d been frightened yet exhilarated charging down the hill behind her uncle, scattering the orcs and turning the tide for their besieged allies. Then the mumakil came, and when they trampled her fellow horsemen determination had taken over and she’d brought down one of the beasts. At Theoden’s body, grief had lent her strength to cut off the fell beast’s head. But now, facing the Nazgul, she shook with fear. Then she thought, 'I am a Shieldmaiden of Rohan,' and pulling off her helmet she proclaimed, 'I am no man,' -- and struck home.

Aragorn and Arwen

He had thought her gone. His sunshine and his moonlight, far away over the sea, never to be seen again. The weight of the crown was as heavy as his heart, even on this day of celebration. But then she stepped out from behind the banner and the sun shone again. Loneliness fell from his shoulders like a forgotten cloak. She smiled, suddenly shy, and he laughed with pure joy at the sight. Heedless of the crowd, he caught her to him and twirled her around. Then he set her down and kissed her as he had always wanted to.


Eowyn stood on the parapet gazing across the windswept plain, her blond hair and white dress billowing in the breeze. “Surely,” she murmured, “he will come back soon.”

At her side, the guard replied, “The messenger said they’d be here before dark, m’lady.”

“The next time,” she vowed fiercely, “I will not be left behind.” The guard wisely kept silent at this proclamation.

Suddenly she spied a small cloud of dust in the distance. “There they are!” she cried and hurried down the stairs.

As the men rode into the courtyard, she ran to his side. “Faramir,” she sighed happily.

Top of Page

Back to LOTR Scrapbook Home

Note: the material posted here is for the personal use of members of the Fellowship of Middle-earth community and may not be used for commercial or other unauthorized use, by publication, re-transmission, distribution, or otherwise, except as permitted by the Copyright Act or other law.
Questions/comments? Email Primula.