In the beginning of the Two Towers Théoden is King of Rohan but is highly
incapacitated as Saruman and Wormtounge have invaded his mind so that "He
recognises neither friend from foe. Not even his own kin." And thus
allows Wormtounge free reign over the kingdom which in turn lets Saruman plan to
destroy the world of men - starting with Rohan. Éomer is banished because he
tries to get the King to see what is happening whilst his sister Éowyn stays
and tries to reach her uncle. He doesn't even realise that his only son
Théodred has been killed (by Wormtounge's designs of course), it is only when
Gandalf the White draws Saruman away that he regains his senses, "I
recognise you." It is at Aragorn's insistence that he lets Wormtounge
go, "Enough blood has been split because of him."
visits his sons' grave outside of Edoras, "The young die, whilst the old
linger... No parent should have to bury their child." He is protective
of Éowyn when the Warg riders attack "You must lead the people to
Helm's Deep." "I can fight." "No, please Éowyn, do this for
Aragorn and Gandalf tell Théoden the state of his country and
he tells Aragorn, "When last I notice, Théoden was King of Rohan not
Aragorn." He refuses to send a force to stop the invasion and instead
retreats his city to the fortress of Helm's Deep. After the loss of Aragorn, he
fortifies the fortress of Helm's Deep and when Aragorn returns with news of the
force amassing he refuses to send out riders to the Elves or Dwarves or even to
Gondor "Where was Gondor at Waterford?" He seems to suffer from
indecision and pride, he is overly confident, "Helm's Deep will not
fall, whilst my men defend it." He is too blind to see that even Helm's
Deep has it's weaknesses. He is pleased when Haldir and his Elves appear and is
happy to use them.
When the Keep is lost, he re-boards up the entrance and retreats
into the Glittering Caves and is convinced by Aragorn to ride out - he dons his helmet
and gallops into the remaining Orc force and is relieved to see that Éomer has
returned with Gandalf. His part in the battle for Middle Earth is not over and
we will see much more of him in Return of the King.
Théoden returns in King of course, and he even takes the oath of Merry. As
Gondor's becons are lit Théoden gathers the Rohirrim to gather at Dunharrow
ready to ride to the aide of Gondor. Aragorn goes with him to the camp as does
Éowyn but soon leaves on the eve of riding to take the Paths of the Dead and
Théoden insists that both Éowyn and Merry stay behind - but they have other
ideas. "Ride now, ride now, ride to ruin and the world's ending!"
chants Théoden as his army sees the amazing troops laying siege to Gondor. The
Rohrrim ride into the flank of the Orc army, quickly laying it to waste by
trampling over the Orcs, but then the Oliphaunts arrive which in turn squish the
horses. As hope is rekindled Théoden is struck by the leader of Sauron's army -
the WitchKing of Angmar, lying prone underneath his horse, Théoden can do
nothing as the WitchKing advances until a single warrior steps in his path,
brandishing a sword and shield, "Leave him alone." For it is Éowyn,
she battles with the WitchKing and kills him, damaging her arm in the process
but it is already too late for Théoden, "I'm going to save you," she
says, her face streaked with tears, "You already have," is his reply.
In a touching moment, Théoden, son of Thengel, passes on the plains of Pelennor
In watching the Cast Commentary on
TTT:SE, Bernard Hill is an absolute riot when he describes his decision to
"stand on one leg" and progressively gets heavier as the rain pelts
done during the scene and his ad lib of "Who the **** let you in?"
when the Elves arrive. I'm really looking forward listening to the RotK
Théoden's poem (from TTT Visual
Dictonary by Jude Fisher):
now the horse and the rider? Where is the horn that was blowing?
is the helm and the haubrek, and the bright hair flowing?
is the hand on the harpstring, and the red fire glowing?
is the spring and the harvest and the tall corn growing?
have passed like rain on the mountain, like wind in the meadow;
days have gone down in the West behind the hills into shadow?
Théodred - only
son of Théoden, King of Rohan and heir to the throne. Was ambushed at the Fords
of Isen near the Gap of Rohan (by most likely Grima Wormtounge's design) and was
fatally wounded. His cousin Éomer returned him to Edoras where his sister,
Éowyn looked after Théodred until his death. Upon "waking up"
Théoden called for his son, only just remembering that he was dead and visited
his grave outside the limits of Edoras. His horse Brego, refused to let anybody
ride him, but rescued Aragorn from the river. Théodred is played by Paris Howe
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