Hand pointing to the sun

The Battle of Helm`s Deep

We are easily influenced by other people`s positivity. If we are in a bad mood, and someone who is having a good day engages us in a conversation, odds are we will become more positive. Even if the person does not engage us directly, a positive aura that surrounds that person becomes a force that influences all those surrounding it. 

Susceptibility and situation

The same can be said for negativity. One negatively inclined person can just as well bring down a group of people. It is only a matter of susceptibility. If we are more negative in our views and attitude, then any negativity is more likely to influence us. If we are positively inclined, then we are more likely to not let negativity ruin our sunny disposition. 

In ordinary, everyday situations, our moods can exist through choice. If we choose to look on the bright side, we will inevitably find the positive in everything. The same goes for the negative. However, in a battle situation, there is almost no choice.

The number of men fighting against the ten thousand Uruk-hai presumes defeat. Logic dictates that a larger army will be victorious over a smaller one. It is then no wonder that negative outlooks are all the men of Edoras have. It has reached not only every grown man but also every young boy that stands to fight with them. 

This, of course, gives way to an already admitted defeat. Not the correct attitude to walk into a battle with. 

A grim outlook

The Men of Edoras hasten to prepare for battle. In the midst of chaos, Aragorn sits quietly stewing in anger over his squabble with Legolas. He sees Haleth, son of Háma and asks to see his sword. 

The men are saying that we will not live out the night. They say that it is hopeless.

Haleth

Aragorn looks into this frightened boy`s eyes without a word, for he too knows the hopelessness of the situation. He stands up to examine the sword. However, what he actually does is demonstrate his own feelings of anger and hopelessness, trying to vent.

It troubles him that such thoughts of hopelessness had reached this boy. Whatever the objective view on the current situation might be, to think it hopeless is to resign. Aragorn shows spite against these thoughts by wielding the sword in anger. In a calm manner, he informs the boy of the sword`s good quality and the eternal existence of hope. 

Thoughts and actions

Our thoughts and feelings govern our actions. If we think of something as being insurmountable, unachievable, the feeling of certain failure and thereby hopelessness will overtake our bodies, making it limp and lifeless. Courage, strength and will, all gone in one thought. To fight against this feeling is important in order to persevere in any type of situation.

It is imperative to always seek the positive, to see beyond the darkness and hold on to as much hope as possible, even if it be unbelievable or far away. It is always there, whether we acknowledge it or not. 

As Aragorn prepares for the battle alone, attiring himself in chainmail, leather, protective shields and weapons, the courage, the will and spite grow. Aragorn is letting faith and hope burn in his heart. Legolas presents Aragorn with the missing piece, his sword.

Apology

Legolas: “We have trusted you this far. You have not led us astray. Forgive me. I was wrong to despair.”

Aragorn: “There is nothing to forgive, Legolas.”

Gimli: “If we had time, I`d get this adjusted. It`s a little tight across the chest.”

An apology although noble, but in essence unnecessary, for there was never any discordance between Aragorn and Legolas, only an expression of unwelcome feelings. Gimli turns this scene into comedy with his unfitting chainmail. As it falls to the floor, completely covering his feet from view, Aragorn and Legolas look over in amusement.

The pride of the Dwarf does not acknowledge him being small for his attire, but it being too tight for his broad stature. Even when faced with obvious impediments, his pride does not let it show. He can feel ten feet tall, but the reality leaves something to be desired. Even though Aragorn and Legolas can plainly see the trouble he is having, even in his companions` eyes, he does not lose face.

The time of the Elves is over. Do we leave Middle-Earth to its fate? Do we let them stand alone?

Galadriel

An unexpected blessing

Lady Galadriel in her communication with Elrond poses a much-needed question. The fact that their race is leaving Middle-Earth, does not mean they could not provide as much help as possible to those who remain here still fighting against the evil. 

Théoden: “How is this possible?”

Haldir: “I bring word from Elrond of Rivendell. An alliance once existed between Elves and Men. Long ago we fought and died together. We come to honor that allegiance.”

Aragorn: “You are most welcome.”

Haldir: “We are proud to fight alongside Men once more.”

Since the breaking of the Last Alliance and the fall of Isildur, the Elves kept to themselves. They remained in their respective realms, losing faith in the race of Men. The wisest foresaw what is to befall Middle-Earth and their leaving to protect their race from eventual annihilation could be seen the same as Théoden leading his people to Helm`s Deep in hopes of doing the same. 

Their opinion of Men`s flawed nature left them with judgment and criticism for the race. 

However, the strength of Men and the noble cause for which they stand is reason enough for the Elves to lend a helping hand, knowing they will be outnumbered. In honor of the Alliance that once existed between the two races, they come to serve in battle once more. 

Lothlórien Elves showing up for the Men, bring even Aragorn out of his usual manner of greeting them. He hugs Haldir, which bridges the restraints of courtesy and goes straight into friendship and gratitude. Théoden himself is surprised but remains detached. But Aragorn`s greeting not only welcomes them with an open heart but shows Aragorn in a different light, one of spontaneity, true happiness, and immense gratitude.

Man spreading his arms to the sun
Image by Avi Chomotovski from Pixabay

The Uruk-hai

The marching footsteps of the Uruk-hai. The pounding of their spears against the wet ground. An intimidation tactic for sure, but an effective one. As if the people of Edoras don`t feel fearful of these creatures enough, they present themselves as menacing as possible. Grunting, yelling battle cries, pounding their chests – all with the purpose of exulting superiority and creating an overall threat. 

Underneath their armor, there is blood smeared on their skin, in order to drive their lust for human blood, to spur them on, giving them a blind focus to follow. They don`t know fear, and they don`t care about their own creatures getting killed. All they care about is the goal placed before them by Saruman.  

The standoff between the Elves, the Men and a Dwarf opposite the Uruk-hai is awe-inspiring. There is a palpable tension and an imminent doom transpires off the screen. It is worth noting that the Helm`s Deep shoot lasted for two months of primarily night shoots.

In one of the shoots, the stuntmen were beginning to wind themselves up by tapping their spears and beating their chests in unison. Out of that rhythm developed the Maori haka, traditionally done in wars to intimidate the enemy before battle. The Maori spirit of the stuntmen involved in the shoot helped in bringing across the reality of the situation. 

The battle of Helm`s Deep is a beautifully orchestrated battle, seen from many angles giving the viewer a taste of the action with small tidbits of comedy between Legolas, Gimli and Aragorn lightening the mood of the entire solemn atmosphere. 

An upper hand

Is this it? Is this all you can conjure Saruman?

Théoden

A false sense of superiority results in Théoden underestimating Saruman`s cunningness. He remains is an utter shock as the building blocks of the unbreachable Deeping Wall burst open. There is little that can defend them now but their own strength. 

Despair follows shock. Théoden paces nervously, unable to control or influence the course of the battle anymore. His only option is to retreat into the Hornburg. Everyone should evacuate their posts and save themselves while there is still somewhere to hide. Thinking if they barricade themselves, the Uruk-hai would not be able to reach them, and from there the Men might regroup. 

As Théoden gives the command to retreat, everyone turns towards the Hornburg. Aragorn gives the same command in Elvish to the Lothórien Elves. Haldir acknowledges this and orders his army to do the same. However, he will not see the dawn of a new day. 

Read on in my next post.

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