Without a captain or a crew, the Corsair ships sail along the Anduin River, a ghost ship only not as haunting or creepy as it would normally seem. The ships seem abandoned as if the crew left it to drift alone. Given the welcome that the Corsairs would have gotten from their allies, it would only be fair to reply in kind. However, the reply comes from someone they did not expect to find aboard a pirate ship.
An unwelcoming party
Late, as usual, pirate scum! There’s knife-work here needs doing. Come on, ya sea rats! Get off your ships!Skully
Skully is, of course, angry at the pirates because of their tardiness. If the battle were going the way their army had planned, and if there were no aid from the Rohirrim, maybe the support of the Corsairs would not have been needed. A welcoming party would have been redundant. As the battle is progressing in an uncertain way, they need their allies to step up and help.
For Skully to proclaim the need for back-up only means that they have lost their confidence in a satisfying outcome of the battle. They are not sure anymore that their forces will prevail. Therefore, a certain amount of fear is detectable. They wanted to meet and greet the pirates so as to develop a strategy with them on how they were to defeat the armies of Gondor and Rohan.
It is an interesting conversational style the Mordor Orcs use to communicate with their allies. Degrading, belittling and overall mean. This manner of talk is there to motivate the allies through fear and anger. The Corsairs would have answered in the same manner so as to express their own disdain for the group welcoming them.
It would appear that all “evil” creatures in the film use this particular conversational style for the same purposes as the Mordor Orcs. Fear and physical aggression are predominant in a realm that is governed by almighty incorporeal malice. There can be no room for kindness. For they would then appear weak to their enemies, or so they think.
Appearing brutal before one’s own people to establish authority is nothing new. Threats of punishment and death have worked for ages among many different races. It is, however, only potent in short periods. If it were the only possible way to dominate others, then the world would solely consist of anger, fear and brutal punishment for disobeying. As it is, there is something in compromise, open communication with regards to one’s culture and acceptance of the other person’s beliefs.
A core difference
As it is clearly portrayed in all three films, the Fellowship uses all means of wisdom and compromise to accommodate all nine of them in their wishes and needs. They also grieve for their fallen, as opposed to the Orcs, or any kind of enemy, who fight between themselves and use their comrades’ corpses as a stepping stool. A strong dichotomy between the “good” and the “bad”.
On the other hand, as we have seen with the Fellowship, there is a “bad” side to them as well. A constant balance exists within them that guides their actions. This balance is founded in emotions that stream through them at every turn. The trick is to overcome the bad feelings and let the good ones take over. Inherently, though, neither emotion is good or bad, it is how we deal with them and our subsequent actions that define it, rather than its denomination.
Whilst the Fellowship choose to embrace feelings of friendship and love, the Orcs and their allies choose anger and fear.
The final straw
Instead of their expected comrades, The Three Hunters leap out of the ship and onto land, facing the group of the welcome party. There isn’t time for pleasantries, they are here to engage the group.
The Orcs see it as a laughable move on their part, given the uneven numbers between the two fractions.
There are plenty for both of us! May the best Dwarf win!Gimli
Gimli finds this confrontation exciting. He can again prove himself to be a better warrior than his pointy-eared friend. There is an impatience in his expression and body language that reminds me of the sprinters before the gunshot announces their start.
As The Three Hunters advance on the enemy, the army of the Dead lead the attack with their King at the forefront. As the soldiers are translucent and can, therefore, pass through stone, they overtake the Three Hunters with ease and help in annihilating the small group of Orcs. This isn’t an obstacle for them. They have their eyes set on the mayhem that is filling the fields of Pelennor with the blood of Mankind.
This final installment of a rescue mission appears to finally tip the scales in favor of the Men. Nothing can stand in their way, and nothing and no one, not beasts or Orc creatures are difficult enough to surpass.
Without noticing this new development and the Witch-King taunting, Éowyn can only focus on her own protection.
The Witch-King grabs Éowyn by the throat, pulling her up from the ground in a victorious manner. She cannot injure him, nor can anyone else for that matter.
You fool! No man can kill me! Die now!The Witch-King
He is the incarnation of evil, the one no man can slay. It is a statement that he does not tire of repeating, for all in his presence should know who and what he is. With a single snap of the wrist, he is able to take the life out of Éowyn. And as it looks, for the moment at least, that is his intention. To him, she is merely a pestering bug on a windshield, an insignificant fool.
However, what he didn’t predict is Merry’s involvement in this action. He does not look around him, for he does not fear anyone’s presence, and even if someone came close to him, there is nothing he could do to injure him in any way.
While Éowyn’s life hangs in between the Witch-Kings fingers, Merry crawls up from behind, stabbing Nazgûl’s knee. He is wounded and falls to his knees in front of her. The dagger turns to ash as soon as its use is done. Merry falls onto the ground, holding his wrist. The pain that he has inflicted on the wraith will prove crucial to his destruction. However, having established a brief contact with this undead being has proved harmful for Merry as well, in the same way as the mace of the Witch-King hurt Éowyn.
The fact that Merry was at all able to injure the wraith has to do with the dagger with which he stabbed him.
The dagger itself was created by the Dúnedain during their war against the same Witch-King of Angmar that has now fallen to his knees in front of Merry. At the time of the war, these daggers were created especially for the purpose of destroying the enemies of the Kingdom of Angmar.
The dagger’s real power does not lie in its material or shape, but in breaking the spell that held the Nazgul’s body together. It pierced him to his core, leaving him weak and defenseless.
In the films, the daggers were given to Merry and Pippin as presents from the Lady Galadriel herself before they left Lothlórien.
Destruction of the Witch-King
Seeing the wraith vulnerable on the ground, Éowyn’s courage and resolve soar as she stands before him, removing her helmet, revealing her true self.
I am no man!Éowyn
With all her might she stabs the Witch-King directly in the face. After only a moment, the forces combined to between the two of them, repel the sword from his head and leave her falling to her knees in pain. This was the last straw. The Witch-King writhes and crumbles until there is nothing more left of him than the armor that clad him.
This was the moment she was waiting for. Although she did not anticipate her own waning after the destruction of the creature, she has proven invaluable to the overall cause, dominated exclusively by men.
A man’s world
All her life Éowyn had to battle for her freedom of expression in a man-ruled world. She had faced obstacles at every turn. Now, she has come into her own. With the help of Merry’s dagger breaking the spell, making the Witch-King defenseless, Éowyn used her last strength to slay a great foe to all Mankind.
She may very well have yearned to be treated equally to men in many respects throughout her life, given that their task was to show courage and bravery of which she had an abundance. Now, that struggle is over. She has proven to herself that which she knew all along, she is fierce and brave as any other man on this field.
What happened to the Army of the Dead and the Three Hunters? Read on in my next post.