Tolkien Gateway

The White Rider

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The Two Towers chapters
Book III
  1. The Departure of Boromir
  2. The Riders of Rohan
  3. The Uruk-hai
  4. Treebeard
  5. The White Rider
  6. The King of the Golden Hall
  7. Helm's Deep
  8. The Road to Isengard
  9. Flotsam and Jetsam
  10. The Voice of Saruman
  11. The Palantír
Book IV
  1. The Taming of Sméagol
  2. The Passage of the Marshes
  3. The Black Gate is Closed
  4. Of Herbs and Stewed Rabbit
  5. The Window on the West
  6. The Forbidden Pool
  7. Journey to the Cross-Roads
  8. The Stairs of Cirith Ungol
  9. Shelob's Lair
  10. The Choices of Master Samwise

The White Rider is the title of the fifth chapter of the third book in The Two Towers.


The story now returns to the three travelers hunting for their lost companions. They find a leaf from Lórien and crumbs of food in the grass, as well as pieces of cut cord. They also find an Orc knife. They follow the Hobbit prints up to Treebeard's rock wall and when they climb up to the top they once more see the old man who had appeared earlier.

The old man comes to them and reveals himself to be Gandalf. He tells them that the old man they had seen earlier was not him but Saruman. He also tells them that their missing Hobbit friends have gone with the Ents to Isengard, to fight Saruman. He tells Aragorn that he must go to their aid.

He tells them what happened when he fell into the abyss with Balrog. Gandalf held on to the enemy's heel and the Balrog took him up to the highest peak from where Gandalf flung the Balrog to its death. Gwaihir, who had been sent by Lady Galadriel, found Gandalf there. He was taken to Lothlórien, where he was clad in white and healed. Lady Galadriel's messages of caution are given to the three and they set off.

The White Rider (Gandalf) then summons Shadowfax, his horse, which he took from Théoden along with two others. Gandalf sets Gimli on his own horse and they ride off toward the halls of Théoden, Éomer's king.