The Field of Cormallen
|The Return of the King chapters|
The Field of Cormallen is the fourth chapter of the sixth book in The Return of the King.
The narrative returns to Gandalf and those outside the Black Gate. To the north, the Captains of the West founder on the hills outside the Gate, surrounded by a dark, rolling sea of Orcs and Wild Men. Gandalf stands proudly, white and calm, with no shadow falling upon him. Suddenly, a great cry rises up: “The Eagles are coming!” Out of the north arrives a company of great eagles, led by Gwaihir the Windlord. The will of Sauron falters, and all the armies of Mordor quail in terror. A great roar shakes the hills. Gandalf cries in victory that the Ring-bearer has completed his quest, and that the reign of Sauron has ended. As Gandalf speaks, a huge shadow rises in the south, extending across the sky like a giant hand, and then vanishes in the wind with a great rush.
Aragorn leads the Captains in a great sweep over the plains. Gandalf then soars into Mordor on the back of Gwaihir. Meanwhile, Frodo and Sam, still in the heart of Mordor, have given up all hope of survival. As they talk quietly below the ruin of Mount Doom, Gwaihir spots them before they lose consciousness. Two eagles sweep down and lift the hobbits into the air.
When Sam wakes, he finds himself on a soft bed in Ithilien, the eastern lands of Gondor. He first comments on the extraordinary dream he has just had and then cries out in astonishment that his dream actually happened. Frodo sleeps next to Sam, and Gandalf watches over the two of them. The wizard says that a great Shadow has departed, asks the Hobbits to dress in their worn and ragged attire, and escorts them out of the wood. They are to attend a reception hosted by the King of Gondor.
A great throng of people awaits the Hobbits. At their emergence, the crowd bursts into thunderous applause, singing songs in praise of the Hobbits. Frodo and Sam approach a great throne, where Aragorn welcomes them. He lifts them and sets them on the throne, and the joy of the people flows over them like a warm wind. In a regal ceremony, Frodo bequeaths his knife Sting to Sam, who initially resists but finally accepts the gift. That evening, Frodo and Sam attend a generous feast. They reunite with their old companions. Sam is greatly surprised by Pippin, who seems to have grown several inches. The next morning, King Aragorn prepares to enter the great city of Minas Tirith as its rightful ruler.