Today's Date in the Shire
0 2 Lithe
Fun and Games
Walk to Rivendell
Malbeth the Seer
The White Rider
It is the morning after the encounter with Saruman. Aragorn, Gimli and Legolas, despite the disquieting events of the night before, know that they must carry out the grim task of searching the remains of battle for traces of Merry and Pippin. To their great joy they find signs indicating that at least one hobbit escaped the battle; the severed cords, the discarded knife and some crumbs of lembas. The trail leads into Fangorn Forest, so once more the three hunters set off in pursuit.
They soon reach the hill where the hobbits met Treebeard, but from there they espy the figure of an old man approaching through the trees. Gimli suspects that the old man is Saruman, and urges Legolas to shoot him before he comes close, but the companions all find that they cannot raise their weapons. When the old man has climbed the hill, he informs the hunters that the hobbits encountered someone they did not expect to meet upon that very spot and that their errand is no longer urgent. Gimli suspects more strongly than ever that the old man is indeed Saruman and, finding that he can now lift his axe, moves to attack. The old man springs to the top of a rock and casts his tattered cloak aside, revealing attire of shining white. He lifts his staff to the sky and Aragorn, Legolas and Gimli recognise him to be Gandalf. The reunited friends exchange their tales, with Gandalf explaining how he escaped from the clutches of the Balrog. He also tells of how Pippin and Merry were met by Treebeard and that they are, for the time being, safe. He is greatly saddened by the death of Boromir.
It is now clear that the Ring is now beyond the aid of the Company. Gandalf advises Aragorn that he should go to Rohan to aid King Theoden in his war with Saruman. Gandalf summons his horse, Shadowfax, who is accompanied by the horses which had ran off during the night. Newly heartened, the four members of the Company set off for Edoras, Theoden`s capital.