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Old 08-21-2013, 04:00 AM   #1
Elyna of Rivendell
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Elyna of Rivendell has just left Hobbiton.
White Tree Theo-who?

Maybe I'm just an incompetent thinker, or maybe i'm very bad at recognising the obvious. (Or maybe I'm just plain stupid)

I have just finished reading Lord of the Rings for the third time, and while i was reading it, amongst other things, I found myself wondering about Theodred. What was he actually for in the story? It seemed to me that he was specifically written just so he could die. Any thoughts?

Last edited by Elyna of Rivendell; 08-21-2013 at 04:01 AM. Reason: Spelling... :)
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Old 08-21-2013, 04:38 AM   #2
Mithalwen
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Mithalwen is lost in the dark paths of Moria.Mithalwen is lost in the dark paths of Moria.Mithalwen is lost in the dark paths of Moria.Mithalwen is lost in the dark paths of Moria.
Theodred was an exact comtemporary of Boromir. They were the same age and ie within hours of each other. There is more on his valiant death and background in Unfinished Tales if you haven't read it yet. I would need to check HoMEfor the origins, but I think Theodred exists to strengthen the paralels and contrasts between Gondor and Rohan. Theoden and Denethor have both lost their sons and are under a malign force but while Theoden is healed by Gandalf and is roused to fight, Denethor yelds to despair refusing to fight and tries to take Faramir with him. It perhaps also gives a symbolic fresh start across the board in that the day that Aragorn arrives in glory at Minaa Tirith, there is a new King of Rohan and a new steward neither of whom were heir apparent.
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Old 08-21-2013, 04:59 AM   #3
Legate of Amon Lanc
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Legate of Amon Lanc has passed beneath the Argonath.Legate of Amon Lanc has passed beneath the Argonath.Legate of Amon Lanc has passed beneath the Argonath.Legate of Amon Lanc has passed beneath the Argonath.Legate of Amon Lanc has passed beneath the Argonath.Legate of Amon Lanc has passed beneath the Argonath.
What Mith said, and maybe just to emphasise, Théodred is also there to show the complete despair of Théoden. When we first meet him, he is done for; an old, weak king with his evil councillor and dead son. His kingdom is about to be overrun by Saruman's forces.

This also serves to deepen the despair of the whole story. What awaits Rohan (as it seems) is sort of a sign of how things might go for the whole Middle-Earth. We, as readers, know that Middle-Earth is possibly at its darkest hour. The evil is on the rise, while all the good things are quickly giving in. Rohan is effectively the first kingdom of Men we see "in person" and the picture is not very encouraging: an old king, who is totally done and who, on top of everything, has no heir. (And son. I still feel the need to emphasise the "human" dimension of this, because I can hardly imagine anything more sad than parents losing their children.)
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Old 08-21-2013, 05:59 AM   #4
Mithalwen
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Mithalwen is lost in the dark paths of Moria.Mithalwen is lost in the dark paths of Moria.Mithalwen is lost in the dark paths of Moria.Mithalwen is lost in the dark paths of Moria.
And neither the lost heirs apparent had heirs of their own despite being of full age and more which is perhaps also a deepening of the despair. Somewhere it says that part of the decline of Gondor was due to them thinking more of their ancestors than their children. Now Boromir wascstill rather younger than Denethor was when he married but it does seem in part a failure of hope. Imrahil's eldest son although a decade younger already has an heir of his own as well as his younger brothers. (UTagain). Although a minor character in himself Imrahil does serve as a good example in his behaviour to Faramir, in deferring authority to Gandalf, accepting Aragorn as king as wwll as doing his duty to posterity! There was a good thread once on characters who served as foils tomothera..must try to find it.

To get back to Theodred, he was a barrier to Saruman's attempt to control Theoden which is why he was specifically targetted at the Battle of the Fords of Isen and despite Grima's efforts Eomer was as loyal to his cousin as Faramir was to Boromir.
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