|Battle of Helm's Deep|
The army of Isengard prepares to charge towards the fortress of Helm's Deep.
|Conflict: War of the Ring|
|Date: TA 3001|
|Place: Helm's Deep|
|Outcome: Rohirrim and Elven victory|
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| ||10,000 Uruk-hai|
|Hundreds killed in the battle||Destruction of Saruman's army of Uruk-hai|
The Battle of Helm's Deep was one of the largest battles that took place during the War of the Ring. The battle pitted the forces of Saruman against the warriors of Rohan under King Théoden Ednew, who had taken refuge in the mountain fortress of Helm's Deep.
The army of Rohan consisted of 500 Rohirrim soldiers of Helm's Deep and 200 Rohirrim soldiers of Edoras. This force included Aragorn, Gimli Lockbearer, and Legolas Greenleaf. The army was reinforced with 300 Rohirrim farmers, squires, and stable boys, leading to a total of 1000. At dawn, the army was reinforced by 5000 Rohirrim Infantry+2000 Rohirrim Cavalry that were rallied by Gandalf the White and led by Éomer Éadig and Erkenbrand.
- Main article: Ambush of the Wargs
- "I bring word from Elrond of Rivendell. An alliance once existed between Elves and Men. Long ago we fought and died together. We come to honor that allegiance. We are proud to fight alongside men once more."
- —Haldir speaking to Théoden and Aragorn.
As the War of the Ring pressed on throughout Middle-earth, Aragorn, Gimli Lockbearer, Legolas Greenleaf, and Gandalf the White traveled to Edoras to free Théoden Ednew from Saruman's hold over him. After been freed and spending his moment in burying his son, Théoden redirected his troops and people of Edoras to regroup with the others at Helm's Deep, which was commanded by Gamling and Háma in lords Erkenbrand and Éomer Éadig's absence. Gandalf feared that Théoden and his people were walking into a trap and fled Edoras to rally help.
During the travel towards Helm's Deep, the Rohirrim were under attack by Sharku and a band of 400 Warg-riders. The attack began when Háma and Gamling were scouting ahead when a warg-rider attacked them. Háma was the first killed in the beginning of the skirmish, causing both Théoden and Aragorn to rally 500 Rohirrim riders while Éowyn was tasked by her uncle to lead the people away. Both the Rohirrim and Warg-riders suffered heavy casualties, but the King and his troops managed to overwhelm, but Aragorn fell when a warg dragged him off the cliff. Aragorn was presumed to have fallen, but it turns out that he survived. Badly wounded, Aragorn managed to regin his strength and Brego managed to find him. While riding towards Helm's Deep, Aragorn noticed that the armies of Isengard were unleashed and managed to reach the fortress while the Rohirrim began to prepare for a siege.
During these preparations, Aragorn arrived with news of 10,000 Uruk-hai coming from Isengard. In response to this, Théoden ordered every soldier able to bear arms. Rallying 300 Rohirrim farmers, ferries, squires, and stable boys to be armed and ready to fight on what's coming, Aragorn suggested calling for aid but Théoden didn't believe anyone would come since the old alliance was long dead since the end of the Second Age, but the Rohirrim were surprised by the arrival of Haldir from Lórien and a battlion of 1000 Galadhrim Warriors. They were sent by Elrond to support the Rohirrim, in honor of the ancient treaty with the king of Gondor, represented by Aragorn. Aragorn, Legolas, Gimli, and Haldir's Elves were stationed on the Deeping Wall, which ensured that every fortification of the Hornburg was manned.
The Great Battle BeginsEdit
The battle began when an older man accidentally fired an arrow at the Uruk-hai, killing one by hitting him in the neck. At first it consisted primarily of volleys of arrows. The Elven Archers demonstrated their unmatched proficiency of archery, as they loosened devastating hails of arrows in seconds, felling many Uruk-Hai. Despite their fine bowmanship, and the weight of fire being put out by the human and elf defenders, the Uruk hordes moved steadily closer to the walls. At short range, the Uruk Crossbowmen could finally hit back with their slow-loading, yet hard hitting crossbows, killing a few dozen, one falling horribly into the mass of Uruks below. Then the Uruk-hai began raising ladders, each with a berserker on top. A large number of elves were killed during this stage of the battle as the pressure increased. Despite that, they and the Rohirrim had managed to keep the Uruk-hai from getting a foothold on the wall. While the elves were sword-fighting with the Uruk-hai on the wall, the sappers, a group of four Uruk-hai, laid the charges that were prepared by Saruman in the culvert under the wall. A berserker lit the blasting powder despite Legolas' repeated attempts to bring him down, but it was too late. The ensuing explosion sent Uruks, Elves, and huge chunks of rock high into the air. The falling debris brought great casualties to both sides of the conflict.
Once the wall was blown, the Uruk-hai poured into Helm's Deep through the large gap that was made from the explosion, while another group of Uruk-hai brought a wooden battering ram to the main gate and attempted to break it. Aragorn, having been thrown from the wall in the explosion, lay dazed right in the path of the advancing Uruk-hai. Gimli leapt from the wall amongst the enemy, forcing them to deal with the dwarf in their midst. This bought Aragorn time to regain his senses and rally the remaining elves for a counter charge. The elves, despite being outnumbered, managed to stem the tide. Soon afterwards Aragorn, Gimli and the elves were forced to retreat as the battle became more desperate; Haldir, still fighting on the wall, was slain by two Uruk-hai before Aragorn's eyes. Aragorn rushed to his side, but he was too late to save him.
The Uruk-hai shot grappling lines onto the walls and used them to anchor massive ladders that carried dozens of Uruk-hai up to the main Hornburg walls. Although Legolas shot one down, many more sprung up. At the main gate, the Uruk-hai had broken a hole into the wood of the gate and engaged the Rohirrim soldiers and Elven warriors in a vicious struggle. King Théoden was injured in this fight, but was able to fall back to a safer place to recover. Théoden, when asked what he needed by Aragorn, requested "Time, as much you can get me." To do this, Aragorn and Gimli sneaked out the back of the fortress. To reach the crowd of Uruk-hai, they had to cross a wide gap, which Aragorn had to throw Gimli across. Before he was thrown Gimli pleaded Aragorn to not tell Legolas, referring to Legolas and what he was likely to say about the incident back in Moria. Aragorn and Gimli managed to buy enough time for the Rohirrim and Elves to brace the door, though it did little to slow the enemy's advance. Despite fighting ferociously, the Rohirrim and Elven defenders were cut down quickly by the overwhelming Uruk numbers. With Helm's Deep being quickly overrun, Théoden ordered a retreat to the keep. Aragorn and Gimli, trapped outside the gate, were able to scale the wall up to the Hornburg, via a rope cast down to them by Legolas.
During the retreat, many Rohirrim and Elves were killed while the rest fled to the hall and barricade the doors. Once inside the keep, Théoden fell into despair while his men tried to brace the door. Aragorn sent word to evacuate the caves. At this point, Gimli noted that the sun was rising, and Aragorn remembered Gandalf telling him that he would arrive at dawn on the fifth day, and convinced Théoden to ride out with him. Gimli sounded the horn of Helm Hammerhand and what remained of the Rohirrim and Elves, along with Aragorn and Legolas, mounted on their horses and charged the Uruks just as they broke through the door, at the command of 'Forth Eorlingas'. Théoden's cavalry drove out all of the orcs from the Hornburg, killing and knocking out hundreds of Uruks and broke through the gate and the causeway, with Saruman's main host now gathered outside the fortress.
Outside the keep, Théoden and Aragorn saw Gandalf arrive on Shadowfax. Alongside him was Éomer and 2000 Rohirrim cavalry, and together they charged down the valley. The Uruk-hai formed up a phalanx of spears to repel Éomer’s horsemen; however, the Rohirrim charged down with the sun behind them, and the Uruk-hai defense was thrown into disarray when the sun crested the hill and blinded them. They were also joined by an army of 5000 infantry of Rohirrim soldiers that managed to secure the Hornburg and eliminate the remaining Uruks that were overwhelmed. Between the combined forces, the Uruk-hai were forced to retreat. The remaining Uruks were driven into a Huorn forest that had appeared out of nowhere, and Éomer ordered his soldiers to stop pursuing them. The Rohirrim watched from a safe distance as the Huorns slaughter the remaining Uruk-hai.