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In February of TA 3019, Éomer's Éored ambushed a band of Orcs from Isengard, Mordor, and Moria at the edge of Fangorn Forest, among whom were the captives Meriadoc Brandybuck and Peregrin Took.[1]

The Rohirrim were victorious, leaving no Orc alive. Unbeknownst to them, Merry and Pippin had escaped into the woods.[1]

History

Background

A part of this Orc-band had recently attacked the Fellowship of the Ring in Parth Galen, killing Boromir of Gondor and capturing the hobbits Merry Brandybuck and Pippin Took. Among the host of Uruks and other Orcs, there was some disagreement on what to do with the hobbits: Uglúk and Grishnákh wanted to search them, while the Moria Orcs, called "Northerners," wanted to kill them. This disagreement slowed their pace and allowed Aragorn, Legolas, and Gimli, who were seeking Merry and Pippin, to advance on the Orcs' trail.[1]

At the same time, scouts sent ahead by the Orcs were seen by a scout of Rohan, who alerted Éomer's Éored that a large Orc-band was crossing the Eastemnet towards Isengard. Without official sanction from King Théoden, Éomer embarked with his troop to pursue the Orcs.

Uglúk and Grishnákh had begun disputing who would take the Hobbit prisoners. The Mordor Orcs overtook the Northerners and were joined by around forty Isengard Orcs led by Uglúk.[1]

War of the Ring

Attack on the Woodland RealmSauron's assault on OsgiliathWeathertopBalin's TombDurin's TowerAmon HenFords of IsenAttack of the RohirrimBattle of the HornburgIsengardIthilienBattle of OsgiliathSiege of GondorBattle of the Pelennor FieldsDaleBattles of LórienMirkwoodCirith UngolBlack GateDol GuldurBattle of Bywater


The battle

Grishnákh soon saw Éomer and his horsemen quickly approaching them. The Orcs gained haste, but the Riders had already hemmed them in, preventing a scatter and driving them along the banks of the river Entwash. The Rohirrim shot stragglers, then withdrew to evade answering bows. This tactic, repeated many times before dusk, killed many Orcs and forced the others to move northward faster, tiring them out.[1]

At night, the Orcs stopped on a hillock near Fangorn, but the horsemen had distantly surrounded them. Several Orcs entered the forest, but only three returned. Uglúk commanded three Uruks to watch the hobbits and kill them only if the Rohirrim were to break the circle. During their talk, several Rohirrim crawled over to the camp, killed several orcs, and vanished quickly. Out of Uglúk's sight, Grishnákh tried to escape with Merry and Pippin, but was killed by a spear, which allowed Merry and Pippin to free themselves. As the Orcs realized that they had lost the hobbits, a group of Isengard Orcs led by Mauhúr tried to break Rohirrim's encirclement from out of the woods. The Rohirrim drew their circle close around the hillock to prevent a sortie, while a group rode off to attack the reinforcements, who were soundly defeated.[1]

At dawn, the riders finally charged from the east at the Orc-band, who fired all of their remaining arrows. Although several horsemen fell, they charged again and slew most of the Orcs. With a small group, Uglúk led a counterattack against some of the riders trying to contain them, and killed three Rohirrim. Witnessing these things, Merry and Pippin escaped into Fangorn. Uglúk was soon overtaken by Éomer, who dismounted, dueled, and slew him. Any Orcs fleeing were slaughtered by the Rohirrim.[1]

Aftermath

The Rohirrim built a mound for their fifteen fallen comrades, sung their praises, and set an equal number of spears around it. They then burned the piled Orc carcasses and scattered their ashes. Pippin and Merry were found by Treebeard in Fangorn Forest.

Two days later, Éomer's Éored encountered Aragorn, Legolas, and Gimli, whom Éomer told of the battle. He gave to them two horses whose masters had fallen in the battle, Hasufel to Aragorn and Arod to Legolas. When Éomer and his men had departed, the three eventually traced the Hobbits' steps into Fangorn, and there met Gandalf the White.[1]

References