the battle of helms deep

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“Are you ready?”

You turn your head to the side and face Legolas, smiling at his question. “Are you, old friend?”

One side of his mouth twitches up in a smile, and he spurs his horse out of line to follow closely behind Aragorn. You grip your reins tighter and follow the elf, your smile running away from your face. The stress of the past two days is starting to wear you down. To wear all of you down.

“(y/n).” Aragorn’s voice snaps you out of your thoughts. “Ride with me.”

Pressing your leg a little firmer into your horse’s side, you trot and pass Legolas to ride next to Aragorn. On Aragorn’s other side is King Theoden, who stares grimly ahead, probably worrying about the women and children in the tunnels. Or Gimli and the soldiers he sent up to the tower to blow the horn.

You’re leg occasionally brushes Aragorn’s because the two of you are riding so close together. The path ahead is narrow, and you stare straight ahead, contemplating the battle ahead of you and the possible fate of Helms deep and all of its people. You’ve never been so wary to ride into battle, yet so eager to protect and serve.

Aragorn reaches over and takes your arm. “We’re in this together until the end, (y/n).”

You nod, but keep looking ahead. “I know.” His hand falls away and after a couple of moments, you turn to face him with a playful smirk. “You would not abandon me now, would you brother?”

The corner of his mouth twitches up, and you see Legolas smile fully behind the both of you. “Of course not,” Aragorn replies.

The rest of the ride is silent, and when you reach the gate, the only sound is the thousands of orcs moving and screaming on the other side. A wave of nerves washes over you, and you draw your sword from the sheath attached to your saddle. Noticing your hand shaking, you squeeze the blade’s hilt harder to still yourself.

Two brave, older men walk forward silently and begin to take down the barricade.

Your instincts are screaming at you to turn around: An instinct you’ve ignored your whole life. Gripping your sword even tighter, you take a deep breath to calm yourself. You’ve ridden into battle dozens of times, so why are you so on edge for this one? You don’t know.

But with Legolas’s confident and calming presence behind you and your brother by your side, that sinking feeling goes away and is replaced by adrenaline. Suddenly, the gates are open, and sunlight streams in as you ride to end the Battle of Helms Deep.

alice-the-pedo-slayer  asked:

I'm writing an R-rated Disney fanfiction that deals with Jewish versions of Alice (from Alice in Wonderland) and Merlin (from Sword in the Stone) battling against zombie neo-Nazis and other threats. How do I write battle scenes? And what should I do if a toddler character is caught in a violent situation?

Hello, darling!  That sounds like a fantastic kinda terrifying fanfiction!  When it’s finished, be sure to let me know if you publish it online – I’d love to give it a read :)

So these are two very different questions.  For the issue of the toddler, I’d prefer a little more insight into what you’re asking – do you want to know how the child would react emotionally/mentally to the situation?  How the adults should react?  I’ll also need to know what kind of violent scenario you’re entertaining, since the answer would vary in differing degrees of violence, or in the presence of comforting adults, etc.

But your first question – how to write battle scenes – is a common issue that I’ve yet to discuss here!  So I’ll give you a few personal tips, then link you to other resources :)


The Rules of Battle (Scenes)

There are two types of “battle scenes”: duels and wars.

Duel: a battle between two (or, for the sake of the example, three or four) individuals, composing its own scene.  A duel involves people in the immediate vicinity, and, typically, main or secondary characters.  (Examples: lightsaber duels in Star Wars; the battle at the cornucopia in Hunger Games.)

War: a battle between two or more groups of people, which is composed of multiple scenes – either summarized overall by the narrator or shown through duel scenes.  A war involves many people, usually including stock characters or “bodies”.  (Examples: Battle of Helms Deep in Lord of the Rings; the battle at Hogwarts in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.)

It’s important to recognize that while both types of battle scenes can stand alone, wars don’t tend to fare well in fiction.  Massive battles are riveting on a movie screen, but they’re difficult to capture on a page, without visuals – so the more you can lean on individual duels, involving characters your readers care about, the more tension you’ll be able to develop.

So I’ll lay out my… um… my ten duel commandments.

Originally posted by youforfeitallrights

Actually just five.

  1. Be quick and unspecific.  When two people fight, they’re not thinking full thoughts or planning what they’re doing.  They’re not noticing the feeling of their knuckles clacking against someone’s jaw.  They’re not admiring the shiny rose-colored blood as it trickles from their enemy’s nose.  What they’re doing is clumsy and half-instinct.  Feelings only appear in flashes – sweat gets in their eyes and blood rushes in their ears, and things take them by surprise.  If they’re thinking anything, it’s probably something along the lines of, “Oh, sh*t,” as they see their opponent’s fist heading for their face.
  2. Keep it physical.  I think everyone can agree that when you’re watching two characters face off and they keep stopping to exchange witty repartee, it’s eye-roll-worthy.  This trope needs to die.  If you want it to be realistic, have Character A start to monologue until Character B notices they’re off-guard and goes for the throat.  But please, don’t use a battle scene as a dialogue machine.  If words are kept rare, then when they are used – when Character A winds up backing Character B into a wall with nowhere to go, and A sees the fear of god in B’s eyes as they whisper, “Okay, okay, okay wait…” – they gain real weight.
  3. Mix it up a lil’ bit.  No matter how much people love your characters, they’re not gonna sit through a stereotypical, you-hit-me, I-hit-you, oh-look-at-that-we-both-hit-each-other-and-threw-each-other-off, so-we-back-up-and-stare-at-each-other-menacingly.  Seriously.  We’ve seen it all before.  Instead, interchange small blows with spats of violent throat-grabbing, kicking, hair-grabbing, shoulder-dislocating – if your characters have weapons, break them, or make your characters drop them.  Just don’t let be it predictable.
  4. Don’t forget mistakes.  Your characters will have varying levels of experience or training, and even a warrior with decades of training will make mistakes.  Opponents are unpredictable, and even their body can fail them.  If a character is newly trained, they should fall a lot.  They should drop their weapon, or scream, or try to reason with their opponent, or stumble into things because they aren’t totally connected to their surroundings.  They should scream out for help from their allies.  Mistakes are endearing and realistic, and they increase the stakes.
  5. Scare your characters.  There are no stakes if your characters feel confident in what they’re doing.  Let it hit your MC that just one miss, one bad decision, could take their life.  Let them notice the look in their opponent’s eye – that look that says they will kill your MC if they get the opportunity.  Don’t give them never-ending cockiness.  I don’t care how many years they’ve trained, what weapon they have, or what god they believe in – failure is always an option, and it threatens your character with every blow.  Don’t lose that tension.

Those are just basic thoughts, but if you have any more questions, my inbox is open!  As for resources for battle scenes:


If you need advice on general writing or fanfiction, you should maybe ask me!

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Imagine fighting at the Battle of Helms Deep and managing to save Haldir at the last second, But that costing your own life.

“No! Don’t you dare leave me, Y/N!”

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~Admin Hunter

[IJustWatchedTwoTowersAgainAndICan'tHoldAllTheseFeelsSoIHadToI'mSoSorry]

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                                         “Who am I , Gamling?”

                                          “You are our king, sire.”

                                         “And do you trust your king?”

                                         “Your men, my Lord, will follow you to whatever end.”

                                         “To whatever end…”


Lord of the Rings: Two Towers