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Frodo with Aragorn and Arwen in Gondor fountain court
Whole company sets out with Theoden's body from Gondor gates
At length the wain of Theoden returned to Edoras, and there they laid him in a mound beside his fathers. At a feast in the Golden Hall they drank to his memory and put away their sorrow.
As the feast drew to an end, Eomer stood to make an anouncement. "I have tidings of joy. Faramir, Steward of Gondor, and Prince of Ithilien, asks that Eowyn Lady of Rohan should be his wife, and she grants it full willing."
And Faramir and Eowyn stood forth and set hand in hand. "Thus," said Eomer, "is the friendship of the Mark and of Gondor bound with a new bond."
Eowyn, looked in the eyes of Aragorn, and said, "Wish me joy, my liege-lord and healer!"
And he answered: "I have wished thee joy ever since first I saw thee. It heals my heart to see thee now in bliss."
Those who were travelling on made ready to leave. Arwen and Elrond went aside and spoke privately, and bitter was their parting. At last Eomer and Eowyn came to Merry, and Eomer said "Farewell now, Meriadoc of the Shire and Holdwine of the Mark. If you will take no other gifts from us, my sister begs you to recieve this as a memorial of Dernhelm and of the horns of the Mark at the coming of the morning."
Eowyn gave Merry an ancient horn, an heirloom that was passed down from Eorl the Young. "He that blows it at need shall set fear in the hearts of his enemies," she said, "and joy in the hearts of his friends."
From Meduseld the company rode to Helm's Deep, where they rested. Legolas repaid his promise to Gimli and went with him to the Glittering Caves.
When they returned he was silent, and would say only that Gimli alone could find fit words to speak of them.
From Helm's Deep the company rode to Isengard, where they saw how the Ents had busied themselves. The whole valley had been turned into a garden filled with orchards, and a stream ran through it. In the midst of it all rose the tower of Orthanc, tall and impregnable.
Presently the travellers heard a voice calling, "Hoom-hom, hoom-hom," and Treebeard came striding down the path to greet them. He welcomed them each, pausing at Gandalf. "Well, all your labours have gone well. Where now would you be going? And why do you come here?"
"To see how your work goes, my friend," said Gandalf, "and to thank you for your aid. But tell me, how is Saruman? Is he not weary of Orthanc yet? I do not suppose that he will think you have improved the view from his windows."
"He is gone," said Treebeard. "Seven days ago I let him go, and that worm-creature of his with him. I felt he could do no more harm; a snake without fangs may crawl where it will."
"You may be right, but I fear he still has the poison of his voice. Well, now the Tower of Orthanc goes back to the rightful King."
Treebeard offered Celeborn, Galadriel, and their company passage through Fangorn Forest to Lorien. They declined, choosing to travel west with Gandalf for a bit longer.
Legolas, however, chose to turn north. "Come, Gimli," he said, "let us take up this invitation and visit the deep places of the Entwood. You shall come with me and keep your word."
"Here then at last comes the ending of the Fellowship of the Ring," said Aragorn. They all bid the Elf and Dwarf a fond farewell, and took their leave of Treebeard.
Last of all Merry and Pippin said goodbye to the old Ent. "Don't forget to let me know if you hear of the Entwives in your land." He waved to the company and went off into the trees.
They journeyed west and then northward at a leisurly pace. They tarried near Moria, reluctant to part from Celeborn, Galadriel, and their people. At length, though, the Elves of Lothlorien took their leave, and returned home by the passes of the mountains.
The Hobbits, Gandalf, and the Elves of Rivendell continued on. At last one evening they came to the valley of Rivendell and saw below them the lamps shining in Elronds house.
Before they had eaten or washed or even shed their cloaks, the Hobbits sought out Bilbo in his room. It was littered with half-finished manuscripts, but he was sitting in his chair before the fire. As they came in he stirred. "So you've come back? And tomorrow's my birthday, too. How clever of you!"
The four Hobbits spent two weeks in Rivendell, most of it in Bilbo's room, which he seldom left except for meals. They told him all they could remember of their adventures. At first he took a few notes, but he often fell asleep.
Eventually the time came to leave for the Shire. To their delight Gandalf decide to accompany them as far as Bree.
The night before they left, Bilbo gave them all gifts. To Frodo he gave three books of lore that he had translated from the Elvish. Sam received a small amount of gold, the last of the treasure from his quest to the Lonely Mountain.
He gave Merry and Pippin each a pipe wrought in silver, along with some advice. "Don't let your heads get too big for your hats! But if you don't finish growing up soon, you are going to find hats and clothes expensive."
The next day they took leave of Bilbo in his room, for it was cold outside, and then they said farewell to Elrond and his household. "About this time of the year," Elrond told Frodo, "when the leaves turn gold before they fall, look for Bilbo in the woods of the Shire. I shall be with him."
Frodo kept these words to himself, and the small party left for Bree.
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