Háma Fell Before the Gate

A question over on the Tolkien Society’s Facebook Page asked what everyone’s favourite scene from The Lord of the Rings was. Like many of you (probably), I find it a difficult question to answer because there are just so many memorable moments. Really, we are spoilt for choice. There are the moments which wrench our hearts; those which make us laugh aloud; and those which make us afraid.

An easy answer (and one which I gave on the FB post) was Sam carrying Frodo up the slopes of Mount Doom. I mean…it’s just perfect, really. Another (which I didn’t mention, but now wish I had, because it’s probably in my top two in the whole book) is Sam weeping over Frodo’s lifeless body following Shelob’s attack.

‘Don’t leave me here alone! It’s your Sam calling. Don’t go where I can’t follow! Wake up, Mr Frodo! O wake up, Frodo, me dear, me dear. Wake up!’

[LotR, iv, 10: ‘The Choices of Master Samwise’]

I mean…I got goosebumps and even got a little choked up simply typing that.

But if I want to offer an answer a bit “off the beaten path”, I would go back and dredge up an old G+ post from 2015, which appears to be the first time I ever noticed how awesome Hama is. These are now some of my favourite passages.

‘Call Háma to me. Since he proved untrusty as a doorward, let him become an errand-runner. The guilty shall bring the guilty to judgement.’

[LotR, iii, 6, The King of the Golden Hall’]

This may not seem like very much on its own. But two chapters later, we get the payoff:

In a grave alone under the shadow of the Hornburg lay Háma, captain of the king’s guard. He fell before the Gate.

[LotR, iii, 8, ‘The Road to Isengard’]

We all like to complain about the indignity done to Faramir’s character in the films (and rightly so). But let us not forget Háma, doorward of the King.

Here is dignity. Here is honour. Here is loyalty. For the films to have left Hama to die at the jaws of a warg was a cruel injustice.

‘Rohirrim’ by Endyamar via https://endyamar.deviantart.com/art/Rohirrim-419563517

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