Guest editorial by Denethor, Steward of Gondor.
Riders have come from Theoden, King of the Mark, desperate for aid after a huge army of Uruk-Hai crossed the fords of Isen and our answer is: we’d love to, but we’ve got our own problems.
You ask – where was Gondor when the Westfold fell? Where was Gondor when your enemies closed in around you? And the answer is we were with you in spirit, sending our very best wishes in your gallant defence.
Gondor has spent many years building a working relationship with Mordor, and invested hugely in the Mordstream pipeline upon which our entire economy depends and it would be a calamity to throw that away over a small, regional territorial disagreement which could be resolved through negotiation.
The messenger says the Dunlendings are moving through the land, burning every rick and cot, and I agree that’s awful, but the Hobbits are concerned they might miss second breakfast and I have to consider them as well.
The Wild Men have a legitimate concern that Rohan was historically a part of Dunland, and some concessions on Theoden’s part would save a lot of unpleasantness and also save us having to actually do anything.
And Mordor legitimately fears that the Last Alliance between men and elves is a threat to their territorial integrity and feel it should remain west of the Anduin.
I recognise that ancient bonds and pledges of aid exist between our people. In elder days the men of Gondor swore solemn oaths that they would rise to Rohan’s protection in return for their friendship upon the Field of Celebrant, but how can Gondor be sure that Rohan will answer should we call? We cannot.
Look, the elves will help. You really don’t need us as well, okay?