In Peter Jackson's LOTR movies Theoden has some of the finest and most emotional speeches. His musings over the grave of his dead son made me cry the first time I saw The Two Towers and still do, many viewings later. That one beautifully acted scene stuck with me and turned me into a big fan, both of Theoden himself and Bernard Hill.
However, I was in fact a fan of Bernard Hill before I even knew his name. His performance as Captain Edward Smith in Titanic was one of the highlights of the movie. As the Captain waited in his cabin for death, Hill gave us the finest single moment of acting in the whole movie, without saying a single word.
This page contains some of Theoden's finest quotes and scenes, as well as Captain Smith's final moments from the Titanic screenplay. It therefore also contains some spoilers, so if you have not read all the books or seen all the movies, be warned!
Table of Contents:
The Two Towers
Theoden visits his son's grave
Simbelmyne. Ever has it grown on the tombs of my forebearers. Now it shall cover the grave of my son. Alas, that these evil days should be mine. The young perish and the old linger. That I should live to see the last days of my house.
Theodred's death was not of your making.
No parent should have to bury their child.
He was strong in life. His spirit will find its way to the halls of your fathers. Westu h?l. Fer?u, Th?odred, Fer?u. (Be-thou well. Go-thou, Th?odred, go-thou.)
Preparation for the battle of Helm's Deep
Crops can be resown. Homes rebuilt. Within these walls, we will outlast them.
They do not come to destroy Rohanís crops or villages. They come to destroy its people. Down to the last child!
What would you have me do? Look at my men. Their courage hangs by a thread. If this is to be our end, then I would have them make such an end as to be worthy of remembrance!
Theoden puts on his armor
THEODEN is preparing to put on his armour
Every villager able to wield a sword has been sent to the armory. My lord?
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. Where is the horse and the rider? Where is the horn that was blowing? They have passed like rain on the mountains. Like wind in the meadow. The days have gone down in the west. Behind the hills, into shadow. How did it come to this?
Aragorn rallies Theoden from despair
Back at Helm's Deep:
The fortress is taken. It is over.
You said this fortress would never fall while your men defend it. They still defend it. They have died defending it! Is there no other way for the women and children to get out of the caves? Is there no other way?
There is one passage. It leads into the mountains. But they will not get far. The Uruk-hai are too many.
Send word for the women and children to make for the mountain pass. And barricade the entrance!
So much death. What can men do against such reckless hate?
Ride out with me. Ride out and meet them.
For death and glory?
For Rohan. For your people.
The sun is rising.
(Flashback Voiceover) GANDALF
Look to my coming at first light on the fifth day. At dawn, look to the East.
Yes. Yes! The Horn of Helm Hammerhand shall sound in the Deep one last time.
Gimli climbs up to blow the horn.
Let this be the hour when we draw swords together. Fell deeds awake. Now for wrath. Now for ruin. And the red dawn! Forth Eorlingas!
The Return of the King
So it is before the walls of Minas Tirith, the doom of our time will be decided.
Theoden rallies his men
Why does he leave on the eve of battle?
GAMLING He leaves because there is no hope.
He leaves because he must.
Too few have come. We cannot defeat the armies of Mordor.
No, we cannot. But we will meet them in battle nonetheless.
Theoden comforts Eowyn
At dawn, EOWYN is approached by her Uncle
I have left instructions. The people are to follow your rule in my stead. Take up my seat in the Golden Hall. Long may you defend Edoras if the battle goes ill.
What other duty would you have me do, my lord?
Duty? No. I would have you smile again. Not grief for those whose time has come. You shall live to see these days renewed. No more despair.
St. Crispin's Day speech
Ride now, ride now, ride! Ride for ruin and the world's ending! Death!
Death of Theoden
On the battlefield, it goes ill with Rohan
Rally to me! To me!
THEODEN slowly turns his head and sees the WITCH KING of ANGMAR flying towards him. The fell beast grabs THEODENíS horse in his teeth and shakes THEODEN away.
WITCH KING(to the fellbeast)
Feast off his human flesh.
I will kill you if you touch him.
Do not come between the Nazgul and his prey.
The fell beast attacks DERNHELM, but it only succeeds in getting its head cut off. The WITCH KING dismounts and strikes DERNHELM's shield with his mace.
Fool! No man can slay the Lord of The Nazgul! Die now!
Suddenly MERRY attacks from behind, stabbing the wraith's knee. DERNHELM stands before the WITCH KING and removes his helm. But lo! DERNHELM is no man, but the lady EOWYN
I am no man!
EOWYN strikes down the WITCH KING
THEODEN lies dying. EOWYN approaches
I know your face. Eowyn. My eyes darken.
No. No, I am going to save you.
You already did. Eowyn, my body is broken. You have to let me go. I go to my fathers in whose mighty company I shall not now feel ashamed. Eowyn.
Death of Captain Smith
236 EXT. BOAT DECK AND VARIOUS LOCATIONS
The band finishes the waltz. Wallace Hartley looks at the orchestra members.
Right, that's it then.
They leave him, walking forward along the deck. Hartley puts his violin to his chin and bows the first notes of "Nearer My God to Thee". One by one the band memebers turn, hearing the lonely melody.
Without a word they walk back and take their places. They join in with Hartley, filling out the sound so that it reaches all over the ship on this still night. The vocalist begins: "If in my dreams I be, nearer my God to thee..."
THE HYMN PLAYS OVER THE FOLLOWING SEQUENCE:
237 A seaman pulls off his lifebelt and catches up to Captain Smith as he walks to the bridge. He proffers it, but Smith seems to stare through him. Without a word he turns and goes onto the bridge. He enters the enclosed WHEELHOUSE and closes the door. He is alone, surrounded by the gleaming brass instruments. He seems to inwardly collapse.
238 IN THE FIRST CLASS SMOKING ROOM Andrews stands like a statue. He pulls out his pocketwatch and checks the time. Then he opens the face of the mantle clock and adjusts it to the correct time: 2:12 a.m. Everything must be correct.
239 IN CAL'S PARLOUR SUITE water swirls in from the private promenade deck. Rose's paintings are submerged. The Picasso tranforms under the water's surface. Degas' colors run. Monet's water lilies come to life.
240 DOWNANGLE on the two figures lying side by side, fully clothed, on a bed in a FIRST CLASS CABIN. Elderly Ida and Isador Strauss stare at the ceiling, holding hands like young lovers. Water pours into the room through a doorway. It swirls around the bed, two feet deep rising fast.
241 IN A STEERAGE CABIN somewhere in the bowels of the ship, the young IRISH MOTHER, seen earlier stoically waiting at the stairs, is tucking her two young children into bed. She pulls up the covers, making sure they are all warm and cozy. She lies down with them on the bed, speaking soothingly and holding them.
245 CAPTAIN SMITH, standing near the wheel, watches the black water climbing the windows of the enclosed wheelhouse. He has the stricken expression of a damned sould on Judgment Day. The windows burst suddenly and a wall of water edged with shards of glass slams into Smith. He disappears in a vortex of foam.