How does it happen in the movie?
After Théoden comes to a decision about the protection of his people, in light of Saruman’s treason, Edoras is evacuated and its inhabitants are moved to Helm’s Deep. During this journey, Éowyn sees a chance to get closer to the three strangers – and especially Aragorn.
The journey is interrupted rather rudely by a band of warg-riders, Orcs sent out by Saruman to attack the evacuees. During the fight that follows, Aragorn is dragged over a cliff by one of the wargs. When Legolas finds the Evenstar in the hands of one of the Orcs, his companions believe him dead.

How did it happen in the books?
Gandalf wants Théoden to travel to Helm’s Deep, but the King only does so with the greatest reluctance. He entrusts Éowyn with the task of guiding his people safely to the refuge of Dunharrow, at a suggestion from Háma.
On the road to Helm’s Deep, they encounter a group of Rohirrim. Amongst them is Ceorl, who informs the King of the battle at the Fords of the Isen. Théoden brings hope to the men, and then hurries to Helm’s Deep.

This part in the book is quite uneventful. In the movie, it was used to tie some ‘plot-knots’ together:
– Éowyn makes a move on Aragorn. Her offering some of her stew, first to Gimli and then to Aragorn, looks quite comical. In fact, Miranda Otto says she was glad that the scene wasn’t in the theatrical cut because she felt it was too out-of-character. However, the scene does give us some valuable information about Aragorn:
Éowyn: My uncle told me a strange thing. He said that you rode to war with Thengel, my grandfather. But he must be mistaken.
Aragorn: King Théoden has a good memory. He was only a small child at the time.
Éowyn: Then you must be at least sixty. Seventy? But you cannot be eighty!
Aragorn: Eighty-seven
Éowyn: You are one of the Dúnedain. A descendant of Númenor, blessed with long life. It was said that your race had passed into legend.
Aragorn: There are few of us left. The Northern Kingdom was destroyed long ago.

– This is followed by a flashback to a moment between Arwen and Aragorn in Rivendell. This was probably meant to remind the audience of why things won’t work out between Éowyn and Aragorn; and at the same time give the information about the break-up. (More about this scene can be found in 3.06.*b. The Evenstar.)
– Next up: warg-fight. According to the books, wargs are a sort of corrupted wolves; not a new and improved breed of scary hamsters. Also, the only actual encounter with wargs in the books occurs on Caradhras, after the company decided not to risk crossing it. Going downhill, they are attacked but Gandalf does something way cool with his staff and fire, and the wargs give up easily enough.
– Exit Aragorn: he is dragged over the cliff by a warg. The Evenstar is found in the fist of a dying Orc, and convinces Legolas and Gimli that Aragorn is in fact dead. This scene serves a dual purpose: to sunder Aragorn from the group so that he can make the ‘change’ towards King more easily and in a more believable manner; and to show the bond that has grown between Aragorn and Legolas. Very touching of course, even if this scene scores quite high in the list of Things that Bugs Us in TTT.

– Théoden would be really stupid to send his people all to one place, so there’s no way that he would take both soldiers and ordinary people to Helm’s Deep. Also, Dunharrow is much more suited to protect people in, because of the steep hill-side which makes it neigh impossible to take it by force.
– What Éowyn was thinking when she made her stew is beyond me, because with that little pot she could hardly feed one Dwarf and half an Elf.

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Viewpoint by Aegliriel

Related Information
Related Books vs. Movies Articles:
- 3.06.*b. Evenstar by Figwit
- 3.06.*d. Breath of Life by Figwit
- 3.07. Helm's Deep by atalante_star

- Aragorn by Figwit
- Éowyn by Aervir
- Háma & Gamling by Figwit
- Théoden by atalante_star

Interesting Links:
Our Gallery has has screencaps of the theatrical version, as well as the extended edition.

A transcript of 'The Lord Of the Rings: The Two Towers' can be found in our Film Fun & Facts section.

A summary of 'The Lord Of the Rings: The Two Towers' can be found in Elrond's Library.

Some articles that are related to this sequence:
- Some more information about the Rohirrim can be found in our Middle-earth section, which has articles about Éowyn of Rohan and Théoden son of Thengel.
The Middle-earth section also has an article about Saruman, and another one about Wolves and Wargs.
There's also an article about The Dúnedain.

Forum threads related to this sequence:
- You can discuss this sequence in detail in TTT Sequence by sequence #9: Journey to Helm's Deep and TTT EE Sequence by Sequence #5: Edoras in the Movies Forum.

Take a look at how some artists saw this part in the book:
- Warg Heads by Fhêndil
- Warg by Peter Green
- Aragorn and Éowyn by ponine21
- Warg by David Wyatt

Looking for something more creative - you may find it here: