Bernard Hill, best known for his roles in Titanic and Lord of the Rings, has died aged 79.

Hill's other roles in his decades-long career include the 1976 BBC TV series I, Claudius, an appearance in 1982's Gandhi, Shirley Valentine in 1989, The Scorpion King in 2002 and 2008 Tom Cruise film Valkyrie. He was due to return in series two of The Responder, which begins airing on Sunday.

Bernard Hill did such a fantastic job portraying Théoden. One of the best passages of the books was Théoden's rousing speech and charge at the Pelennor Fields, and he brought that same strength, passion and conviction onto the big screen.

Rest In Peace, King Théoden


“At that sound the bent shape of the king sprang suddenly erect. Tall and proud he seemed again; and rising in his stirrups he cried in a loud voice, more clear than any there had ever heard a mortal man achieve before.

Arise, arise, Riders of Théoden!

Fell deeds awake: fire and slaughter!

Spears shall be shaken, shields be splintered,

A sword day, a red day, ere the sun rises!

Ride now, ride now! Ride to Gondor!

With that he seized a great horn from Guthláf his banner-bearer, and he blew such a blast upon it that it burst asunder. And straightaway all the horns in the host were lifted up in music, and the blowing of the horns of Rohan in that hour was like a storm upon the plain and a thunder in the mountains.

Ride now, ride now! Ride to Gondor!

Suddenly, the king cried to Snowmane and the horse sprang away. Behind him his banner blew in the wind, white horse upon a field of green, but he outpaced it. After him thundered the knights of his house, but he was ever before them. Éomer rode there, the white horsetail on his helm floating in his speed, and the front of the first éored roared like a breaker foaming to the shore, but Théoden could not be over taken.

Fey he seemed, or the battle fury of his fathers ran like new fire within his veins, and he was borne up on Snowmane like a God of old, even as Oromë the Great in the battle of the Valar when the world was young. His golden shield was uncovered, and lo! it shown like an image of the sun, and the grass flamed into green about the white feet of his steed.

For morning came, morning and a wind from the sea; and darkness was removed, and the hosts of Mordor wailed, and terror took them, and they fled, and died, and the hoofs of wrath overtook them. And then all the host of Rohan burst into song, and they sang as they slew, for the joy of battle was on them, and the sound of their singing that was fair and terrible came even to the City.”

  • 9
    Not just the speech. The arrival of the Rohirrim at the Pelennor is one of the best scenes in the trilogy, or any film at all, in my opinion. RIP King Theoden. Commented May 5 at 17:05
  • 7
    "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." Commented May 6 at 6:24


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