This is a wonderul transitional chapter. The quest of the ring was officially completed in the previous chapter (The Field of Cormallen) and the news of Frodo's actions would reach Minas Tirith during this chapter. The main focus of this chapter is the relationship between Eowyn and Faramir as well as the change in power from the Stewardship to the rightful King of Men.
The chapter starts out with the Eowyn, the shield-maiden of Rohan, demanding to the Steward, Faramir to be allowed to follow the men to march on the Black Gate. She is of course too weak to do so and Faramir begins to love Eowyn despite her refusal of his love. He looked at her, and being a man whom pity deelpy stirred, it seemed to him that her loveliness and her grief would pierce his heart. This quote tells of Faramir's difference from his brother, more of a thinker, and his compassion. As the scene progresses the question becomes why is Eowyn so enamoured with dying and why is Faramir so dedicated to changing her mind.
As the two spend more time together Eowyn gets better, but when news from Comallen are heard in Minis Tirith, Faramir is seperated from her and her health begins to wane again. It is here that one of the most romantic scenes Tolkien as ever written progresses. I'm not going to re-type it all, but there is one quote we can't live without :p
And Eowyn looked at Faramir long and steadily; and Faramir said: 'Do not scorn pity that is the gift of a gentle heart, Eowyn! But I do not offer you my pity. For you are a lady high and valiant and have yourself won renown that shall not be forgotten; and you are a lady beautiful, I deem, beyond even the words of the Elven-tongue to tell. And I love you.'
After the two profess their love for one another the chapter continues and Faramir gives the city to Aragorn as the King of Gondor. Aragorn then quotes Elendil, 'Et Earello Endorenna utulien. Sinome maruvan ar Hildinyar tenn' Ambar-metta!'
The mercy and justness of King Elessar is seen with respect to Beregrond - having spilled blood spilled in the Hallows and deserting his post. The King relieves him of his duties in Minis Tirith and charges him to be Faramir's company in Ithilien. It would seem that after all of the traveling that Aragorn had done as a Ranger and the growing up he had done over the years, he had become a just King.
There is a great passage between Gandalf and Aragorn where the wizard shows Aragorn all of his realm as well as a sapling of the white tree that is brough back to the White City.
Aragorn also asks the Fellowship to stay in the White City and the Fellowship wondered about it, but as the summer approached all answers were revealed. Then the King welcomed his guests, and they alighted; and Elrond surrendered the sceptre, and laid the hand of his daughter in the hand of the King, and together they went up into the High City, and all the stars flowered in the sky.
Well - get your books out and get ready! Discussion starts Wedensday!!