In The Two Towers movie near the end of the battle of Helm's Deep, the survivors barricade themselves before deciding to charge out "and meet them". For all they knew, it could have been their last ever push against the enemy. Usually, the most skilled and experienced warriors would take part and would likely lead the charge.

And yet Gimli was sent to sound the horn instead of riding with the others and offering support (especially since most of the Rohan army consisted of peasants). Did any of the producers explain this logic?

I'm ignoring the novel as, IIRC, Gimli retreated to the caves after Helm's Deep was overrun. So there are deviations between novel and movies.

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    Dwarves are, as we know, natural sprinters. Very dangerous over short distances. It is safe to say that their respiratory system also reflects this, meaning that Gimli was the best equipped one to sound a mighty blast with his mighty, short-burst lungs :) Feb 9, 2015 at 20:41
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    There's nothing in the director commentary to indicate why he was chosen. I suspect it's because Dwarves are a bit crap in a mounted charge.
    – Valorum
    Feb 9, 2015 at 21:50
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    There's some interesting stuff in the producer's commentary about how they filmed the horn causing a minor rock-slide and the noise hurting the Uruk-Hai's ears (which is why the charge didn't end in disaster immediately) but nothing about why Gimli was specifically chosen
    – Valorum
    Feb 9, 2015 at 22:02
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    In the actor's commentary, they just make a bunch of fart jokes about the "flatulent horn" :-)
    – Valorum
    Feb 9, 2015 at 22:03
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    @KSmarts - You'd hope that with 4 separate commentaries someone would have given at least a glimpse of a reason.
    – Valorum
    Feb 9, 2015 at 23:05

1 Answer 1


Essentially movie only; we see the remaining people in Helm's Deep mount and ride out. Gimli, as the only dwarf, is also the only one not suited to a mounted charge. Horses are too large for dwarves to ride properly, and even with a pony dwarves seldom ride into battle. They prefer to fight on foot, which I believe Gimli states multiple times throughout the movies. Foot soldiers cannot properly charge with cavalry - they typically would follow behind the charge and finish off/fight what the charge misses.

  • "Dwarves seldom ride into battle." Absolutely. A poorly CGI'd Billy Connolly riding a boar? I have no idea what you're talking about.
    – KSmarts
    Feb 9, 2015 at 22:17
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    There are multiple instances of Gimli having a ghastly time on a horse, trying to convince it where to go, falling off them, etc.
    – Valorum
    Feb 9, 2015 at 22:24
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    @Himarm Actually, most of what I've heard is that Peter Jackson wasn't particularly interested in directing The Hobbit. Decisions such as making a three movies, preferring CGI over models and makeup, and adding a love triangle (In post--the relationship between Tauriel and Legolas was not a part of principal photography) were all made by the producers, not Jackson.
    – KSmarts
    Feb 9, 2015 at 22:38
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    @KSmarts whoever did it, needs to be shot.
    – Himarm
    Feb 9, 2015 at 22:44
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    Ughh CGI, I'm already thinking why bother hiring actors when you can hire software geeks.
    – user35594
    Feb 10, 2015 at 23:10

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