Category: lotr

But it was not so. Sauron was indeed caught in the wreck of Númenor, so that the bodily form in which he long had walked perished; but he fled back to Middle-earth, a spirit of hatred borne upon the dark wind. He was unable ever again to assume a form that seemed fair to men, but became black and hideous, and his power thereafter was through terror alone. He re-entered Mordor, and hid there for a time in silence. But his anger was great when he learned that Elendil whom be most hated, had escaped him, and was now ordering a realm upon his borders.
Therefore, after a time he made war upon the Exiles, before they should take root. Orodruin burst once more into flame, and was named anew in Gondor, Amon Amarth, Mount Doom. But Sauron struck too soon, before his own power was rebuilt, whereas the power of Gil-galad had increased in his absence; and in the Last Alliance that was made against him Sauron was overthrown and the One Ring

Of Treebeard and Entwives

We all know about the mystery of Fangorn, the guardians of the forest, and the ultimate destruction of Isengard. But a major part of the Ents’ stories in Lord of the Rings are the Entwives. Where did they go and what became of them? The Ents were created in response to the creation and expansion of the dwarves. The Valar Yavanna wished to protect her forests from the dwarves’ axes and constructions, so Eru created the Shepherds of the Trees – Ents. In the First Age the Middle-Earth was mostly forest, Elrond explains “Time was when a squirrel could go from tree to tree from what is now the Shire to Dunland wast of Isengard.” (LOTR, FOTR, Council of Elrond). However with the colonization of the Númenóreans, rise of Orcs, spread of the Edain, and the Dwarven kingdoms, the large forest began to shrink. Initially Entwives and Ents were together, but they grew apart, “the Ents loved the great trees; and the wild woods, and the slopes of the high hills; and they drank of the mountain-streams, and ate only such fruit as the trees let fall in their path; and they learned of the Elves and spoke with the Trees. But the Entwives gave their minds to the lesser trees, and to the meads in the sunshine beyond the feet of the forests; and they saw the sloe in the thicket, and the wild apple and the cherry blossoming in spring, and the green herbs in the waterlands in summer, and the seeding grasses in the autumn fields. They did not desire to speak with these things; but they wished them to hear and obey what was said to them.” (LOTR, TT, Treebeard). With the destruction of the forests and the growing powers of Men and Orc, the Ents and Entwives became more separated. By the time of the Second Age the Entwives had moved to a region on the Anduin called the Brown Lands. However, when Treebeard attempted to visit to see them (Notably Fimbrethil, his love), they were gone and the land was barren, which it remained well into the Third Age. “They had come to the Brown Lands that lay, vast and desolate, between Southern Mirkwood and the hills of the Emyn Muil. What pestilence or war or evil deed of the Enemy had so blasted all that region even Aragorn could not tell.” (LOTR, FOTR, The Great River). Whether they were destroyed in Sauron’s war on Men or left for another land is unknown. Theories include them being alive in the Old Forest, them finding a way to the West, or unfortunately destroyed in the War of the Last Alliance. Better ask Bombadil.

“’Maybe I shall,’ said Treebeard. ‘But I shall miss them. We have become friends in so short a while that I think I must be getting hasty – growing backwards towards youth, perhaps. But there, they are the first new thing under Sun or Moon that I have seen for many a long, long day. I shall not forget them. I have put their names into the Long List. Ents will remember it.

Ents the earthborn, old as mountains,

the wide-walkers, water drinking;

and hungry as hunters, the Hobbit children,

the laughing-folk, the little people,

they shall remain friends as long as leaves are renewed. Fare you well! But if you hear news up in your pleasant land, in the Shire, send me word! You know what I mean: word or sight of the Entwives. Come yourselves if you can!’”

-Treebeard on Hobbits, Two Towers, The Voice of Saruman


“It has to be Eowyn and Miranda Otto’s commitment to her. When I saw that they were paying attention to her warrior side in the third movie I was really pleased. Because the people of Rohan have had to count on women to defend their country for a long time, and I thought it was important to see that. And Miranda has done a great job. She’s been amazing, and I think people will be impressed by that.”

Viggo Mortensen on the most pleasant surprise in RotK

For the Elves the world moves, and it moves both very swift and very slow. Swift, because they themselves change little, and all else fleets by: it is a grief to them. Slow, because they do not count the running years, not for themselves. The passing seasons are but ripples ever repeated in the long long stream. Yet beneath the Sun all things must wear to an end at last.’
`But the wearing is slow in Lórien,’ said Frodo. `The power of the Lady is on it. Rich are the hours, though short they seem, in Caras Galadhon, where Galadriel wields the Elven-ring.‘


Aragorn in the Two Towers 

Umbar was a major Númenorean
port city in Harad, off the Bay of Belfalas, that went from a major Gondorian trading port to a pirate haven. Founded by the Númenóreans during their colonizing of Middle Earth, under Ar-Pharazôn it was the staging point for his invasion and subjugation of Sauron. When Númenor collapsed the city came under the control of the King’s Men (Black Númenóreans who sided with the dark cult of Morgoth). With
Númenor destroyed and the remaining Númenorean colonies under control of
the Faithful (Those who stayed loyal to the Valar), Umbar became more closely
aligned with Morgoth’s other allies such as neighboring Harad. By the beginning
of the Third Age the city remained under Gondor’s control, and they were able
to repel many of the Harad invasions until the Kin-strife (Castamir’s attempt to seize power). The civil war weakened Gondor and allowed Umbar to become independent and the city become a corsair haven. The Corsairs of Umbar
were a mix of the King’s Men, Castamir the Usurper’s supporters from the Kin-strife, and local
Haradrim who joined the powerful city-state. Gondor was not able to reclaim the
city for hundreds of years due to the Great Plague, Mordor’s incursions into
Ithilien, and Corsair raids along the Belfalas coast. Significant battles in
the latter half of the Third Age include The Corsair raid on Pelargir which killed King Minardil. Minardil’s ancestor King Umbardacil briefly recapturing Umbar but
being ousted by the Haradrim, and Thorongil (Aragorn) leading
a raid that sabotaged the Corsair fleet just prior to the War of the Ring.
During the War of the Ring Umbar had joined Sauron and sent their remaining
fleet to attack Gondor, however Aragorn summoned the Army of the Dead
(Oathbreakers from the Second Age) to frighten and ultimately rout the
Corsairs. With the destruction of Sauron came the scattering and ruin of his
cult, and Umbar fell back into the fold of the Reunited Kingdom. Aragorn 2, Corsairs 0.

“There at
Pelargir lay the main fleet of Umbar, fifty great ships and smaller vessels
beyond count. Many of those that we pursued had reached the havens before us,
and brought their fear with them; and some of the ships had put off, seeking to
escape down the River or to reach the far shore; and many of the smaller craft
were ablaze. But the Haradrim, being now driven to the brink, turned at bay,
and they were fierce in despair; and they laughed when they looked on us, for
they were a great army still.

Aragorn halted and cried with a great voice: “Now come! By the Black Stone I
call you! “ And suddenly the Shadow Host that had hung back at the last came up
like a grey tide, sweeping all away before it. Faint cries I heard, and dim
horns blowing, and a murmur as of countless far voices: it was like the echo of
some forgotten battle in the Dark Years long ago. Pale swords were drawn; but I
know not whether their blades would still bite, for the Dead needed no longer
any weapon but fear. None would withstand them.

‘To every
ship they came that was drawn up, and then they passed over the water to those
that were anchored; and all the mariners were filled with a madness of terror
and leaped overboard, save the slaves chained to the oars. Reckless we rode
among our fleeing foes, driving them like leaves, until we came to the shore.
And then to each of the great ships that remained Aragorn sent one of the
Dúnedain, and they comforted the captives that were aboard, and bade them put
aside fear and be free.”

– Gimli
telling how the Three Hunters captured the Corsairs’ ships. Return of the King, The Last Debate

But fear no more! I would not take this thing, if it lay by the highway. Not were Minas Tirith falling in ruin and I alone could save her, so, using the weapon of the Dark Lord for her good and my glory. No. I do not wish for such triumphs, Frodo son of Drogo.‘

‘Not by the hand of man will he fall’ – Prophecy and End of Kings

One of the most enduring moments of the Lord of the Rings is Eowyn’s slaying of the Witch King and fulfilling the Prophecy of Glorfindel, but where did this prophecy come from? During the Witch King’s conquest of Arnor, King Eärnil II sent his son Prince Eärnur with a small army to help defend their ally. Eärnur’s army merged with an Elven host under Glorfindel, and the Host of the West met the Witch King’s army at Fornost. During the battle the Witch King rode issuing a challenge of single combat to Eärnur, who accepted the challenge, but the Witch King’s malice and intimidating aura frightened the Gondorian horses, and Eärnur’s horse fled in fear – taking the Prince with him. The Witch King mocked him for this, and as Glorfindel’s army came the Witch King escaped the battle. Eärnur regained control of his horse and wanted to chase them, but Glorfindel warned against it prophesying “Do not pursue him! He will not return to this land. Far off yet is his doom, and not by the hand of man will he fall”. Eärnur did not pursue, and though the battle was won his pride was hurt, and ultimately Arnor was destroyed. Mordor soon took Minas Ithil, Gondor’s chief position in Mordor, and made it into Minas Morgul, a fortress of dark sorcery. Eärnur came to the throne after the death of his father, and upon his ascension to the throne the Witch King, now based in Minas Morgul, issued his challenge again. Eärnur wished to fight him but was held back by his steward Mardil. Years later the Witch King issued another challenge, but this time Eärnur accepted. He left the Crown of Gondor on his father’s tomb, gathered an escort of knights and rode to Minas Morgul. He and his escort were never seen or heard from again. There was no heir and nobody claimed the throne. The line was broken and nobody wanted to risk another Kin-Strife. So began the Ruling Stewards as the caretakers of the throne, and the Crown of Gondor remained in the tombs until the Fourth Age and the coronation of King Elessar. Glorfindel’s prophecy remained part of legend and gave the Witch King more infamy. Hundred years later, During the Battle of Pelennor Fields in the War of the Ring, Merry the Hobbit broke the Witch King’s armor with a barrow-blade, and Dernhelm revealed himself to be Eowyn, Shieldmaiden of Rohan, who then slew the Witch King. His doom was met by the hand of Woman and Hobbit, and thus the prophecy came to pass.

“Now the descendants of the kings had become few. Their numbers had been greatly diminished in the Kin-strife; whereas since that time the kings had become jealous and watchful of those near akin. Often those on whom suspicion fell had fled to Umbar and there joined the rebels; while others had renounced their lineage and taken wives not of Númenorean blood. So it was that no claimant to the crown could be found who was of pure blood, or whose claim all would allow; and all feared the memory of the Kin-strife, knowing that if any such dissension arose again, then Gondor would perish. Therefore, though the years lengthened, the Steward continued to rule Gondor, and the crown of Elendil lay in the lap of King Eärnil in the Houses of the Dead, where Eärnur had left it. “

– The end of the line of kings from the Third Age into the Fourth. Appendices, Annals of the Kings and Rulers, The Numenorean Kings, Of Numenor

The spouse of Aulë is Yavanna, the Giver of Fruits. She is the lover of all things that grow in the earth, and all their countless forms she holds in her mind, from the trees like towers in forests long ago to the moss upon stones or the small and secret things in the mould. In reverence Yavanna is next to Varda among the Queens of the Valar. In the form of a woman she is tall, and robed in green; but at times she takes other shapes. Some there are who have seen her standing like a tree under heaven, crowned with the Sun; and from all its branches there spilled a golden dew upon the barren earth, and it grew green with corn; but the roots of the tree were in the waters of Ulmo, and the winds of Manwë spoke in its leaves. Kementári, Queen of the Earth, she is surnamed in the Eldarin tongue.

And so the companies came and were hailed and cheered and passed through the Gate, men of the Outlands marching to defend the City of Gondor in a dark hour; but always too few, always less than hope looked for or need asked. The men of Ringló Vale behind the son of their lord, Dervorin striding on foot: three hundreds. From the uplands of Morthond, the great Blackroot Vale, tall Duinhir with his sons, Duilin and Derufin, and five hundred bowmen. From the Anfalas, the Langstrand far away, a long line of men of many sorts, hunters and herdsmen and men of little villages, scantily equipped save for the household of Golasgil their lord. From Lamedon, a few grim hillmen without a captain. Fisher-folk of the Ethir, some hundred or more spared from the ships. Hirluin the Fair of the Green Hills from Pinnath Gelin with three hundreds of gallant green-clad men. And last and proudest, Imrahil, Prince of Dol Amroth, kinsman of the Lord, with gilded banners bearing his token of the Ship and the Silver Swan, and a company of knights in full harness riding grey horses; and behind them seven hundreds of men at arms, tall as lords, grey-eyed, dark-haired, singing as they came. 
And that was all, less than three thousands full told. No more would come. Their cries and the tramp of their feet passed into the City and died away. The onlookers stood silent for a while. Dust hung in the air, for the wind had died and the evening was heavy. Already the closing hour was drawing nigh, and the red sun had gone behind Mindolluin. Shadow came down on the City.