Questions tagged [the-return-of-the-king]

The third and final instalment of J.R.R. Tolkien's epic saga, The Lord of the Rings. Also the basis for at least two adaptations. Please use together with the tag [tolkiens-legendarium], and possibly [lord-of-the-rings].

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Is this the Elostirion?

In this clip at the very beginning in the first seconds there are towers seen high up the hill. Are they or one of them intended to be the White Towers or do they belong to the Grey Havens already? I ...
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How big is the Gulf of Lune, actually?

When you look at this image from the end of Return of the King it seems the Gulf of Lune isn't as large as the Encyclopedia of Arda claims, namely that it would span more than two hundred miles. It's ...
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What's with the Red Arrow?

In The Lord of the Rings, Book V, chapter 3, "The Muster of Rohan", Hirgon brings the Red arrow from Denethor, as a sign that Gondor desperately needs Rohan's help in the coming battles. He ...
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Did Prince Imrahil try to talk Faramir out of attempting to reconquer Osgiliath?

Prince Imrahil is Faramir's uncle. When Faramir rides to reconquer Osgiliath, Imrahil can be seen among the soldiers in a ring of Minas Tirith. From this I conclude that Imrahil was rather opposed to ...
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27 votes
2 answers
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Why didn't Gandalf prevent or lessen Saruman’s damage to the Shire?

In the chapter "Many Partings" the hobbits and Gandalf meet Saruman and Grima on the road. Saruman's intentions are pretty obvious; he even threatens the party: Well, it will serve you ...
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3 votes
3 answers
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Does Galadriel's phial help win the Siege of Gondor?

The battle of Battle of the Pelennor Fields happens at the exact time Sam rescues Frodo from Cirith Ungol on March 15. In "The Land of Shadow," Sam says: ‘If only the Lady could see us or ...
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38 votes
3 answers
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Would Sauron have honored the terms offered by The Mouth of Sauron?

Before the Battle of The Black Gate, The Mouth of Sauron offers to let the Captains of The West peacefully withdraw under the following terms: The rabble of Gondor and its deluded allies shall ...
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What exactly made Boromir "un-Numenorean" compared to Denethor/Faramir?

Gandalf says this to Pippin: He is not as other men of this time, Pippin, and whatever be his descent from father to son, by some chance the blood of Westernesse runs nearly true in him; as it does ...
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How do the beacons atop each mountain light up? [duplicate]

In the RotK movie, Gandalf and Merry light up the beacons of Gondor. These beacons have been built atop each peak of the White Mountains. Mysteriously, when one beacon is lit another also becomes lit ...
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Did Gandalf think that Frodo was dead?

When the Host of the West march upon the Black Gate, the Mouth of Sauron reveals 'Tokens' (including Frodo's Mithril shirt). At this point, Gandalf looks defeated. Did he think that Frodo had been ...
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Which version of The Return of the King contains this changed line?

In the Extended Version of The Return of the King, when Aragorn uses Andúril to parry an attack from the King of the Dead, the King of the Dead replies: That line was broken! However, for as long as ...
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Is Gandalf's rant about Gondor an allegory for anything?

PS. Before people get their backs up about the word "allegory" because of Tolkien's perceived dislike of it based on that particular quote, feel free to replace the world "allegory"...
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Was Theoden's refusal to help Gondor an allegory for anything?

Before people get their backs up about the word "allegory" because of Tolkien's perceived dislike of it based on that particular quote, feel free to replace the world "allegory" ...
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3 votes
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How similar is this scene in The Return of the King to the books?

In the Extended Edition of The Return of the King, at about the 1:15:00 mark, Faramir returns to Denethor to inform him that he let the Frodo and Sam (and the One Ring) go, and the following ...
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42 votes
4 answers
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Why didn't Sauron realise Frodo was in Mordor despite finding his shirt?

In the Extended Edition of The Return of the King movie, in the scene at the Black Gate, the Mouth of Sauron comes out to parley with the company. Eventually, he presents Frodo's mithril shirt to ...
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Why do Gondorians frequently refer to Gandalf as Mithrandir?

Gandalf says of himself: "Many are my names in many countries. Mithrandir among the elves, Tharkûn to the dwarves; Olórin I was in my youth in the West that is forgotten, in the South Incánus, ...
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Why didn't the Palantir of Orthanc "possess" Pippin the first time?

At around the 18 minute mark of the Extended Edition of The Return of the King, after a slain Saruman has fallen from Orthanc, the Palantir is shown slipping out of Saruman's robes into the flooded ...
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Why did Gandalf bring Pippin along to blind the Nazgul?

At one point in The Return of the King Gandalf rides out of Minas Tirith to blind some Nazgul and immediately returns to Minas Tirith. It doesn't make sense to me why he would take Pippin along for ...
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In the Lord of the Rings: the Return of the King, why do the eagles come to the battle at the Black Gate?

So the eagles in the Lord of the Rings seem to be the starting point for many a question. I understand that they are not regular eagles that are just abnormally large, but rather servants of one of ...
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25 votes
3 answers
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How did Gollum know Sauron was gathering the Haradrim to make war?

When Samwise Gamgee and Frodo Baggins spy on the Haradrim army and their oliphaunts, Gollum explains why they are marching north. Samwise: Who are they? Gollum: ...
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16 votes
3 answers
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Is the chapter "The Houses of Healing" meant as comic relief?

I'm re-reading the LOTR books for the first time in about 20 years, and I was struck by the change of tone in this chapter. We've just had several heavy chapters of death and destruction and this ...
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Source for Frodo/Gandalf exchange about wounds in "The Return of the King"

Could someone kindly tell me exactly where in the book this quote is found? I need it for an exam tomorrow. 'Are you in pain, Frodo?' said Gandalf quietly as he rode by Frodo's side. 'Well, yes I am,'...
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Where does this Return of the King quote come from? [closed]

Is there a page reference for this quote from Return of the King? The Hobbits Frodo and Bilbo (and later Samwise), although of mortal kind, by virtue of having borne the One Ring also bore a ...
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Who manned the Beacons of Minas Tirith? [duplicate]

In both Tolkien’s and Jackson’s The Lord of the Rings there are beacons for Gondor to call for aid in times of need. Only in the Peter Jackson film of Return of the King do the beacons go from Gondor ...
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How did Shelob stab Frodo through his mithril shirt? [duplicate]

How come Shelob's sting was able to pierce through the Mithril armor worn by Frodo and poison him?
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9 votes
3 answers
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What is the point of the Rammas Echor?

In the Return of the King novel, the men of Gondor build a defensive wall around Minas Tirith, known as the Rammas Echor or Outwall. The area that the wall encloses stretches almost out to Osgiliath, ...
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13 votes
1 answer
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How long was Sam wearing the Ring?

At the end of The Lord Of The Rings: Two Towers, Sam puts the Ring on to hide from orcs and then follow them, and afterwards passes out. Now the flicker of approaching torches and the clink of ...
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11 votes
1 answer
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Was Gandalf intent on taking the Witch-King down?

In Lord if the Rings: The Return of the King Denethor implies that Gandalf might be not strong enough to fight Lord of the Nazgûl. ‘Yet now under the Lord of Barad-dûr the most fell of all his ...
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15 votes
1 answer
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Why did Sauron's tower fall?

When Sauron is finally defeated near the end of Return of the King, why does his tower collapse? Is the collapse of the tower what triggers the ground collapse that (conveniently) consumes only his ...
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Did Gandalf do anything else in Middle-earth after talking with Tom Bombadil?

In "Chapter 7: Homeward Bound" of the The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, Gandalf tells the Hobbits, I am turning aside soon. I am going to have a long talk with Bombadil: such a talk as ...
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22 votes
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How much dirt did Galadriel give Sam?

'For you little gardener and lover of trees,' she said to Sam, 'I have only a small gift.' She put into his hand a little box of plain grey wood, unadorned save for a single silver rune upon the ...
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31 votes
2 answers
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Why was Frodo unable to destroy the Ring?

In The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, just after the One Ring was destroyed in Mount Doom along with Gollum, there is a scene in which Frodo says: Sam, I could not have destroyed the ...
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Why did Aragorn faint when he touched the Palantír?

In The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King when Pippin took the Palantír from Gandalf and Sauron saw him, why did Aragorn faint when he took it but later in the movie he challenged Sauron via ...
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7 votes
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In Return Of The King, why does Gandalf say if Osgiliath falls that the city of Minas Tirith will be defenseless?

In The Return of the King, Gandalf is talking to Pippin and says, If the river is taken... if the garrison at Osgiliath falls, the last defense of this city will be gone. But after Osgiliath falls,...
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16 votes
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Were the leaders of the Shire counselors of Arnor after the time of Sam, Merry, and Pippin?

In the appendices after The Return of the King, it is stated that when King Elessar traveled to Arnor, he made the Thain of the Shire, the Mayor of the Shire, and the Master of Buckland counselors of ...
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10 votes
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Translation of these Cirth runes

What is the translation of what's written below? I think it may be the poem of the One Ring, but I'm not sure.
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39 votes
2 answers
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What was the white gem Frodo wore?

In the Return of the King, the last chapter "The Grey Havens", Frodo appears to have a white gem hanging from a chain around his neck that is mentioned a couple of times: On the thirteenth of that ...
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What was the parting conversation between Elrond and Arwen?

In The Return of the King, the chapter "Many Partings", it says: None saw her lasting meeting with Elrond her father, for they went up into the hills and there spoke long together, and bitter was ...
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13 votes
2 answers
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Would Gimli and Éomer really have fought each other?

There's an ongoing disagreement bewteen Gimli and Éomer about Galadriel, one that is only resolved because Gimli accepted that Arwen was an acceptable alternative opinion. From The Return of the King,...
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44 votes
2 answers
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In what way is Gandalf a steward?

In the first chapter of The Return of the King ("Minas Tirith"), just before Gandalf leaves Denethor, he says to him: "For I also am a steward. Did you not know?" What does Gandalf mean by this? ...
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Why didn't Sam use his own sword after dropping Sting in the fight with Shelob?

In the movie, Sam's sword can easily be seen in his scabbard during the fight. However, instead of drawing it, he decides to kick Shelob and roll on the ground reaching for Sting.
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8 votes
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The Return of the King: Chapter 2 - The Passing of the Grey Company. Why does King Theoden take the mountain road instead of the plains?

We have King Theoden, Eomer, Aragorn, Legolas, Gimli, and Merry pausing at the Hornburg. From here, the party split into two: Party 1 - Theoden, Eomer, and Merry; Party 2 - Aragorn, Legolas, and Gimli....
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26 votes
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What were the "Black Pits" the orcs referred to?

When Sam was searching for Frodo and had reached the highest tier of the tower of Cirith Ungol, he heard two orcs arguing. During the orcs' argument, the orc captain, Shagrat, alluded to the "Black ...
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Why did it take less time to go from Rivendell to the Shire than it did to go from the Shire to Rivendell?

Although this question has already asked about the different times for traveling to Rivendell from the Shire, it did not address the duration of the return journey from Rivendell to the Shire that ...
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4 votes
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Why didn't Elrond use the army of the undead at the end of The Two Towers?

Why didn't Elrond mention the undead army (the one seen at the end of Return of the King) much earlier? In 'The Two Towers' they almost lose the fight at Helm's Deep except that at the last second ...
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6 votes
1 answer
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How did Elrond know of the Paths of the Dead?

How did Elrond know of the passage in which Aragorn, Legolas, and Gimli traveled down in The Return of the King and why would he suggest to Aragorn to take that road to summon the dead to fight for ...
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5 votes
5 answers
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Why did the Witch King not kill Gandalf?

When Gandalf meets the Witch King of Angmar, he said this, 'Go back to the abyss prepared for you! Go back! Fall into the nothingness that awaits you and your Master. Go!' Return of the King ...
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17 votes
4 answers
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Why didn't Sam just destroy the ring?

When Shelob stung Frodo, Sam luckily gets the sword, Sting, the Phial of Galadriel, and the Ring from Shelob's lair. After Sam defeats Shelob, he saw that orcs came by to kidnap Frodo and take him to ...
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25 votes
3 answers
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Did Gollum die happy?

Did Gollum die happy when he had the Ring in his hand but at the same time was being consumed by lava? Are there any traces on this topic in book or in the movie?
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35 votes
1 answer
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Why did Denethor choose to burn himself to death?

In LOTR Return of the King, Denethor Steward of Gondor decides to burn himself, and his son Faramir to death. Watching the part in the movie again, and I'm still a teeny bit unclear why he kills ...
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