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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134
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4answers
21k views

Who created the Secret Stairs as a way into Mordor and for what purpose?

Given how there were Orcs guarding the Tower of Círith Ungol at the top of the stairs, we can infer that the existence of these stairways was definitely not a secret. Perhaps the path was meant to ...
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How did Faramir know that Aragorn was the King in the Houses of Healing?

When Faramir wakes, he says this: Suddenly Faramir stirred, and he opened his eyes, and he looked on Aragorn who bent over him; and a light of knowledge and love was kindled in his eyes, and he ...
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Why don't Merry and Pippin seem taller than Frodo and Sam, even after drinking ent-draught?

I believe that in the 2nd movie, Merry and Pip meet Treebeard and drink ent-draught from Fangorn. They didn't appear any taller when we see them in ROTK though, very strangely they are the same ...
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How did Sauron's army know that the Ring was destroyed?

In the final battle, Frodo and Gollum fight and ultimately the Ring falls into the molten lava. The instant that the Ring is destroyed, Sauron knows it has been destroyed by his actions as the Eye. ...
40
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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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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 did Aragorn do with his sword between the battles of Pelennor Fields and Morannon?

After the Battle of the Pelennor Fields, Aragorn draws his sword Andúril and says: "You shall not be sheathed again until the last battle is fought." The Lord of the Rings, The Return of the King,...
33
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1answer
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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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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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How did the destruction of the Ring cause Arwen to change from Evenstar to Morningstar?

Arwen Undómiel , also known as "Evenstar" (or Evening Star), became mortal by choice and her "fate became tied to the outcome of the ring" (words of Elrond in the movie, don't remember how that was ...
30
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1answer
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Did Frodo lose a finger on Mount Doom?

In the Return of the King film, Gollum bites the finger off Frodo. In later scenes, like the Coronation of Aragorn and Leaving the Shire, we see that Frodo has gotten the finger back. How is this ...
28
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Why does Gandalf act in this way in the Houses of Healing?

The Istari were sent to "advise and persuade Men and Elves to good" and they were forbidden to fight Sauron directly. But apparently they are not forbidden to fight creatures which are not Sauron, ...
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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? ...
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Why doesn't Elrond want to re-forge the sword?

In the Return of The King, we see that Elrond doesn't seem so enthusiastic to re-forge the sword. Why is that?
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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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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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Why doesn't Sam have to say “Aiya Eärendil Elenion Ancalima”?

Inspired in part by this question. In the Lord of the Rings: Return of the King, Frodo uses the light of Eärendil against Shelob, saying the phrase "Aiya Eärendil Elenion Ancalima" to light it. At ...
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What are the advantages of breeding Uruk-hai for Saruman?

What advantage did Saruman gain by breeding the new species, Uruk-hai? How exactly are they superior? Wikipedia says they are "larger and stronger than other breeds of orc and consequently looked down ...
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1answer
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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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Why did Imrahil of Dol Amroth act as Steward of Gondor during the incapacity of Faramir?

In The Return of the King, after Denethor burns himself on his pyre and while Faramir lies in the Houses of Healing, it is Prince Imrahil of Dol Amroth who is acting Steward. The Prince of Dol ...
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Was the ending of The Return of the King inspired by some other story?

At the end of Lloyd Alexander's "The Chronicles of Prydain" series, all of the people with magic left Prydain for some other place, leaving the world to be ruled by men. I thought this was ...
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Could Aragorn have won the Battle of the Black Gate without Frodo?

With reference to material from the books as quoted in this question, it appears Aragorn's army gained the upper hand. Although Sauron sent the Nazgul to turn the tide, the Eagles arrived in time to ...
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Who were the three riders that passed Gandalf, Pippin, and Shadowfax?

In The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, Chapter 1, Pippin is riding Shadowfax with Gandalf on their way to Minas Tirith. Just after Gandalf points out to them that 'the beacons of Gondor ...
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Why didn't Sam use his own sword after dropping Sting in the fight with Shelob?

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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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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Why didn't Sam just destroy the ring?

When Shelob stinged 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 ...
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1answer
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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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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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In the end of LOTR, why does the Eye of Sauron burn so vigorously after the Ring gets destroyed?

In The Return of the King, after the Ring got tossed into the fires of Mount Doom, the Eye of Sauron burst into flames, and the tower of Barad-dûr then collapsed. Then then Eye shrank to a small point ...
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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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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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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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1answer
567 views

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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Did Peter Jackson ever explain the Witch-King's flail?

Thought about it while reading this question, specifically the quote in the answer: He bent over her like a cloud, and his eyes glittered; he raised his mace to kill. In the books, the Witch-King ...
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Why would orcs and humans fight on the same side in Lord of the Rings?

Orcs hated humans except when it was dinner time. Humans hated orcs especially around dinner time. Saruman, the creator of the Uruk-Hai, promises them they will taste manflesh. ...
11
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1answer
509 views

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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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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1answer
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White moons on orc helmets in Tolkien's Lord of the Rings: Return of the King

In Tolkien's book Return of the King there is a moment when the orcs start to put white moons on their helmets as the heroes begin to win decisive victories. Saruman had white hands on his orcs ...
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1answer
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What was Theoden's reaction in the book when Gondor asked for aid?

In the film when Aragorn rushes in the palace to announce that the beacons of Minas Tirith are lit, we see Theoden take a moment or two before deciding that Rohan would answer their call. I wonder is ...
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1answer
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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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1answer
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Were Elladan and Elrohir afraid of the dead?

In Rohan, Aragorn was joined by some of his kinsmen, Rangers from the north. With them were the two sons of Elrond Half-Elven: ‘I have thirty with me,’ said Halbrad. ‘That is all of our kindred ...
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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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Does Merry have one or two swords/daggers in The Lord of the Rings?

I have only ever seen Merry with one sword/dagger - the one that Galadriel gives him in Lothlorien. So how can the sword he stabs the Nazgul king with be one he picked up from the Barrow-downs after ...
8
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1answer
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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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What does the avalanche of skulls mean in The Return of the King?

In the Extended Edition of The Return of the King after confronting the Army of the Dead, Aragorn, Legolas and Gimli are nearly buried alive in an avalanche of skulls. What is the meaning of this? ...
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Did the date of Frodo's rescue out of the fire of Mordor have any particular meaning in The Lord of the Rings?

Did the date of Frodo's rescue out of the fire of Mordor have any particular meaning in The Lord of the Rings? We read in The Return of the King (Book 6 Chapter 4) that Gandalf states to Frodo and ...
8
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1answer
892 views

Is the scale of Middle-earth in the Return of the King film different from the books?

I have been re-watching them recently and I have been bugged at how small the distances seem. Osgiliath is clearly visible from Minas Tirith. I realize that they are close compared to some of the ...
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What was Gandalf doing with his hand in this scene at the Black Gate?

At about 0:31 onwards in this video, Aragorn turned around and the camera then focused on Gandalf who proceeded to wave his hand: What is Gandalf doing here? Is it ...
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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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1answer
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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 ...