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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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Why are there two completely different depictions of the Nazgûl and their flying mounts in the cartoon version of The Return of the King?

The Rankin-Bass cartoon versions of The Hobbit and The Return of the King have not generally enjoyed strong reputations among Tolkien's fans. However, comparing them to some of the live action films, ...
Buzz's user avatar
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To whom did Frodo bequeth his Elven-cloak and Brooch before he departed for Tol Eressëa?

To whom, as he headed overseas to the West, did Frodo bequeath his Elven-cloak and Brooch, unless for sentimental reasons he took them with him to Tol Eressëa, where their powers to do precisely what ...
Lesser son's user avatar
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25 votes
8 answers
10k views

Did Tolkien base the beacons of Minas Tirith on a real world communication system?

In The Return of the King, a series of large wooden pyres—beacons—are lit, each in once the previous one in order appears to burn, and so in this way lead to a beacon visible from Meduseld. This ...
Lexible's user avatar
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20 votes
3 answers
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In Return of the King has there been any explanation for the role of the third eagle?

The below image is a screenshot of an Instagram Reel that uses a clip of Pedro Pascal to react to a clip of the eagles arriving at Mount Doom at the end of the Return of the King. The image has a ...
A.Steer's user avatar
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4 votes
1 answer
222 views

In the Scouring of the Shire, why doesn't Saruman make more of an effort to organize his troops? [closed]

After Frodo et al. return, there are two fights with Saruman's thugs, a skirmish and a battle. In neither case do the thugs have any effective leadership: the book remarks on the absence of anyone ...
Simon Crase's user avatar
4 votes
2 answers
1k views

In the Return of The King movie, why does Gandalf cough while smoking?

So this is a minor nitpick, but it's been bugging me for a little while now. In The Fellowship of the Ring, we can see that Gandalf is a casual pipe smoker; he seems quite adept at it, even able to ...
Orlahm's user avatar
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20 votes
3 answers
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Why does Éowyn shieldmaiden of Rohan "not desire the speech of living men"?

Faramir smiled, though his heart was filled with pity. ‘Your window does not look eastward?’ he said. ‘That can be amended. In this I will command the Warden. If you will stay in this house in our ...
Faramir's user avatar
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9 votes
3 answers
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"Regions where pain and delight flow together and tears are the very wine of blessedness"?

From The Return of the King, either in the middle or toward the end: And all the host laughed and wept, and in the midst of their merriment and tears the clear voice of the minstrel rose like silver ...
Fangorn's user avatar
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25 votes
1 answer
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Why would Sam NOT note the date when his own daughter was born?

In the end of The Return of the King: Time went on, and 1421 came in. Frodo was ill again in March, but with a great effort he concealed it, for Sam had other things to think about. The first of Sam ...
Haakon's user avatar
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Was it not inexcusably foolish of Sauron to not guard the Ring-destroying lava pit? [duplicate]

I know that he did not think that anyone would want to destroy it, but rather that somebody would instead claim it and try to fight Him with it, but if there is only one place on the planet where the ...
N. Petix's user avatar
14 votes
2 answers
3k views

How did Frodo's and Sam's non-Orc clothes get back from Mount Doom?

When Frodo and Sam wake up after being rescued by the Eagles, Gandalf mentions that the clothes that they wore to Mordor have been "rescued", and that they shall wear them in a ceremony. He ...
Hobb's user avatar
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4 answers
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Why does Frodo act as if the world is coming to an end when they have fulfilled the Quest?

At the moment when they should be overflowing with joy, when they have just saved Middle-earth by finally managing to drop The One into the uniquely Ring-destroying lava pit, Frodo is talking about ...
K S's user avatar
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19 votes
2 answers
6k views

Why did the gate before Minas Tirith break so very easily?

Unless I got something wrong, it took only three (3) bashes with the huge door-breaker for the "mighty" gate before Minas Tirith to burst open. Isn't it strange? Is that really how a real ...
Zamarion's user avatar
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3 votes
3 answers
461 views

Why is Pippin thinking "mostly" of Frodo, ignoring poor Sam?

It seems that even in thoughts and prayers, poor Sam is thought of as "lesser than" Frodo, if even included whatsoever: All now took leave of the Lord of the City and went to rest while ...
Augie's user avatar
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22 votes
2 answers
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Did the "Wild Men" actually help in the great battle in The Return of the King?

It's quite possible that I've just managed to miss this, even though I read so slowly, but there seemed to be a big build-up when the "Wild Men" were talking to Théoden king and it seemed ...
Cranston's user avatar
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37 votes
5 answers
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Why did Pippin insist on joining Denethor's army?

Never mind the fact that it makes for a good (and nerve-wracking, in my case) plot point, but why did the hobbit feel the need to take this drastic step? Yes, I know that he has some sort of honour ...
Elfe's user avatar
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1 answer
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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 ...
Wingfoot's user avatar
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-4 votes
1 answer
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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 ...
Wingfoot's user avatar
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1 answer
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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 ...
user avatar
4 votes
1 answer
364 views

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 ...
Aragorn Elessar's user avatar
27 votes
2 answers
2k views

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 ...
Oscar Garcia's user avatar
4 votes
3 answers
863 views

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 ...
Oscar Garcia's user avatar
39 votes
3 answers
7k views

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 ...
TenthJustice's user avatar
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13 votes
1 answer
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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 ...
Valandil's user avatar
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-8 votes
1 answer
457 views

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 ...
TheMadHatter's user avatar
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29 votes
2 answers
6k views

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 ...
TheMadHatter's user avatar
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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 ...
Prometheus's user avatar
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3 votes
1 answer
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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"...
Prometheus's user avatar
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-3 votes
2 answers
597 views

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" ...
Prometheus's user avatar
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3 votes
1 answer
645 views

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 ...
Prometheus's user avatar
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42 votes
4 answers
14k views

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 ...
Prometheus's user avatar
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26 votes
1 answer
5k views

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, ...
Prometheus's user avatar
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5 votes
2 answers
849 views

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 ...
Prometheus's user avatar
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31 votes
4 answers
9k views

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 ...
Ivo's user avatar
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6 votes
1 answer
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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 ...
Zersetzor's user avatar
25 votes
3 answers
11k views

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: ...
user avatar
15 votes
3 answers
2k views

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 ...
Jeremy French's user avatar
-12 votes
1 answer
520 views

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,'...
Roger's user avatar
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-15 votes
1 answer
361 views

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 ...
Roger's user avatar
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1 vote
0 answers
122 views

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 ...
Seamusthedog's user avatar
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0 votes
1 answer
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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?
user3453281's user avatar
9 votes
3 answers
1k views

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, ...
BruceJohnJennerLawso's user avatar
14 votes
1 answer
7k 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 ...
Nikita Neganov's user avatar
11 votes
1 answer
2k views

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 ...
Nikita Neganov's user avatar
16 votes
1 answer
4k views

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 ...
Ongo's user avatar
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15 votes
1 answer
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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 ...
David's user avatar
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23 votes
1 answer
6k views

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 ...
Mohammad Athar's user avatar
33 votes
2 answers
25k views

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 ...
Fiddler's user avatar
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11 votes
1 answer
6k views

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 ...
KobacYea's user avatar
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8 votes
2 answers
1k views

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,...
Scottie's user avatar
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