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128 votes

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

Return of the King, Book IV, Chapter I: The Tower of Cirith Ungol: As he gazed at it suddenly Sam understood, almost with a shock, that this stronghold had been built not to keep enemies out of ...
Victim of Circumstance's user avatar
107 votes
Accepted

Did Frodo lose a finger on Mount Doom?

Yes, he lost his finger In the film, Frodo loses the top part of his left index finger. The first image in your question proves this, and we can see Gollum discard it in another shot: This is ...
Jason Baker's user avatar
103 votes
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How did the destruction of the Ring cause Arwen to change from Evenstar to Morningstar?

It didn't Gimli is only saying poetically that he prefers Galadriel to Arwen. Arwen is never referred to as "the Morningstar". You may be confused by the dialogue between Gimli and Éomer: ‘...
isanae's user avatar
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96 votes
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Why did the gate before Minas Tirith break so very easily?

The ram, Grond, was something more than just a giant tree; it was magically forged specifically for this purpose: The drums rolled louder. Fires leaped up. Great engines crawled across the field; and ...
DavidW's user avatar
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95 votes

Why would Sam NOT note the date when his own daughter was born?

Sam would particularly note (notice) the date of the 25th of March in his calendar because two years earlier he and Frodo had destroyed the One Ring and saved the world on that same day. 'Noon?' said ...
Valorum's user avatar
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87 votes

Why was Frodo unable to destroy the Ring?

The Ring protected itself. Each person who saw the Ring was drawn to it, sometimes quite out of character. Isildur took the Ring from Sauron's hand and, even though he knew what it was and what harm ...
Mark Olson's user avatar
86 votes
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Who created the Secret Stairs as a way into Mordor and for what purpose?

They were likely built by Sauron's servants to quickly go from Minas Morgul to the Tower of Cirith Ungol But there's not much to go on. It would appear that the Tower was built at the beginning of ...
isanae's user avatar
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82 votes
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How did Sauron's army know that the Ring was destroyed?

It was Sauron's power, intimately connected to that of the Ring, which fuelled them. Here's the actual text of the book describing what happens to the host at the Black Gate during the events at ...
Rand al'Thor's user avatar
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72 votes
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Why did Denethor choose to burn himself to death?

Simply put: He was in despair because of the loss of his kingdom, the loss of his sons, and the (probable) loss of his right to rule. He didn't want to become Sauron's slave He didn't want to serve ...
Voronwé's user avatar
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71 votes
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Why don't Merry and Pippin seem taller than Frodo and Sam, even after drinking ent-draught?

Based purely on conjecture, I believe it's because the scene where the ent draught is taken, only appears in the extended release. While it still happens, for the cinema release it wasn't there, so, ...
Recelica's user avatar
  • 3,611
71 votes

Why didn't Sauron realise Frodo was in Mordor despite finding his shirt?

Sauron could not fathom that a stronger person being in the company of the ring wouldn't wrest it from the halfling. So while he knew up until Amon-Hen it was on the finger of the halfling, Aragorn ...
Edlothiad's user avatar
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70 votes
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How did Gollum know Sauron was gathering the Haradrim to make war?

Gollum knows what's common knowledge among the servants of Sauron In the book The Two Towers, Sam asks Gollum more or less the same question as you're asking, in a typically suspicious manner: ‘No, ...
Rand al'Thor's user avatar
  • 135k
67 votes
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Why was Frodo unable to destroy the Ring?

The complete quote from the book is: 'Yes,' said Frodo. 'But do you remember Gandalf's words: Even Gollum may have something yet to do? But for him, Sam, I could not have destroyed the Ring. The ...
SPArcheon - on strike's user avatar
63 votes
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Did Tolkien base the beacons of Minas Tirith on a real world communication system?

There is historical basis for similar warning beacons that Tolkien would have been aware of Tolkien has never spoken about his inspiration for the beacons of Gondor, but warning beacons have ...
ibid's user avatar
  • 95.2k
59 votes

Why did Pippin insist on joining Denethor's army?

Pippin has come from a peaceful land where life is stable and he is carefree. He has gone through some adventures but has been almost always under the protection of much more powerful entities, but ...
Andrew's user avatar
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53 votes
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In what way is Gandalf a steward?

Gandalf was indeed a steward of Middle-earth The mission the Istari were sent on was to guide the free people's of Middle-earth against Sauron. As such, the five members of the order can be considered ...
Edlothiad's user avatar
  • 77.5k
52 votes
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Did the "Wild Men" actually help in the great battle in The Return of the King?

The Wild Men never intended to fight in a big way, although were not averse to killing the odd Orc in the woods: ‘No, father of Horse-men,’ he said, ‘we fight not. Hunt only. Kill gorgûn in woods, ...
Michael's user avatar
  • 21.6k
50 votes

What are the advantages of breeding Uruk-hai for Saruman?

You are comparing the Uruk-hai to Humans or Elves, which isn't a very relevant comparison. Instead, compare them to the other breeds of Orcs that serve Sauron, which the Uruk-hai were bred as a ...
Avner Shahar-Kashtan's user avatar
50 votes
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Would Sauron have honored the terms offered by The Mouth of Sauron?

No. Sauron was intent on ruling all of Middle-earth You need only read a little further to find the answer to your question. Sauron promised that Men would be able to rule over their own affairs, ...
Edlothiad's user avatar
  • 77.5k
49 votes
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Why do Gondorians frequently refer to Gandalf as Mithrandir?

This is covered in the same source you quote, in the essay titled "The Istari" At the time of this Tale, however, we find Gandalf always called Mithrandir in Gondor (by men of rank or ...
Edlothiad's user avatar
  • 77.5k
46 votes
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What was the white gem Frodo wore?

The white gem given to him by Arwen Arwen, in the chapter "Many Partings" had given Frodo a white gem to help him with his hurts and pains. It is this gem that Frodo continues to wear and ...
Edlothiad's user avatar
  • 77.5k
46 votes
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Why didn't Sauron realise Frodo was in Mordor despite finding his shirt?

It's very likely that Sauron was actively searching for the Hobbits within Mordor, but the only perspective that we get is that of Frodo and Sam, so any search efforts would be happening off-screen or ...
Alarion's user avatar
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45 votes

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

Gandalf got them from the Mouth of Sauron who got them from Shagrat who took them from Frodo in Cirith Ungol: As Sam entered Cirith Ungol to find Frodo, an orc ran out of the tower and: Behind him ...
Mark Olson's user avatar
44 votes

Why does Éowyn shieldmaiden of Rohan "not desire the speech of living men"?

She is severely depressed following the death of King Théoden, her severe injuries in battle with the Witch-King (and the Witch-King's despair-inducing Black Breath), and the fact that she has been ...
Andrew's user avatar
  • 52.1k
42 votes
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Why does Gandalf act in this way in the Houses of Healing?

Gandalf couldn't heal those people himself Gandalf didn't forget about Aragorn or his healing skills, he's waiting for the battle to end. During that time, he does what he can, but he is no healer. ...
isanae's user avatar
  • 11k
42 votes
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Why doesn't Sam have to say "Aiya Eärendil Elenion Ancalima"?

It doesn't need to be activated by the words. It's activated when a person of strong spirit (and hope) wields it. Seen in the case of Frodo when he first remembers of the Phial: 'The star-glass?' ...
Voronwé's user avatar
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42 votes
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Would Gimli and Éomer really have fought each other?

Yes and no. Yes, because Gimli was a stubborn dwarf and devoted to Galadriel and had Eomer insisted, he would have fought. But no, not really, because as the tone of the quoted passage shows (and is ...
Mark Olson's user avatar
42 votes

Why did Gandalf bring Pippin along to blind the Nazgul?

For comparison, Pippin remains in the city in the corresponding section of the book. ...Pippin got up and peered out. At that moment he caught a flash of white and silver coming from the North, ...
Nolimon's user avatar
  • 3,162
42 votes

Did Gandalf think that Frodo was dead?

No Gandalf knew Frodo was carrying the Ring. Regardless of what the Mouth of Sauron tried to bully them with, Gandalf knew that as long as this was happening, Frodo was in Mordor with the Ring and ...
Edlothiad's user avatar
  • 77.5k

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