Summary (Masterplots, Fourth Edition)
Gandalf and Pippin ride on Shadowfax to the Realm of Gondor and are admitted to the presence of Denethor, steward of Gondor. Pippin tells of the heroic death of Boromir, Denethor’s son, and swears allegiance to the kingly old man. Gandalf does not hinder this, although Pippin senses tension between Gandalf and Denethor. Beregond of the Guard gives Pippin the passwords and tells him how Gondor, closest of free lands to Mordor, bears the brunt of the Dark Lord’s wrath.
After the departure of Gandalf, Théoden and his Riders, with Aragorn, Merry, Legolas, and Gimli, ride back to Dunharrow. They are joined by Rangers, Aragorn’s kindred. Aragorn, sorely troubled, says that haste demands that he travel the Paths of the Dead. He has wrestled with the will of Sauron in his seeing stone, hoping to distract Sauron so that Frodo and Sam might fulfill their mission of destroying Sauron’s Ring. Théoden’s niece Éowyn begs Aragorn not to take the Paths of the Dead, from which none has returned, or to take her with him, but he refuses. Leading his company underground, he summons the ghosts of oathbreakers who failed to fight Sauron and who can have no peace until they keep the oath sworn to Aragorn’s ancestor. They follow him, and wherever they pass, they spread terror.
Théoden and his nephew Éomer summon the Riders of Rohan to answer Gondor’s call for aid. Éowyn and Merry are denied a place among the combatants. When the Riders leave, a...
(The entire section is 1241 words.)
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