Paths of the Dead
Paths of the Dead. Accompanied by Gimli, Legolas, and his kinsmen Rangers of the North, Aragorn leads his forces south to the coast, passing through a forbidden door into a haunted passage beneath the Dwimorberg. There he calls upon the Army of the Dead, Numenoreans who once broke a vow to fight against Sauron and now have one last chance to prove their loyalty and rest in peace. The Dead follow, while even Gimli, used to the deep places of the earth, quakes in horror. Meanwhile Merry joins Theoden’s troops on a more conventional road to Gondor.
Minas Tirith. Chief city of Gondor that occupies a series of circles on Mount Mindolluin. Its ancient culture and people have declined, and many houses stand empty while childless lords brood about death. The White Tree has withered, but the Houses of the Dead are honored. Even this diminished Gondor awes Pippin of the Shire when he and Gandalf arrive. A series of sorties and battles ensues, both within the walled city and outside its gates; the timely arrival of Aragorn’s forces temporarily beats back a wing of Sauron’s army. The Defenders of the West march to the Black Gate, outnumbered but hoping to draw Sauron’s attention away from Mount Doom in case Frodo and Sam reach the central plain of Mordor, heading for the fiery volcanic chamber where the One Ring might be destroyed.
Mordor. The Dark Lord’s realm. Polluted, arid, and rocky, the plain of Gorgoroth (a name that suggests biblical Golgotha) offers little cover to the exhausted Hobbits once Sam has rescued Frodo and gotten them out...
(The entire section is 678 words.)