Finduilas's J.R.R. Tolkien Page The Lord of the Rings
Site The Books Essays Other HOME Links

If you are like me, you may find it confusing to figure out where each of the members of the Company of the Ring were on any one day, especially after the breaking of the Fellowship. This should help: Calendar of Events.

Though I do not have the information to translate the verse in the picture, it only makes sense that it would be:

Three Rings for the Elven-kings under the sky,
Seven for the Dwarf-lords in their halls of stone,
Nine for Mortal Men doomed to die,
One for the Dark Lord on his dark throne
In the land of Mordor where the Shadows lie.
One Ring to rule them all, One ring to find them,
One Ring to bring them all and in the darkness bind them
In the land of Mordor where the Shadows lie.

The line actually on the ring is almost certainly: One Ring to Rule them all, One Ring to find them, One Ring to bring them all and in the darkness bind them. Or as actually written on the Ring: Ash nazg durbatulûk, ash nazg gimbatul, ash nazg thrakatulûk agh burzum ishi krimpatul. (LOTR.271)

"Out of the Black Years come the words that the Smiths of Eregon heard, and knew they had be betrayed: One Ring to Rule them all, One Ring to find them, One Ring to bring them all and in the darkness bind them." (LOTR.272)

In the Prologue, Tolkien explains how the first version of the Hobbit came to be and how there are two versions of the Hobbit, one of which has Gollum going to give Bilbo the Ring. Tolkien ran into trouble with this when he was writing The Lord of the Rings. As the Ring was taking on a more and more sinister aspect, having Gollum give away the Ring was less and less possible. To fix this Tolkien rewrote parts of The Hobbit to suit The Lord of the Rings. The way he explains the two versions of the story is that Bilbo wrote the original version of The Hobbit as the Ring was taking effect, and when Frodo rewrote the Red Book of Westmarch he was unwilling to remove what Bilbo had put, so there were some copies made of the original.

This picture is of the Dead Marshes. In the distance the Ephel Dúath (the Mountains of Night) can be seen. In the foreground of the picture can be see the dead faces of the Mere of Dead Faces. At this time, Frodo and Sam were guided by Gollum, who had passed through the Dead Marshes some years before. It was in the Dead Marshes that Aragorn found Gollum, returning from Mordo about seventeen years before. I would say that the painting is from this scene:
On either side and in front wide fens and mires now lay, stretching away southward and eastward into the dim half-light. Mists curled and smoked from dark and noisome pools. The reek of them hung stifling in the still air. Far away, now almost due south, the mountain-walls of Mordor loomed, like a black bar of rugged clouds floating above a dangerous fog-bound sea.(LOTR.650)
Other descriptions and quotes include:
The hobbits soon found that what had looked like one vast fen was really an endless network of pools, and soft mires, and winding half-strangled watercourses. (LOTR.651)
The reason the marshes are called the Dead Marshes:
When lights appeared Sam rubbed his eyes: he thought his head was going queer. He first saw one with the corner of his left eye, a wisp of pale sheen that faded away: but others appeared soon after: some like dimly shining smoke, some like misty flames flickering slowly above unseen candles; here and there they twisted like ghostly sheets unfurled by hidden hands.(LOTR.652)

"There are dead things, dead faces in the water," he said with horror. "Dead faces!"
Gollum laughed. "The Dead Marshes, yes, yes: that is their name," he cackled. "You should not look in when the candles are lit."
"Who are they? What are they?" asked Sam shuddering, turning to Frodo, who was now behind him.
"I don't know," said Frodo in a dreamlike voice. "But I have seen them too, In the pools when the candles were lit. They lie in all the pools, pale faces, deep deep under the dark water. I saw them: grim faces and evil, and noble faces and sad. Many faces proud and fair, and weeds in their silver hair. But all foul, all rotting, all dead. A fell light is in them."

The Dead Marshes

This is another really powerful painting, with an equally powerful description:
In rode the Lord of the Nazgûl. A great black shape against the fires beyond, he loomed up, grown to a vast menace of despair.
In rode the Lord of the Nazgûl, under the arch that no enemy ever yet had passed, and all fled before his face. All save one. There waiting silent and still in the space before the Gate, sat Gandalf upon Shadofax, Shadowfax who alone among the free horses of the earth endured the terror, unmoving, steadfast as a graven image in Rath Dinen.

One of the most powerful quotes from The Lord of the Rings, I think, is the following:
The brief glow fell upon a huge sitting figure, still and solemn as the great stone kings of Argonath.The years had gnawed it, and violent hands had maimed it. Its head was gone, and in its place was set in mockery a round rough-hewn stone, rudely painted by savage hands in the likeness of a grinning face with one large red eye in the midst of its forehead. Upon its knees and mighty chair, and all about the pedestal, were idle scrawls mixed with the foul symbols that the maggot-folk of mordor used.
Suddenly. caught by the level beams, Frodo saw the old king's head: it had rolled away by the roadside. "Look Sam!" he cried, startled into speech. "Look! The king has got a crown again!"
The eyes were hollow and the carven beard was broken, but about the high stern forehead there was a coronal of silver and gold. A trailing plant with flowers like small white stars had bound itself across the brows as if in reverence for the fallen king, and in the crevasses of his stony hair yellow stonecrop gleamed.
"They cannot conquer forever!" said Frodo. And then suddenly the brief glimpse was gone. The Sun dipped and vanished, and as if at the shuttering of a lamp, black night fell.

Gandalf vs. the Witch-King

On the 7th of March as Frodo and Sam were looking out from the Window on the West, as the waterfall outside of Henneth Annûn, Gandalf and Pippin were riding to the aid of Minas Tirith from Isengard as shown in this painting from the 1995 Tolkien Calendar. It can be seen quite clearly that Gandalf is riding in elf-fashion as said in the books:
"I did not know you rode bareback, Gandalf," he said. "You haven't a saddle or a bridle!"
"I do not ride elf-fashion, except on Shadowfax," said Gandalf. "But Shadowfax will have no harness. You do not ride Shadowfax: he is willing to carry you - or not. If he is willing, that is enough. It is then his business to see that you remain on his back, unless you jump off into the air."
Also there is the following:
"He looks as if he were spoiling for a race, and not newly come from a great journey," said Beregond. "How strong and proud he is! Where is his harness? It should be rich and fair."
"None is rich and fair enough for him," said Pippin. "He will have none. If he will consent to bear you, bear you he does; and if not, well, no bit, bridle, whip or thong will tame him."
It is one of my favourite pictures. You can see Minas Tirith in the distance. I got the information about the dates from the book, Journeys of Frodo, by Barbara Strachey.

Gandalf and Pippin on Shadowfax

This is a particularly magnificent painting of the West Gate of Moria. The inscription is: The Doors of Durin, Lord of Moria. Speak, friend, and enter. I, Narvi made them. Celebrimbor of Hollin drew these signs. (LOTR.323)

Also clear on both images of the West Gate are the symbols referred to by Gimli, Legolas and Gandalf, The Tree of the High Elves, The Star of Fëanor, and the emblems of Durin, which I take to be the hammer, anvil and crown.
But close under the cliff there stood, still strong and living, two tall trees, larger than any trees of holly that Frodo had ever seen or imagined.
Later in the same passage: Here the Elven-way from Hollin ended. Holly was the token of the people of that land, and they planted it here to mark the end of their domain; for the West-door was made chiefly for use in their traffic with the Lords of Moria. (LOTR.320)

The name Moria is Sindarin, translating as "The Black Chasm" or literally Mor, meaning "dark" and ia, meaning "chasm" or "abyss" so Black Abyss.

The West Gate of Moria

Isildur's description of the One Ring, as read by Gandalf to the Council of Elrond:
It was hot when I first took it, hot as a glede, and my hand was scorched so that I doubt if ever again I shall be free of the pain of it. Yet even as I write it is cooled, and it seemeth to shrink, though it loseth neither its beauty nor its shape. Already the writing upon it, which was as clear as red flame, fadeth and is now only barely to be read. (LOTR.270)
Now in the Lord of the Rings, the One Ring is said to have cooled reasonably fast, though no time-span is given other than the fact that it must have been less than a year after the Last Alliance. Two years later, it is implied in the Unfinished tales that the Ring was still hot enough to burn, or else because it burned Isildur's hand when he first took it, that ever after its power caused him pain when he used it. I don't know, nor is it extremely clear in The Unfinished Tales, though it is said that Isildur kept the Ring in a wallet, so if it was still hot enough to burn, surely it would burn through a wallet unless it was made of metal, which is not said.

The One Ring

The much loved Rivendell, described by Bilbo, as:
His house was perfect whether you liked food, or sleep, or work, or story-telling, or singing, or just sitting and thinking best, or a pleasant mixture of them all. Evil things did not come into that valley.
Later, Sam said "Well, Mister Frodo, we've been far and seen a deal, and yet I don't think we've found a better place than this. There's something of the Shire and the Golden Wood and Gondor and kings' houses and inns and mountains all mixed." (LOTR.1023)
Rivendell was also Aragorn's choice of residence, as he said when talking to Éowyn: "Aragorn," she said, "why will you go on this deadly road?"
"Because I must," he said. "Only so can I see any hope of doing my part in the war against Sauron. I do not chose paths of peril, Éowyn. Were I to go where my heart dwells, far in the North I would now be wandering in the fair valley of Rivendell."

I think that one of the truest things that Tolkien said in the Lord of the Rings, was:
"He deserves death."
" Deserves it! I daresay he does. Many that live deserve death. And some that die deserve life. Can you give it to them? Then do not be to eager to deal out death in judgement. For even the very wise cannot see all ends."


The Tower of Ecthelion:
Thus men reached at last the High Court, and the Place of the Fountain before the feet of the White Tower: tall and shapely, fifty fathoms from its base to the pinnacle, where the banner of the Stewards floated a thousand feet above the plain. (LOTR.782)

The White Tower is another name for the Tower of Ecthelion. It was built in 1900 of the Third Age of the Sun and rebuilt by the Steward Ecthelion II in the year 2698 of the Third Age of the Sun. The Steward Ecthelion II was the father of Denethor II, the last of the Ruling Stewards.

During the rule of the Steward Ecthelion, a Man by the name of Throngil, (Throngil translates as "The Eägle of the Star). He was a great captain who achieved a massive victory over the Corsairs of Umbar then left Gondor. Nobody in Gondor knew his right name. Throngil had arrived from the country of Rohan. Though it is not said outright, it is implied that Throngil was Aragorn. The evidence for this is in the fact that the star is the symbol for the Dúnedain of the North, and Throngil always wore a silver star on his cloak, and that it says that Denethor may have discovered whom Throngil was and that he suspected Mithrandir of planning to use this Throngil as the king of Gondor.

The Tower of Ecthelion

Almost the last scene in the Lord of the Rings, when Frodo and Bilbo take ship into the West with the bearers of the three Elven Rings. This is also to me one of the most special scenes in the whole story:

"Where are you going Master?" cried Sam, though at last he understood what was happening.
"To the Havens, Sam," said Frodo.
"And I can't come"
"No Sam, Not yet anyway, not further than the Havens. Though you too were a Ringbearer, if only for a little while. Your time may come. Do not be too sad, Sam. You cannot be always torn in two. You will have to be one and whole, for many years. You have so much to enjoy and to be, and to do."
"But," said Sam, and tears started in his eyes, "I thought you were going to enjoy the Shire, too, for years and years, after all you have done."
"So I thought too, once. But I have been too deeply hurt, Sam. I tried to save the Shire, and it has been saved, but not for me. It must often be so, Sam, when things are in danger: some one has to give them up, to lose them, so that others may keep them. But you are my heir: all that I had and might have had I leave to you. And also you have Rose, and Elanor; and Frodo-lad will come, and Rosie-lass, and Merry, and Goldilocks, and Pippin; and perhaps more that I cannot see.

Later in the passage:
As they came to the gates Círdan the Shipwright came forth to greet them. Very tall he was, and his beard was long, and he was grey and old, save that his eyes were keen as stars; and he looked at them and bowed, and said: "All is now ready."
Then Círdan led them to the Havens, and there was a white ship lying, and upon the quay beside a great grey horse stood a figure robed all in white awaiting them. As he turned and came towards them Frodo saw that Gandalf now wore openly upon his hand the Third Ring, Narya the Great and the stone upon it was red as fire. Then those who were to go were glad, for they knew that Gandalf also would take ship with them.
But Sam was now sorrowful at heart, and it seemed to him that if the parting would be bitter, more grievous still would be the long road home alone. But even as they stood there, and the Elves were going aboard, and all was being made ready to depart, up rode Merry and Pippin in great haste. And amid his tears Pippin laughed.
"You tried to give us the slip once before and failed, Frodo," he said. "This time you have nearly succeeded, but you have tailed again. It was not Sam, though, that gave you away this time, but Gandalf himself!"
"Yes," said Gandalf; "for it will be better to ride back three together than one alone. Well, here at last, dear friends, on the shores of the Sea comes the end of our fellowship in Middle-Earth. Go in peace! I will not say: do not weep; for not all tears are an evil."
Then Frodo kissed Merry and Pippin, and last of all Sam, and went aboard; and the sails were drawn up, and the wind blew, and slowly the ship slipped away down the long grey firth; and the light of the glass of Galadriel that Frodo bore glimmered and was lost. And the ship went out into the High Sea and passed on into the West, until at last on a night of rain Frodo smelled a sweet fragrance on the air and heard the sound of singing that came over the water. And then it seemed to him that as in his dream in the house of Bombadil, the grey rain-curtain turned all to silver glass and was rolled back, and he beheld white shores and beyond them a fair green country under a swift sunrise.
But to Sam the evening deepened to darkness as he stood at the Haven; and as he looked at the grey sea he saw only a shadow on the waters that was soon lost in the West. There still he stood far into the night, hearing only the sigh and murmur of the waves on the shores of Middle-earth, and the sound of them sank deep into his heart. Beside him stood Merry and Pippin, and they were silent.

According to the Tale of Years, in the year 1482 of the Shire Reckoning:
Death of Mistress Rose, wife of Master Samwise, on Midyears Day. On September 22 Master Samwise rides out from Bag End. He comes to the Tower Hills and is last seen by Elanor, to whom he gives the Red Book afterwards kept by the Fairbairns. Among them the tradition is handed down from Elanor that Samwise passed the Towers, and went to the Grey Havens, and passed over the Sea, last of the Ringbearers. (LOTR.1134)

I don't know if I believe this, but there is evidence for it such as the line,
Though you too were a Ringbearer, if only for a little while. Your time may come.

This quote supplies more evidence for this conclusion:
And there is one other reason, which I shall whisper to you, a secret which I have never told before to no one, nor put in the Book yet. Before he went Mr. Frodo said that my time maybe would come. I can wait. I think maybe we haven't said farewell for good. (HOME IX.125)

The Lord of the Rings Animated Movie

I have seen this movie and I think it is quite good, especially the animation of the sections such as the chapter The Uruk-Hai, and the chapter Helms Deep. The other really good animation sections include any of the areas with the Black Riders. This movie unfortunately ends with the chapter Helms Deep. My only problem is that it shows the Hobbits as more like children than they are described in the Lord of the Rings trilogy and with very little hair on their feet.

The Return of the King movie is ok, but they made too many changes in the plot and the story. The animation was good as was a lot of the music, but the way they portrayed Gandalf which was more in line with the role that Denethor played in the book was having him sitting hopeless huddled in a corner through the Siege of Gondor. Not to mention, the parts that Merry, Aragorn, etc played were minimized and the Lord of the Nazgûl's power was made to seem a lot weaker than it actually was. The Return of the King was made by the same people that did The Hobbit though I think that The Hobbit was a lot better done. They did use the same pictures for Gandalf, Gollum and the orcs though and some of the same music, which was nice.

The BBC Radio Play of the Lord of the Rings

I really like the BBC radio play of the Lord of the Rings and the Hobbit, especially the Lord of the Rings. It is a 13 part play that covers the entire Lord of the Rings, with very good sound effects, especially of the Nazgûl's voices. For some sound clips of the radio play, go to Quotes and sound clips from The Lord of the Rings, and Quotes and sound clips from The Hobbit. Two of the best are the verse,

Three Rings for the Elven-kings under the sky,
Seven for the Dwarf-lords in their halls of stone,
Nine for Mortal Men doomed to die,
One for the Dark Lord on his dark throne
In the Land of Mordor where the Shadows lie
One Ring to rule them all, One Ring to find them,
One Ring to bring them all and in the darkness bind them
In the Land of Mordor where the Shadows lie.

and the lines on the One Ring in the Black Speech on page 271 of the Lord of the Rings, chapter The Council of Elrond:

Ash nazg durbatulûk, ash nazg gimbatul, ash nazg thrakatulûk agh burzum-ishi krimpatul (LOTR.271)

or in English:

One Ring to rule them all, One Ring to find them,
One Ring to bring them all and in the Darkness bind them.

The start of the Lord of the Rings radio play is with the interrogation of Gollum then goes to the Long Expected Party. Whereas in the Lord of the Rings books, you have to wait until the Council of Elrond to find out anything about Gollum, Gandalf etc, in the radio play version the events are showed as they are happening. There is very little left out other than the entire section within the Old Forest and the Barrow Downs. The only real significance of this section in the books is when the Steward Denethor asks Pippin about it, and after Merry stabs the Lord of the Nazgûl:
So passed the sword of the Barrow-downs, work of Westernesse. But glad would he have been to know its fate who wrought it slowly long ago in the North-kingdom when the Dúnedain were young, and chief among their foes was the dread realm of Angmar and its sorcerer king. No other blade, not though mightier hands had wielded it, would have dealt that foe a wound so bitter, cleaving the undead flesh, breaking the spell that knit his unseen sinews to his will.(LOTR.877-878)
Another section left out was the battle in Ithillien, where Sam saw the Oliphaunt, or as the Men of Gondor called them, the Mûmak of Harad.
Again, as with the Hobbit radio play some sections of the play are almost word for word with the books so overall, unlike the animated movie in many parts, the radio play is accurate.

The Lord of the Rings Radio play uses some background from the Silmarillion unlike the books so there is sometimes more information than in the books. An example of this is in places like the Mines of Moria where you hear more about what the Balrog really is. It also uses sections from the Unfinished Tales, for the Nazgûl's movements, and for the dialogue between Saruman and the Nazgûl as well as between the Nazgûl and Wormtongue. That sort of thing.

The acting is superb. You can almost believe what you hear.

This radio play uses music and sound effects extremely well, the music induces a tension and ominous mood when necessary and a mood of triumph after a battle. The Paths of the Dead in the episode, Two Towers is a very good example. The cry of the Nazgûl on the Emyn Muil actually terrified me when I listened to it with the lights out. The following passage is another good example:
Thrice he cried. Thrice the great ram boomed. And suddenly upon the last stroke the Gate of Gondor broke. As if stricken by some blasting spell it burst asunder; there was a flash of searing lightning, and the doors tumbled in riven fragments to the ground.
In rode the Lord of the Nazgûl. A great black shape against the fires beyond, he loomed up, grown to a vast menace of despair. In rode the Lord of the Nazgûl, under the arch that no enemy ever yet had passed, and all fled before his face. All save one. There waiting silent and still in the space before the Gate, sat Gandalf upon Shadowfax, Shadowfax who alone among the free horses of the earth endured the terror, unmoving, steadfast as a graven image in Rath Dinen. "You cannot enter here," said Gandalf, and the huge shadow halted. "Go back to the abyss prepared for you! Go back! Fall into the nothingness that awaits you and your Master. Go!"

Later in the passage: "Old Fool!" he said.
"Old Fool! This is my hour. Do you not know Death when you see it? Die now and curse in vain!"
This passage above was done particularly well. Also the death of the Lord of the Nazgûl, when Éowyn reveals herself as a woman. The section when Aragorn looks into the Palantiti and reveals himself as the heir of Isildur to Sauron is superb. Unlike in the Lord of the Rings books, Aragorn talks to Sauron, telling him who he is and what he bears, where in the books, Aragorn is silent. The differences are because it it a radio play so it has to be done with talk, or we don't know what was happening.

The final episodes, "Mount Doom" and "The Grey Havens" were really well done, especially the Grey Havens. As Sam and Frodo say farewell to each other, you really get a lump in your throat. It was done in practically the same words as in the books. To see the passage I am referring to see either pages 1067-1069 of the Lord of the Rings, or see above.

The Grey Havens
This page was last modified on .  

Splash Page | Home | What's New | Site Map | Artist Credits | Bibliography | Abbreviations List | Index of Quotes | Glossary | Past Trivia Questions | Amazon Store - Tolkien Books | Updates Mailing List | In Progress/Upcoming | Tables Version |

The Hobbit | The Lord of the Rings | The Silmarillion | The History of the Lord of the Rings

Númenor Essay | The Eruhini | Magic in Middle-Earth | Heritage in Middle-Earth | Divine Aid In The Lord of the Rings

Characters in Middle-Earth| Places in Middle-Earth | Things in Middle-Earth | Other in Middle-Earth | The Races of Middle-Earth | Events in Middle-Earth | Master List | Timeline for Middle-Earth | Timeline for the LOTR | Calendars of Middle-Earth | Miscelaneous

Characters From HOME A | Places From HOME A | Events From HOME A-L | Events From HOME M-Z | Things From HOME | Other From HOME A-L | Other From HOME M-Z
Master List (HOME) |
Information Links | Image Archives | Movie Links | Messageboards | Tolkien Related Fanfiction | Official Sites | Urelated Links | Games Related Links

J.R.R. Tolkien Top 100