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the paths of the dead

E

Elwing

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Wasn't it where the group of people that once deserted the Dundain in an earlier fight against Sauron (could be someone different) that are now ghost figures, have to stay until they repay there oath to help them fight in the war so that they can rest in peace and Aragorn can pass through because he is the righful king where as others can't go as the dead will not allow them to pass through. I think but this may not be totally accurate.
 

Lantarion

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The ghosts were the faithless Men who did not fulfill their oath to Isildur during theee..Battle of the Last Alliance? I can't remember which battle exactly. They were to remain hgosts, or trapped in 'limbo' until Isildur's Heir came along and gave them a chance to fulfill their oath and go to rest at last. The Stone of Erech, which was a huge black stone nearby the Path, was a´stone brought by Isildur from the Land of the Star (I think), and it was there (again, I think) that he laid his oath upon the Men of Erech.
 

Beleg Strongbow

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Originally posted by Pontifex
The ghosts were the faithless Men who did not fulfill their oath to Isildur during theee..Battle of the Last Alliance? I can't remember which battle exactly. They were to remain gosts, or trapped in 'limbo' until Isildur's Heir came along and gave them a chance to fulfill their oath and go to rest at last. The Stone of Erech, which was a huge black stone nearby the Path, was a´stone brought by Isildur from the Land of the Star (I think), and it was there (again, I think) that he laid his oath upon the Men of Erech.

Thats right. The oath was put there by isildur. Not sure if it was last alliance though.
 

Lantarion

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It was indeed the Last Alliance. :)
[SIZE=0.5]Gosh what an ancient thread![/SIZE]
 

Halasían

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Yes, an old one but always a good discussion!

I thought it was, but much of my knowledge of Tolkien is rusty.
Paths of the Dead always intrigued me though.
 

Freawine

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How far the Path of the Dead episode reflects the myth of the hero that does down to the world of the dead - or some sort of underworld - and returns, either stronger, with what he needs to achieve his goal or fully assumed in his heroic nature?

Any thoughts?
 

Eledhwen

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Elrohir said to him: 'I bring word to you from my father: The days are short. If thou art in haste, remember the Paths of the Dead."

Later, Aragorn says to Theoden, "For me the time of stealth has passed. I will ride east by the swiftest way, and I will take the Paths of the Dead.'
"The Paths of the Dead!" said Theoden, "Why do you speak of them? ... their gate is in Dunharrow; but no living man may pass it."

"That road I will take, nonetheless," said Aragorn ....

He later told his friends: "I have looked in the Stone of Orthanc. .... I am the lawful master of the Stone, and I had both the right and the strength to use it, or so I judged. ... I showed the blade re-forged to him. .... (Aragorn did this to force Sauron to act in haste, and so in folly)

"I have no help to send [to Gondor], therefore I must go myself, but there is only one way through the mountains that will bring me to the coastlands before all is lost. That is the Paths of the Dead. .....

"The living have never used that road since the coming of the Rohirrim,, for it is closed to them. But in this dark hour the heir of Isildur may use it, if he dare. Listen! This is the word that the sons of Elrond bring to me from their father in Rivendell, wisest in lore; Bid Aragorn remember the words of he seer, and the Paths of the Dead."

Then Aragorn quotes:

Over the land there lies a long shadow,
westward reaching wings of darkness.
The Tower trembles; the tombs of kings
doom approaches. The Dead awaken;
for the hour is come for the oathbreakers:
at the Stone of Erech they shall stand again
and hear there a horn in the hills ringing.
Whose shall thehorn be? Who shall call them
from the grey twighlight, the forgotten people?
The heir of him whom the oath they swore.
From the North shall he come, need shall drive him:
he shall pass the Door to the Paths of the Dead.


Aragorn explains: "The oath that they broke was to fight against Sauron, and they must fight therefore, if they are to fulfil it. For at Erech there stands yet a black stone that was brought, it was said, from Numenor by Isildur; and it was set upon a hill, and upon it the King of the Mountains swore allegiance to him in the beginning of the realm of Gondor. But when Sauron returned and grew in might again, Isildur summoned the Men of the Mountains to fulfil their oath, and they would not: for they had worshipped Sauron in the Dark Years.

"Then Isuldur said to their king: 'Thou shalt be the last king. And if the West prove mightier than thy Black Master, this curse I lay upon thee and thy folk: to rest never until your oath is fulfilled. For this war will last through years uncounted, and you shall be summoned once again ere the end.' And they fled before the wrath of Isildur, and did not dare to go forth to war on Sauron's part; and they hid themselves in secret places in the mountains and had no dealings with other men, but slowly dwindled in the barren hills. And the terror of the Sleepless Dead lies abou the Hill of Erech and all places where that people lingered. But that way I must go, since there are none living to help me."
 

Erestor Arcamen

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I always found the Paths of the Dead very interesting. My main question was where did the locked door that Baldor was found at go to and then I found this thread in the archives http://www.thetolkienforum.com/archive/index.php/t-17073.html. Vardamir had this to say:

Vardamir
02-06-2005, 03:21 AM
Was it not Baldor son of Brego?
Indeed, with that name in Google I found this:


King's heir lost on the Paths of the Dead (http://www.tuckborough.net/caves.html#Paths of the Dead). Baldor was the son of King Brego of Rohan (http://www.tuckborough.net/rohan.html) and the grandson of Eorl the Young. He had two younger brothers named Aldor and Eofor.




Brego and Baldor explored the valley of Harrowdale (http://www.tuckborough.net/valleys.html#Harrowdale) seeking a refuge for their people. There they found the Dark Door leading to the Paths of the Dead. It is said that an ancient man was sitting before the door. When Brego and Baldor tried to pass him, the old man said: "The way is shut. It was made by those who are Dead, and the Dead keep it, until the time comes." Baldor replied, "And when will that time be?" but the old man died without answering. (RotK, p. 71)


At the feast dedicating the newly built hall of Meduseld (http://www.tuckborough.net/dwellings.html#Meduseld), Baldor made a rash vow to walk the Paths of the Dead. In 2570, he entered the Dark Door and was never seen alive again. Brego died of grief and Aldor became King of Rohan.On March 8, 3019, Aragorn (http://www.tuckborough.net/aragorn.html) and the Grey Company entered the Paths of the Dead. Deep inside the tunnels, they found Baldor's body in front of a locked door. He was still clad in his gilded hauberk, golden helm, and belt of gold and garnets, but his sword was notched and broken and he appeared to have been clawing at the door when he died. Aragorn said that no one would ever know what had befallen Baldor on the Paths of the Dead or what lay behind the locked door. However, in a later note, Tolkien wrote that the Dead had followed Baldor silently through the Paths of the Dead to the door of an evil temple hall, where they broke his legs and left him to die.


Thank you. That has always made me wonder.
I still find these little mysteries that Tolkien left for us very interesting. Does anyone know where this note is that Tolkien wrote this? Was it one of the letters?
 

Alcuin

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Does anyone know where this note is that Tolkien wrote this? Was it one of the letters?
You can find it in Hammond and Scull’s Reader's Companion in the notes for page 787 of LotR. (In my hard copy, that’s page 534; RC references pages of the one-volume LotR as well as each of the separate volumes, and has its own page numbers, too.) The original was published “in a note to The Rivers and Beacon-hills of Gondor”, which was an article in Vinyar Tengwar 42, July 2001, p 22.

The Rivers and Beacon-hills of Gondor was written by J.R.R. Tolkien. The published version was “edited by Carl F. Hostetter with additional commentary and materials provided by Christopher Tolkien”. Hostetter is a Tolkien linguist and the editor of Vinyar Tengwar.

Because Reader's Companion is far more accessible to most people than Vinyar Tengwar, I suspect citation is probably best known from that – oh, and from Tolkien boards like The Tolkien Forum that cite it.
 

Erestor Arcamen

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You can find it in Hammond and Scull?s Reader's Companion in the notes for page 787 of LotR. (In my hard copy, that?s page 534; RC references pages of the one-volume LotR as well as each of the separate volumes, and has its own page numbers, too.) The original was published ?in a note to The Rivers and Beacon-hills of Gondor?, which was an article in Vinyar Tengwar 42, July 2001, p 22.

The Rivers and Beacon-hills of Gondor was written by J.R.R. Tolkien. The published version was ?edited by Carl F. Hostetter with additional commentary and materials provided by Christopher Tolkien?. Hostetter is a Tolkien linguist and the editor of Vinyar Tengwar.

Because Reader's Companion is far more accessible to most people than Vinyar Tengwar, I suspect citation is probably best known from that ? oh, and from Tolkien boards like The Tolkien Forum that cite it.
Thank you Alcuin! I have so many books to read yet of the Tolkien Universe that I haven't gotten into the Reader's Companion ​yet.
 

host of eldar

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I still wonder why Theoden and his folk should shudder for the mere mention of the paths of the dead. Aragorn and his company go in without questioning, even Gimli gets in though horrified. I may but say one thing that people of Rohan is a bit frantic when it comes to elves, magic etc. I remember how Eomer's company reacted when they heard Aragorn's conversation with Eomer in the chapter 'riders of Rohan'.
 

King Naugladur

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The Rohirrim grew afraid of the Paths of the Dead perhaps because of Baldor's unfortunate expedition there.
However, not only the Rohirrim had grown estranged from Elves in the Third Age. After the breaking of the Last Alliance, there was little love between the two races. Thus, it was not uncommon that misconceptions and stereotypes were developed between them.
King Naugladur.
 

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