Poems and Tales of Middle-Earth:
(illustration by Alan Lee)
(illustration by John Howe)
(illustration by Alan Lee)
mount doom
(illustration by Alan Lee)
The Lord of the Rings
Part III. The Return of the King

Quotes from Tolkien's Novel
Mordor: The Land of Shadow
.  "Cowering back against the rock they drew breath, and then they clutch at their hearts. Perching now on the wall beside the ruined gate the Nazgúl sent out its deadly cries. All the cliff echoed."
.  "Frodo sighed. '[...] I'm so tired. And the Ring is so heavy, Sam. And I begin to see it in my mind all the time, like a great wheel of fire'."
.  "There, peeping among the cloud-wrack above a dark tor high up in the mountains, Sam saw a white star twinkle for a while. The beauty of it smote his heart, as he looked up out of the forsaken land, and hope returned to him. For like a shaft, clear and cold, the thought pierced him that in the end the Shadow was only a small and passing thing: there was light and high beauty for ever beyond its reach."
.  "They woke together, hand in hand. Sam was almost fresh, ready for another day; but Frodo sighed. His sleep had been uneasy, full of dreams of fire, and waking brought him no comfort."
.  " 'If this nice friendliness would spread about in Mordor, half our trouble would be over'." (Sam about an Orcs fight)
.  " 'Where there's a whip there's a will, my slugs'." (Orc)
.  "But the bitter truth came home to him at last: at best, their provision would take them to their goal; and when the task was done, there they would come to an end, alone, houseless, foodless, in the middle of a terrible desert. There could be no return. [...]
   But even as hope died in Sam, or seemed to die, it was turned to new strength. Sam's plain hobbit-face grew stern, almost grim, as the will hardened in him, and he felt though all his limbs a thrill, as if he was turning into some creature of stone and steel that neither despair nor weariness nor endless barren miles could subdue."
.  "For the hobbits, each day, each mile, was more bitter than the one before, as their strength lessened and the land became more evil. [...] But far worse than all such perils was the ever-approaching threat that beat upon them as they went: the dreadful menace of the Power that waited, brooding in deep thought and sleepless malice behind the dark veil about its Throne."
.  "All this last day, Frodo had not spoken, but had walked half-bowed, often stumbling, as it his eyes no longer saw the way before his feet. Sam guessed that among all their pains he bore the worst, the growing weight of the Ring, a burden on the body and a torment on his mind. Anxiously Sam had noted how his master's left hand would often be raised as if to ward off a blow, or to screen his shrinking eyes from a dreadful Eye that sought to look in them. And sometimes his right hand would creep to his breast, clutching, and then slowly, as the will recovered mastery, it would be withdrawn.
   Now as the blackness of the night returned Frodo sat, his head between his knees, his arms hanging wearily to the ground where his hands lay feebly twitching. Sam watched him, till night covered them both and hid them from one another. He could no longer find any words to say; and he turned to his own dark thoughts."
.  "At last wearied with his cares, Sam drowsed, leaving the morrow till it came; he could do no more. Dream and waking mingled uneasily. He saw lights like gloating eyes, and dark creeping shapes, and he heard noises as of wild beasts or the dreadful cried of tortured things; and he would start up to find the world all dark and only empty blackness all about him. [...]
   The hateful night passed slowly and reluctantly. Such daylight as followed was dim; for here as the Mountain drew near the air was ever mirky, while out from the Dark Tower there crept veils of Shadow that Sauron wove about himself."
.  " 'No, I am afraid not, Sam,' said Frodo. 'At least, I know that such things happened, but I cannot see them. No taste of food, no feel of water, no sound of wind, no memory of tree or grass or flower, no image of moon or star are left to me. I am naked in the dark, Sam, and there is no veil between me and the wheel of fire. I begin to see it even with my waking eyes, and all else fades'."
.  "The light sprang up again, and there on the brink of the chasm, at the very Crack of Doom, stood Frodo, black against the glare, tense, erect, but still as if he had been turned to stone.
   'Master!' cried Sam.
   Then Frodo stirred and spoke with a clear voice, indeed with a voice clearer and more powerful than Sam had ever heard him use, and it rose above the throb and turmoil of Mount Doom, ringing in the roof and walls.
   'I have come,' he said. 'But I do not choose now to do what I came to do. I will not do this deed. The Ring is mine!' And suddenly, as he set it on his finger, he vanished from Sam's sight. [...]
   And far away, as Frodo put on the Ring and claimed it for his own, even in Sammath Naur the very heart of his realm, the power in Barad-dúr was shaken, and the Tower trembled from its foundations to its proud and bitter crown. The Dark Lord was suddenly aware of him, and his Eye piercing all shadows looked across the plain to the door of that he had made; and the magnitude of his own folly was revealed to him in a blinding flash, and all the devices of his enemies were at last laid bare. Then his wrath blazed in consuming flame, but his fear rose like a vast black smoke to choke him. For he knew his deadly peril and the thread upon which his doom was hung.
   From all his policies and webs of fear and treachery, from all his stratagems and wars his mind shook free; and throughout his realm a tremor ran, his slaves quailed, and his armies halted, and his captains suddenly steerless, bereft of will, wavered and despaired. For they were forgotten. The whole mind and purpose of the Power that wielded them was now bent with overewhelming force upon the Mountain. At his summons, wheeling with a rending cry, in a last desperate race there flew, faster than the winds, the Nazgúls, the Ringwraiths, and with a storm of wings they hurtled southwards to Mount Doom..."
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