Journey to the Cross-Roads

From Tolkien Gateway
Journey to the Cross-Roads
Chapter of The Two Towers
EventFrodo, Sam and Gollum traverse North Ithilien
Date810 March T.A. 3019
LocationHenneth Annûn, North Ithilien, Morgul Vale, Cross-roads
Preceded byThe Forbidden Pool
Followed byThe Stairs of Cirith Ungol

Journey to the Cross-Roads is the seventh chapter of the fourth book in The Two Towers.


On 8 March T.A. 3019, Faramir bade farewell to Frodo and Sam as the Hobbits continued their journey into Mordor. He warned them to beware of the territory nearby, and never to drink from any of the waters flowing out of Imlad Morgul, the Valley of Living Death. Faramir presented Frodo and Sam with packed food for their journey, as well as staves to support them in their fatigue. Gollum was brought out of captivity, and all three were blindfolded as they were taken out of Faramir's hideaway.

As the journey continued, Gollum reported that the area was dangerous and full of watching eyes. Frodo asked whether a dark shape in the distance is the Morgul Vale. Gollum answered that it was indeed the valley, and said that they must move quickly to a place called the Cross-roads.

One night, Frodo and Sam awakened to find Gollum gone. Sam expressed relief that they were finally free of him, but Frodo reminded him of the help Gollum had given them in the past. Sam was suspicious, believing Gollum to be capable of tricks. Meanwhile, the atmosphere was changing; the daylight was somewhat dark and the air felt heavy and warm.

It was 10 March and on the afternoon, Gollum awoke Frodo and Sam with an urgent entreaty to get moving as soon as possible. He directed them eastward, up a slope to the Southward Road, which led to the place he called the Cross-roads. Gollum asserted that this was the only way to go.

As they proceeded toward the Southward Road, they spotted a headless statue of one of the ancient kings of Gondor, now desecrated with graffiti. Sam found the head lying nearby, a crown of golden flowers growing on it. Frodo commented that the forces of the evil Sauron could not hold sway forever in the realm.