The Land of Shadow

From Tolkien Gateway
John Howe - Stench of Mordor.jpg
The Land of Shadow
Chapter of The Return of the King
EventFrodo and Samwise journey toward Mount Doom.
Date15-19 March 3019
PerspectiveFrodo and Samwise
<  The Tower of Cirith Ungol
Mount Doom (chapter)  >

The Land of Shadow is the second chapter of the second book in The Return of the King.

Summary[edit | edit source]

Sam and Frodo ran away from Cirith Ungol as horns pealed in the tower. They ran onto a long bridge, but as they approached the other side, they heard a company of Orcs quickly approaching. The orcs could not see the two Hobbits, but were heading straight for them. Frodo and Sam jumped over the edge of the bridge, landing safely on the side of a cliff. With great difficulty, they clambered down to the valley below. Mount Doom lay to the east, but the Hobbits travelled northward, hoping to evade any Orc search parties.

Frodo and Sam had only some of Faramir’s provisions, a few lembas, and no water. After a night of weary travel, they found a small stream and joyously refilled their water bottles. The Ring grew heavier around Frodo’s neck with every step. Mount Doom was still nearly forty miles to the east, across a great valley. Behind the mountain sat Barad-dûr, Sauron’s home, from which the Dark Lord directed his will over Mordor. Scattered all over the valley, as far as the two Hobbits could see, the armies of Mordor awaited the final battle. There was no hope of moving undetected through so many enemies, but Frodo and Sam again had no choice but to go on. They continued moving northward, looking for a good place to leave the mountains and move east. They overheard two Orcs quarrelling, speaking of a rumour about a great Elf in bright armour who was on the loose.

On the third day, Frodo and Sam turned into a narrow eastward road and traveled over it for several miles in the darkness. After some time, they heard a great company of Orcs approaching from behind. The Hobbits were unable to move aside, and the company overtook them, but in the darkness its leader assumed the Hobbits were orcs and forced them into line with the others. For what seemed like hours, they travelled with the Orc company at an excruciating pace. Frodo was in agony from the Ring’s increasing weight. After a time, they reached a busy crossroads. Armies from the south were moving in anticipation of Aragorn’s army.[1] In the confusion of the converging companies, Frodo and Sam jumped aside and crawl behind a nearby boulder.