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The Passage of the Marshes (scene)

From Tolkien Gateway
Scene from The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers
The Passage of the Marshes
Scene12 (theatrical)
14 (extended)
Duration06:59 (theatrical)
09:01 (extended)
EventsFrodo and Sam are led by Gollum through the Dead Marshes
Gollum remembers his name
CharactersFrodo, Sam, Gollum
NextThe White Rider

The Passage of the Marshes (scene) is the twelfth scene of The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers and the fourteenth scene of The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (extended edition). This scene was extended in the latter edition.


Gollum leads Frodo and Sam out of Emyn Muil and into the Dead Marshes, which stretch far towards Mordor. He tells them that he knows safe paths through the marshes and that orcs do not, and so go around instead.

As they rest and Frodo and Sam eat lembas, Gollum complains that he is "famished". Taking pity on him, Frodo gives him some of the lembas, but he is unable to eat it and complains he must starve. Sam bids him "starve then, and good riddance". In response Gollum calls him cruel and says he does not care, but then turns to Frodo, and says "Master cares. Master knows ... Once it takes hold of us, it never lets go." As Gollum reaches out to touch Frodo, Frodo bats his hand away, telling him not to touch him.

After their stop, Gollum continues leading them through the marshes and tells them to be careful. Sam notices dead bodies in the water.

All dead. All rotten. Elves and Men and Orcses. A great battle long ago.

Frodo stops and is drawn to one of the dead Elves and falls into the water. Under water, he sees hands trying to grab him and a screaming face getting closer to him, before Gollum pulls him out of the water and back onto land.

At night, Frodo lies stroking the Ring and hears Gollum speaking of the beauty of his precious. Frodo quickly puts the Ring away and asks Gollum who he is. The conversation between the two moves backwards and forwards between them before Frodo says to him "You were not so very different from a hobbit once, were you Sméagol?" After a moment of shock, Gollum smiles as he remembers his name.

The shriek of a Nazgûl forces the three to hide. Gollum is terrified at the wraith flying atop a fell beast, but the pain of Frodo's wound immobilises him. Sam helps him hide and says he thought they were dead,[note 1] but Gollum tells him they cannot be killed and that they are calling for the Ring. Frodo's hand reaches for the Ring, but Sam stops it. After a short time, the Nazgûl flies away. Gollum tells them the Black Gate is now "very close".


  1. In the scene The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring: "Flight to the Ford", the Nazgûl are shown to be washed away by the Bruinen.