The Encyclopedia of Arda - an interactive guide to the world of J.R.R. Tolkien


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  • Updated 3 May 2007
  • Updates planned: 2

Dark Door

The entrance into the Paths of the Dead

"The way is shut ... It was made by those who are Dead, and the Dead keep it, until the time comes. The way is shut."
Words of the guardian of the Dark Door
The Return of the King V 3
The Muster of Rohan

Deep within the White Mountains, under the shadow of the peak of the Dwimorberg, lay the dark wood known as the Dimholt. Within that wood was a glen leading towards the roots of the Haunted Mountain, and at the glen's head was a sudden wall of stone. In that wall was the Dark Door, the northern entry into the Paths of the Dead, made and used by the shades that had dwelt within since the end of the Second Age.

It was first discovered by the living long afterwards, when Baldor son of Brego of Rohan came across it. He found it guarded by an ancient and shrunken man, who warned that the way was shut at that time. Baldor left the Door, but later swore to brave its fears and pass within. He travelled through the Door of the Dead and was never seen again.

The time that had been long prophesied arrived with the War of the Ring, when Aragorn and his companions passed through the Door and were suffered to travel the Paths of the Dead. Promising to release the Dead from their ancient oath to his ancestor Isildur, Aragorn led them out from under the Mountains and away to victory in the east.

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