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


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  • Updated 3 August 2010
  • Updates planned: 2

Door of the Dead

The gateway of the Haunted Mountain

An arched entranceway that led through a wall of rock at the base of the Dwimorberg, the Haunted Mountain, into the Paths of the Dead. Marked with symbols and signs, and exuding an air of dread and terror, the Door had existed throughout most of the Third Age. In the early years of Rohan, it was braved by the King's son Baldor, who never returned from the darkness. Long afterwards, during the War of the Ring, Aragorn led his followers through the Dark Door in fulfilment of an ancient prophecy; he gained the allegiance of the Dead within and returned into the light on the other side of the White Mountains.

In many earlier editions of The Lord of the Rings, the 'Door of the Dead' is referred to as the 'Gate of the Dead'. Though Tolkien corrected the original form, his amendment was not incorporated into the text of the book itself for many years.

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