"It was made by those who are Dead
, and the Dead
keep it, until the time comes. The way is shut."
The warning before the Forbidden Door
From The Return of the King V 3
The Muster of Rohan
The ancient archway that led through the rock at the base of the Haunted Mountain into the Paths of the Dead. It was discovered in the early days of Rohan by Brego the second King and his son Baldor, who were exploring their new land. Having discovered the place that would become the Hold of Dunharrow, they travelled on and found a Door in the mountainside. On the threshold of the doorway they found a withered old man, who warned them not to enter, as the time had not yet come; the old man died soon afterwards and revealed no more.
Despite the warning, the King's heir Baldor saw the Forbidden Door as a challenge, and at the feast to celebrate the building of Meduseld he vowed to pass the Door and enter the Paths of the Dead. This he did, and he was never seen again.
The time spoken of in the old man's prophecy came more than four hundred years later when Aragorn and his companions passed through the Forbidden Door. Within, they found the bones of a richly armoured warrior: the mortal remains of Baldor, who had been lost centuries before. As the Heir of Isildur, Aragorn had the power to absolve the Dead of their broken oath, and so they not only permitted him to pass their Paths but also followed him into battle.
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