The dark and foreboding arch that guarded the way into the Paths of the Dead beneath the Dwimorberg, the Haunted Mountain. Those Paths were haunted by the shades of the Oathbreakers, after they were cursed by Isildur for breaking their allegiance to him. The Gate was closed to mortal Men throughout the Third Age; in all that time only one Man dared to pass it - Baldor of Rohan - and he was lost. Only at the end of that Age, as foretold in ancient prophecy, did Aragorn succeed in walking the haunted Paths and allowing the Dead to finally fulfil their broken oath.
Tolkien did not intend the form Gate of the Dead to appear in the text of The Lord of the Rings. He corrected it to Door of the Dead, but this change was not put into place until many years later, and so earlier editions of the book contain a reference to the Gate, rather than the Door, of the Dead.
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