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Summary - Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King
Sauron sends a great army against Gondor. Gandalf arrives at Minas Tirith to warn Denethor of the attack, while Théoden musters the Rohirrim to ride to Gondor’s aid. Minas Tirith is besieged; the Lord of the Nazgûl uses a battering ram and the power of his Ring to destroy the city’s gates. Denethor, deceived by Sauron, falls into despair. He burns himself alive on a pyre; Pippin and Gandalf rescue his son Faramir from the same fate.
Aragorn, accompanied by Legolas, Gimli, and the Rangers of the North, takes the Paths of the Dead to recruit the Dead Men of Dunharrow, oathbreakers who are bound by an ancient curse which denies them rest until they fulfil their oath to fight for the King of Gondor. Aragorn unleashes the Army of the Dead on the Corsairs of Umbar invading southern Gondor. With that threat eliminated, Aragorn uses the Corsairs’ ships to transport the men of southern Gondor up the Anduin, reaching Minas Tirith just in time to turn the tide of battle. Théoden’s niece Éowyn, who joined the army in disguise, kills the Lord of the Nazgûl with help from Merry; both are wounded. Together, Gondor and Rohan defeat Sauron’s army in the Battle of the Pelennor Fields, though at great cost; Théoden is among the dead.
Aragorn enters Minas Tirith and heals Faramir, Eowyn, and Merry. He leads an army of men from Gondor and Rohan, marching through Ithilien to the Black Gate to distract Sauron from his true danger. At the Battle of the Morannon, his army is vastly outnumbered.
Meanwhile, Sam rescues Frodo from the tower of Cirith Ungol. They set out across Mordor. When they reach the edge of the Cracks of Doom, Frodo cannot resist the Ring any longer. He claims it for himself and puts it on. Gollum suddenly reappears. He struggles with Frodo and bites off Frodo’s finger with the Ring still on it. Celebrating wildly, Gollum loses his footing and falls into the Fire, taking the Ring with him. When the Ring is destroyed, Sauron loses his power forever. All he created collapses, the Nazgûl perish, and his armies are thrown into such disarray that Aragorn’s forces emerge victorious.
Aragorn is crowned King of Arnor and Gondor, and weds Arwen, daughter of Elrond. Théoden is buried and Éomer is crowned King of Rohan. His sister Éowyn is engaged to marry Faramir, now Steward of Gondor and Prince of Ithilien. Galadriel, Celeborn, and Gandalf meet and say farewell to Treebeard, and to Aragorn.
The four hobbits make their way back to the Shire, only to find that it has been taken over by men directed by “Sharkey” (whom they later discover to be Saruman). The hobbits, led by Merry, raise a rebellion and scour the Shire of Sharkey’s evil. Gríma Wormtongue turns on Saruman and kills him in front of Bag End, Frodo’s home. He is killed in turn by hobbit archers. Merry and Pippin are celebrated as heroes. Sam marries Rosie Cotton and uses his gifts from Galadriel to help heal the Shire. But Frodo is still wounded in body and spirit, having borne the Ring for so long. A few years later, in the company of Bilbo and Gandalf, Frodo sails from the Grey Havens west over the Sea to the Undying Lands to find peace. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Lord_of_the_Rings#The_Two_Towers)
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List of chapters in Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King
Chapters List: Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King
- Minas Tirith
- The Passing of the Grey Company
- The Muster of Rohan
- The Siege of Gondor
- The Ride of the Rohirrim
- The Battle of the Pelennor Fields
- The Pyre of Denethor
- The Houses of Healing
- The Last Debate
- The Black Gate Opens
- The Tower of Cirith Ungo
- The Land of Shadow
- Mount Doom
- The Field of Cormallen
- The Steward and the King
- Many Partings
- Homeward Bound
- The Scouring of the Shire
- The Grey Havens
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416 (first edition)
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