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MonkeyNotes-The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien
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The Black Gate Opens

Summary

Legolas, Gimli, Aragorn, Gandalf and Pippin (commanding their troops) set off for war. Gandalf says that they should not go by the path that Frodo and Sam tread because that will draw unnecessary attention to them. Instead, they go by the entrance and set fire to the bridge and the fields, then depart.

As they travel closer to Sauron’s land, many of the soldiers are visibly shaken. Aragorn, being the fair leader, allows the men to change their minds and loses about a thousand.

When the Lords of Gondor reach the Black Gate, they issue a challenge and are answered by a great rolling of drums. Out of the Black Gate comes an ambassador of Sauron. He speaks to Gandalf, saying that he has something of interest. To everyone’s surprise he produces Frodo’s cloak and elven broach, as well as his sword. He then tells them never to fight him again. He commands them to respect him as leader and never oppose him. If they do not agree, he claims he will torture Frodo.

As this Gandalf asks him to produce Frodo. Before the surprised ambassador can respond, Gandalf takes Frodo’s things from him and rejects Sauron’s demands. The messenger retreats and the battle begins.

Orcs and trolls larger than humans attack them. As the fighting intensifies, Beregond is thrown down by a troll who is about to bite off his throat. Pippin comes to his rescue and grabs the troll, who falls on top of him. The stench and weight of the beastly creature suffocate him and he thinks he hears eagles before he passes out.


Notes

Pippin’s vision of eagles is a reference to Bilbo’s adventures in The Hobbit, not (as he thinks) the result of being crushed by a troll.

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