“Here at the end of all things….”

With the attention of the Dark Lord turned outside his borders, Sam and Frodo make their way across the treacherous terrain of the Gorgoroth. Here, at the end of their journey and with no hope of return, the two hobbits resolve themselves for the final steps to Mt. Doom. Now is Sam’s finest hour, forsaking food and water for his master, while determinedly making way for a destination he has no idea how to find.

With each step, the growing weight of the Ring becomes a burden and a torment to Frodo, until he loses strength for anything beyond mere endurance. Sam now carries Frodo part of the time, and the hobbits cast aside all but the most necessary gear in an effort to lighten their load.

Some way up the mountainside the hobbits are waylaid by a desperate and dangerous Gollum. Sam strikes Gollum to the ground, but in pity spares his life. Continuing on their way, at long last the Ringbearer enters the forges of Sauron. There, upon the edges of the pit, Frodo stunningly renounces his goal: succumbing to the power of the One Ring and declaring himself Ringlord in the heart of Sauron’s realm.

As Sauron becomes instantly aware of the threat within Mordor, from the shadows Gollum attacks again. Biting Frodo’s ringfinger off, Gollum dances around in brief triumph before stumbling into the fires of Orodruin, still clutching the Ring.

How does this chapter reveal Sam’s growth since setting out from Rivendell? How does pity and mercy ensure the success of the quest? Did Frodo fail the quest? And finally, what do you think about the tragedy of Smeagol?

Join us in #thehalloffire as we debate RoTK Book 6, Ch 3: Mount Doom.

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September 20-21: The relevancy of Tolkien to the 21st century.
September 27-28: RoTK Book 6, Ch 4: The Field of Cormallen
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