On This Day in Middle-earth

March 25th

The Host is surrounded on the Slag-hills.

Frodo and Samwise reach the Sammath Naur.

Gollum seizes the Ring and falls in the Cracks of Doom.

Downfall of Barad-dûr and passing of Sauron.

On March 25th, the One Ring finally gets destroyed. It amazes me how all the events of this day got boiled down into four sentences. The Host of the West finally made it to the Black Gates of Mordor. There the Captains of Men banged on the doors of Mordor and demanded Sauron atone for his evil ways.

Sauron sends his lieutenant, the Mouth of Sauron to “treat” with these captains. I’ll give you a passage of his first encounter with Aragorn.

“Is there anyone in this rout with authority to treat with me?” he asked. “Or indeed with wit to understand me? Not thou at least!” he mocked, turning to Aragorn with scorn. “It needs more to make a king than a piece of Elvish glass, or a rabble such as this. Why, any brigand of the hills can show as good a following!”

Aragorn said naught in answer, but he took the other’s eye and held it, and for a moment they strove thus; but soon, though Aragorn did not stir nor move hand to weapon, the other quailed and gave back as if menaced with a blow. “I am a herald and ambassador, and may not be assailed!” he cried.

Aragorn was not to be trifled with on that day, but hope almost failed when the Mouth of Sauron brought out Frodo’s mithril shirt, Sam’s sword, and an Elven cloak. These were the items Shagrat brought to Barad-dûr. Had Gandalf not been there, this rouse might have succeeded, but he cast aside this ploy and opted to fight. The Mouth of Sauron looked upon the deadly eyes of the Captains that stood before him, he ran back to Mordor in fear and ordered the armies to surround them.

Thus the Battle at the Black Gates began, the Host of the West was surrounded and Pippin, the lone Hobbit representing the Shire folk is stabbing and slashing where he can. He’s knocked out and all seems to end for him, in his daze he looks up and sees the Eagles are coming.

On the morning of this day Sam and Frodo slowly awoke, Sam was the first up, but Frodo could only move at a crawl. Sam wept in his heart, but would not give up.

“Come, Mr. Frodo!” he cried. “I can’t carry it for you, but I can carry you and it as well. So up you get!”

Sam made it up the mountain a decent bit, but his legs gave out and they needed to rest. Checking his surroundings Sam noticed a path not too far up ahead, there they could have an easier journey up the mountain. Frodo was able to crawl his way to the path, once they reached the path he looked out over Mordor towards Barad-dûr he collapsed with a sudden urge to put on the Ring. Sam kept Frodo from doing this and carried him the rest of the way.

Gollum then attacked the Hobbits and wrestled with Frodo for the Ring. But Gollum’s own journey had left him ragged and worn, he didn’t have the strength to overpower Frodo. When he fled the Hobbits after he led them to Shelob’s Lair, he had been wandering around Mordor by himself. Frodo stood before the cowering Gollum and proclaimed this.

“Begone, and trouble me no more! If you touch me ever again, you shall be cast yourself into the Fire of Doom.”

Frodo then quickly hurried up the path and made his way to the Cracks of Doom. Sam stayed behind to finally get rid of Gollum, but pity overtook him and he spared Gollum’s life. When Sam arrived, Frodo’s will was gone, he placed the Ring on his finger and disappeared from view.

In this moment multiple things happened, Gollum appeared and knocked Sam out, Sauron’s rage and fear turned towards the Mountain, and Sauron’s forces faltered and halted. Gollum attacked Frodo, bit the Ring off his finger, and fell into the fires of Mordor as he was celebrating. Frodo’s demand came true, Gollum upon attacking Frodo cast himself into the fires of Mount Doom.

The devices of Sauron, Barad-dûr, the Black Gates, and Mount Doom began to fall into themselves and crumble into nothing. Sauron’s time ended, his forces fled in fear. The Men of the West rejoiced and Gandalf requested Gwaihir, King of Eagles, to bare him one more time. Into Mordor they flew, along with Landroval and Meneldor, they found Frodo and Sam, and bore them to safety.

Two Hobbits changed the course of the future, the smallest creatures of Middle-earth created one of the largest shifts in history. This story isn’t over for these Hobbits but their greatest journey is finally at an end.

Thank you, so much, for your time and remember, all that is gold does not glitter.

– The Wandering One

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