Book 6, Chapter 1 Notes from Return of the King

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Return of the King Book 6, Chapter 1

Sam rouses himself and realizes that he was stunned by throwing himself into the iron doors of Minas Morgul. He knows he must either rescue Frodo or die. He can see fires in the towers above and walks away to where he can sit down. He puts the Ring on and his senses are strengthened. He can hear bands of orcs fighting in the tower. He runs forward and slips the ring off. Far off in Mordor he can see the glowing summit of Orodruin where they must destroy the ring. He knows that he cannot trust the ring this close to Sauron. He thinks that he could either bear the ring the rest of the way himself or claim its power and challenge the dark lord. Only his love for Frodo suppresses the wild fantasies running in his mind. He knows that these impulses are part of the power of the ring.

He makes timid steps back towards the tower and sees two orcs shot by their companions in the courtyard. He creeps around and tries to enter through the gate but is stopped by an invisible force. There are large statues of vultures on either side and they seem to stare at him. He tries again and fails but then pulls out the phial of Galadriel. Its light shines and he walks through the gateway. He finds the door into the tower propped open with a body. He begins to wander through the passages inside, finding more corpses wherever he goes. He hears an orc coming and his hand jumps to clutch the ring. The beast is intimidated by what he sees as a gray warrior. Sam follows him as he flees but cannot keep up with his pace. He plods up the stairs. "He felt that he was on the right road, and his spirits had risen a good deal." Book 6, Chapter 1, pg. 199. There is no life, only the occasional torch as he ascends the staircase. He hears voices and realizes that he is listening to the lead orc Shagrat. Shagrat hurls a smaller orc out of a room and Sam draws his sword. Sam follows Shagrat as he runs away. He stops following him and begins to look around the higher chambers of the tower. He knows that there is a topmost chamber, but he cannot figure out how to get there. He begins to sing a song in his depression. He hears an orc coming and then realizes that the highest chamber is reached by trap door. An orc pulls the ceiling of the hall open and pulls down a ladder. Sam listens to him climb up and yell at Frodo.

Sam rushes up the ladder and finds the orc threatening Frodo with a whip. He cuts the creature's arm off and as it turns to attack him, it trips in its haste, tumbling through the trap door. Sam holds Frodo and Frodo asks if he is still dreaming. He had heard Sam singing and thought he was having a dream. Sam asks him if he can walk and even though the orcs questioned him brutally, he can stumble along. Frodo thinks that the ring is gone and that the quest has failed, but Sam tells him that he has the ring. Frodo demands that the other Hobbit surrender the ring to him. Sam does and Frodo apologizes for being so cruel; the power of the ring is deep within him. Because Frodo is naked, Sam suggests that they dress like orcs. He gives Frodo a sword and cloak while he finds the right size clothes.

Sam returns with clothing and is very eager to get out of the tower. He dresses his companion.

"There were long hairy breeches of some unclean beast-fell, and a tunic of dirty leather. He drew them on. Over the tunic went a coat of stout ring-mail, short for a full-sized orc, too long for Frodo and heavy. About it he clasped a belt, at which there hung a short sheath holding a broad-bladed stabbing sword." Book 6, Chapter 1, pg. 209

Sam only puts on an orc helmet and cloak. Frodo asks about food and Sam says that he has enough lembas to last a week or so. Frodo realizes that they must find water somewhere. He tells him that he still has some of his lembas in his bag and makes Sam eat some before they go. They eat and then move outside. Frodo does not feel he can move on once they get outside. Sam makes him push on and they struggle toward the invisible gate. Sam withdraws the phial again and as they make their way past the vultures, they hear screeching and feel something close behind them.

Topic Tracking: Love and Loyalty 7
Topic Tracking: Metamorphoses 7

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