The Kingdom of the Dead?

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DŻntasarŽ 22/Aug/2006 at 02:40 AM
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I have two questions on this myself and I haven’t seen any Threads on this particular question and I thought I’d ask it while I was thinking about it. My questions are thus in the following order and please answer both if you can while posting on this topic:

1.) I’m slighty curious to what happened after The Army of the Dead was released by Aragorn, what become of their kingdom exactly? Did it ruin and collapse underneath the mountian as Aragorn, Legolas and Gimli tried to escape or did it later get restored by Gondor after The War of the Ring passed?

2.) I mean, how much do we know about that particular kingdom? I haven’t really read anything about it really. I read the Return of the King book, but that doesn’t really have the history I’m looking for. I’m kind of searching for some infomation, I guess.

Er Murazor 22/Aug/2006 at 02:58 AM
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The answer to the first question is that after the Dead helped Aragorn at Pelargir he said that their oaths were now fulfilled. At that the King of the Dead broke and cast down his spear and the army of the dead vanished. Their "kingdom" didn’t collapse under the mountain. That is strictly a creation made for the movie.
sacredfeminine 22/Aug/2006 at 08:04 AM
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Yes i think  Er Murazor is right, the collapsing of the mountain kingdom is made for the film, quite poor in my opinion. The people did disappear after their oaths were fulfilled. But i think it was just left uninhabited. However if i remember correctly from the books, there was a big stone there, possibly from Numenor im not quite sure.    I know thats not relevent but i think its a nice fact to share and possibly some1 could elaborate on that for me?
Celebrimbor 22/Aug/2006 at 08:51 AM
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sacredfeminine. The stone you refer to is the Stone of Erech, however, it is not located within the Dwimorberg. It is, in fact, located atop the Hill of Erech in the Morthond Vale, just south of the mountain. The great stone was indeed said to have been brought to ME from Numenor by Isildur. It is indeed relevant in that it was at this stone that the Men of the White Mountains swore their oath to Gondor and it was at this stone that Aragorn summoned them to fulfill this oath.
DŻntasarŽ 22/Aug/2006 at 04:42 PM
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I see, so basically, the Kingdom of the Dead was just left there to ruin slowly over time? And the Stone of Erech is where Aragorn summoned them to fulfill their oaths? I read The Return of the King, but I don’t think I ever read that part. I guess my memory is worse than I thought, Celebrimbor. But then I was kind of confused through the entirity of The Return of the King book just before the movie came out, that was my reason for reading it. And so we know almost nothing of what become of The Kingdom of the Dead after they were released by Aragorn?  That’s quite depressing since I was hopping there was more information to be had, but its ok. Thank you for all of your inputs. Anyway...cheers
Red Daghul 22/Aug/2006 at 06:43 PM
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i think the city would be left alone after the undead forfilled their oath, why because at that point people were afraid and thought it haunted [which it was] so they most likely stayed aay from it for many years, and still then they might have be wary of going close to it. i dont think i have heard anything before about who the undead were, only that they failed the king of gondor. i also thought of a question about them, how did isuldor curse them, did the valar help or was there another hand involed?
Nieliqui Vaneyar 22/Aug/2006 at 08:35 PM
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I’m not sure I would consider the Kingdom of the Dead like a real kingdom like Rohan.  It’s not as if there were knights and ladies and tournaments and feasts and castles and drawbridges and such.  Since they were Men, upon death, Men (meaning all of the race of Men) would go beyond the circles of the world as Aragorn spoke of.  The spirits just inhabited the passage of the Dwimorberg, and once the spirits were released, they would then travel beyond the circles to what fate the Elves did not know.

As for Isildur’s curse, I’m not sure the Valar directly intervened to help.  That would most likely have been beyond what they were allowed to do by Eru.  Since it was a Man cursing other Men and the Fate of the these Men was affected, it is possible that Eru might have had something to do with it.  

sacredfeminine 23/Aug/2006 at 03:35 AM
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Thankyou  Celebrimbor, that is why this bit in ROTK sucked! There was no white stone, that would have made a better scene than in some dark cavern, It would have been a bit misty and chilled on a field and as Aragorn summons them they would slowly rise up and come into view in a large mass on the sort of horizon of the field. Or at least thats how i had imagined it when i read the book 
Celebrimbor 23/Aug/2006 at 03:13 PM
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I agree with Nieliqui over the assertion that we should not consider the realm of the Dead to be a fully fledged Kingdom in the traditional sense of the word. The Haunted Mountain of the Dwimorberg and the Hold at Dunharrow might be more aptly considered a complex or a citadel. I am also somewhat inclined to agree that if another power was involved in upholding Isildur’s curse it would Eru as opposed to the Valar who do not have the power to withold the fate of Men.
geordie 25/Aug/2006 at 03:41 PM
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There was’nt a kingdom of the Dead. In an essay ’The Rivers and Beacon-Hills of Gondor’, [published in Vinyar Tenwar no. 42] Tolkien tells us that Men built evil temples in secret places such as the caverns behind Dunharrow. The door which Aragorn & co found was a door to one of the halls of such a temple. the skeleton was that of Baldor son of Brego, the builder of the Golden hall of Meduseld. Baldor had sworn a drunken oath to pass the doors of the Dead alone, but enemies came up from behind and broken his legs, and left him to die in the dark. What he sought behind that door: Tolkien doesn’t say.
Ambarvšnye 26/Aug/2006 at 09:37 PM
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I agree, it certainly wasn’t a kingdom of the dead it was more a mountain of sorts where the spirits dwelt. I doubt anyone would have reclaimed or inhabited the mountain again after the dead fulfilled their oath as people would still consider it cursed or haunted so most likely it was left to deteriorate.

 I think it would definitely be Eru who helped Isildur curse them. As has been said the Valar wouldn’t have the authority and Isildur certainly didn’t have the powers himself so Eru seems logical.

Bearamir 29/Aug/2006 at 07:34 PM
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Actually, the term "kingdom" could apply to the Halls of the Dead.   At itís most basic level, a "kingdom" is simply defined as as "a socio-economic entity whose government has a King or Queen as itís head of state."  In the "traditional" sense...nothing more is required to claim that status.

What I donít recall, however, is who (or in his case "what") the spectre who lead the contingent was.  If he "was" a king in life, then the group could reasonably be considered to *be* a kingdom.  If he wasnít a king, then the "traditional" definition doesnít apply...

Addendum:  Certainly the people living between the halls and the Stone of Erech thought there was a King in charge: 

"Ever there rose the same cry in the gathering night:  ’The King of the Dead.  The King of the Dead is come upon us!’ "  (RotK (Pg. 60)
   

 

geordie 30/Aug/2006 at 10:20 AM
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The King of the Dead stood forth and broke his spear when Aragorn dismissed the shades of men. But I still don’t reckon the Paths of the Dead as any sort of kingdom.
Captain Bingo 30/Aug/2006 at 10:27 AM
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Quote: Originally posted by geordie on Friday, August 25, 2006
There was’nt a kingdom of the Dead. In an essay ’The Rivers and Beacon-Hills of Gondor’, [published in Vinyar Tenwar no. 42] Tolkien tells us that Men built evil temples in secret places such as the caverns behind Dunharrow. The door which Aragorn & co found was a door to one of the halls of such a temple. the skeleton was that of Baldor son of Brego, the builder of the Golden hall of Meduseld. Baldor had sworn a drunken oath to pass the doors of the Dead alone, but enemies came up from behind and broken his legs, and left him to die in the dark. What he sought behind that door: Tolkien doesn’t say.



The relevant quote for anyone who is interested:

Note 6: The Men of Darkness built temples, some of great size, usually surrounded by dark trees, often in caverns (natural or delved) in secret valleys of mountain-regions; such as the dreadful halls and passages under the Haunted Mountain beyond the Dark Door (Gate of the Dead) in Dunharrow. The special horror of the closed door before which the skeleton of Baldor was found was probably due to the fact that the door was the entrance to an evil temple hall to which Baldor had come, probably without opposition up to that point. But the door was shut in his face, and enemies that had followed him silently came up and broke his legs and left him to die in the darkness, unable to find any way out.
Angmar Warlock 03/Sep/2006 at 10:36 AM
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I personally believe that the while Aragorn was still in power the mountain would have been left alone.  However in future iterations the draw of the gold and treasures left under the mountain would have been great for adventurers and men seeking wealth!!

 

I quote Aragorn " keep your hoards and your secrets hidden in the accursed years! speed only we ask. Let us pass and then come! I summon you to the stone of Erech!

 

this is after finding a sole adventurers corpse in the mountain.  I think with the dead gone many would have gone in search of dark secrets

3ringelvinqueen 05/Sep/2006 at 08:34 PM
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I agree with Celebrimbor in his comment - that it really cannot be considered a kingdom.  I always imagined it as more of a meeting place.  A gathering-hall for those held under the curse.  So when they were freed from the curse it was just abandoned, as there was no need for it anymore.
Endril 15/Sep/2006 at 08:45 AM
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The men in the army of the dead were released and probably went to Valinor like all the other after they died. Allo nothing collapsed under the mountain. That is a thing made by PJ as one of the adds to Tolkien’s story.  But still: What happened to there kingdom?
Arvellas 19/Sep/2006 at 08:43 PM
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Legolas-"The men in the army of the dead were released and probably went to Valinor like all the other after they died."

Slight correction--Elves and only a few very special mortals go to Valinor.  Men go to Halls of Nienna, and pass en tirely from the circles of the world.

As for the first question in this thread, my simple answer is that the living and the dead just don’t mix that well.  For the second question, you’re treading rather dangerous water.  Tolkien knew that revealing too much information about something mysterious could take away from the magic and wonder of it.  In the case of the Eagles, he deliberately avoided revealing too much, and I believe he did the same with the dead.

Daywalker 21/Sep/2006 at 10:25 AM
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Arvellas - Halls of Nienna? Never heard that one before as a place where men would go before their spirits do left the world. Well maybe i have to reread Sil and UT again.
’Her halls are west of West, upon the borders of the world; and she comes seldom to the city of Valimar where all is glad. She goes rather to the halls of Mandos, which are near to her own; and all those who wait in Mandos cry to her, for she brings strength to the spirit and turns sorrow to wisdom. The windows of her house look outward from the walls of the world.’Sil

’It is one with this gift of freedom that the children of Men dwell only a short space in the world alive, and are not bound to it, and depart soon whither the Elves know not. Whereas the Elves remain until the end of days, and their love of the Earth and all the world is more single and more poignant therefore, and as the years lengthen ever more sorrowful. For the Elves die not till tile world dies, unless they are slain or waste in grief (and to both these seeming deaths they are subject); neither does age subdue their strength, unless one grow weary of ten thousand centuries; and dying they are gathered to the halls of Mandos in Valinor, whence they may in time return. But the sons of Men die indeed, and leave the world; wherefore they are called the Guests, or the Strangers. Death is their fate, the gift of Ilķvatar, which as Time wears even the Powers shall envy.’Sil

Beretor 06/Oct/2006 at 02:20 PM
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 I thnt that the Dead Army were men. If so then, were they Numenorean or one of the lesser races that the Numenoreans mixed with? If they weren’t then what race were they. I know they weren’t dwarves but mabye they were weird Elves.
geordie 06/Oct/2006 at 03:03 PM
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The Dead men of Dunharrow is their name. Not Numenoreans, but men who had sworn to fight on the side of Isildur against Sauron. But they’d secretly been worshipping Sauron during the Dark Years, and when Isildur called them, they hid in the mountains. So they were oath-breakers; accursed. It’s all there, in the books.
Durin of Moria 27/Nov/2006 at 06:42 PM
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I think the the dead that help Aragorn during the time of the war of the Ring was men of Middle- Earth and not Dunedain. They may have a kingdom in the White mountains before the founding of Gondor. Since they lived in the white mountains, they may be of Dunleadish decend.  
Lifur 02/Dec/2006 at 01:20 PM
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Am not able to check in the book, but i’m sure the dead men were men of the mountains (ie, dunlendish origin?) who pledged allegiance to the Numenoreans, but returned to worshipping Sauron in the dark years of the second age.
Oin 07/Dec/2006 at 07:36 PM
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Lifur: You have your chronology mixed up - the Men of the Mountains did indeed pledge allegiance to Isildur, but that was near the end of the Second Age - they betrayed him and aided Sauron instead because they had worshipped him in the Dark Years. However, they did not "return to worshipping Sauron in the dark years of the second age" after the Numenoreans arrived because the Dark Years were before the return of the Numenoreans. Other than that, your post is correct.
GimlitheElf 12/Dec/2006 at 12:57 AM
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Quote: Originally posted by ”in on Thursday, December 07, 2006
Lifur: You have your chronology mixed up - the Men of the Mountains did indeed pledge allegiance to Isildur, but that was near the end of the Second Age - they betrayed him and aided Sauron instead because they had worshipped him in the Dark Years. However, they did not "return to worshipping Sauron in the dark years of the second age" after the Numenoreans arrived because the Dark Years were before the return of the Numenoreans. Other than that, your post is correct.
I may be wrong but didnt they (the men of the mountains) flee into the mountains never to be seen again when Isildur called them to arms? I dont remember reading about them aiding Sauron in the war but i may be wrong and just not read it right. I know the Haradhrim went to Mordor’s aid in the war but they were of no relation to the men of the mountains were they?
Vugar 12/Dec/2006 at 11:18 AM
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GimlitheElf, you are correct in that the Men of the Mountains fled and withdrew into the mountains and met no more with other men.  Here is the supporting quote:

"And they fled before the wrath of Isildur, and did not dare to go forth to war on Sauron’s part; and they hid themselves in secret places in the mountains and had no dealings with other men, but slowly dwindled in the barren hills. And the terror of the Sleepless Dead lies about the Hill of Erech and all places where that people lingered." (The Passing of the Grey Company, RotK)

Oin 15/Dec/2006 at 12:48 PM
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Yes, but they aided Sauron through inaction - that is what I meant to convey. By not following the agreement they had made with Isildur, they had deprived him of a key ally, and so aided Sauron rather than Isildur. But yes, they did withdraw and slowly dwindled into nothingness. The only men i believe they are related to are the Dunlendings and other men of the race that once dominated much of what would later be Gondor.
Naduil 16/Dec/2006 at 04:47 AM
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They are Gondorians! I think. I’m going on intuition here with no actual fact, but I think that against everything else they are gondorian men from the fiefdoms who pledged their allegiance to isioldur. however they thought he would lose and so didn’t show up at the great battle. But isildur won. Then he sought them out and cursed them. Then they, not wishing to harm their families, fled to the mountain. Simple logic.
Oin 16/Dec/2006 at 07:54 PM
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Naduil: They were not Gondorians. Although they lived in an area that was later to become part of the Kingdom of Gondor, they had lived in the area for centuries before Isildur arrived in the area, or even the Numenoreans before the Downfall. They were not related to Isildur or his people at all, save very distantly from before the War of the Jewels and beyond in the extremely distant past.
Naduil 17/Dec/2006 at 02:57 AM
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Ah. Simple logic seems to be wrong.
Kaulargorn 19/Dec/2006 at 02:18 AM
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These people were not numenoreans. They were related to Dunlendings and lived in the White Mountains. For a time in first or second age they had served Sauron and then as known betrayed Isildur in the Last Alliance of Men and Elves. That’s why he cursed the