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The Return of the King

The Return of the King


J.R.R. Tolkien

 Table of Contents


Essay Lab | Math Shack | Videos

The Return of the King Symbolism, Imagery, Allegory

The Palantír

The palantíri are the Seven Stones that the heirs to the house of Elendil used to communicate across their kingdom, sort of like an archaic version of Skype. With the fall of the kings of Gondor a...

The White Tree

The White Tree is the symbol for Gondor. When Arwen makes Aragorn his war banner, she embroiders "a white tree flowered upon a sable field beneath a shining crown and seven glittering stars" (6.4.4...

The Seven Stars

The White Tree may be a sign of Gondor and the Seven Stones may be heirlooms of the house of Elendil, but the Seven Stars are the real symbols of Elendil's descendants. When Aragorn flies his banne...

The Stone of Erech

The Stone of Erech is the place where Aragorn must stand to call up the Dead to fulfill their pact to fight with an heir of Isildur against Sauron. Back in the days of the Last Alliance, the King o...

The Red Arrow

The Red Arrow is the token that Denethor uses to call Théoden and his allies into battle against Sauron. We can guess that it's a sign of extreme desperation because when Théoden receives it from...

Dawn and the Rooster's Crow

Roosters crow when dawn comes. Yeah yeah, you knew that. But that well-known fact takes on enormous significance for all the Middle-earth Good Guys. Dawn becomes more and more unreliable as the tro...

Horns and Drums

Shmoop will totally admit it: drums in The Lord of the Rings creep us out. There are the drums in the deep of Moria in The Fellowship of the Ring, and the hosts of Mordor arrive at the fields of Pe...

The Calendar

Despite the fact that it often seems like we're whirling through a timeless landscape, dates are actually quite important to the overall structure of The Lord of the Rings series. The fact that Fro...

The Gem of Arwen

When Arwen settles down with Aragorn as Queen of Gondor, she gives Frodo a white gem (yet again with the star imagery; see "The Seven Stars" for more on this significance). This gem is like the Phi...

The Mallorn-Tree

Sam plants the mallorn nut he receives from Galadriel right where Bilbo's Party Tree used to be. There is a nice continuity there. The tree where Bilbo held his Long Expected Party before leaving t...

Tolkien's Work and Christianity

Tolkien was a Christian, and he writes about his faith as an important part of his creative plan for The Lord of the Rings. At the same time, Tolkien emphasizes that Middle-earth is not a specifica...

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