HASA Resources

Places in Middle-earth

Door of the Dead

Type: Valleys, Caves, Tunnels

Region: Rohan

Other Names
Door
Dark Door
Forbidden Door
Gate of the Dead
Door under Dwimorberg
Door to the Paths of the Dead

Location: The entrance to the Paths of the Dead under the Dwimorberg mountain; located in the Dimholt forest, behind the refuge of Dunharrow in the White Mountains of Rohan.

Description:

[Éowyn] watched them until they passed into the shadows under the black Dwimorberg, the Haunted Mountain, in which was the Gate of the Dead.

The Return of the King, LoTR Book 5, Ch 2, The Passing of the Grey Company

The light was still grey as they rode, for the sun had not yet climbed over the black ridges of the Haunted Mountain before them. A dread fell on them, even as they passed between the lines of ancient stones and so came to the Dimholt. There under the gloom of black trees... they found a hollow place opening at the mountain's root, and right in their path stood a single mighty stone like a finger of doom....

And so they came at last deep into the glen; and there stood a sheer wall of rock, and in the wall the Dark Door gaped before them like the mouth of night. Signs and figures were carved above its wide arch too dim to read, and fear flowed from it like a grey vapour.

The Return of the King, LoTR Book 5, Ch 2, The Passing of the Grey Company

[Éomer said,] 'But as for the Paths of the Dead, you have yourself walked on their first steps.... The road that we have climbed is the approach to the Door, yonder in the Dimholt. But what lies beyond no man knows.'

[Said Théoden,] 'If these old tales speak true that have come down from father to son in the House of Eorl, then the Door under Dwimorberg leads to a secret way that goes beneath the mountain to some forgotten end.'....

'It is said that when the Eorlingas came out of the North and passed at length up the Snowbourn, seeking strong places of refuge in time of need, Brego and his son Baldor climbed the Stair of the Hold and so came before the Door. On the threshold sat an old man, aged beyond guess of years; tall and kingly he had been, but now he was withered as an old stone. Indeed for stone they took him, for he moved not, and he said no word, until they sought to pass him by and enter. And then a voice came out of him, as it were out of the ground, and to their amaze it spoke in the western tongue: The way is shut.

'Then they halted and looked at him and saw that he lived still; but he did not look at them. The way is shut, his voice said again It was made by those who are Dead, and the Dead keep it, until the time comes. The way is shut.

'And when will that time be? said Baldor. But no answer did he ever get. For the old man died in that hour and fell upon his face; and no other tidings of the ancient dwellers in the mountains have our folk ever learned.'

The Return of the King, LoTR Book 5, Ch 3, The Muster of Rohan

Contributors: Elena Tiriel 22Dec04

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