The Song of the Eagle http://www.mediafire.com/download.php?tye3garp4et6qa4
the relevant passage is highlighted in red in the analysis below. The text is given under Seven Tolkien Songs [see Songs with piano]
These fragments and episodes, some of them substantial, were written at various times over a period of thirty years. In the 1970s I prepared a complete libretto for a complete cycle of operas based on J R R Tolkien’s legend The Lord of the Rings which extended over a period of thirteen evenings (including two evenings derived from The Hobbit which acted as a prologue). I had at this stage already written The Black Gate is closed (which would form the ninth of the thirteen evenings) and the two evenings of The Hobbit. The full text for those evenings was included in both the orchestral and vocal scores, and the text of The Hobbit is given in this volume with the analysis of the score. For the sake of continuity, the text for The Black Gate is closed is repeated here in context, as is that for Tom Bombadil and The Grey Havens. Throughout, the text not included in these Fragments and episodes is given in smaller type. Details of the cast involved, the nature of the voices required, and other material are given in the full score.
The fragmentary score of The Hobbit has already been issued separately; so also has The Black Gate is closed. Other works whose genesis dates from this period (although only more recently completed and orchestrated) are Tom Bombadil and The Grey Havens.
But there also remain a number of other sketches and fragments, including some made very recently. These range in scope from the very substantial series of scenes which open this selection of fragments (the first three and a bit scenes from the third evening) to the patches of one minute or less. They also include orchestral versions of the two Songs of the Mark and of a number of the Seven Tolkien Songs (all except the final song, which came from the final scene of The Hobbit and had already been issued as part of that score).
Although these various fragments were composed at various times over the last thirty years, they are assembled here in the order in which they would have occurred in the projected cycle. It is no longer possible to state with any great degree of certainty when some of the fragments were in fact written, since some of them derive from little more than undated sketches. Some have also been revised (including substantive parts of the orchestration) to form part of this collection. The original manuscripts of all the material have been lodged with the National Library of Wales.
The Shadow of the Past
There are five fragments included here. One is the most substantial section of the score, consisting of the whole of the first three scenes and part of the fourth. These were only completed originally in piano short score, but were orchestrated for inclusion in this published version.
The second fragment is Bilbo’s walking song The road goes ever on. The material is also included in The Grey Havens as sung by Frodo at the end of the work, but this original use of the material is marginally different and has already been quoted during the interlude before the fourth scene.
The third fragment is the section depicting Gandalf’s reading of the words engraved on the One Ring. This draws upon material from The Silmarillion.
The fourth fragment consists of a single page which was originally intended for the opening of the third act.
The fifth fragment, the drinking song for Pippin and Merry, was originally published as one of the Seven Tolkien Songs and was orchestrated for this version.
Flight to the Ford
The whole of the first act of this evening, as already noted, constitutes the work separately published under the title Tom Bombadil.
Frodo reads the lines All that is gold does not glitter from Gandalf’s letter, and this is the setting that was subsequently included in the Seven Tolkien Songs. The orchestration for this edition is original, but the material was also used (in a rather different form) in the final scene of Tom Bombadil.
Sam’s Song of Gil-galad was not originally designed for use in the opera cycle but may perhaps be most conveniently included in this collection of fragments. It will be noted that the original intention was that Aragorn should sing his lay of Beren and Lúthien under Weathertop. But in view of the fact that the scene, including the same words, had been treated so fully in the Love scene from that work, any setting would necessarily have used much of the same material; and it might therefore be that some other song, probably the Lay of Gil-galad, would have been substituted here.
Sam’s Song of the troll was originally intended to form one of the Tolkien Songs but was left incomplete and was therefore excluded from the published cycle of songs.
The Fellowship of the Ring
The first extract originally derives from a solitary page containing an orchestral sketch for the prelude which was designed to open the evening. However there is also a draft short score which takes the same material somewhat further, and this has been orchestrated for this edition to continue the action a little.
The poem Eärendil was a mariner was subsequently set for solo voice and full orchestra as an independent work with close connections with The Silmarillion, and is not therefore included in the Fragments and episodes. However the text is given in full here for the sake of continuity.
The second extract, The Song of the Blessed Realm, was designed to close the First Act. Although originally scored for voice and piano (and intended to form one of the Tolkien Songs) it was then revised to include the chorus and orchestral parts and was excluded from the published edition of the Seven Tolkien Songs.
The third extract is the prelude to the Second Act, which exists in a full orchestral score that breaks off abruptly as the curtain rises.
The fourth extract consists of the words sung by Boromir as heard by him from the distant voice Seek for the sword that was broken.
The Ring goes South
The first extract consists of the opening pages of the First Act, as Gandalf and the company arrive at the Gates of Moria. It only ever existed in a very fragmentary piano sketch, and was orchestrated in this collection for the first time.
The second extract (published in the vocal score as an Appendix) is a much later version of the same scene, including a completely new theme for Gandalf’s reading of the legend on the Gates. There is another version of this same theme designed to accompany the opening of the Gates.
The third extract is Galadriel’s Namárië sung by her as the Fellowship of the Ring leaves Lothlórien. The melody is of course the same tune that Tolkien himself sang to Donald Swann, and was included in the Seven Tolkien Songs with a new accompaniment. It can be seen here that this accompaniment, and the substantial piano postlude included in that version, were originally designed for use in the opera cycle and have a considerable dramatic intent.
The Plains and the Forest
The first extract is the sketch for the prelude to the First Act, here orchestrated for the first time. This was the only work ever undertaken during the 1970s on any section of this evening.
There were however a number of earlier drafts made in the late 1960s which, although generally very immature, may be exceptionally included here since they would quite probably have been drafted into use in a revised score. The first of these consists of a setting of the poem for Boromir’s funeral, for which the orchestration has been heavily revised for this edition. It will be noted that the poem is very substantially cut.
The setting of Treebeard’s song is very primitive and would have been subject to very considerable reworking before inclusion in any final version. However the single page sketch which contains the opening lines of Quickbeam’s lament for the fallen rowan is considerably more developed, and most notably contains the germ of the theme which would later be transferred to Gwindor in The Silmarillion.
These three early fragments were conceived in connection with a vocal and orchestral suite, and not as part of the thirteen-evening cycle. In the score I have accordingly omitted all stage directions, which refer in any event to a scenario drafted six or seven years after the original sketches for the music.
The King of the Golden Hall
There is only one very small fragment intended for use in the final cycle. This consists of Saruman’s opening words; but it is interesting because it shows the use of Bilbo’s Good morning! theme as a hypocritical greeting which is transferred here to Saruman. This was definitely intentional, because the same use is made of theme as a motif for Saruman in the dream sequence in Tom Bombadil, and is also transferred to both Ted Sandyman and the Sackville-Bagginses in the opening scene of The shadow of the past.
The Black Gate is closed
When the score of the Fragments and episodes was originally published, three extracts were included from the score of the completed opera The Black Gate is closed: the orchestral setting of Gollum’s song which was extracted to become one of the Seven Tolkien Songs, the full setting of Oliphant which is also found in the suites from the opera, and the setting of Faramir’s narration from the Second Act.
The Passing of the Grey Company
The prelude to the Third Act was designed to consist of a complete setting of the poem From dark Dunharrow in the dim morning. This has already been published as the first of the two Songs of the Mark for male choir and piano, and is here orchestrated from the original short score.
The Black Gate opens
The only sketch which appears to exist for any of the material designed for this evening is a single sheet of full orchestral score headed Prelude, which appears to be intended for the opening of the Third Act. In essence much of the same material was developed for use in the interlude following Bilbo’s finding of the Ring in The Hobbit, but this version is somewhat more extended as well as clearly being an earlier draft.
The Return of the King
Sam’s song in the tower was purloined for use in Beren and Lúthien, but the original version remained as one of the Seven Tolkien Songs. It is included here using its original words, but with an adaptation of the scoring from Beren.
The final chords of the Field of Cormallen scene
were sketched for use at the end of the Second Act.
The Song of the Eagle was published as one of the Seven Tolkien Songs but is included here in its original form including chorus and orchestra (which predates the piano score). It was designed to form the prelude to the Third Act of the opera.
The Grey Havens
The funeral chant for Théoden was designed to form the second scene of the opera, and was included in a version for male choir and piano as the second of the Songs of the Mark. It is here orchestrated from the piano sketch with the baritone solo part restored to Merry.
The song for Bilbo as the Fellowship returns to Rivendell was originally written as a second verse to the earlier Song of the Traveller (included here in the music for The shadow of the past). There was a link between the two verses which was closely modelled on the similar passage in Fire and Water and this has been omitted from the current version. The final verse given here was orchestrated especially for this collection.
The whole of the final act of course constitutes the work published under the title of The Grey Havens.
THE BLACK GATE IS CLOSED
The Black Gate is closed was the first of my operas to be written, during the period 1967-69. It was originally conceived for an extremely large and rather bizarrely constituted orchestra (including quadruple woodwind, six horns, eight recorders and six saxophones), but this version proceeded only as far as the end of the first scene before I started again on a rather more modest and less extravagant scale. At this time, and for some time afterwards, it was entitled The Doom, and three orchestral suites were extracted from the score under that name. The score was complete, apart from some passages of particularly heavy orchestration which remained in sketch form.
The whole opera was then incorporated into my plans for a thirteen-evening operatic cycle on The Lord of the Rings, of which it would have formed the ninth evening. At that time the original title was dropped, and the more authentically Tolkienian The Black Gate is closed was substituted.
It was my original intention that only the suites, now published separately with some revision under their later title, should be made available. The work on the original score was too primitive to be incorporated satisfactorily into the complete cycle, although three short excerpts were extracted for separate publication and reworked for that purpose. The Song of the Fisherman was included as one of the Seven Tolkien Songs, the Oliphaunt chorus was extracted as a separate item for male choir (although never published in that form), and Faramir’s Dream was also reworked as a solo aria for tenor. These three extracts, all somewhat remodelled from their original, were included in the score of The Lord of the Rings: fragments and episodes.
In order to make the full score of this very early work available, some judgements have had to be exercised. The material of the score was often wildly at variance with the themes used in later work on The Lord of the Rings, and I had to consider whether to remodel these to match their later context. I decided against this, because it would have involved a very substantial rewriting of the whole score. Instead I have compromised. Where later reworkings exist, as in the material included in the Suites and Fragments and episodes, I have used these in preference to the version included in the original score. I have also made some adaptations to the barring, rhythm and layout of the score (much of the original was laid out in very short—and often very empty—2/4 bars, to the detriment both of musical sense and legibility), and have corrected some blatant instances of lack of balance in the orchestration. Otherwise the score, including some of the more extravagant orchestral demands, remains substantially as it was when it was originally completed in 1969, and I have made no further revisions.
The curtain rises. The bleak barren hills of the Emyn Muil. On the left of the stage, rough scrubby ground; on the
right towards the back this drops away in a steep cliff. Below the cliff there lies a wide expanse of marshes and
swamps; in the distance, beyond the festering green, looms a dark ridge of mountains. It is dusk, and dark clouds
loom overhead. Much of the background is concealed by the inner curtain and veiled by grey mists which swirl
about constantly. Frodo and Sam appear through the mists on the left, Sam leading and Frodo dragging behind.
Sam comes forward, seeking a way down the cliff, and halts
SAM Well, master, we’re in a fix and no mistake.
He stares with puckered eyes towards the mountains, from whence issue a series of red flashes like the leaping up of
What a fix! That’s the one place in all the lands we’ve ever heard of that we don’t want to see any closer; and that’s just where we can’t get, nohow. We can’t get down; and if we did, we’d find all that green land a nasty bog, I’ll warrant. Phew! Can you smell it?
FRODO [staring at the distant mountains] Mordor!...If I must go there, I wish I could come there quickly and make…an end!
At the back the red glow dies, but dark thunderclouds roll up towards the front, directly overhead. Sam turns
towards the back anxiously, and then returns to his former position
SAM Did you see them again, Mister Frodo?
FRODO [still troubled] No; I’ve seen none of those eyes for three nights now. But he…he’s not my chief worry. There’s an Eye…an Eye!
He turns away, his face in his hands; and then looks up with sudden resolve
Come on! We must get down! Where does this gully lead to?
SAM A nasty drop, I’ll warrant.
FRODO Look! The cliff looks easier here.
SAM Well, it’s always easier getting down; those as can’t fly can jump!
FRODO All the same, we must try. I’m going down to try it out.
He clambers down; his voice is heard from below, muffled
One step down! And this ledge broadens out to the right. I could stand there without a hold. I’ll―
His words are cut off by a loud and sudden clap of thunder. At the same time there comes an unearthly shriek from
the clouds: the shriek of a Black Rider, a Nazgûl. Frodo cries out in horror and agony. Sam rushes to the edge and
leans over, dropping his pack to the ground
SAM Master! Master! Master!
FRODO [weakly, from below] All right! All right! I’m here. But I can’t see.
A sheet of hail sweeps down across the scene, obscuring even Sam totally from view
SAM I’m coming down to you.
FRODO [in a stronger voice] No! Wait! You can’t do anything without a rope.
SAM [slaps his forehead] Rope! Ha ha ha!...
He collapses, helpless with laughter, to the ground, his head thrown back into the rain. The storm begins to pass
FRODO [from below, in an annoyed voice] Stop laughing! Are you trying to tell me you’ve got some rope in your pocket? If so, out with it!
SAM Yes, Mister Frodo, in my pack and all. Clean forgot about it!
FRODO Then get busy and let us an end down!
Sam runs to his pack, rummages in it, brings out his rope and throws one end down to Frodo below. He heaves
Frodo up. Frodo scrambles up to the level. The storm clouds gradually begin to lift, and it slowly becomes clearer,
revealing a night sky. A crescent moon hangs over the Emyn Muil. Frodo rises and wanders thoughtfully along the
cliff edge, staring at the mountains which once more grow visible. Sam comes up behind, curling the rope
SAM Now don’t go doing anything silly in the dark, Mister Frodo! And I haven’t got over that scream yet, if you have. Like a Black Rider…But, if you must climb, why not use the rope?
FRODO [with sudden resolution] Make it fast to that stump, then!
SAM Oh, very well! Let’s get it over with!
He ties the rope to a stump near the edge and swings himself over. Frodo continues for a while to stare at the distant
mountains, until at last he turns to follow Sam. As Frodo scrambles over the edge and disappears―carefully
checking the knot―the mists from the back sweep forward to the front of the stage, obscuring the scene. It grows
dark, and the inner curtain falls. At first the vapours remain steady, but they soon begin to swirl upwards, thus
giving the impression of descent from the hills
As the mists slowly clear and the light grows, the area at the foot of the cliff is revealed. Bare ground with a few
tussocks of grass. Near the base of the cliff is a small bush; behind this, a gully runs off right. Sam is holding the
bottom of the rope, down which Frodo is still climbing. Frodo scrambles to the ground and turns to Sam with
FRODO Well! We’ve done it! We’ve escaped from the Emyn Muil! But now―
SAM Ninnyhammers! Noodles! My beautiful rope! As nice a sign for that Gollum as we could leave. Made by Galadriel herself, maybe…Galadriel!...
He pulls at the rope as if in farewell. To his surprise it comes loose and falls down on top of him. He collapses to the
ground, and Frodo rushes forward to help him
FRODO [laughing] Who tied the knot? A good thing that it lasted as long as it did― [He looks up at the cliff, and suddenly jerks Sam’s arm] Look!
FRODO On the cliff!
SAM Snakes and adders! Gollum!
FRODO Sh! he’ll hear you!
Frodo and Sam retreat behind the small bush at the base of the cliff
GOLLUM [from above, descending the cliff] Ach, ss! Cautious, my precious! More haste, less speed, gollum! Where is it, where is it, my precious, my precious? It’s ours, it is, and we wants it! [He comes slowly into view, creeping down the cliff head downwards] The filthy swine, the thieves! Curse them! We hates them―ach!
He falls, but a few feet from the ground. At once Sam dashes from hiding and falls onto him. They struggle together,
but Gollum seizes Sam’s throat and Sam cannot break the hold. Frodo rushes from concealment, drawing his sword.
He grabs Gollum from behind, holding the blade to his neck
FRODO Let go, Gollum! This is Sting. You have seen it before on a time. Let go! Or I’ll cut your throat!
GOLLUM [collapses shivering on the ground] Don’t hurt us! Don’t let them hurt us, they won’t hurt us will they, nice little hobbitses? We’ll be very good, yes, Gollum!
SAM [angrily rising and fingering his neck gently] What are we going to do with him?
Frodo is not listening. He hears instead two voices from the past. He stares unseeingly before him; Gollum and Sam
look at him in amazement
Voice of FRODO What a pity that Bilbo didn’t stab Gollum, when he had the chance!
Voice of GANDALF Pity? It was pity that stayed his hand.
Voice of FRODO I do not feel any pity for Gollum. He deserves death.
Voice of GANDALF Deserves death! I daresay he does. Many that live deserve death, and many that die deserve life…
The voices fade into silence. Frodo lowers his sword and sighs
FRODO Very well. For now that I see him, I pity him.
GOLLUM Yes, wretched we are, precious. Hobbits won’t hurt us, no, precious. We’ll help, yes, gollum. Find them paths in the dark, we will. But where were they going, we wonders?
FRODO You know, Sméagol, or you guess: to Mordor!
GOLLUM Ach, ss! We guessed, yes we guessed, and we didn’t want them to go, did we? Ashes, ashes and dust, and thirst there is: and pits, pits, pits, and Orcses, thousands of Orcses.
FRODO So you’ve been there, and you’re being drawn back, aren’t you?
GOLLUM Yess. Yess. No! Once, by accident it was, wasn’t it, precious? Yes, by accident. But we won’t go back, no, no! [His voice suddenly changes: he collapses flat on the ground, puts his hands to his face, and speaks towards the East, to the right of the stage] Leave me alone, gollum! You hurt me. Oh, my poor hands, gollum! I―we―I―don’t want to go back. I can’t find it. Ach! Not for you! Go away! Don’t look at us! Go to sleep!
FRODO He will not go away or go to sleep at your command, Sméagol, but if you really wish to be free of him again, then you must help us to find a way towards him.
GOLLUM He he he! He’s over there. Always there. Orcs will take you all the way.
FRODO Get up! Now!
GOLLUM [gets up and backs against the cliff] Don’t ask Sméagol! Not now, no! Rest a bit…first…nice hobbits!
FRODO Then sit down, and don’t move!
Gollum slowly settles down flat on the ground, as if for sleep. Frodo and Sam lean back against the cliff, exchanging
meaningful glances. Gollum slowly opens one eyes, looks warily up, and springs away. Sam leaps after him and
grabs his ankle, bringing him to the ground
SAM You’re a nasty treacherous creature!
FRODO Your rope might come in useful again.
Sam brings up his rope, bends down to Gollum and ties his ankle
GOLLUM Ach! It hurts us! Take it off!
FRODO No, I will not take it off, unless you promise―
GOLLUM Sméagol!...Sméagol will swear on the Precious.
FRODO [drawing himself up] On the Precious? How dare you! One Ring to rule them all and in the darkness bind them. Would you commit your promise to that, Sméagol? Beware! It will hold you―but it will twist your words.
GOLLUM On the Precious, on the Precious!
FRODO No! not on it. All you wish is to see it and to touch it, if you can, though you know it would make you mad. Not on it. Swear by it, if you will. For you know where it is. Yes, you know, Sméagol. It is before you.
Gollum falls at his feet, as if in worship
Now speak your promise!
GOLLUM I will serve the Master of the Precious. Good Master, good Sméagol, gollum, gollum! [He tries to bite at the rope round his ankle]
FRODO Take the rope off, Sam!
Sam reluctantly obeys. Gollum, as soon as he is free, springs up and begins dancing about, clicking his fingers
SAM Well, Gollum, we’d better be going.
GOLLUM Yes, come down here!
He skips away to the right, down the gully. Frodo and Sam exchange glances and then follow. From the gully
Gollum’s voice can be heard. As his song progresses this grows steadily fainter and finally fades away. At the same
time dark green fumes rise up and veil the stage. They swirl across the stage, becoming gradually darker
Alive without breath,
as cold as death;
never thirsty, ever drinking,
clad in mail never clinking.
Drowns on dry land,
thinks an island
is a mountain;
thinks a fountain
is a puff of air.
So sleek, so fair!
What a joy to meet!
We only wish to catch a fish,
The stage is totally obscured and darkened
Lights begin to flicker suddenly through the mists. They flash out more and more brightly. In the green flare is seen a
marshy mere. Will-of-the-wisp flickers about. Hardly anything is visible. Gollum, Frodo and Sam appear and begin
to feel their way slowly across the pool
SAM What are they, Gollum?
GOLLUM [leading] The tricksy lights? Candles of corpses, yes, yes. Don’t look at them! Where’s Master?
SAM [turning back] Come on, Mister Frodo! Don’t look at them!
FRODO [dreamily] All right. I’m coming.
Sam turns and makes back towards Gollum, but suddenly trips and falls in the water
SAM Ach! [He wrenches himself up] There are dead things, dead faces in the water!
GOLLUM [turning] The Dead Marshes, yes, yes, that is their name. You should not look in when the candles are lit.
SAM Who…what are they?
FRODO [dreamily] I don’t know…but I have seen them too. They lie in the pools, pale faces, deep under the dark water. I saw grim faces and evil, and noble faces and sad. Many faces proud and fair, and weeds in their silver hair. But all foul, all rotting, all dead. A fell light is in them. I know not who they are.
GOLLUM All dead, yes, all rotten. There was a great battle long ago, for days and months at the Gates. But the marshes have grown since then…creeping, always creeping. You cannot reach them. You cannot touch them. No precious! all dead.
SAM Can’t we get on and get away?
GOLLUM [beginning to lead them on again] Yes, yes, but slowly, slowly…or the hobbits go down to join the dead and light little candles. Follow Sméagol! Don’t look at the lights!
While he has been speaking, the lights have been growing once more fainter. The green smokes gradually obscure
the stage again
The mists have slowly transformed into a grey colour, and now fade away altogether as a yellow veil. High mounds
of crushed and powdered ash, great cones fire-blasted and poisoned earth, stand about. In the foreground lies a
pool choked with ash. On a muddy mound to the left, Frodo and Sam are lying asleep. Below, on the edge of the
pool, Gollum sits staring into the water
GOLLUM Sméagol promised.―Yes, we promised to help the Master: the Master of the Precious. But if we were Master…―But Sméagol said he would be very very good.―Yes, let’s be good, precious, to ourselves.―But the nice hobbit took the rope of Sméagol’s leg.―But he’s a Baggins, my precious. We hates Bagginses. We must have it!―But he’ll see, he’ll know! He’ll take it from us!―He sees, he knows. Must take it, not for him, for ourselves! We wants it! But…not yet, eh? Perhaps not. She might help, yes.―No! not that way!―Yes! we wants it! we wants it!
He rises and scrambles round to Frodo’s head. He stretches out his hands towards the hobbit’s neck, when Sam stirs
suddenly in his sleep
SAM [waking] Wh―what’s the time?
GOLLUM Ss! [He falls sideways, fawning on Sam] Nice hobbits! Nice Sam! Sleepyheads leave Sméagol to watch!
SAM But it’s evening. We should be going. Wake up, Mister Frodo!
FRODO [shaken and waking] Ah! I feel almost refreshed. [He looks beyond Sam at Golluim, and smiles at him] Come! You have guided us well and faithfully. Bring us to the Gate, and you may go.
GOLLUM To the Gate, eh? But it won’t look nice at all, no, no!
SAM Well, let’s get it over!
They rise and get ready to move on. Darkness descends on the scene. After a while the inner curtain rises, and the
lights go up again. Frodo, Sam and Gollum are discovered lying in a similar hollow, but now opposite the Black
The Black Gate is closed. High cliffs lower on every side, and between them is a high rampart of black stone with
two great gates of iron. Above the Gates are two strong towers, with a battlement running between them. To either
side of the Gates roads lead away to south and east. Smoke curls upwards from within the battlements. Sunrise.
Trumpets ring out harshly from the towers; steel glints on the battlements
SAM Well, here’s the Gate! And it looks to me as if that’s about as far as we’re going to get. We can’t go no further.
GOLLUM No, no, we can’t go no further. Sméagol
said so. Sméagol knew.
SAM Then what the plague did you bring us here for?
GOLLUM Master said so: Bring us to the Gate. So Sméagol does so.
FRODO I did say so, because I purpose to enter Mordor, and I shall go this way.
GOLLUM No, no, Master! Don’t take the Precious to him! He’ll eat us if he gets it, eat all the world. Keep it, nice Master; or go away, and give it back to little Sméagol. Sméagol will keep it safe. Hobbits go home. Don’t go to the Gate!
FRODO I am commanded to go to the land of Mordor, and therefore I shall go.
GOLLUM Not this way, Master! There is another way: darker, more secret.
FRODO [suspiciously] Another way?
GOLLUM Sméagol found it. Let Sméagol show you!
FRODO You have not spoken of this before.
GOLLUM Master did not ask. Kind Sméagol always helps.
A sudden fanfare rings out from the tower on the left, answered from the right. The Gates slowly open and a posse of
Orcs march out, taking up a rapid march eastwards towards the right of the stage. Frodo starts up to the edge of the
dell and watches them, then slowly sinks back once more and turns again to Gollum
FRODO Sméagol, I will trust you. Tell me of this way.
Gollum glances anxiously up at the Gates above, and timorously begins
GOLLUM If Master goes along the western road, he will come to a crossing in a circle of dark trees. On the right, a road goes on down to the River; and straight ahead it goes down to the south, yes.
FRODO But what of the other way?
GOLLUM Oh, yes, the road to the left. At once it begins to climb up, up, winding and climbing back towards the tall shadows. When it turns round the black rock, you’ll see it.
SAM See it? What?
GOLLUM The old fortress, very old, very terrible now. Horrible things live there. We used to hear tales from the south when Sméagol was young—yes, there were many tales about the Tower of the Moon.
FRODO That would be Minas Ithil that Isildur the son of Elendil built. But what has it to do with us?
GOLLUM Well, Master, there it was and is: but not beautiful, not now. Very dreadful things live there: the Silent Watchers. But there is another way, a little path leading up into the mountains, and then a long cleft, and then a tunnel, a dark tunnel; and at last a path high above the pass.
SAM [roughly] I don’t like the sound of it. If it’s still there, it’ll be guarded too.
FRODO Is not this way guarded?
GOLLUM Yes, yes, maybe. But there is no other way.
Frodo sits staring at the ground. A distant peal of thunder crackles over the mountains. At last, when Frodo sits up
and looks as though he will answer, a sudden roar of singing breaks out close to them, only just above their heads
MEN OF HARAD
Grey as a mouse,…
SAM What’s that?
MEN OF HARAD
…big as a house,…
Gollum starts up to the edge of the dell to see
…nose like a snake,
I make the earth shake;
They march on: the Gates swing open to meet them
biggest of all,
huge, old and tall.
They pass through the Gates
If ever you’d met me
you wouldn’t forget me;
if you never do,
you won’t think I’m true;
The Gates close behind them with a crash. Their voices are heard behind the scenes
But old Oliphaunt am I,
and I never lie.
GOLLUM [turning] We must move, Master. This place is unsafe.
FRODO Well, Sméagol, I will come with you.
GOLLUM Good Master, wise Master, nice Master! But soft and quick as shadows we must go!
Frodo and Sam gather up their packs. The Curtain falls
The Curtain rises. A glade in Ithilien. To the left, a tree-covered bank slopes upwards to the rear. To the right, a
thicket of fern. In the centre of the stage, Sam sits leaning against the bank. In the fern Frodo lies asleep. Across the
back the mountains are dimly visible. Gollum is sitting on a boulder which lies on the left of the stage below the
bank, looking at the sleeping Frodo. On the extreme right of the clearing, a spring rises. Sunrise. Gollum rises and
turns towards Sam
SAM Hello, Gollum! Is Mister Frodo asleep?
GOLLUM [moving to crawl away into the fern] Yes, Master sleeps.
SAM Hi! Gollum! Where are you going?
SAM Well, old noser, could you find something for a hungry hobbit?
GOLLUM Yes, perhaps. Sméagol always helps.
He crawls away. Sam turns towards the fern and looks at the gently sleeping Frodo
SAM Too thin and drawn he is. Not right for a hobbit.
He sighs deeply and Frodo stirs gently. Sam returns to the clearing. Suddenly there is a crackle in the fern and
Gollum comes out, carrying a dead rabbit in each hand
GOLLUM Sméagol always helps.
He puts the rabbits down by Sam, who rummages in his pack and brings out two pans
SAM Good Gollum! Now I’ve another job for you. Fill these pans with water.
Gollum takes the pans over to the spring. Sam moves to the centre of the stage, building a small fire. Gollum returns
with the water, suddenly sees what Sam is doing, and rushes forward
GOLLUM Ach, sss, no! Mustn’t do it!
SAM Do what?
GOLLUM Not make fire! It burns, it kills! It will bring…sss…enemies.
SAM Don’t see why. Anyway, I’m going to stew these coneys.
GOLLUM Stew the coneys! What for? They are young, they are tender. Eat them, silly hobbit!
SAM Now, now! If you give me a coney, the coney’s mine to eat as I like. Go and eat yours if you like…out of my sight.
The fire is completed and lit. Gollum picks up one of the rabbits and goes off into the fern, grumbling. Sam puts his
rabbit in a pan on the fire, and then goes to wake up Frodo. Frodo rouses himself and sniffs the air
FRODO Hello, Sam! What’s that I can smell?
SAM A rabbit stew from Gollum. It’ll be ready soon—
He breaks off. The fire has caught the fern and blazes up. He rushes back and stamps it out. The sound of a horn is
heard. Frodo and Sam stare at each and dive into the fern. Voices are heard approaching from the right
ANBORN Here is where the smoke came from!
FARAMIR ’Twill be in the fern.
DAMROD We have it trapped!
They stride onstage and begin to beat the bush; Frodo and Sam suddenly leap up, drawing their swords. The men
start back in surprise, also drawing
MABLUNG What have we here?
ANBORN Not Orcs.
FARAMIR Nay! not Elves, for they are fair to look on.
SAM Meaning we’re not, I take you. Thank you kindly. [Faramir laughs] And who are you?
FARAMIR I am Faramir, Captain of Gondor. But declare your errand!
FRODO We are hobbits of the Shire. Frodo, son of Drogo, am I; and this Samwise, son of Hamfast. We are travellers from Rivendell, or Imladris as some call it. [Faramir starts, and grows suddenly intent] Seven companions had we: two men, Aragorn and Boromir—
FARAMIR Boromir, son of the Lord Denethor? What know you of him?
FRODO Are the words known to you that Boromir brought to Rivendell?—
Seek for the Sword that was broken,
In Imladris it dwells?
FARAMIR They are known indeed, and are some token of your truth.
FRODO Aragorn whom I named is the bearer of the Sword that was broken. And we are the Halflings that the rhyme spoke of.
FARAMIR I see that might be so. And what is Isildur’s Bane?
FRODO That…is hidden for the moment.
FARAMIR I must know more of this. [There is a sudden burst of horns in the distance] But at present I am busy engaged. There will be an ambush near at hand ere the day is full. I will leave Mablung and Damrod to guard you. If I return, I will talk to you again.
FRODO May the light shine on your swords!
He and Anborn disappear over the bank. Frodo looks after Faramir, and then turns back to Mablung and Damrod
FRODO For whom are you in ambush?
MABLUNG For the Southrons, curse them!
DAMROD Aye, curse them! For the Enemy has been among them, and they have returned to him.
MABLUNG I doubt not that the days of Minas Tirith are numbered, so great is his strength.
FARAMIR [from the left] Gondor! Gondor!
Sounds of battle come from the left
MEN OF HARAD Ware!—Aid!—Ah!—Mûmak!
FARAMIR, ANBORN and MEN OF GONDOR Faramir!—Ware!—Ithilien!—Valar!
FRODO I wonder where Gollum is?
SAM It sounds like a thousand smiths all smithying together.
DAMROD [leaping up the bank] Some have broken from the trap!
MABLUNG [joining Damrod] They are coming!
A Southron stumbles into the glade from the bank and stands staring at Frodo and Sam in wonderment. Damrod
stabs him in the back
Faramir and his followers return to the glade. At a motion from Faramir some remove the body of the dead
Southron, and then all form a line along the bank. Faramir comes forward alone, and seats himself on a stone
FARAMIR And now, Frodo, of your errand?
FRODO Of that I may not speak; but return to Minas Tirith, and Boromir will explain all when he comes.
FARAMIR So! You were a friend of Boromir’s?
FRODO For my part.
FARAMIR Then you would grieve to know that Boromir is dead?
FRODO I would grieve indeed…Dead? But how do you know?
FARAMIR Night oft brings news to near kindred. Boromir was my brother.—Nine days ere we set out his horn was heard in Minas Tirith: but dim, as an echo in the mind. And on the third night I say by the waters of Anduin, in the dim dark under the young pale moon; and the sad reeds were rustling. Then I saw, or it seemed that I saw, a boat glimmering grey on the water, and a pale light was round it. An awe fell on me, for the boat turned towards me, and it was filled with clear water, from which came the light. And wrapped in the water lay Boromir, my brother, dead. A broken sword was on his knee. And I cried out: but he was gone. The boat passed glimmering on into the night. Dream-like it was, and yet I do not doubt that he is dead and has passed down the River to the Sea.
FRODO Alas! that is Boromir indeed! Go back, Faramir, valiant Captain of Gondor, and defend y our
City while you may!
FARAMIR Indeed we must move hence without delay, for vengeance may come from the hills if we further stay. We are weary. I will take you to a secret refuge of the men of Ithilien, where we may rest.
The scene begins to cover slowly with mist, and the inner curtain descends
The chorus slowly move off to the left. Frodo and Faramir appear to follow: after them comes Sam, then Mablung
and Damrod with Anborn bringing up the rear
FARAMIR I broke off our speech together, because I felt that we were drawing near to matters which should not be discussed openly before my men. Isildur’s Bane —clearly it is a mighty heirloom of some sort. You were not friendly with Boromir, or you did not part in friendship. For I remember of Boromir when a boy, that it always displeased him that his father was not a king. Alas, poor Boromir! But I stray. If this heirloom were a fell weapon, I can well believe that Boromir, ever anxious for glory, might desire such a thing. But fear not! I would not take this thing, if it lay by the highway. I do not ask to know more; but if you trust me, I may aid you.
Sam suddenly swings round, and then turns back
SAM [to himself] I’m not sure of it, and why should I bother about the old villain?...
They halt. A rocky wall appears at the back. Anborn moves off back along the path, and Faramir turns to Frodo
FARAMIR Here, alas, I must blindfold you.
FRODO As you will.
Mablung and Damrod cover their eyes, and lead them off. Darkness covers the scene. The sound of rushing water is
heard, drawing continually closer
The voice of Faramir is heard at the front of the stage
FARAMIR Let them see!
The lights rise, and the interior of a large cave is seen. At the left, a passage leads outside; to the right, the cave
goes further in. Across the back, a large window in the inner curtain looks out through a waterfall, through which
there shines the light of the setting sun. At the back, where the men are unpacking, there is a large table half onto
the stage; to the left, near the front, there is a small table; and at the right there are couches in a recess in the wall.
Faramir, leading the hobbits, has unbound their eyes; they stare about them
This is the Window of the Sunset, Henneth Annûn, fairest of the falls of Ithilien.
He moves to the recess on the right of the cave. The sun sets, and the golden glow fades. Torches are lit. More
soldiers enter. Faramir seats himself on the couch. The hobbits wander over to the left and sit down. Anborn comes
in with a group of scouts
You saw and heard nothing, Anborn?
ANBORN No, lord: no Orc at least. But I saw, or I thought that I saw, something a little strange. It was deep dusk, so perhaps it was no more than a squirrel. But if so, I saw no tail; and I thought I heard it hiss at me from the branches. A large black squirrel, maybe.
Faramir glances at Frodo and Sam suspiciously, makes a remark to Anborn, and then moves over to them. The men
at the back pass largely from the stage; but several sit around at the large table and begin to eat
FARAMIR You may soon desire to sleep; but first let us talk a while.
FRODO Yes. But tell me first of your own fortunes. For I would learn more of Minas Tirith the long-enduring. What hope have you?
Food—some bread and meat—is brought for the hobbits, who eat and listen intently
FARAMIR It is long since we had hope. For the Enemy increases, and we decrease. We are a failing people, a springless autumn. Childless lords sit in ancient halls, musing on heraldry; in secret chambers men compound elixirs, or in high cold towers ask questions of the stars.
Frodo is lost in thought
SAM [with his mouth full] You don’t say much about Elves, sir.
FARAMIR No, indeed, Master Samwise; yet I envy you that you have spoken with the White Lady of Lórien.
SAM [swallowing hard] Galadriel!...Warm as sunlight, cold as frost in stars. Now Boromir— [He stops suddenly and flushes red]
FARAMIR [sharply] Yes? Now Boromir, you would say?
SAM Yes, sir, it’s my opinion that in Lórien he first saw clearly what he wanted: the Enemy’s Ring!
FRODO [coming out of his thoughts too late] Sam!
Sam turns white and gasps
FARAMIR [grimly] So that is the answer to all the riddles! The One Ring, that was thought to have perished from the world! Ha!
He stands up, his eyes glinting. Frodo and Sam knock over their stools and, drawing their swords, leap back to the
walls. All the men in the cave cease eating and stare. All stay still for a moment; then Faramir laughs quietly and
sits down again
Not if it lay by the highway would I take it, I said. Sit at peace!
The hobbits return and sit down cautiously. The men return to their meal
Fear not! Sleep now, in peace, both of you—if you can. But first tell me, if you will, whither you go and what to do.
FRODO [with infinite weariness] I am going…to… Mordor. I must find the…Mountain of Fire…and…cast …the thing…into the Gulf of Doom…
He suddenly collapses into Faramir’s arms. Sam comes forward, and silently they help him to the couch where Sam
lies down beside him. The remaining men finish their meal and disperse, some into the cave and some outside. The
torches are extinguished. All is still and dark, save the moon shining in through the waterfall. There is no
movement. The sound of the waterfall again is heard; all becomes completely dark. Suddenly a beam of light falls
on Frodo’s couch. Faramir is seen bending over him, awakening him
FARAMIR There is a matter on which I desire your counsel. Come!
Silently Frodo rises and follows him out. Sam suddenly stirs and leaps up after them. The light fades. The sound of
the waterfall is heard clearly once more as the inner curtain rises in the darkness
The light returns to disclose the pool at the base of the waterfall. The fall cascades down from the left into a deep
pool, which stretches across the front of the stage. Above the fall rises a high bank, where Anborn stands staring
across the water. Along the back lies a thin strand of sand, with the ground rising behind it covered with thick
undergrowth. The moon is shining behind the trees. Faramir and Frodo enter above left, with Sam lagging behind
FARAMIR Moonset over Gondor. Fair Ithil, as he goes from Middle-earth, glances upon the white locks of old Mindolluin.
He steps up beside Anborn. A small dark creature is seen diving in the pool
Now what is that, Anborn?
ANBORN ’Tis not a squirrel. It seems we are discovered at last. [He draws his bow] Shall I shoot?
FARAMIR [turns to Frodo] Shall we shoot?
FRODO [quickly] No!
FARAMIR Come now, tell me why it should be spared.
FRODO Because he is allured him by a mastering desire.
FARAMIR Does he then know of your burden?
FRODO Indeed yes.
FARAMIR Then…he is pursuing it?
FARAMIR What else could he seek?
FRODO Fish. Look!
From the water Gollum cautiously emerges, carrying a fish in each hand
ANBORN Shall we not shoot, captain?
FARAMIR Wait, Anborn. Now, Frodo, why should we spare?
FRODO He is my guide. Let me go down to him.
FARAMIR Go then! Be swift!
He signals to Anborn, who leads Frodo off left. Silence. Frodo enters slowly below right, with Anborn behind
GOLLUM [to himself] Fissh, nice fish.
FRODO [louder] Sméagol! Come to Master!
GOLLUM No! Master can wait.
FRODO Sméagol, come now! Precious is waiting!
He creeps along the bank towards Frodo, still carrying his fish. Suddenly he catches sight of Anborn in the shadows
There’s something there! Master, master, wicked, tricksy, false!
He suddenly turns on Frodo, but Mablung leaps down behind and grabs him
MABLUNG Hold still!
He ties his hands roughly. Anborn steps down from behind
FRODO Easy, easy! Sméagol! Trust Master!
Gollum turns round and spits at him. Mablung places a hood over his head, and he and Anborn carry him off. The
moon sets and all becomes still. The waterfall roars on. Darkness and silence. The inner curtain falls
The cave of Henneth Annûn, as in Scene Three. Torches are lit once again. The large table has gone, and a high
chair has been placed in the recess in which Faramir sits grimly. Frodo and Sam enter anxiously, Frodo from
outside and Sam from within. As they meet, Gollum, bound, is brought in by Mablung and Anborn
SAM Got him?
FRODO Yes, I’m afraid.
FARAMIR Bring the prisoner to me.
Gollum is brought forward and the hood is removed from his eyes
GOLLUM Loose us! Loose us!
FARAMIR Unbind him, Frodo!
Frodo loosens Gollum’s bonds
Come hither! Look at me! Have you been here before?
GOLLUM Never came here; never come here again.
FARAMIR [to Frodo] Are you satisfied?
FARAMIR Then I surrender this creature, Sméagol, to your protection. This is my doom. As for you, Frodo, I declare you free. [Frodo bows low; Faramir turns sternly towards Gollum] And may death find you swiftly, in Gondor or without, if you do not well serve your master. Whither were you leading him? [Gollum is silent] Answer me!
FRODO I will answer. He said there is a path near to Minas Ithil.
FARAMIR Minas Morgul. Do you know the name of the pass?
FARAMIR It is called Cirith Ungol. [to Gollum] Is it not?
GOLLUM No. Yess!...There is no other way.
FARAMIR How do you know?...Take him away, Anborn. [Gollum is led away] Frodo, I do not think you should go to Cirith Ungol.
FRODO What do you know of this place?
FARAMIR Nothing certain; but there is some dark terror that dwells in the pass.
FRODO But where else will you lead me?
FARAMIR I know not. It is a hard doom and a helpless errand. But at least beware of this Sméagol. He has done murder before now; I read it in him. Now hasten while you may! If you are ready, you should go.
Sam goes and picks up the packs from against the wall. Mablung and Damrod wait to lead them out of the cave.
Gollum is brought after them
FRODO [bowing low] Farewell!
FARAMIR Go, with the good will of all good men!
The sun rises, and the fall becomes a curtain of living fire. As Frodo and Sam leave, Faramir walks over to the fall
and stares out. His silhouette is still starkly visible as the Curtain falls
The Curtain rises. The Cross Roads are revealed before the inner curtain. Four roads meet beneath a circle of dark
fir trees. It is dusk, and all is still. At one side, in deep shadow, stands a gnarled statue of an ancient king of Gondor.
Frodo, Sam and Gollum cautiously approach
FRODO [to Gollum] Do you know where we are?
GOLLUM Yes, Master: dangerous places—the Cross Roads, yes. This is the road from the Tower of the Moon down to the ruined city by the River. We must go east now, away up there. [He indicates the road eastward: as he does so a dull rumble of thunder echoes from the mountains] Make haste! Be silent!
Suddenly there is a violent flash of lightning. In it the gaunt statue in the shadow stands suddenly out. On its brow
there sits a crown of trailing plants, set with stonecrop gleaming in the king’s hair. Another violent flash of
FRODO Look, Sam! the king has got a crown again!
Another flash of lightning, followed by a nearer rumble of thunder
They cannot conquer for ever!
He stands looking at the gnarled face in the lightning flashes. Gollum suddenly rushes back and pulls him on
GOLLUM We must go! Make haste!
Another violent flash of lightning tears across the stage. It becomes dark. A storm is brewing and growing closer
The inner curtain rises. The storm is reaching its height. On the near side of the stage, a narrow path threads its
way; below, it drops into a deep chasm. On the far right, the gate of the ghostly city of Minas Morgul, the Tower of
the Moon. Across from the gate, a bridge springs to the path on the nearer side of the chasm. Gollum leads Frodo
and Sam along the path
GOLLUM This way! This way!
He leads them past the bridge and into the shadows on the far left
FRODO I must rest a while, Sam.
GOLLUM Ssh! Not here, no! Eyes will see us! Come away!
Frodo wearily struggles to his feet, when suddenly a violent crash of thunder shakes the ground. Trumpets ring out
from the city is increasing frenzy. A great red flash leaps into the sky from behind the mountains. A flare of vivid
lightning with forks of blue flame rises from the city. The gate swings open
CREATURES of MINAS MORGUL
Ash nazg durbatulûk,
ash nazg gimbatul,
ash nazg thrakatulûk
agh burzum-ishi krimpatul.
The three travellers collapse to the ground. From the city, heralded by trumpets, ride the nine Ringwraiths at the
head of a large army. As these Nazgûl reach the head of the bridge, their leader stops and looks along the path. As
his glance falls upon the shadow where the hobbits lie hid, Frodo’s hand trembles and then moves slowly to the
Ring. He grips Sam’s shoulder, and Sam helps him to return his hand to its normal position. At that moment the Lord
of the Ringwraiths turns his horse westward and spurs it on. The army pours forth after him. As the final posse of
Orcs march off, Sam pulls Frodo’s arm
SAM Come on, Mister Frodo!
GOLLUM [hissing from the deepest shadow] Make haste! Make haste!
Frodo rises. The glow of the city dies as the thunderstorm fades away. There is silence as it becomes dark again. The
inner curtain falls
Higher up the pass. Frodo and Sam are lying on the ground, resting in the gloom; Gollum is lying down slightly
further away. Suddenly from high above a red glow springs up. Gradually more are seen, and the shadow of a tall
black tower is outlined at the crest of the path above. Sam pulls Frodo towards him; Frodo looks and nods
SAM [to Gollum] So this secret way of yours is guarded after all!
GOLLUM All ways are watched, of course. But hobbits must try some way.
SAM [to Frodo] There’s a wicked feeling about this place. And a smell…do you notice it?
FRODO I like nothing here: step or stone, breath or bone. Earth, air and water, all seem accursed. But so our path is laid.
At the back Gollum slowly stalks away up the path, unseen by Sam or Frodo. The hobbits sink down into their own
thoughts. All is still. Suddenly Sam looks up again
SAM Gollum—now where’s he gone?
SAM I don’t like his sneaking off without saying.
FRODO It’s no good worrying: if he’s false, he’s false.
SAM All the same, I’d rather have him under my eye. All the more so, if he’s false. Do you remember he would never say if this pass was guarded? And now we see a tower there. Mark my words: if ever we get to the pass, he won’t let us take his Precious over the border without some kind of trouble.
FRODO Yes, just biding his time and waiting on chance.
SAM I’d be dearly glad to see you have a sleep, master. I’d keep watch.
FRODO Sleep!...Yes, even here I could sleep.
SAM Sleep then, master! lay your head in my lap.
Frodo settles down and falls immediately into a deep untroubled sleep. Sam watches over him gently, but
slowly he too falls asleep. There is silence. Then slowly Gollum creeps back down the pass. He looks at them, with
pain in his eyes. He shudders, and peers back up the pass, shaking his head as if engaging in some inner debate.
Then he moves forward again and touches Frodo’s hand caressingly. Sam suddenly awakens
SAM Hey, you! What are you doing?
GOLLUM [gently] Nothing, nothing…Nice master!
SAM Where have you been sneaking off to, anyway?
Gollum suddenly starts, as if he had been struck; a green fire lights in his eyes
GOLLUM Sneaking, sneaking! O nice hobbits! Sméagol is tired and thirsty; he guides them up secret ways, and they say sneak, sneak. O yes my precious, very nice.
SAM But where have you been to?
GOLLUM [with a hiss] Sneaking.
SAM [bending over Frodo] Wake up, Mister Frodo!
FRODO [stirring] It’s still dark.
SAM It’s always dark here. But Gollum’s come back, so we must be going on. The last lap.
FRODO The last lap!...But tell me, Sméagol, can we find the rest of the way by ourselves?
GOLLUM O no! there’s the tunnel coming. Sméagol must go on. No rest for Sméagol. Not yet.
They rise; the light at once fades. Sulphurous fumes rise and conceal the stage
The fumes still cover much of the stage, but lift enough to disclose the entrance to a dark tunnel. Frodo, Sam and
Gollum stand before it
SAM Ugh! that smell!
GOLLUM This is the way in. This is the tunnel.
FRODO Is this the only way?
GOLLUM Yes, we must go this way now.
FRODO Well, we must take it.
He passes inside. Immediately the stage becomes totally black. Absolutely nothing is visible. There is silence, but
growing tension. Suddenly Sam whispers
SAM There’s more than one passage here. It’s as orc-like a place as ever there could be!
FRODO Which way has Gollum gone? Sméagol! Sméagol!
SAM He’s really gone this time, I fancy.
FRODO This is blocked. Right or wrong, we must take the other.
SAM And quick! I can feel something looking at us.
Suddenly there is audible a gurgling bubbling sound, and a long venomous hiss
Master, master! the star-glass! A light in dark places, it was to be!
FRODO Why yes!
Slowly he draws out the Phial of Galadriel. A light shines out from it
Aiya Eärendil Elenion ancalima!
Slowly behind them two great clusters of eyes are delineated, glowing with a deadly flame. Sam turns to flee in
horror, but Frodo seizes his arm
Stand! Stand! Running is no use!
Slowly the eyes creep nearer
He raises the Phial on high, and draws his sword. Then, slowly and steadily, he walks down towards the eyes.
Gradually they grow dimmer and vanish; they turn away and a great bulk, beyond reach of the light, heaves itself in
SAM Master, master! stars and glory! Now let’s get out of this foul hole—ugh!
Frodo comes up behind him, and holds the light up to the new obstacle
Cobwebs! But what a spider! Have at ’em!
He slashes at the web three times before one cord breaks
It will take days to clear the road like this! Have the eyes come back?
FRODO No, not to be seen; but if the light failed, they would soon come again.
SAM Trapped in the end!
FRODO Come! Let us see what Sting can do! It is an Elven blade. Here! Take the glass and watch!
Sam takes the glass. Frodo draws his sword, steps up to the web, and with one stroke cleaves a great gash through
it. After several strokes the web is shattered and Frodo steps through
Come on! On! The pass, Sam! Let’s run, run and we’ll be through before anyone can stop us!
He dashes off right through the web. Sam scrambles through after him. As the star-glass vanishes all becomes dark
The mists have now dispersed, and the area of the stage is clearly lit with a dim twilight. The highest point of the
pass is very close and is visible in the background. The exit to the lair is on the extreme left, and next to it is another
cave. At the extreme right a high pinnacle of rock reaches up. Frodo rushes out of the tunnel at the far left. He
breathes deeply, and then sets out to run the short distance to the head of the pass. Suddenly from the other cave a
monstrous creature in spider-form squeezes her monstrous body out into the light. Frodo is unaware of her presence,
and she sets out after him. Sam rushes out of the tunnel and cries out
SAM Look, Mister Frodo, look out! I’m—
Suddenly Gollum rushes out from the other tunnel and grabs Sam’s neck
GOLLUM Got him! We takes this one, Shelob takes the other. O yes, Sméagol promised; but he’s got you, you nassty filthy little sneak!
Frodo, from behind the outcrop of rock on the right, gives a sudden scream. Sam jumps and drives his elbow into
Gollum’s stomach. Gollum, winded, lets go and springs back; Sam draws his sword and Gollum, with a squeal, leaps
back into the tunnel. Sam dashes after him, and then suddenly turns
SAM Master! Master!
He rushes back up the pass when suddenly Shelob reappears from behind the rock, pulling Frodo whom she has
already bound, after her. Sam, with a shout, leaps over and stabs her in one of the eyes. The monster, with a great
hiss, knocks him over beneath her. Sam, crushed beneath the weight of her body, suddenly sees Frodo’s sword
lying on the ground. He seizes it and with a mighty thrust stabs her beneath. She leaps up with a great bubbling cry
and jumps clear. Sam rouses himself, his sword in his hand
A Elbereth Gilthoniel,
o menel palan-díriel
le nallon si di ’nguruthos!
A tiro nîn, Fanuilos!
Now come, you filth!
He draws the star-glass out from beneath his cloak, and its light leaps into the air with a flash like a white torch.
Shelob gives a great scream and backs away. Sam, holding the Phial aloft, forces her back and back, with the
sword still in his right hand. Shelob suddenly turns and rushes back into the tunnel. Sam is left alone; slowly he
turns back towards Frodo, lying motionless on the ground
Master, dear master! Frodo, Mister Frodo, don’t leave me here alone! Wake up, Mister Frodo, wake up! Ach! [He suddenly stops] He’s dead!...Not asleep, dead!
He casts his hood over his head and falls onto the ground, convulsed with weeping
What shall I do, what shall I do? Not leave Mister Frodo dead, and go home? Or…go on? Go on? And leave him?
Going to Frodo, he composes his body, and wraps the cloak of Lothlórien around him
What am I to do?...See it through…What, we go alone to the Crack of Doom? Me take the Ring? Let me see now…The war’s begun…No time to go back…Then take It, and go!
He bends down slowly and draws the Ring from around Frodo’s neck
Goodbye, my dear master! Forgive your Sam! Rest you in quiet; and may no foul creature come anigh you!
He bows his own head and places the Ring on its chain about it. Slowly he rises and raises the Phial on high. Then
he turns, places the Phial within his cloak, and turns towards the cleft of the pass. Suddenly a voice is heard on the
far side of the summit
SHAGRAT Ya hoy, my lads!
ORCS of CIRITH UNGOL Ya hoy!
SAM [reels back against the cliff] I am caught…How can I save the Ring?...the Ring…
He slowly draws the Ring from off his neck and places it on his finger
SHAGRAT Ya hoy! ya herri hoy!
He appears through the pass at the head of a posse of Orcs. Suddenly, with a cry, another posse issues from the
tunnel. Sam cowers back against the rock, but the Orcs pass by
SHAGRAT Hola! Gorbag, you lubber! What are you doing up here?
GORBAG Orders, so speak civil!
ORCS of MINAS MORGUL Ya hai! hai!
ORCS of CIRITH UNGOL Hai! hola! A spy!
All the ORCS A spy!
They rush down upon the body of Frodo, lying on the path. Sam suddenly starts out, as the last Orc passes. Rapidly
the Orcs raise the body and carry it off into the tunnel
ORCS Ya hoy! ya herri hoy! Up! up!
SHAGRAT Now off! Back to the Under Gate!
Sam rushes into the tunnel after them. It becomes once again completely dark
All is dark but the voices of the Orcs can still be heard
ORCS Ya hoy! ya herri hoy! Up! up! Ya hoy!
GORBAG Can’t you stop your rabble making such a racket, Shagrat?
SHAGRAT Wait a bit; there’s a place we can talk a bit, while the lads go on.
ORCS [dying away] Ya hoy! ya herri hoy!...
Torches are lit by the Orcs; Shagrat and Gorbag take one. As the other Orcs move off, Shagrat and Gorbag halt. As
they talk, Sam is seen hovering on the edge of the conversation, invisible to them
GORBAG When were you ordered out?
SHAGRAT About an hour ago; I came at once.
GORBAG I was ordered out a day ago from Lugbúrz. But in the meantime enemies have got up the Stairs. What are you for?
SHAGRAT All right, don’t try and teach me my job. My lads saw Shelob on the go. I thought her sneak—
GORBAG Her sneak? What’s that?
SHAGRAT Must have seen him: thin little fellow, like a spider himself. Anyway, my lads said her Ladyship was having fun, and that was good enough till the message came. But she got him in the end, didn’t she?
GORBAG Got him—this little one? But there was more than one. Who cut the cords she put around him, Shagrat? Who stuck a pin into her Ladyship? Same one, I reckon. And where is he? Where is he, Shagrat? By all the signs, I’d say there’s a warrior loose in your bounds, and you’ve never even spotted him!
SHAGRAT We’ll see. Come on now! Let’s go and look at the prisoner!
GORBAG What are you going to do with him? If there’s any game—
SHAGRAT None of that! All trespassers are wanted by Lugbúrz safe and whole.
GORBAG You’ll find that difficult. He’s nothing but carrion now.
SHAGRAT You fool! Carrion! Is that all you know of her Ladyship? When she binds with cords, she’s after meat. She doesn’t suck cold blood; this fellow isn’t dead!
Sam reels against the rock wall, faint with shock
Nar, he’ll wake up in a few hours; he’ll be all right. Or would be, if Lugbúrz would let him alone.
GORBAG This is going to be more funny than I thought. Let’s go!
SHAGRAT There’s to be no fun, I tell you!
GORBAG [laughing] All right!
They begin to move on again, leaving Sam faint against the wall
SAM May I be forgiven! I knew it in my heart. Now I’ve got to get back to him. Somehow, somehow!
SHAGRAT [some way ahead] I’m going to put him in the topmost chamber. I don’t trust you, when you’re mad for fun. He’ll be safe up there.
Sam suddenly springs to his feet and rushes after them. As he does so, a door suddenly opens in the tunnel wall and
Shagrat and Gorbag pass through
SAM Come on, Sam, or you’ll be too late!
The Orcs come running down to meet Shagrat and Gorbag
ORCS Ya hoy! ya herri hoy! ya hoy!...
The gates shut with a great crash. Sam hurls himself against them and falls senseless to the ground. It is totally dark
again. The Curtain falls
THE BLACK GATE IS CLOSED Suites Nos 1-3
The Black Gate is closed has many faults of dramatic pacing and orchestral balance; but some parts of the score were always too good to be lost, and one section (the Prelude to the Third Act, which opens the third of these Suites), found its way substantially unchanged into The Children of Húrin. In these suites, too, there may be seen the original germs for themes that were afterwards developed in a different manner and subsequently incorporated into later work.
The original version of the motif of the Ring had already been rhythmically and melodically altered, whilst retaining its original harmonic outline, some three years later when it found its way into The Hobbit and from there, later again, into the Akallabêth and Beren and Lúthien. Gollum’s theme also found its way, melodically changed, into The Hobbit; but the ‘hobbit’ theme itself was not changed at all. Although the ‘Sauron’ motif used in The Hobbit and Beren and Lúthien also derived from work in The Black Gate is closed, it only figures briefly in the Suites, and in both cases in a slightly changed rhythmic form. There is also a hint of the Shelob theme which later (in a rhythmically changed version) became the theme for Ungoliant in Fëanor.
At the original time of writing the instrumentation of the Suites was reduced for a normal-sized orchestra. The passages chosen for inclusion were largely the orchestral interludes between scenes, and as such do not give a completely rounded impression of the opera as a whole; but each of the suites does present, in chronological order, sections from each of the individual Acts. As such they may be fairly said to give an overview of that section of the complete work. There are some brief extracts from the vocal sections (the Fisherman’s song is one; another is the Oliphaunt chorus), where the vocal parts have been rescored into the orchestra.
The full orchestration of the original suites was never completed, having the same lacunae as the full score from which they derived; this was rectified when they were extracted for publication in 1998. At the same time some alterations were made to the barring of the original, and some minor amendments were made to the orchestration. The temptation to alter various of the themes to what might be regarded as their more ‘familiar’ later guises was, however, resisted.