Literature Study GuidesThe Lord Of The RingsThe Return Of The King Book 6 Chapter 5 Summary

The Lord of the Rings | Study Guide

J.R.R. Tolkien

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The Lord of the Rings | The Return of the King (Book 6, Chapter 5) : The Steward and the King | Summary

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Summary

As Aragorn and his army set out for their march on Mordor, uncertainty reigns in Minas Tirith. Faramir, now the Steward of the city, is still recovering in the Houses of Healing. Éowyn is also there, and over time, the two fall in love and decide to marry.

Eventually, Aragorn and his forces return, their mission accomplished. Faramir greets Aragorn ceremoniously and declares, "one has come to claim the kingship," and asks the people if they will have Aragorn as their king. They will, and Aragorn is crowned king.

Time passes as Aragorn seems to be waiting for something else to happen. One day, he goes with Gandalf into the mountains, and finds there a sapling of the White Tree. He plants this sapling in Minas Tirith to replace the dead one there. On Midsummer's Eve, Elves arrive from Rivendell and Lothlórien, including Elrond and his daughter Arwen. Aragorn and Arwen are married.

Analysis

Although the quest of the Ring is over, Aragorn's coronation and marriage to Arwen are important milestones in his life's story. Some readers have noted that the story seems to have several "endings," and in some ways it does break with convention by including such a long, drawn-out falling action and resolution. Yet to Tolkien, the characters he includes in The Lord of the Rings have their own stories, and the kingship of Aragorn, closing the Third Age and ushering in the next one, the Age of Men, is an important turning point in the mythology as a whole.

Appendix A contains a more complete telling of the romance of Arwen and Aragorn.

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