Lord of the Rings - Argonath Page
... Slowly the sky above grew lighter, and then suddenly the
clouds broke, and their draggled fringes trailed away northward
up the River. The fogs and mists were gone. Before the
travellers lay a wide ravine, with great rocky sides to which
clung, upon shelves and in narrow crevices, a few thrawn trees.
The channel grew narrower and the River swifter. Now they were
speeding along with litle hope of stopping or turning, whatever
they might meet ahead. Over them was a lane of pale-blue sky,
around them the dark overshadowed River, and before them, black,
shutting out the sun, the hills of Emyn Muil, in which no opening
could be seen.
Frodo, peering forward, saw in the distance two great rocks approaching: like great pinnacles or pillars of stone they seemed. Tall and sheer and ominous they stood upon either side of the stream. A narrow gap appeared between them, and the River swept the boats towards it.
"Behold the Argonath, the Pillars of the Kings!" cried Aragorn. "We shall pass them soon. Keep the boats in line, and as far apart as you can! Hold the middle of the stream!"
|As Frodo was borne towards them, the great pillars rose like towers to meet him. Giants they seemed to him, vast grey figures silent but threatening. Then he saw that they were indeed shaped and fashioned: the craft and power of old had wrought upon them, and still they preserved, through the suns and rains of forgotten years, the mighty likenesses in which they had been hewn. Upon great pedestals founded in the deep waters stood two great kings of stone: still with blurred eyes and crannied brows they frowned upon the North. The left hand of each was raised palm outwards in gesture of warning; in each right hand there was an axe; upon each head there was a crumbling helm and crown. Great power and majesty they still wore, the silent wardens of a long-vanished kingdom. Awe and fear fell upon Frodo, and he cowered down, shutting his eyes and not daring to look up as the boat drew near. Even Boromir bowed his head as the boats whirled by, frail and fleeting as little leaves, under the enduring shadow of the sentinels of Númenor. So they passed into the dark chasm of the Gates.|
Sheer rose the dreadful cliffs to unguessed heights on either
side. Far off was the dim sky. The black waters roared and
echoed, and a wind screamed over them. Frodo, crouching over his
knees, heard Sam in front muttering and groaning: "What a place!
What a horrible place! Just let me get out of this boat, and
I'll never wet my toes in a puddle again, let alone a river!"
"Fear not!" said a strange voice behind him. Frodo turned and saw Strider, and yet not Strider; for the weatherworn Ranger was no longer there. In the stern sat Aragorn son of Arathorn, proud and erect, guiding the boat with skilful strokes; his hood was cast back, and his dark hair was blowing in the wind, a light was in his eyes: a king returning from exile to his own land.
"Fear not!" he said. "Long have I desired to look upon the likenesses of Isildur and Anárion, my sires of old. Under their shadow, Elessar, the Elfstone, son of Arathorn of the House of Valandil, Isildur's son, heir of Elendil, has nought to dread!"
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