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Journey to the Cross-Roads

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Journey to the Cross-Roads
Chapter of The Two Towers
EventFrodo, Sam and Gollum traverse North Ithilien
Date810 March T.A. 3019
LocationHenneth Annûn, North Ithilien, Morgul Vale, Cross-roads
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The Stairs of Cirith Ungol  >

Journey to the Cross-Roads is the seventh chapter of the fourth book in The Two Towers.

[edit] Summary

On 8 March T.A. 3019, Faramir bids farewell to Frodo and Sam as the Hobbits continue their journey into Mordor. He warns them to beware of the territory nearby, and never to drink from any of the waters flowing out of Imlad Morgul, the Valley of Living Death. Faramir presents Frodo and Sam with packed food for their journey, as well as staves to support them in their fatigue. Gollum is brought out of captivity, and all three are blindfolded as they are taken out of Faramir’s hideaway.

As the journey continues, Gollum reports that the area is dangerous and full of watching eyes. Frodo asks whether a dark shape in the distance is the Morgul Vale. Gollum answers that it is indeed the valley, and says that they must move quickly to a place called the Cross-roads.

One night, Frodo and Sam awaken to find Gollum gone. Sam expresses relief that they are finally free of him, but Frodo reminds him of the help Gollum has given them in the past. Sam is suspicious, believing Gollum to be capable of tricks. Meanwhile, the atmosphere is changing; the daylight is somewhat dark and the air feels heavy and warm.

It is 10 March and on the afternoon, Gollum wakes Frodo and Sam with an urgent entreaty to get moving as soon as possible. He directs them eastward, up a slope to the Southward Road, which leads to the place he calls the Cross-roads. Gollum asserts that this is the only way to go.

As they proceed toward the Southward Road, they spot a headless statue of one of the ancient kings of Gondor, now desecrated with graffiti. Sam finds the head lying nearby, a crown of golden flowers growing on it. Frodo comments that the forces of the evil Sauron cannot hold sway forever in the realm.