Unto the ending of the world

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Story Summary

Dark AU, diverging from the end of the Two Towers: Sauron regains his Ring in Ithilien, and a very bleak world emerges for those who survive the Ringwar to make their way in. Warning for character deaths.

Latest update: chapter 41, News.



Chapter List

Ch# Title Words Com. Updated
1 Palantír 1,689 2 27 Feb 10
2 The Crownless 4,163 1 27 Feb 10
3 Council 3,135 0 18 Jul 11
4 Stand 3,787 6 27 Feb 10
5 Fall 3,459 3 27 Feb 10
6 Loss 2,656 1 15 Oct 10
7 Retreat 3,319 0 15 Oct 10
8 Escape 4,548 0 15 Oct 10
9 Ride 4,584 0 15 Oct 10
10 Allies 6,222 0 15 Oct 10
11 Vigilance 4,042 2 30 Jul 09
12 Ranger 3,644 0 06 Oct 09
13 Alarm 4,931 0 23 Jan 10
14 Tidings 6,456 0 01 Mar 10
15 Fish 3,261 0 15 Apr 10
16 Catch 3,354 0 01 Jun 10
17 Home 5,865 0 14 Jul 10
18 Patrol 4,406 0 02 Sep 10
19 Queen 5,462 5 15 Oct 10
20 Captain 9,274 0 01 Dec 10
21 Ashes 2,601 1 10 Apr 11
22 Report 3,673 0 22 Apr 11
23 Relief 4,314 1 18 Jul 11
24 Chieftain 7,680 0 13 Sep 11
25 Hunt 5,072 1 13 Nov 11
26 Commission 4,087 0 01 Jan 12
27 Sleep 5,362 1 25 Feb 12
28 Silence 976 2 15 Apr 12
29 Feast 3,117 1 29 May 12
30 Wake 1,433 0 12 Jul 12
31 Watch 2,105 1 12 Jul 12
32 Impression 4,033 2 30 Aug 12
33 Ring of Doom 4,235 2 21 Oct 12
34 Rest 2,268 1 05 Jan 13
35 Earth 2,662 1 22 Feb 13
36 Wind 4,499 3 19 Aug 13
37 Fire 5,709 2 22 Sep 13
38 Birthday 3,482 2 30 Nov 13
39 Need 1,498 3 07 Jan 14
40 Questions 3,547 4 29 Aug 14
41 News 1,090 2 31 Oct 14
42 Timeline 1,253 0 29 Aug 14
43 Notes 1,392 4 30 Nov 13
Appx. Word Count 164,345 54  



WARNING! Comments may contain spoilers for a chapter or story. Read with caution.

Unto the ending of the world

Skeeve - 31 Dec 07 - 11:00 PM

General Comment

I hope you keep going with this story, it's excellent. A very believable account of how things might have been.

A couple of questions, though...

Why does the breaching of the gates of MT happen much later than the arrival of the Rohirrim? It's been awhile since I read ROTK, but I seem to remember that the sound of Grond pounding on the gates was the impetus for Theoden's charge.

And I thought Denethor was already possessed by the Palantir (and Faramir out of action) at about the same time.

Minor quibbles, though (and it is AU, after all). A very well done piece, and I hope to read more of it in the future.

Unto the ending of the world

Nath - 01 Jan 08 - 1:37 AM

General Comment

Hi Skeeve!

Thank you for reading. I'm glad you're enjoying it.

And yes, there will be more. I can't quite promise when, but a number of chapters beyond what there is now already exist in various stages of draft.

And good questions... I'll try to answer them without giving away spoilers.

Why does the breaching of the gates of MT happen much later than the arrival of the Rohirrim?

Much later indeed... the next day even... I'll try and get the timeline so far in shape to post it (so don't get too excited at the next update Wink )

Sauron's plan of attack isn't the same as in the book. For a start, since he is certain that Aragorn doesn't have the Ring, he can deploy the Nazgûl differently, so it's not the Witchking in charge of the attack on Minas Tirith (this is technically a spoiler, but I had already given that one away...).

And I thought Denethor was already possessed by the Palantir (and Faramir out of action) at about the same time.

Correct, but keeping Denethor alive is an important part of the divergences from the book. The major point of divergence is that Frodo isn't captured by Faramir, but panics and runs. The other one is of course Aragorn using the palantír a second time.

One of the effects of Frodo running is that Faramir doesn't go against Denethor's wishes in letting him go free, and therefore both he and Denethor are in a better mood in the next few days. No "Do you wish then that our places had been exchanged?" conversation... With the attack on Minas Tirith going differently, Faramir isn't wounded or stricken with the Black Breath, so Denethor doesn't use the palantír at that point (just as well, with Sauron holding the Ring) and doesn't fall into despair.

Unto the ending of the world

Akatsukami - 07 Aug 10 - 7:09 PM

General Comment

Have you read John Reilly's take on Sauron regaining the Ring?  http://www.johnreilly.info/tghtop.htm

Unto the ending of the world

Nath - 07 Aug 10 - 7:59 PM

General Comment

Akatsukami, no, I hadn't heard of him before; and it looks interesting, though I won't read more than the bit of the first chapter I just saw before I finish this story, in case we're thinking in similar directions. But definitely thanks for the reading tip Grin

Unto the ending of the world

Sirannon - 03 Sep 10 - 2:55 AM

General Comment

Thank you, Nath for another chapter. Faramir is my favorite character, and it is nice to see him do what he does best. I wonder whether Sqauron is sending further forces towards Lorien. It is hard to see how anything can turn out for the better at this point. I'm really looking forward to the continuation.

Unto the ending of the world

Aiwendiel - 18 Oct 11 - 7:07 PM

General Comment

I've been periodically catching up on this tale for some time. This is a chilling and thrilling version of fate gone awry, all too easY to imagine the moment of chance that led to this terrible divergence. But you have woven this AU work brilliantly. I look forward to retreading and delving into the richness and detail, the characters, and to follow the many thread of mystery yet unfolding. Thanks for this excellent piece, Nath!

Unto the ending of the world

helga - 22 Nov 12 - 8:40 PM

General Comment

A very engaging story with insightful characterizations, in which Denethor gets to say "I told you so..."  Actually, he hasn't really said that (yet), but I bet thought it!  - and a nerve-wracking Gandalf who may or may not be subject to certain influences through his possession of a ring of power.    Very interesting take on what would happen if The Quest failed; all is not automatically trashed by the enemy, and in keeping with one of JRRT's major themes, it's hinted that "there is always a chance of the unexpected happening," folks have faced worse situations in the past.  

Unto the ending of the world

Nath - 25 Nov 12 - 5:38 AM

General Comment

Hi Helga,

I'm as good as certain Denethor thought "I told you so." Who, me?

Glad you're enjoying it so far:)

Unto the ending of the world

helga - 03 Dec 12 - 11:08 PM

General Comment

Yow,  there were, indeed, some surprises, most of them heart-rending and very insightful charaterizations.  

 I definitely did not see  the Mirkwood fatalities coming (although maybe I should have guessed more of the major characters would be picked off here and there).  And it's carried out beautifully  - the pacing is perfect, you keep the reader on the edge of her  seat, not knowing if this little sliver of hope means the character might pull through or - well, but in the last chapter, that other guy didn't make it.. .

 I would never have guessed who the Presence was (nor did I figure out who/what the Mariner was in Hands of the King, so thank you for answering two questions).  I think both major and lesser characters have been very well fleshed out, with some very touching characterizations.

Arwen is another nice surprise - really perceptive insights into what she might have been thinking, what her choice might mean, what options are still left to her.  Best, her resolve to actively resist - this is a nice added touch that really deepens her character.

I had to laugh at poor Saruman.  I w as kind of right, he kind of reformed, kind of, at least kind of a little.

Now it looks like you might not be finished?  I hope not.  A lot of things are left hanging, and one wants to know how things turn out.

More guesses/predictions (ridiculous to not exactly sublime):

- Elfhelm must die; seriously, you can't expect Faramir not to annoy his father by marrying a barbarian and giving Hurin a nervous breakdown.

- Arwen is gonna kick some major Sauron butt, and Gollum is gonna help out in some way he probably won't like.

- Saruman will get what's coming to him, almost, but will also be offered mercy.  He and Boromir's ghost are sent to work with underprivileged students at a school run by Rhadaghast.

- And where IS Rhadaghast?  He's out there, somewhere, as far as the reader knows.....

Unto the ending of the world

Nath - 04 Dec 12 - 11:06 AM

General Comment

Hi Helga,

Thank you for the comment - I'm glad I solved the mystery of the Mariner for you Wink

Rest assured, it doesn't end here... I'm a bit stuck on getting the next few chapters into shape, but the main outline is there in greater or lesser detail right to the end (I try to tell myself I'm about halfway through, but then I remember that I thought it was going to be about 75000 words when I started).

Those are some interesting guesses... and anything that gives Hurin a nervous breakdown is a good idea, even if it means I'd have to find a way to get Faramir and ElfhelmEowyn together Who, me?

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Story Information

Author: Nath

Status: General

Completion: Work in Progress

Era: 3rd Age - Ring War

Genre: Drama

Rating: General

Last Updated: 10/31/14

Original Post: 06/16/07

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Playlists Featuring the Story

Different roads - 9 stories - Owner: Nath
My AU stories (mostly short) gathered in one place - I could explain here that I like seeing how changing one thing can affect everything that happens after, but perhaps it's just that I like breaking things ;-)
Included because: Dark AU in which Sauron has regained the Ring. Not a pleasant place for his opponents... (Story still in progress)

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