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Things of Middle-earth

Over the land there lies a long shadow

Type: Songs & Stories

Other Names:
the words of the seer
The Paths of the Dead
Malbeth the Seer's Words (LoTR index only)


A prophesy made before the fall of Arnor, foretelling that an Heir of Isildur would take the Paths of the Dead in a time of crisis; made by Malbeth the Seer more than a millennium before Aragorn fulfilled it.
"Thus spoke Malbeth the Seer, in the days of Arvedui, last king at Fornost,' said Aragorn:
Over the land there lies a long shadow,
westward reaching wings of darkness.
The Tower trembles; to the tombs of kings
doom approaches. The Dead awaken;
for the hour is come for the oathbreakers;
at the Stone of Erech they shall stand again
and hear there a horn in the hills ringing.
Whose shall the horn be? Who shall call them
from the grey twilight, the forgotten people?
The heir of him to whom the oath they swore.
From the North shall he come, need shall drive him:
he shall pass the Door to the Paths of the Dead.

The Return of the King, LoTR Book 5, Ch 2, The Passing of the Grey Company

~Nessime 16Jul03
Elena Tiriel 3Sep06

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