CD No. 10 Episode X : The Choices of Master Samwise

t h e c h o i c e s o f m a s t e r s a m w i s e

Pippin: Gandalf! Gandalf! Denethor has sent for me. It sounded terribly
urgent. Has something happened?

Gandalf: His son, Faramir, has returned, and he has tidings which you
should hear.

Pippin: What tidings?

Gandalf: You will know in good time, Peregrin Took. Come! We must not keep
them waiting.

- - - - -

[Their footsteps echo]

Faramir: A Halfling, and in the livery of the Tower! You are not the first
halfling that I have seen walking out of northern legends into the

Pippin: You mean Frodo and Sam!

[Gandalf hushes him]

Faramir: Yes.

Denethor: Sit down at my left hand, my son. Take bread and wine, and tell
us what has befallen you.

Narrator: And Faramir told his tale and of Frodo's desperate errand, with
his eye, for the most part, on Gandalf, though, now and again, his glance
strayed to Pippin, as if to refresh his memory of others he had seen. And
Denethor sat in silence like an old, patient spider.

Faramir: As the dark drew on I knew that haste was needed, so I rode hence
with three others. The rest of my company I sent south to strengthen the
garrison at the fords of Osgiliath. I hope that I have not done ill?

Denethor: Ill? Why do you ask? The men were under your command. Or do you
ask for my judgement on all your deeds? Alas! Alas for Boromir! He wound
not have squandered what fortune put in his way. He would have brought me
this mighty gift.

Gandalf: You deceive yourself. He would have stretched out his hand to this
thing, and taking it he would have fallen. He would have kept it for his
own, and when he returned you would not have known your son.

Denethor: You found Boromir less apt to your hand than Faramir who always
seeks for approval in your eyes. But I who was his father say that he would
have brought this thing to me. You are wise, maybe, Mithrandir, yet with
all your subtleties you have not all wisdom. I have in this matter more
lore and wisdom than you deem.

Gandalf: Then what is your wisdom?

Denethor: Enough to perceive that there are two follies to avoid. To use
this thing is perilous. At this hour, to send it in the hands of a witless
halfling into the land of the Enemy himself, as you have done, and this son
of mine, that is madness.

Gandalf: And what would you have done?

Denethor: It should have been kept here, hidden dark and deep. Not used,
unless at the uttermost end of need. If I had this thing now in the deep
vaults of this citadel, we should not shake with dread under this gloom,
fearing the worst.

Gandalf: Denethor, if you had received this thing, it would have overthrown
you. Were it buried in the depths of Mindolluin, still it would burn your
mind away.

Denethor: If I had received it! Such words are in vain. It has gone into
the Shadow, and only time will show what fate awaits it or us.

Gandalf: Only time will show. What road did Frodo take when you parted,

Faramir: A road of ill-omen. But I could not deflect him from his purpose.
He sought the pass of Cirith Ungol.

[Gandalf gasps]

Gandalf: Why should he choose that way? When did you part with them? When
would they reach that accursed valley?

Faramir: I parted with them in the morning, two days ago. A - at swiftest,
they could not come there before today.

Gandalf: I fear treachery; treachery of that miserable creature, Gollum.
But so it must be. Yet a traitor may betray himself and do good that he
does not intend.

- - - - -

[Gollum hisses]

Gollum: You see it, Master? Minas Morgul, the c - c - city of the

Frodo: I can scarcely bring myself to look on it. Ahh! And this was once
the Tower of the Moon?

Gollum: Minas Ithil, yes. But not nice now, not beautiful!

Sam: It's not nice at all!

Gollum: We must go! Hm, hm? Mustn't stand here! Make haste! Follow Sméagol!

Frodo: No! No!

Gollum: Hm?

Frodo: No. This is the end of my journey. I must come to the Tower.

Gollum: No, Master, no!

Frodo: The Ring must find the Lord of the Nazgûl. Minas Morgul, the tower
of the magic of darkness.

Gollum: No, not that way!

Frodo: Yes!

Gollum: Not cross the Bridge!

Frodo: Yes, yes.

Gollum: No, Master!

Sam: Come on, Mr. Frodo! Steady on! Not that way.

Frodo: Yes, yes, yes...

Sam: Gollum says not, and for once I agree with him!

Gollum: Make haste, hobbits, hobbits, hobbitses! Away from the nasty Tower!
Along the path. Quickly, quickly, follow me, Sméagol!

Frodo: No! I... must stop. I must rest! It's the Ring, Sam.

Sam: Oh!

Frodo: It... grows heavier with every step I t - t - take towards Mordor!
It's draining all the strength from me! Don't know how far I'm going to be
able to carry it!

Gollum: Mustn't rest here!

[Frodo groans and struggles]

Gollum: No, no, not here! Eyes can see us! When they come to the Bridge
they will see us! Come away!

Sam: Come, Mr. Frodo!

Gollum: Come! Come!

Sam: He's right!

Gollum: Yes!

Sam: We can't stay here.

Frodo: All right. I will try.

[Gollum cries out as the ground rumbles]

Gollum: Too late!

[A crash shakes the air. A Nazgûl cries. Many feet begin to march]

Gollum: Gate openses.

Narrator: And out of the gate of Minas Morgul, an army came. All the host
was clad in sable, dark as the night. Small black figures in rank upon
rank, marching swiftly and silently, passing outwards in an endless stream.
Before them went a great cavalry of horsemen moving like ordered shadows,
and at their head was one greater than all the rest: a Rider, all in black.

Frodo: The Morgul King! The Lord of the Nine Riders!

[He moans]

Frodo: My wound! I can feel it.

[Frodo remembers Weathertop:

Lord of the Nazgûl: The Ring!

Frodo is stabbed and screams]

[The Ring-verse is chanted:

Ash nazg durbatulúk, ash nazg gimbatul,
ash nazg thrakatulûk agh burzum-ishi krimpatul.]

Frodo: He can see me! Or does the Ring call out to him?

Lord of the Nazgûl: Put on the Ring. Put on the Ring.

Frodo: But it will betray me as it did on Weathertop.

Lord of the Nazgûl: The Ring!

Frodo: No! Must resist with what strength remains! Must conquer my fear and
the pain of my wound!

[He sighs]

Narrator: At that moment, the Wraith-king turned and spurred his horse and
rode across the Bridge and all his dark host followed him. At his dark
master's bidding, he must march with war into the West.

Frodo: And who can now hold the fords when the King of the Nine Riders
comes? And other armies will come. I am too late. All is lost. Even if my
errand is performed, no one will ever know. And there will be no one I can

Sam: Mr. Frodo? Wake up! They've gone.

[The gates close in the distance]

Sam: The gates have closed. They've gone, and we'd better go too. There's
something still alive in that Tower, something with eyes, and a seeing
mind; and the longer we stay in one place, the sooner it will get on to us.

Frodo: Yes.

Sam: So come on, Mr. Frodo.

Gollum: Make haste, hobbitses. Mustn't think danger has passed. It hasn't!
Make haste. We must get to the stepses. Lots of stepses. Follow Sméagol.

- - - - -

Narrator: The steps, when they reached them, were narrow and often

[Stones slide beneath their feet]

Gollum: Careful!

[They struggle to keep from tripping]

Sam: Ah, Mr. Frodo!

Gollum: Hobbitses must be careful.

Sam: Steps! It's more like a ladder. Steady goes it, Mr. Frodo!

Frodo: Yes.

Sam: Don't look down. It's a long, black fall behind.

Gollum: Up we go.

Frodo: foot, Sam.

Gollum: Careful, hobbitses! Careful!

[Frodo and Sam struggle on and Gollum laughs]

Gollum: Up we go.

- - - - -

Gollum: Ah! There we are. We're up!

[Frodo and Sam gasp for breath]

Gollum: First stairs is passed. Clever hobbitses to climb so high.

[He laughs]

Gollum: Very clever hobbitses.

Sam: My poor knees! My poor fingers!

Gollum: Now - no time to rest now, Master Samwise.

Sam: What? W - we've got to have a rest.

Gollum: There's another stair still.

[Frodo groans]

Gollum: Much longer stair.

Frodo: Sméagol!

[Gollum laughs]

Gollum: Rest - rest when we get to the top of the next stair. Not yet, not

Sam: Longer, did you say?

Gollum: Yesss. Longer, longer - but not so difficult.

Sam: Oh...

Gollum: Hobbitses have climbed the Straight Stair. Next comes the Winding

Sam: And after that?

[Gollum laughs knowingly]

Gollum: We shall see. Oh, yes, yes.

[He laughs]

Gollum: Oh, we shall see.

Sam: Well, I thought you said there was a tunnel.

Gollum: Hobbitses can rest before they tries that. If they get through
that, they'll be nearly at the top. Very nearly.

[He laughs]

Gollum: If they get there. Oh yes.

[He hums]

Frodo: I am cold. Let's go on. This is no place to rest.

[Gollum laughs]

Gollum: Follow Sméagol!

Narrator: It was a long and weary assent. But this stairway did not delve
into the mountainside. Here, the huge cliff-face sloped backwards and the
path, like a snake, wound to and fro about it. A red light grew in the sky
beyond, though they could not tell whether a dreadful morning were indeed
coming to this place of shadow, or whether they saw only the flame of some
great violence of Sauron in the torment of Gorgoroth beyond.

- - - - -

[A wind blows]

Frodo: There is a black tower over the outer pass. And a red light burning

[Gollum hisses]

Sam: Oh! I don't like the look of that. So this secret way of yours is
guarded, after all?

Gollum: Hm?

Sam: As you knew all along, I suppose.

Gollum: Well - all ways are watched, yes! Course they are. But hobbitses
must try some way. This way maybe least watched, hm? Hm. Perhaps they've
all gone away to the big battle.

[He laughs]

Gollum: Perhaps.

Sam: Perhaps. Well, it still seems a long way off and a long way up before
we get there. And there's still the tunnel. Well, I think you ought to rest
now, Mr. Frodo.

Frodo: Yes. Yes, we must rest. Let's find some corner out of this wind and
gather our strength for the last lap.

- - - - -

Narrator: In a dark crevice, between two great piers of rock, they sat down
and took what they expected would be their last meal before they went into
the Nameless Land. Maybe the last meal they would ever eat together.

[They eat]

Sam: There's a wicked feeling about this place, ah...

[He sniffs]

Sam: ...and a smell. Do you notice it? It's a queer kind of smell: stuffy.
I don't like it.

Frodo: I don't like anything here at all, Sam.

[He sighs]

Frodo: But so our path is laid.

Sam: Yes, that's so. And we shouldn't be here at all, if we'd known more
about it before we started.

Frodo: Hm.

Sam: But I suppose it's often that way. The brave things in old tales and
songs, Mr. Frodo.

Frodo: Yes.

Sam: I used to think that they were things the wonderful folk of the
stories went out and looked for, because, well - because life was a bit

[Frodo laughs]

Sam: But folk seem to have been just landed in them, really - a bit like
us. I wonder if we shall ever be put into songs or tales? Told by the
fireside or read out of a great book years and years afterwards. And people
will say: "Let's hear about Frodo and the Ring!" And... and they'll say,
"Yes, that's one of my favorite stories. Frodo was very brave, wasn't he,

[They laugh]

Sam: "Yes, my boy. The famousest of the hobbits!"

Frodo: Sam, oh Sam! To hear you somehow makes me as happy as if the story
was already written. But you've left out one of the chief characters.

Sam: Hm?

Frodo: Hm. Samwise the Stouthearted!

Sam: Oh...

Frodo: "I want to hear more about Sam, dad. Why didn't they put in more of
his talk, dad?"

[Sam laughs]

Frodo: "He makes me laugh, dad. And Frodo wouldn't have got far without
Sam, would he, dad?"

Sam: Oh, now, Mr. Frodo, you shouldn't make fun. I was - I was serious.

Frodo: So was I, Sam, and so I am. We're going on a bit too fast. You and
I, Sam, are still stuck in the worst place in the story, and it is all too
likely that some will say at this point: "Shut the book now, dad; we don't
want to read any more."

Sam: Maybe, but I wouldn't be one to say that. Why, even Gollum might be
good in a tale.

[They laugh]

Sam: He used to like tales, once. I wonder if he thinks he's the hero or
the villain?

Frodo: Well...

Sam: Gollum! Would you like to be the hero - oh, now where's he got off to
again? I don't like him sneaking off without saying.

Frodo: Well...

Sam: He can't be looking for food up here.

Frodo: It's no good worrying about him, Sam. After all, we couldn't have
got here, without him. If he's false, he's false.

Sam: Still, we'd better keep our eyes skinned. But it would be safe for you
to have a sleep now, master.

[Frodo yawns]

Frodo: Sleep!

[He yawns again]

Frodo: Yes, even here I could sleep.

Sam: Well, sleep then, master! Lay your head in my lap.

Frodo: All right.

- - - - -

Narrator: The next day came with a morning like a brown dusk. And the
hearts of men, lifted for a while by the return of Faramir, sank low. The
winged shadows were not seen again that day, yet ever and anon, high above
the city, a faint cry would come, and many who heard it would stand
stricken with a passing dread, while the less stout-hearted quailed and
wept. Denethor summoned his son before him.

Denethor: I have resolved that we should make no stroke of war unless,
perchance, the Riders of Rohan should still come. The threat from the South
is too great. We can only man the walls and wait.

Faramir: I am certain that the Rohirrim will come to our aid.

Denethor: I wish I shared your certainty. In the meantime, we should not
abandon the outer defences, the Rammas made with so great a labour. And the
Enemy must pay dearly for the crossing of the River. He cannot cross either
north of Cair Andros because of the marshes, nor southward towards Lebennin
because of the breadth of the River. It is at Osgiliath that the first blow
will fall. How is the garrison there?

Faramir: It is not strong. I sent the company of Ithilien to strengthen it.

Denethor: Not enough, I deem. They'll have need of some stout captain
there. It was there that Boromir denied the Enemy the passage.

Faramir: That was but a trial. Today we may make the Enemy pay ten times
our loss at the passage and yet rue the exchange. For he can afford to lose
a host better than we to lose a company. And the retreat of those we put
out so far afield as Osgiliath will be perilous indeed, if the Enemy wins
across in force.

Denethor: Much must be risked in war. But I will not yield the River and
the fair fields of the Pelennor unfought - not if there is a captain who
has still the courage to do his lord's will.

Faramir: I do not oppose your will, sire. Since you are robbed of Boromir,
I will go and do what I can in his stead - if you command it.

Denethor: I do so.

Faramir: Then farewell!

[He begins to walk away]

Faramir: But if I should return, think better of me!

Denethor: That depends upon the manner of your return.

[Faramir exits silently]

Gandalf: Faramir.

Faramir: Gandalf!

Gandalf: Do not throw your life away rashly or in bitterness. You will be
needed here, for other things than war. Your father loves you, Faramir, and
will remember it ere the end. Farewell!

Faramir: Farewell.

- - - - -

Narrator: For four days and nights, and into a fifth, the Shadow Host of
the Dead rode towards Pelargir on Anduin with Aragorn at their head. They
moved with a terrible speed. Silent they were, but there was a gleam in
their eyes. Everywhere men flew before them, crying out that the King of
the Dead was upon them. They crossed the River Gilrain, driving the allies
of Mordor in a rout before them. And there, for a while, they rested.

[The Gilrain flows]

Aragorn: Our respite must needs be short. Already Minas Tirith is assailed.
I fear that it will fall ere we come to its aid.

- - - - -

Narrator: So they mounted again before night had passed, and went with all
the speed their horses could endure across the plains of Lebennin, until
they came to the Great River.

[The waters of the Anduin slowly ripples]

Legolas: Wide seems the water in this darkness.

[Seagulls fly above them]

Legolas: Alas for the wailing of the gulls!

Gimli: Heed them not. There is a great battle ahead. The men of Haradrim
have fled before us, without weilding a stroke! Now with the River at their
backs, they must stand and fight.

Legolas: Some are already in flight! Do you see, there? Ships moving away
down the dark River.

Gimli: But those that remain are fierce in their despair.

Aragorn: Shades of Dunharrow! By the Black Stone of Erech I summon you!

[The Dead sigh with a single voice. A horn calls]

Gimli: The swords of the Dead are pale. Will they still bite?

Legolas: They need no other weapon but fear. None will withstand them.

Narrator: And so it proved. To every ship they came that was drawn up, and
all the mariners were filled with a madness of terror and leapt overboard,
save the slaves chained to the oars.

Gimli: Strange and wonderful it is that the designs of Mordor should be
overthrown by such wraiths of fear and darkness. With its own weapons is it

Legolas: Strange indeed. Not for naught does Mordor fear Aragorn. How great
and terrible a lord he might have become had he taken the Ring to himself.

Aragorn: Hear now the words of the Heir of Isildur! Your oath is fulfilled.
Go back and trouble not the valleys ever again! Depart and be at rest!

[The Dead sigh as they fade away]

Narrator: Swiftly the whole grey Host drew off and vanished like a mist
that is driven back by a sudden wind. And yet there was no wind.

Aragorn: No wind. No wind to freshen our sails. And it is fourty-two
leagues from Pelargir to the landings of Harlond below Minas Tirith.

Narrator: But at midnight, there came a fresh wind from the Sea, and long
ere day the masted ships hoisted sail and speeded up the Great River
towards the beleaguered City of Minas Tirith.

- - - - -

Narrator: And on the stairs of Cirith Ungol, Gollum crawled back down the
path from the gloom ahead and found Sam and Frodo still sleeping. Peace was
in both their faces.

[The hobbits snore quietly]

Gollum: Sleeping soundly, little hobbitses? What a dainty dish they'll be
for Her. She's hungry, oh yes She is, precious. Nothing to eat, except a
very few skinny old orcsss for weeks. But they'll be sweeter meat. Little
hobbitses, oh yes. But when She throws away the boneses and the empty
garmentses we shall find it. We shall get it. Our precious! A reward for
poor Sméagol who brings nice food. And we'll save the Precious as we
promised. Oh, yesss! And when we've got it safe, then She'll know it. Oh,
yes, we'll pay Her back, my precious. We'll pay everyones back!

[Frodo cries out in his sleep]

Gollum: Poor master. Sleeping so... peacefully. Poor little hobbitses!

[Sam wakes. Gollum whimpers]

Sam: What are you up to? Pawing at Mr. Frodo!

Gollum: Nothing! Nothing! Nothing! Nice, nice master!

Sam: I daresay. And where have you been to - sneaking off and sneaking
back, you villain?

Gollum: S - sneaking, sneaking! Hobbitses always so polite, yes. Oh nice
hobbitses! Sméagol brings them up secret ways that nobody else could find.
Tired he is, thirsty he is. And he guideses 'em and he searchess for paths,
yes, and they say sneak, sneak.

[He cries. Sam sighs]

Sam: Sorry. I'm sorry, but you startled me out of my sleep. And I shouldn't
have been sleeping, and that made me a bit sharp. I'm sorry. Where have you

Gollum: Sneaking.

Sam: Oh, very well, have it your own way! I don't suppose it's so far from
the truth. And now we'd better all be sneaking along together. What's the
time? Is it today or tomorrow?

Gollum: It's tomorrow, or this was tomorrow when the hobbitses went to
sleep. Very foolish, very dangerous - if poor Sméagol wasn't sneaking about
to watch.

Sam: I think we shall get tired of that word very soon. But never mind.
I'll - I'll wake the master up. Wake up, Mr. Frodo!

Frodo: Sam...

Sam: Mr. Frodo, wake up!

Frodo: Hm, what?

[He yawns]

Frodo: Oh dear! Calling me early, aren't you, Sam? It's still dark.

Sam: It's always dark here. But Gollum's come back and he says it's
tomorrow. So we must be walking on. The last lap.

Frodo: Oh, the last lap! Hullo, Sméagol!

Gollum: Hello.

Frodo: Have you found any food? Have you had any rest?

Gollum: No food, no rest, nothing for Sméagol. He's a sneak.

[Sam sighs]

Frodo: Now, Sméagol, don't take names to yourself.

Gollum: Sméagol has to take what's given to him.

Frodo: Hm?

Gollum: He was given that name by kind Master Samwise, the hobbit that
knows so much.

Frodo: Sam...

Sam: I - I did use the word, sir, waking up out of my - out of my sleep,

[Gollum growls]

Frodo: Yes. Yes.

Sam: I - I said I was sorry, but I soon won't be.

[Gollum hisses]

Frodo: Well, come! Yes, shh. Let - let it pass, then. Hm? But now we seem
to have come to the point, don't we? You and I, Sméagol.

Gollum: Master?

Frodo: Can we find the rest of the way ourselves? Hm? You've done what you
promised, and you're free: free to go back to food and rest, wherever you
wish to go, except to the servants of the Enemy. And one day I may reward
you, I or those that remember me. Hm?

Gollum: No, no, not yet. No, no, no! No, no. Hobbitses can't find the way
themselves, can they? No, no indeed! No. There's the - the tunnel...

Frodo: Tunnel?

Gollum: ...coming.

[He laughs]

Gollum: No rest. No food. Not yet. Follow Sméagol.

- - - - -

Sam: Ugh! That smell!

Frodo: Ugh!

Sam: It's getting stronger and stronger.

[Frodo coughs]

Gollum: There's the cave! There it iss. This is the way in. This is the
entrance to the tunnel.

Frodo: I've never... I've never known so...

[He stifles a cough]

Frodo: ...foul a stench! Is this the only way, Sméagol?

Gollum: Yes, yes! Yes, we must go this way. Now! Now!

Sam: Do you mean to say you've been through this hole? Phew! But perhaps
you don't mind bad smells.

Gollum: He doesn't know what he minds, does he, precious? Oh, no, he
doesn't. No, he doesn't. But Sméagol can bear thingss. Yes. Yes, he's been
through. Oh, yes, right through. It's the only way.

Sam: And what makes the smell, I wonder? It's like, well - I wouldn't like
to say. Some beastly hole of the Orcs, I'll warrant, with a hundred years
of their filth in it.

Frodo: Well. Orcs or no...

[He draws a deep breath]

Frodo: ...if it's the only way, we must take it.

- - - - -

[Their footsteps crunch in the cave]

Frodo: I've never known such darkness, not even in the Mines of Moria.

Sam: Feel your way along the wall.

Gollum: Come along, little hobbitses! Come along!

Sam: There's more than one passage here. It's as orc-like a place as ever
there could be!

Frodo: Yes, but there's - there's only one main way. Only I don't know how
much of this I can stand!

[Sam reacts to something with disgust and fear]

Sam: Something is brushing against us! It's some kind of hanging growth!
And that smell's getting worse, if ever it can be worse.

Frodo: It feels as if we've been in here for hours.

[He gasps]

Frodo: Careful, Sam! There's - there's a great opening in the rock on the
side, here.

Sam: Oh! Ah! And I nearly fell down it!

Frodo: This is where it all comes from! The stench and the peril! Come!
Now, let's get past it, quick!

[They run]

Frodo: Wait - the... the path forks. For the life of me, I can't tell which
is the wider way.

Sam: Oh, which - which way has Gollum gone? And why didn't he wait?

Frodo: Sméagol...? Sméagol!

Sam: He's really gone this time, I fancy.

Frodo: We'll take the left hand way. Come on!

[They walk quickly]

Sam: I guess this is just exactly where he meant to bring us. If I ever lay
hands on you again, Gollum, you'll be sorry for it.

[They stop]

Frodo: The way is blocked. Something's fallen across it. We - we must take
the other.

Sam: And quick! There's something looking at us!

Frodo: Let's get back to the other turn.

[A creature breathes in the darkness]

Frodo: Listen!

[Sam quivers]

Sam: What is it? We're trapped in this accursed darkness! What - what are
we going to do?

[Galadriel's voice is heard:

Galadriel: And you, Ring-bearer. For you, I have prepared this: a light
when all other lights go out. ]

Sam: Master! Master, the Lady's gift. The star-glass! A light to guide you
in dark places.

Frodo: The star-glass! Why, yes! And now alone light can help us. The Phial
of Galadriel!

[Galadriel's voice again fills the air:

Galadriel: The light of the star of Eärendil set amid waters of my
fountain. ]

[The phial shines out]

Sam: Look! Oh! Look, Mr. Frodo! Look there!

Frodo: Eyes! Hundreds of them! Two great clusters of eyes!

Sam: W - what is it?

Narrator: There agelong had she dwelt, an evil thing in spider-form, Shelob
the Great, last child of Ungoliant to trouble the unhappy world. All living
things were her food, and her vomit darkness.

[Shelob hisses]

Sam: Oh! Oh, quick, Mr. Frodo! Quick!

Frodo: Stand! Stand! Running is no use.

[A sword is drawn]

Frodo: I shall advance to meet it. Galadriel!

Aiya Eärendil Elenion Ancalima!

[Sam gasps. Shelob screams]

Sam: They're going away! Oh, the eyes are going away! Stars and glory! But
the Elves would make a song of that, if they ever heard of it! And may I
live to tell them and hear 'em sing. Oh, it's gone, whatever it was.

[He starts]

Sam: Don't go on, Master! Well, don't go down that foul den! Now's our only
chance. Now let's get out of this foul hole!

Frodo: Then make for the right hand path!

[They run]

Frodo: Do you feel it, Sam?

[He sniffs]

Frodo: Do you smell it? Air!

[They stop]

Frodo: There's something in the way. I - I can't... I can't get through.

Sam: It yields to the touch! Hold the Phial up again, Mr. Frodo.

Frodo: All right. Here.

[The Phial shines out]

Sam: Oh! There's cobwebs! Thick as ropes, but cob - cobwebs nonetheless.

[They try to push through the webs]

Sam: Trapped like gnats in a net!

Frodo: Come! Let us see what Sting can do. It is an elven-blade. But you
must be the guard and hold back the eyes. Here, take the star-glass. Do not
be afraid. Hold it up and watch!

[Cobwebs snap as Sting meets them]

Sam: That's - that's the way, Mr. Frodo!

Frodo: Yes!

Sam: That's the way! Like a scythe through grass! We'll soon be through at
this rate.

Frodo: We are through, Sam. Come on!

[They run and pant]

Frodo: There's the end of the tunnel! Out, out! Into the air!

Sam: Right you are, Mr. Frodo! I'm coming.

Frodo: The pass! There it is! Run! Run! And we'll be through - through
before anyone can stop us!

Narrator: But too little did they know the craft of Shelob. She had many
exits from her lair.

[Shelob runs after the two]

Sam: Look out, master! Look out behind! Look out Mr. Frod -

Gollum: Got him!

[Sam yells out and struggles]

Gollum: At last, my precious, we've got him, yes, the nasty hobbit. We
takes this one. She'll get the other one! Oh, yes, Shelob will get him.

[Shelob lets a cry forth in triumph. Gollum laughs]

Gollum: There, there! She has. Sméagol promised Precious he wouldn't hurt
master. But he's got you, you nasty filthy little sneak! Make hims drops
his sword, precious! Make him drop his sword!

[The sword clanks to the ground. Sam cries out. Sam growls and retrieves

Gollum: No! No!

Sam: Now I'll show you!

[Gollum cries as Sam comes after him]

Gollum: No! Gollum!

Sam: I'll cut you!

Gollum: Gollum!

Sam: You! You! You! You!

[Gollum runs away, yelping]

Sam: Oh, master!

[Shelob hovers over Frodo]

Sam: Oh, master! Master! Oh, get away from him, you dirty great horror!
That's for Frodo!

[Shelob hisses as Sting makes contact]

Sam: And that's for me!

[He swipes at Shelob, who gasps]

Sam: And that's one eye less to shine in your den!

[Shelob screams]

Sam: Now, Sam Gamgee. Hold fast! Her hide's thick as stone on the outside,
but if she tries to crush me with her underbelly, I'll make her feel my

[Sam grunts as he drives the point deep into Shelob's stomach, who screams
in pain. Sam laughs grimly]

Sam: She felt that! But what do I do if she comes at me now?

[Shelob growls and hisses. Sam gasps]

Sam: Galadriel! The Phial! Let it shine out!

A Elbereth Gilthoniel
o menel palan-diriel,
le nallon sí di-'nguruthos!
A tiro nin, Fanuilos!

Now come, you filth! You've hurt your master, you brute. Come on, and taste
my sword again! Come on, you brute! Come on!

[Sam thrusts with his sword, and Shelob screams]

Narrator: And Shelob, cowed at last, shrunken in defeat, jerked and
quivered as she tried to hasten from him. She reached the hole and,
squeezing down, leaving a trail of green-yellow slime, she slipped in.
Shelob was gone. And whether she lay long in her lair, nursing her malice
and her misery, and, in slow years of darkness, healed herself from within,
this tale does not tell.

Sam: Oh, master! Oh, dear master! She's bound him round with her filthy
webs. I'll cut them away.

[Sam struggles to remove Shelob's webs]

Sam: Now... there! Oh, oh... he's cold. He's cold as ice! Frodo! M - Mr.
Frodo! Well, don't - don't leave me hear alone! Well, don't go where I
can't follow! Oh, wake up, Mr. Frodo! Oh, wake up, Mr. Frodo! Dear, my...
he's - he's dead. He's dead? That's what I saw in Galadriel's Mirror. It's
not sleeping but dead! What - what shall I do? What shall I do? Well, did I
come all this way with him for nothing? What can I do? Well, not leave Mr.
Frodo dead - he's unburied on top of mountains... and go home? Or go on? Go
on? Is that what I've got to do? Go on and leave him? Well, if I'm to go on
then I must take your sword, Mr. Frodo.

[He picks up Sting]

Sam: Yeah, and, and, and, and I'll put this one to lie by you, here.

[He sets his sword by Frodo]

Sam: And you've got your mithril-coat from Mr. Bilbo. And your star-g...
your star-glass. I'll need that, for I'll - I'll be always in the dark now.
Well, the Lady gave it to you. Maybe she'd understand. There. Where now? To
the Crack of Doom? With the Ring? Me take the Ring from him? Well, the
Counsil gave it to him. But the Counsil gave him companions so that the
errand should not fail, and I'm the last of the Company. I wish I weren't
the last! I wish old Gandalf were here. Why am I left all alone...?

[His voice echoes]

Sam: Why am I left all alone to make up my mind? Make it up I must. Now, if
we're found here, or Mr. Frodo's found and that thing's on him, well -
well, the Enemy'll get it. And that's the end of all of us. Of Lórien, and
Rivendell, and the Shire, and all. There's no time to lose or it'll be the
end, anyway. The war's begun and more than likely things are going the
Enemy's way already. And I have no chance to go back to get advice or
permission... it's sit here till they come and get me or take it and go.
Take it!

[He fumbles with Frodo's chain and gasps as he hangs it around his neck]

Sam: Oh! The weight of it! It's like a great stone round my neck! How Mr.
Frodo got this far with it, I'll never know. Well, good-bye dear master!
And forgive your Sam. Now, rest you quiet till I come back again. And may
no fell creature come near you. Good-bye!

Narrator: And he turned and stumbled on into the growing dark. The Cleft
with its orc-tower loomed ahead.

[Orc voices approach. Sam gasps]

Sam: Orcs! And coming right at me! You're caught, Sam Gamgee. The Ring! Put
on the Ring!

[Sam puts on the Ring just as Orcs enter the clearing. Sam gasps]

Sam: It's gone dark! And I can feel something searching for me! Am I really
invisible? Well, they didn't see me, at any rate.

[He gasps again]

Sam: There's two more coming!

Gorbag: What's all the noise about? What's going on?

Shagrat: Someone has slipped. We had a message from down below: "Spies
feared on Stairs. Patrol to head of Stairs."

Gorbag: I thought you were supposed to keep watch, Shagrat.

Shagrat: Don't try to teach me my job, Gorbag. We knew there were funny
things going on. Shelob was on the go. My lads saw her and her sneak.

Gorbag: Her sneak? What's that?

Shagrat: Little thin fellow, like a starved frog.

[Orcs talk loudly in the distance]

Orc: Hai! Hai! There's something lying in the road! A spy! A spy!

Sam: Oh, master! They've got the master's body!

Gorbag: Can't you stop your rabble making such a racket, Shagrat? We don't
want Shelob on us.

Sam: I should have stood by it to defend it!

Shagrat: Bring whatever it is back here. It's to go to Barad-dûr.

Sam: How many can I kill before they get me?

Gorbag: What does the Dark Tower want with him?

Shagrat: How should I know? I have my orders. Any trespasser found is to be
held at the Tower. Prisoner is to be stripped, full description of every
article found on the body is to be sent to Barad-dûr at once.

Gorbag: Right. We've got him. What do we do with him?

Shagrat: Take him up to the Tower. I'll come and inspect him.

Gorbag: Off you go, lads! You heard Captain Shagrat.

Shagrat: What got him? Shelob?

Gorbag: Shelob! Her! Nothing gets past her! At least I hope not.

Shagrat: How do you mean?

Gorbag: She'd bound him up with her cords. Somebody had cut him loose. And
somebody had stuck a pin into her Ladyship! Slime everywhere. I'd say there
was a large warrior loose, an Elf most likely.

Shagrat: Right. We'll deal with him later. Let's go and look at the

Orc: I shouldn't think there'd be much to look at after Shelob had finished
with him.

Shagrat: Is that all you know of her Ladyship? You heard what he said. It
was bound with her cords. When she does that, she's after meat. She doesn't
eat dead meat nor suck cold blood. This fellow's alive.

Sam: Alive! And I let 'em take him!

Shagrat: She just gives him a dab in the neck. They wake up in a few hours
feeling a bit sick, but they're all right. Come on, let's have a look at
him and report to Barad-dûr.

[He begins to walk away]

Orc: If I were you, I'd catch the big one that's loose before you send in
your report. It won't sound too pretty to say you've caught the kitten and
let the cat escape.

Sam: Oh, I got it all wrong. I knew I would! Now they've got him, the
devils! The filth! Never leave you master, never, never: that was my right
rule. And I knew it in my heart. Oh, may I be forgiven!

[He cries]

Sam: Come on, Sam Gamgee! This is no time for you to be blubbing like a
baby. But how am I to get Mr. Frodo out of a Tower bristling with Orcs,
armed to the teeth? The Ring? Use the Ring against them? Samwise the
Strong, hero of the Age. Armies flocking to my call, marching to the
overthrow of Barad-dûr. Oh, but, w - what are you thinking about, Sam?
You're no hero. A gardener, that's what you're meant to be. And all these
notions are only a trick of Sauron's. He'd spot me pretty quick if I put
the Ring on in Mordor. All I can say is this: things look about as hopeless
as a frost in Spring. Just when being invisible would be useful...

[Loud clanking is heard]

Sam: ...I can't use the Ring. Huh?

[Orcs argue and fight]

Orc: It's mine! It's mine! Take your filthy hand off of it!

Orc: The coat is mine!

Sam: The coat! Mr. Frodo's mithril-coat, that's what the trouble's about.
Well come on, you miserable sluggard. There's nothing for it. The front
door it'll have to be. Off we go!

[He runs and stops suddenly and gasps, struggling to continue]

Sam: There's - there's something won't let me through! It's like Shelob's
nasty webs, but invisible! What is it?

[He gasps]

Sam: And what are those things?

Narrator: They were the Two Watchers, like great figures seated upon
thrones. Each had three vulture-heads, facing outward and inward, and
across the gateway. They knew an enemy and could forbid his entry or his

Sam: The star-glass! Let's see if that'll get us through. The Lady must be
power against these creatures.

[The Phial shines]

Sam: It's done it! I'm through.

[A bell rings in the distance. Sam gasps]

Sam: Oh, that's done it! Now I've rung the front door-bell. Well! Come out,
somebody! Tell Captain Shagrat the great Elf warrior is called, and with
his Elf-sword too!

- - - - -

Narrator: In Gondor, the Lord of the City sat in a high chamber above the
hall of the White Tower with Pippin at his side. And through the dim
windows north and south and east, he bent his dark eyes as if to pierce the
shadows of doom that ringed him round.

Pippin: You should rest yourself, my lord. You are weary with much

Denethor: There will be a time for rest, Peregrin. Is there news of Théoden
and the Rohirrim?

Pippin: The watchmen have seen nothing. Will he come, do you think?

Denethor: He'll remember our old alliance. He will come, but he will come
too late.

[Footsteps enter]

Denethor: Well, Mithrandir! And what bad news have you to bring us? Whence
come you?

Gandalf: From the wreck of Osgiliath. The passage of the Anduin is lost.
The Enemy is swarm across us like beatles.

Denethor: Then Faramir has failed. Has he returned?

Gandalf: He still lived when I left him. Yet he is resolved to stay with
the rearguard, lest the retreat over the Pelennor become a rout. He may,
perhaps, hold his men together long enough, but I doubt it. He is pitted
against a foe too great. For one has come that I feared. Few will stand and
abide even the rumour of his coming. His own folk quail at him and they
would slay themselves at his bidding.

Pippin: Not - not the Dark Lord?

[Denethor laughs bitterly]

Denethor: Nay, not yet, Master Peregrin! He will not come save only to
triumph over me when all is won. He uses others as his weapons. So do all
great lords, if they are wise, Master Halfling. Or why should I sit here in
my tower and think, and watch, and wait, spending even my sons?

Gandalf: Yet now the most fell of all the captains of Sauron is already
master of your outer walls. King of Angmar long ago, Sorcerer, Ringwraith,
Lord of the Nazgûl, shadow of despair.

Denethor: Then, Mithrandir, you have a foe to match you. For myself, I have
long known who is the chief captain of the hosts of the Dark Tower.

[He laughs]

Denethor: Is this all that you have returned to say? Or can it be that you
have withdrawn because you are worsted?

Gandalf: It might be so. But I come rather to secure the safe return of the
wounded men that can still be rescued. Soon there will be battle on the
fields. A sortie must be made ready to bring the hurt men back. Let it be
of mounted men. In them lies our brief hope, for in one thing only is the
Enemy still poorly provided: he has few horsemen.

Denethor: And we also have few. Now would the coming of Rohan be in the
nick of time.

Gandalf: We are likely to see other newcomers first. Another army is come
from the Black Gate, crossing from the north-east.

Denethor: Some have accused you, Mithrandir, of delighting to bear ill-
news. But to me this is no longer news. It was known to me ere nightfall,

Gandalf: Ah?

Denethor: As for the sortie, I have already given thought to it. All the
mounted men that are left in the City shall ride forth. But only to bring
back what men of ours remain alive. We are too few to give battle before
such an enemy. Oh, Mithrandir! If only you had not sent the Ring into the
Dark Lands in the hands of a witless fool.

- - - - -

Narrator: It drew now to evening, by the hour, and the light was so dim
that even far-sighted men upon the Citadel could discern little clearly out
on the fields. Denethor, at last, released the sortie, but he did not
permit the cavalry to go far. Once they had formed a screen against the
hosts of Morgul, the companies who had been fighting in the field came
marching back, bearing with them the body of Faramir son of Denethor, found
upon the stricken field.

[Gandalf enters]

Gandalf: Your son has returned, Denethor, after great deeds.

Denethor: Is he alive?

Gandalf: He lives, but he is sorely wounded.

Denethor: Peregrin.

Pippin: My lord?

Denethor: See that a bed is made for him in my chamber and then give orders
that I am to be left alone with him.

Pippin: My lord.

[Pippin's footsteps leave the room]

Denethor: And there is still no news of the Rohirrim?

Gandalf: None.

Denethor: Even if they could come, they would not avail us now. The enemy
holds all the ways to the City.

Gandalf: The walls are strong. They will withstand the enemy while there
are men left alive to defend them.

Denethor: Left alive! The enemy has a weapon that has brought low many
strong places since the world began: hunger. The roads are cut. And as for
our walls, the enemy has built great engines of war. Siege-towers. Our
walls will not prevail against them. Leave me, Wizard. Leave me alone to
lament the son I sent unthanked, unblessed into needless peril. Whatever
may betide in war, my line, too, is ending. Even the House of Stewards has
failed. And your fool's hope too has failed. The Enemy has found the Ring
and his power waxes! He sees our very thoughts and all we do is ruinous!
Leave me, Mithrandir. The defence of the City is in your hands.

[Gandalf exits]

- - - - -

[Sam's breath is short]

Sam: Not a sound. There's nothing but dead Orcs everywhere. Have they all
killed one-another? Is there nobody left alive, at all? It looks as if
Shagrat and Gorbag have done my job for me. Oh, where's the master? What
have they done with him?

[A door opens]

Snaga: I'm not going down!

Sam: Well, there's somebody left alive up there, at any rate.

Shagrat: Curse you, you little maggot! I'll squeeze your eyes out, like I
did in Radbug. Then send you to Shelob. News must get through to Barad-dûr
or we'll both be for the Black Pits. Yes, you too!

Sam: Oh, it's that Shagrat!

Snaga: I'm not going down those stairs again, be you Captain or no! And you
won't be Captain long when they hear all about these goings on. A nice mess
you two precious Captains have made of things, fighting over the swag.

Shagrat: That's enough from you! It was Gorbag that started it, trying to
pinch that pretty shirt.

Sam: I knew it! I knew it!

Snaga: Well, he had more sense than you, anyway! He told you more than once
that somebody had got past the Watcher. One of those bloody-handed Elves!
He's on the stairs now.

Sam: Oh, oh...

Snaga: And until he's off 'em, I'm not going down.

Shagrat: So that's it, is it? And when he does come you'll bolt and leave
me? I'll put red maggot-holes in your belly first! Get out!

[Snaga yelps]

Shagrat: Come back, you dung! Come back!

Sam: Now for it!

[Snaga runs]

Sam: He's run off, up the stairs. But what about Shagrat?

[Limping footsteps approach. Sam gasps]

Sam: He's coming down! He's wounded. He's carrying a bundle. It must be the
mithril-coat! Now, Sam Gamgee!

[Shagrat sneers at Sam]

Sam: Well, here's for you, you filth!

[Shagrat cries out and runs]

Sam: Well, there's no time to go after him now. I must look for the master.
But where is he? Well, how am I ever going to find him? Well, if I can't
find him, maybe I can make him know I'm here.

In western lands beneath the Sun
the flowers may rise in Spring,
the trees may bud, the waters run,
the merry finches sing.
Or there maybe 'tis cloudless night
and swaying beeches bear
the Elven-stars as jewels white
amid their branching hair.

[Above him, a door opens]

Snaga: Shut that row, you dunghill rat!


Though here at journey's end I lie
in darkness buried deep,
beyond all towers strong and high...

Snaga: Stop your squeaking, or I'll come and deal with you, do you hear?

Sam: He thinks I'm Mr. Frodo. Well, perhaps he'll lead me to him.


Beyond all towers strong and high,
beyond all mountains steep,
above all shadows rides the Sun
and Stars for ever dwell:

Snaga: All right, I'm coming for you!

[Snaga's footsteps are heard]


I will not say the Day is done,
nor bid the Stars farewell.

[A door creaks as it is opened]

Snaga: You lie quiet, or you'll pay for it! You've not got wrong to live in
peace, now that Shagrat's run off. But if you don't want the fun to begin
right now, keep your trap shut, see? There's a reminder for you!

[Frodo moans]

Snaga: And another!

Sam: Oh no, you don't!

[Snaga screams]

Sam: That's for the Shire!

[Snaga falls. A thud is heard in the distance below them. Sam gasps for

Frodo: What is it? What? What?

Sam: Frodo! Mr. Frodo, it's Sam!

[Frodo mutters incoherently]

Frodo: Am I still dreaming? But - but the... the other dreams were

Sam: No, you're not - you're not dreaming at all, master. It's real. I've

Frodo: There was an orc with a whip, and then he turns into Sam! Then I - I
wasn't dreaming when I heard that singing down below. It was you?

Sam: It was indeed, Mr. Frodo! I - I... I'd given up hope, almost. I - I
couldn't find you.

Frodo: I - I - I... I woke and I fo - found myself here with O - O - Orcs
all round me and they... they stripped me of everything and they - and they
kept questioning me until I thought I'd go mad!

Sam: Oh, now...

Frodo: Then they - they le... they left me alone and there - there was
nothing, Sam, nothing! And - and then the yelling and... and fighting
began. And then they, ah - they, ah... they... I think they quarreled,
they... and then they - over me, and - and my... things.

Sam: Yeah... What - there must have been a couple a hundred of the dirty
creatures in this place! Well, it was a bit of a tall order for Sam Gamgee,
but they've done all the killing themselves! Well, now what's to be done?
Can you walk, Mr. Frodo?

Frodo: Well, I...

[He stands]

Sam: Yeah?

Frodo: Yes, I can! I can walk! I'm not hurt, Sam. Only very tired.

Sam: Well, w - we must find you some clothes. Well, you can't go walking in
the Black Land in naught but your skin.

Frodo: Sam. They've taken everything. Do you understand? Everything! The
Quest has failed, Sam. Even if we get out of here, we can't escape. Only
Elves can escape. Away, away out of Middle-earth, far away over the Sea.

Sam: Mr. Frodo...

Frodo: If even that is wide enough to keep the Shadow out.

Sam: Eh, Mr. Frodo... no. Not everything. It hasn't failed, not yet. I took
it, Mr. Frodo.

Frodo: Huh?

Sam: B - begging your pardon. And I've kept it safe. Well, it's round my
neck now, and a terrible burden it is, too.

[Frodo gasps]

Sam: But I suppose you must take it back.

Frodo: You've got it? You - you've got it here? Sam, you - you're a marvel!
Give it to me! Hm? Give it to me at once! Y - you can't have it!

Sam: Well, all - all right, Mr. Frodo. But you're in the Land of Mordor
now, sir. And w - when you get it, you'll see the firey Mountain and all,
and you'll find the Ring very dangerous now, and it's very hard...

Frodo: No, no!

Sam: bear. Now if, no, if it's too hard a job, I could share it with
you, maybe?

Frodo: No! No! No! Give it to me!

[Sam cries out]

Frodo: Thief! Thief! It is mine! Mine! Mine!