The Lord of the Rings: Who is the Dead Man of Dun Harrow?

The army of the dead saved their lives in the battle of Pelennor Fields, but how did Dun Harrow's dead play a major role in The Lord of the Rings?

While they saved the day at the Battle of the Fields of Pelennor in Lord of the Rings, many questions remained about who the Dunharrow Dead Men really were. Not just actual ghosts in the machine just to keep the heroes out of trouble, restless spirits actually have rich ties to Middle-earth history and a unique connection to Aragorn and his bloodlines. Though they appeared only briefly, they lent a helping hand, turning the tide of the War of the Ring and closing the book on Isildur's millennia-old storyline.

Isildur is key to understanding the significance of Dunharo's ghosts, and although Peter Jackson made many changes to the original, his decision to stay with the ghosts was, in retrospect, a wise one. Subsequent media have further linked the dead to the Lord of the Rings legacy, and their importance far exceeds the plot convenience they provide. Even if the movies don't go far enough in explaining their history, the books and the Ring of Power add layers to the mysterious shadows, transforming them completely into an inseparable part of the Part of Middle-earth Tales.

The Dead Men Of Dunharrow Are The Men Of The White Mountains

The White Mountains were worshipers of Sauron all the way back to the Second Age, but changed their tune after the founding of Gondor. In the final years of the Second Age timeline, the King of the White Mountain swore that he would join Isildur if aid was needed in the battle against Sauron, but when the call was made, the men refused aid as they began Worship Maia. Because of their reluctance to join the Last Alliance, Isildur cast a curse upon them that their souls should never rest until their debts were paid to his eventual heir.

Dunharo's dead are not mentioned much in the film trilogy, but Aragorn eventually calls upon the men for their aid in the battle on the Pelennor Plains. A direct descendant of Isildur, Aragorn is the only one who can summon ghosts, and he is able to persuade the undead army by swinging his mighty sword Anduril before them. Around the time of forging the Ring of Might, Isildur swung Nasir, his father's sword, which was shattered At the same time cut off the ring from Sauron's hand. The sword was eventually reforged into Anduril and used by Aragorn throughout the Lord of the Rings events.

Why The Army Of The Dead Is So Important

It is easy to dismiss Dunharo's dead as a simple writer's trick, and while their sudden convenience seems artificial, it is not without historical support. Their connection to Isildur is one of the cornerstones of the Lord of the Rings story, and their betrayal of him undoubtedly started the war that culminated many years later in the War of the Ring. Aragorn finally got their long set by freeing them from bondage and giving their souls rest, and ended Isildur's curses and prophecies.

The Ring of Might makes them look better, as it helps to further flesh out the complex history between Isildur and the White Mountains. Readers and viewers never get to see the whole story, and by expanding history, it makes The Ring of Power a more cohesive prequel series to The Lord of the Rings. Isildur's eventual corruption by the ring is a dark chapter for the Middle The history of Earth, and the retribution for the dead of Dunharrow is a retribution for Isildur himself.

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