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The King of the Dead

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The King of the Dead in Peter Jackson's Return of the King

King of the Dead

Biographical information

Other names
Unknown, real name unknown
King of the Mountains (as a Man);(as undead)King of the Dead, King of Dead Men of Dunharrow, Lord of the Paths of the Dead, Leader of the Army of the Dead, King of the Oathbreakers
Date of birth
Year ascended to the throne
Second Age
Date of death
Sometime after the War of the Last Alliance (as a Man), March, 3019 (final death)
Realms ruled
White Mountains (as a Man), Paths of the Dead (as the undead)

Physical description

Men of the Mountains, later Dead Men of Dunharrow (Oathbreakers)
Hair color
Eye color

"The dead do not suffer the living to pass."
King of the Dead

The King of the Dead or originally King of the Mountains was the King of the Dead Men of the Mountains in Dwimorberg, and before that had been a real Man. His spirit resided along with that of his kin in the Paths of the Dead.


In the later years of the Second Age, he and his men also served and worshiped Sauron, until he and his army found Gondor. Isildur was the King of Gondor at that time. The King of the Dead made an oath to fight on Isildur's side when Isildur needed him, but when Isildur needed him most he did not come. Isildur cursed the King of the Dead and his army. Then the King of the Dead could not rest until his oath was fulfilled. In The Return of the King, the king and his army fought with Aragorn and the Grey Company at Pelargir. There they defeated the Corsairs of Umbar and an army of Haradrim. When the battle was over and Aragorn, as the Heir of Isildur, told the Army of the Dead that the oath was fulfilled, the king broke his spear and threw it aside. Then he bowed to Aragorn, turned away, and, with the rest of his people, "vanished like a mist that is driven back by a sudden wind," never to be seen again.[1]

Portrayal in AdaptationsEdit

Peter Jackson's The Return of the KingEdit

"The way is...shut. It was made by those who are dead...and the dead keep it. The way is shut."
The King of the Dead

The movie version is slightly different. This king first appears to Aragorn as a quick vision when he is looking at the Dimholt road. He later manifests to Aragorn, Legolas, and Gimli when they are taking the Paths of the Dead. He spars briefly with Aragorn, resisting Aragorn's authority at first but later agreeing to fight. The king and his army attack the Corsairs, preventing them from entering Gondor, after which they accompany Aragorn, Legolas, and Gimli to Minas Tirith. To complete the oath he helped defend Minas Tirith when it was under attack by an army of Orcs and Trolls and their leader the Witch-king of Angmar. After the battle the curse was broken by Aragorn, the new King of Gondor. So the King of the Dead and his army were finally able to rest.

Video gamesEdit

In the console versions of The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King video game (for instance, the PlayStation 2 version), he is the first boss on Aragorn, Legolas and Gimli's path. Other than wielding a large sword, he uses sorcery to create blasts of wind called "Wind of the Mountain", and chants spells to summon his undead army including undead archers and swordsmen. He was voiced by Jairon Monroe. (The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (video game))

Voice Dubbing actorsEdit

Foreign Language Voice dubbing artist
Spanish (Latin America) Gonzalo Curiel
Spanish (Spain) Gonzalo Dúran
Portuguese (Brazil) (Television/DVD) Wellington Lima
German Jürgen Jung
Czech Bedřich Šetena
Italian (Italy) Nino Prester
French (France) François Siener

Translations around the WorldEdit

Foreign Language Translated name
Arabic ملك الأموات
Chinese (Hong Kong) 亡靈之王
German Totenkönig
Spanish Rey de los Muertos


  1. The Lord of the Rings, The Return of the King, Book Five, Chapter IX: "The Last Debate"

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