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EXT. MINAS TIRITH, TOWER HALL - DAY

CLOSE ON: GANDALF stands in the TOWER HALL . . . seemingly
alone . . . he speaks quietly, doubt and fear edge his voice.

                        GANDALF
             Frodo has passed beyond my sight. The
             darkness is deepening.

He turns and crosses the HALL to reveal the presence of
GIMLI, LEGOLAS, EOMER and ARAGORN . . .

ARAGORN, his back to GANDALF . . .

                       ARAGORN
             If Sauron had the .Ring, we would know it.

CLOSE ON: GANDALF - still troubled, still worried . . .

                    GANDALF
          It's only a matter of time. He has suffered
          a defeat, yes, but behind the walls of
          Mordor our enemy is regrouping.

GIMLI sits insolently on the SEAT of the STEWARD . . .

                    GIMLI
          Let him stay there. Let him rot. Why should
          we care?

GANDALF looks across at the DWARF . . . His face ashen.

                    GANDALF
          Because ten thousand Ores now stand between
          Frodo and Mount Doom.
                     (MORE)
                                                      (CONTINUED)

                                     Final Revision - October, 2003 122
CONTINUED:
                        GANDALF (cont'd)
                  (to himself)
             I have sent him to his death.

ANGLE ON: ARAGORN turns around suddenly . . .

                        ARAGORN
             No.

GANDALF looks up sharply at ARAGORN . . .

                       ARAGORN (cont'd)
             There is still hope for Frodo. He needs
             time and safe passage across the Plains of
             Gorgoroth. We can give him that.

                        GANDALF
             How?

                        ARAGORN
             Draw out Sauron' s armies - empty his lands.
             Then we gather our full strength and march
             on the Black Gate.

At this, GIMLI CHOKES on his pipe . . . EOMER steps forward.

                        EOMER
             We cannot achieve victory from strength of
             arms .

                        ARAGORN
             Not for ourselves . . . But we can give Frodo
             his chance if we keep Sauron' s eye fixed
             upon us. Keep him blind to all else that
             moves .

                         LEGOLAS
             A diversion . . .

CLOSE ON: GANDALF speaks in a low tone to ARAGORN . . .

                         GANDALF
                  (doubtful)
             Sauron will suspect a trap. He will not
             take the bait!



                                                        (CONTINUED)

                                   Final Revision - October, 2003 123.
CONTINUED: ( 2 )


                       GIMLI
            Certainty of death. Small chance of
            success. What are we waiting for?

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