Tolkien continues, “Now the four companions went forward, past the clear wood-fire burning upon the long hearth in the midst of the hall. Then they halted. At the far end of the house, beyond the hearth and facing north towards the doors, was a dais with three steps; and in the middle of the dais was a great gilded chair.” Tolkien’s vision of Théoden’s gilded hall came from descriptions of the great hall Heorot in the 10th-century poem Beowulf, which reads: “The men did not dally; they strode inland in a group, Until they were able to discern the timbered hall, Splendid and ornamented with gold. The building in which that powerful man held court, Was the foremost of halls under heaven; Its radiance shone over many lands.”

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