The King of the Dead was the king of the hillmen who swore to help protect Gondor against Sauron. However, they broke their oath and so the King of Gondor at the time cursed them to never rest, even in death until they fulfilled their oath. They will only answer to the King of Gondor and his blade. When Aragorn, Legolas, and Gimli walk the Path of the Dead, they are stopped by the King of the Dead, who says, "The way is shut. It was made by those who are dead, and the dead keep it. They way is shut. Now you must die." However, he is stopped by Aragorn, who claims their allegiance as the future King of Gondor, and swears to hold their oath fulfilled. The King leads his forces of dead to help Aragorn during the battle on the plains of Gondor. Finally, promise fulfilled, the king breaks his spear over his knee and dies.