Minas-Anor

Originally built by the Dunedain Anarion in the late Second Age, it was one of the three great cities of Gondor, along with Minas Ithil and Osgiliath, and was called Minas Anor. When Minas Ithil fell, it was renamed to Minas Tirith( the Tower of Guard). Also, it became the capital of gondor after the plague in Osgiliath. Fun fact: Another Minas Tirith was built in the First Age by elves.

Fact-checking the council

I think this is the first time I’ve read ‘The Council of Elrond’ and properly realized that Boromir is essentially playing the devil’s advocate, countering not only claims about Gondor, but also supposed news from Rohan and the authenticity of both the Sword that was Broken and the One Ring itself. (And yes, I’m slow, since this reread has a number well in the double digits, but better late than never.)

To start with, it could be easily labelled patriotic pride; when Elrond laments how ’the blood of the Númenóreans became mingled with that of lesser men’ – and implies this is why their watch on Mordor slackened – Boromir is quick to retort, claiming the blood of Númenor is hardly spent – it is, after all, his line Elrond is belittling – and claiming Gondor should be thanked for holding back both the Easterlings and the troops of Morgul. But to say ’thus alone are peace and freedom maintained in the lands behind us, bulwark of the West’ might be going a bit too far, and Aragorn will take issue with this particular statement. Later in the chapter, Boromir gives a very similar reply when Galdor calls the (military) might of Gondor ‘waning’.

Boromir is also quick to defend the folk of Rohan, whom he calls ‘true and valiant’ allies of Gondor, when Gandalf relays the words of Gwaihir the Eagle about Rohan sending horses in tribute to Mordor. He refutes such claims as lies of the Enemy, and is not swayed from his conviction even when Aragorn reminds him it’s been months since he had any first-hand information of the situation.

However, there are also others who are touchy about their line and the perceived prowess and honour of their people; when Boromir, quite reasonably, does not take the authenticity of Narsil at face value, it’s Aragorn who bristles, and he doesn’t do so gracefully:

’If Gondor, Boromir, has been a stalwart tower, we have played another part. Many evil things there are that your strong walls and bright swords do not stay. You know little of the lands beyond your bounds. Peace and freedom, do you say? The North would have known them little but for us. Fear would have destroyed them.’

Basically, this is Aragorn saying ‘You know nothing, Boromir of Gondor. I have fought bogeymen scarier than you can imagine.’ At least Bilbo has the good grace to couch his reproach in poetry.

Boromir retorts by doubting the claim that Frodo’s ring is indeed the famed Isildur’s Bane. In fact, he’s interrupting Gandalf’s telling by boasting that Isildur’s true tale (that he returned to Minas Anor before riding North and his doom on the Gladden Fields) is something ‘all know in Gondor’. In his defence this comes after Gandalf claims to have found something forgotten by all the living lore-masters of the White City, one of whom is Boromir’s own father.

But before this, there is an interesting little detail: when quoting Saruman on the One Ring, Gandalf describes it as ‘round and unadorned, as it were one of the lesser rings’ (my emphasis). Now what lesser rings, one might wonder. In ‘The Shadow of the Past’, Gandalf gives a partial explanation:

’In Eregion long ago many Elven-rings were made, magic rings as you call them, and they were, of course, of various kinds: some more potent and some less. The lesser rings were only essays in the craft before it was full-grown, and to the Elven-smiths they were but trifles–’

Quite obviously, this is an attempt to explain away the fact Gandalf waited years, decades even, without doing anything about a magical object he was concerned about; he believed – or wanted to believe – it to be one of Celebrimbor’s practice pieces, left over from ‘the old days when such rings were still at large in the world’. (The Hobbit, ‘Riddles in the Dark’.)

Another reason to mention the lesser rings is world-building: one can’t help but think of the trove of stories that must be there: what exactly were these rings, some more potent than others, and what eventually became of them. Once again, Tolkien gives an intriguing glimpse into a reality vaster and deeper, and above else, older than what is explicitly told out in the story.

2

Then the heart of Éowyn changed, or else at last she understood it. And suddenly her winter passed, and the sun shone on her.
‘I stand in Minas Anor, the Tower of the Sun,’ she said; 'and behold! the Shadow has departed! I will be a shieldmaiden no longer, nor vie with the great Riders, nor take joy only in the songs of slaying. I will be a healer, and love all things that grow and are not barren.’ And again she looked at Faramir. 'No longer do I desire to be a queen,’ she said. 

‘For myself,’ said Faramir, 'I would see the White Tree in flower again in the courts of the kings, and the Silver Crown return, and Minas Tirith in peace: Minas Anor again as of old, full of light, high and fair, beautiful as a queen among other queens: not a mistress of many slaves, nay, not even a kind mistress of willing slaves. War must be, while we defend our lives against a destroyer who would devour all; but I do not love the bright sword for its sharpness, nor the arrow for its swiftness, nor the warrior for his glory. I love only that which they defend: the city of the Men of Númenor; and I would have her loved for her memory, her ancientry, her beauty, and her present wisdom. Not feared, save as men may fear the dignity of a man, old and wise.’
—  In which I discover that I really adore the way Faramir talks and that he is totally my favorite brother (sorry, Boromir).

For you are a lady high and valiant and have yourself won renown that shall not be forgotten; and you are a lady beautiful, I deem, beyond even the words of the Elven-tongue to tell. And I love you. Once I pitied your sorrow. But now, were you sorrowless, without fear or any lack, were you the blissful Queen of Gondor, still I would love you. Eowyn, do you not love me?’

Then the heart of Eowyn changed, or else at last she understood it. And suddenly her winter passed, and the sun shone on her.

‘I stand in Minas Anor, the Tower of the Sun,’ she said; 'and behold! the Shadow has departed! I will be a shieldmaiden no longer, nor vie with the great Riders, nor take joy only in the songs of slaying. I will be a healer, and love all things that grow and are not barren.’ And again she looked at Faramir. 'No longer do I desire to be a queen,’ she said.

Then Faramir laughed merrily. 'That is well,’ he said; 'for I am not a king. Yet I will wed with the White Lady of Rohan, if it be her will.

— 

The Return of the King (”The Steward and the King”)

Anonymous asked, for the Middle Earth Quote Meme, “9 for LotR (ask meme)”, #9 being the most romantic quote.

Battles of the War of the Last Alliance

The only battle that’s really named in Tolkien’s writing is the Battle of Dagorlad. But, if I were to write a history book on the War of the Last Alliance, I’d basically split it up into five parts, which I guess could be considered battles:

Sauron’s Initial Assault: The Fall of Minas Ithil (3429 SA)

When Sauron had built up his army after the destruction of Numenor, he used his power to attack the newly-formed Gondor (at the time ruled jointly by Isildur and Anarion, the sons of Elendil.) Sauron first attacked Minas Ithil (now known as Minas Morgul), where Isildur lived. Isildur and his family managed to escape, along with a seedling of the White Tree. They fled south to Osgiliath, where Anarion was. Then Isildur headed north to Arnor to get help from Elendil and Gil-galad, leaving Gondor’s defense in Anarion’s hands.

The War in Gondor: Anarion’s Defense at Osgiliath (3429-3434 SA)

Anarion defended Gondor (specifically the cities of Osgiliath and Minas Anor (now known as Minas Tirith) for five years while the Army of the Last Alliance was being gathered in the north. And he was successful, keeping the cities safe until help could arrive.

The Last Alliance Arrives: The Battle of Dagorlad (3434 SA)

Finally, the armies of Elendil and Gil-galad - the Last Alliance of Elves and Men - arrived from the north. This is generally considered to be the greatest battle of the war - the turning point, if you will. While Anarion had managed to hold back Sauron’s advances, after the Battle of Dagorlad the Last Alliance actually pushed Sauron’s army back into Mordor, and then laid siege on Barad-dur itself. The costs of this battle were very high. Most especially, over half of the Silvan elves that joined the alliance died in this battle (largely due to leadership issues, see this post.)

The War in Mordor: The Siege of Barad-dur (3434-3441 SA)

The longest part of the war comes next. For seven years Elendil and Gil-galad laid siege to Barad-dur. While much of Sauron’s army had been destroyed in the Battle of Dagorlad, he obviously had the strength (and supplies) to defend the fortress for that long. It seems that there were regular skirmishes during the siege. In fact, Anarion was killed in 3440 when a flying rock (supposedly from a catapult of some sort) crushed his helmet. Nevertheless, the Last Alliance remained strong.

The Final Battle: Sauron Enters the Battlefield (3441 SA)

Finally, Sauron himself came out of Barad-dur and joined the fight. It was in this final battle that Sauron killed Gil-galad and Elendil (falling himself during the fight), and Isildur cut the One Ring from his hand, seemingly destroying Sauron, and ending the war.

SOURCES: LOTR, LOTR Appendices, The Silmarillion

Settlements in Rohan and Gondor

Okay, so we know the names of some town and cities in Rohan and Gondor. I say some because I’m convinced that there must be more towns that simply don’t show up in Tolkien’s writings or maps - especially when it comes to Rohan.  But, here’s what we know for sure:

Rohan only has four named settlements: Edoras, Aldburg, Hornburg, Underharrow, and Upbourn. Edoras is Rohan’s capital and most likely it’s largest town. Aldburg was Rohan’s original capital, and is (like Edoras), a walled-in city. It was also the muster-point for the East-mark. The Hornburg is the castle within Helm’s Deep. And while Tolkien doesn’t really expand on this, since the castle had a permanent lord (Erkenbrand), I’d assume that it was regularly inhabited, even when not being used as refuge. This was also likely the muster-point for the West-mark. The only other named settlements in Rohan are two small villages, Underharrow and Upbourn, both of which are located along the River Snowbourn (east of Edoras.) I’d imagine there would be several more villages like these two in other parts of Rohan.

Tolkien named many more settlements for Gondor. There is, of course, Minas Tirith (which was originally called Minas Anor), which during the War of the Ring served as capital of Gondor. During the kingdom’s prime, the greatest city was Osgiliath, just northeast of Minas Tirith. And, early in the Third Age, Minas Ithil (later called Minas Morgul) was the major settlement of Ithilien (in the Fourth Age Faramir rules Ithilien from Emyn Arnen.) Further down the River Anduin you come to Gondor’s main port city, Pelargir. It would also have been one of the oldest settlements in Gondor, being built in the mid-Second Age as a port for the Numenoreans. Gondor has a few other port cities, though. There’s Linhir, a town straddling the junction of the rivers Gilrain and Serni. Further west there’s Dol Amroth, home of the Prince of Dol Amroth and the largest city in the Belfalas region. North of Dol Amroth is the ancient elvish haven of Edhellond (how inhabited this is in the late Third Age is unknown.) And Tolkien names two inland settlements as well - Tarnost (about which all we know is its location), and Calembel, a town situated along the ford of the River Ciril, between Erech and Pelargir.

SOURCES: LotR, LotR Appendices, The Unfinished Tales (“The History of Galadriel and Celeborn”, “Aldarion and Erendis”), Histories of Middle Earth vol. 8 (“Part Three: Minas Tirith”)

‘For myself,’ said Faramir, 'I would see the White Tree in flower again in the courts of the kings, and the Silver Crown return, and Minas Tirith in peace: Minas Anor again as of old, full of light, high and fair, beautiful as a queen among other queens: not a mistress of many slaves, nay, not even a kind mistress of willing slaves. War must be, while we defend our lives against a destroyer who would devour all; but I do not love the bright sword for its sharpness, nor the arrow for its swiftness, nor the warrior for his glory. I love only that which they defend: the city of the Men of Númenor; and I would have her loved for her memory, her ancientry, her beauty, and her present wisdom. Not feared, save as men may fear the dignity of a man, old and wise.
—  J. R. R. Tolkien, The Two Towers

Tolkien Read-Along | The Window on the West

‘For myself,’ said Faramir, ‘I would see the White Tree in flower again in the courts of the kings, and the Silver Crown return, and Minas Tirith in peace: Minas Anor again as of old, full of light, high and fair, beautiful as a queen among other queens: not a mistress of many slaves, nay, not even a kind mistress of willing slaves. War must be, while we defend our lives against a destroyer who would devour all’.

omnia-fortunae-commito  asked:

Only Osgiliath herself was able to restrain the grief-stricken city from rushing headlong into battle, despite being only a shadow of her former self. In the days that followed Minas Anor hardened her heart, renaming herself Minas Tirith, the Tower of Guard, for she would not let what happened to her brother happen to anyone else. (to be continued)

omnia-fortunae-commito

asked

thecitysmith

:

At the end of each day, when the Sun set and the Moon rose, she would look out across the Anduin, to where her brother lay captive. She did not fear his death, for one only had to look at the orcs, those fallen once-elves to see the Enemy could do far worse to him than simply end his life… (finished)

This is now a Lord of the Rings blog.

(there’s a joke about me taking you lot and and in the darkness binding you but it’s too obvious)

2

fangirl meme: male characters [9/25]

“For myself, I would see the White Tree in flower again in the courts of the kings, and the Silver Crown return, and Minas Tirith in peace: Minas Anor again as of old, full of light, high and fair, beautiful as a queen among other queens: not a mistress of many slaves, nay, not even a kind mistress of willing slaves. War must be, while we defend our lives against a destroyer who would devour all; but I do not love the bright sword for its sharpness, nor the arrow for its swiftness, nor the warrior for his glory. I love only that which they defend: the city of the Men of Numenor; and I would have her loved for her memory, her ancientry, her beauty, and her present wisdom. Not feared, save as men may fear the dignity of a man, old and wise.”

So, you may or may not know that I’m getting the White Tree of Gondor tattooed on my back, covering my entire back. Well, I was thinking about it, and the trunk would just be a solid black line down my spinal cord. Instead, I could put something like this over it, like, in the center, so the roots would show below it and the branches above it, sorta with the city in front of the tree.

I'unno, it’s an idea. It would certainly make the tattoo more complex.

Minas Anor - Minas Tirith

————————————————–

“For the fashion of Minas Tirith was such that it was built on seven levels, each delved into the hill, and about each was set a wall, and in each was a gate. But the gates were not set in a line: the Great Gate in the City wall was at the east point of the circuit, but the next faced half south, and the third half north, and so to and fro upwards; so the paved way that climbed toward the citadel turned this way and that and then that across the face of the hill.”

      ————-–The Return of the King

5

lord of the rings meme: nine locations [7/9]

“Farewell, Aragorn! Go to Minas Tirith and save my people! I have failed.”
“No!” said Aragorn, taking his hand and kissing his brow. “You have conquered. Few have gained such a victory. Be at peace! Minas Tirith shall not fall!”
Boromir smiled.

The Two Towers, by J. R. R. Tolkien