the-argonath

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Favourite Middle-Earth places - (4/10) - The Great River & The Argonath.

The Argonath, also known as The Gates of Argonath or The Pillars of Kings, is a monument comprising of two enormous statues carved in the likenesses of Isildur and Anárion, standing upon either side of the River Anduin at the northern approach to Nen Hithoel. It marked the northern border of Gondor, as nearby down south were previous outposts, the Amon Hen and the Amon Lhaw.

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… Upon great pedestals founded in the deep waters stood two great kings of stone: still with blurred eyes and crannied brows they frowned upon the North. The left hand of each was raised palm outwards in gesture of warning; in each right hand there was an axe; upon each head there was a crumbling helm and crown. Great power and majesty they still wore, the silent wardens of a long-vanished kingdom.

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“As Frodo was borne towards them the great pillars rose like towers to meet him. Giants they seemed to him, vast grey figures silent but threatening. Then he saw that they were indeed shaped and fashioned: the craft and power of old had wrought upon them, and still they preserved through the suns and rains of forgotten years the mighty likenesses in which they had been hewn. Upon great pedestals founded in the deep waters stood two great kings of stone: still with blurred eyes and crannied brows they frowned upon the North. The left hand of each was raised palm outwards in gesture of warning; in each right hand there was an axe; upon each head there was a crumbling helm and crown. Great power and majesty they still wore, the silent wardens of a long-vanished kingdom.”

“Fear not!” said a strange voice behind him.
Frodo turned and saw Strider, and yet not Strider;
for the weather-worn Ranger was no longer there.
In the stern sat Aragorn son of Arathorn, proud and erect,
guiding the boat with skilful strokes; his hood was cast back,
and his dark hair was blowing in the wind, a light was in his eyes:
a king returning from exile to his own land.

“Fear not!” he said.
“Long have I desired to look upon the likenesses
of Isildur and Anárion, my sires of old.
Under their shadow Elessar, the Elfstone son of Arathorn
of the house of Valandil Isildur’s son, heir of Elendil,
has nought to dread!”
(from: The Fellowship of the Ring, page 510-11)