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A splendid and awe inspiring sight to come upon its towers and spiral walls. No fortress played a more important role in the struggles against Sauron and his evil hordes from Mordor.

The men of Gondor had built three great cities in the land that laid between the mountains of Mordor in the second age. One of which was called Minas Anor, the "Tower of The Sun". Home to Prince Anarion. His brother Prince Isildur retained the twin city to Anor, Minas Ithil, the "Tower of the Moon." The two towers were ruled from the Royal Capital of Osgiliath located halfway between the two on the Anduin River.

With the centuries of warfare and the great plague the other two cities found themselves declining by the middle of the third age. Anor became the new capital of Gondor when the Royal court moved from Osgiliath by 1640. In the year 1900 King Calimehtar built the famed White Tower. The Witch-King took Minas Ithil in 2002 and renamed it Minas Morgul. Minas Anor was renamed Minas Tirith, the "Tower of the Guard." It would be a most suiting name for this fortress.

 

"And upon its out-thrust knee was the Guarded City, with its seven walls of stone so strong and old that it seemed to have been not builded but carven by giants out of the bones of the earth."

Indeed by the time of the War of the Ring, Minas Tirith was a remarkable sight to the awe inspired Hobbit that saw it for the first time. Built on seven terraced levels with walls on each. Each gate faced a different direction the main facing east towards its evil foe in Mordor. Outside lay Pelennor Fields a rich fertile farmland.

The top of the fortress held the household of the Royal Family. Here the Kings of Gondor ruled their mighty land and ever watched for the hosts of Mordor. One dead tree stands in the royal courtyard, why would everything else be well tended to and this tree is left there. You remember:

"Seven stars and seven stones and one white tree."

What does it mean and where is the King? He is not here. Only Lord Denethor, the Steward is here. The Hero of Gondor is dead and his father his father will be in great mourning. The White Tower spirals into the heavens and shows for all to see. But heavy will her days be in the near future. 

The echoes of war draw near. Gandalf has rode to Tirith to warn of the on coming onslaught. The news of Boromir seriously gives grief to his father Denethor. People prepare for the up coming defense of their fair city. The time is near, the time the City of the Guard under goes its ultimate test of that name. The fate of all Middle-Earth rests on the one cities strength.

A black cloud begins to flow over the Mountains of Mordor devouring light. The Armies of Sauron pour out of Minas Morgul. They are lead by his evil Demon Witch-King of Angmar. They quickly overrun Osgiliath, and cross the Anduin. The hordes of orcs and evil men fill Pelennor Fields and lay siege to the fair city.

The evil captain of the army tests the men of Gondor and slowly builds his siege. Faramir had been put into a black sleep in his encounter with the Nazgul in the fields and now his father grows mad and orders to be burned with his son for he will not sleep forever embalmed.

The Witch-King focuses his siege on the great gate of Minas Tirith. He brought forth Grond, the mighty hammer to beat down the gates.

Grond bashes its self at the gate at the urging of its Nazgul Captain. The gate begins to break. Finally the mighty doors collapse from the power of this evil hammer.

"In rode the Nazgul. A great black shape against the fires beyond he loomed up, grown to a vast menace of despair. In rode the Lord of the Nazgul, under the archway that no enemy ever yet had passed, and all fled before him."

"All save one. There waiting, silent and still in the space before the Gate, sat Gandalf on Shadowfax:"

"You cannot enter here,"

Gandalf commands as he did on the Bridge of Khazad-dum to the Balrog. This time however day breaks and horns are heard from a distance. What could it be?

"Rohan had come at last."

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