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Battle of the Gladden Fields

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| commanders2=*Unknown
 
| commanders2=*Unknown
 
| forces1=*Isildur
 
| forces1=*Isildur
*Isildur's three sons [[Elendur (son of Isildur)|Elendur]], [[Aratan]] & [[Ciryon]]
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*Isildur's three sons, [[Elendur (son of Isildur)|Elendur]], [[Aratan]] & [[Ciryon]]
 
*200 Knights and Soldiers
 
*200 Knights and Soldiers
*Less then 20 Archers
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*Fewer than 20 Archers
 
| forces2=*Said to be up to ten times the number of Númenóreans
 
| forces2=*Said to be up to ten times the number of Númenóreans
 
| casual1=*Isildur
 
| casual1=*Isildur
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The '''Battle of Gladden Fields''' was an ambush on [[Isildur]] and his personal guard at the beginning of the [[Third Age]]. The [[Dúnedain]] were outnumbered as much as ten to one. The great [[Men]] of [[Númenor]] towered above the tallest Orcs, their Swords and Spears far outreached the weapons of their enemies, but the Orcs of the Mountains were stiffened and commanded by grim servants of [[Barad-dûr]]. Slowly but steadily the Orcs achieved the upper hand. During the last stand, when it became clear that defeat was imminent Elendur ordered Isildur to put on the ring and flee. Isildur put on [[the One Ring]] and fled. When he reached the [[Anduin]], he tried to swim  across it, but the Ring betrayed him and slipped off his finger as he swam. As he rose out of the water in the moonlight, prowling [[Orcs]] shot him. [[Arnor]] never fully recovered from this grave loss of its manpower.
+
The '''Battle of Gladden Fields''' was an ambush on [[Isildur]] and his personal guard at the beginning of the [[Third Age]].  
 +
==Overview==
 +
The [[Dúnedain]] were outnumbered by as many as ten to one. The great [[Men of Númenor]] towered above the tallest Orcs, and their swords and spears far outreached the weapons of their enemies, but they were stiffened and commanded by grim servants of [[Barad-dûr]] and there was cunning and a relentless hatred in their attacks. Slowly but steadily the Orcs achieved the upper hand.  
  
===Background===
+
Isildur was a man of such strength and endurance as few even of the Dúnedain of that age could equal, and he was protected by the Elendilmir that he bore on his brow, as the Orcs feared it.
After the fall of Sauron, Isildur, son and heir of [[Elendil]], returned to [[Gondor]].  There he assumed the [[Elendilmir]] as King of Arnor.  He remained in [[Gondor]] for a year, restoring its order and defining its bounds; but the greater part of the army of Arnor returned to [[Eriador]] by the Númenórean road from the fords of [[Isen]] to [[Fornost]].  When at last he decided to return to his own realm, he was in haste for he wished to go first to [[Rivendell]], for he had left his wife and youngest son [[Valandil (King of Arnor)|Valandil]] there.  Therefore he decided to take the shortest route by making his way north from [[Osgiliath]] up the [[Vales of Anduin]] to [[High Pass|Cirith Forn en Andrath]] the high-climbing pass that led down to [[Rivendell|Imladris]].
+
  
With Isildur went his three sons [[Elendur (son of Isildur)|Elendur]], [[Aratan]] and [[Ciryon]] and his guard of two hundred knights and soldiers, stern men of Arnor and war-hardened. On the twentieth day they came within sight of the distant forest crowning the highlands, it was raining heavily and the Anduin had swollen with swift water.  They wished to gain the ancient paths of the [[Silvan Elves]] that ran near the eaves of the Forest near the entrance of the Vales between [[Lothlórien]] and [[Amon Lanc]].
+
During the last stand, when it became clear that defeat was imminent, [[Elendur]] commanded Isildur to put on [[the One Ring]] and flee, and Isildur obeyed. Upon reaching the [[Anduin]], Isildur tried to swim across it, but the Ring betrayed him and slipped off his finger as he swam. As he rose out of the water, prowling [[Orcs]] shot him. [[Arnor]] never fully recovered from this grave loss of its manpower.<ref>{{S|V}}</ref><ref name="Gladden">{{UT|7}}</ref>
  
So it came to pass that late in the afternoon of the thirtieth day of their journey, they were passing the north borders of the [[Gladden Fields]].  The fair day was waning and clouds were gathering above the distant mountainsTo their right the Forest loomed above them, suddenly as the sun plunged into a cloud the [[Orcs]] attacked.
+
==Background==
 +
After the defeat of [[Sauron]] by the [[Last Alliance of Elves and Men|Last Alliance]], Isildur, son and heir of [[Elendil]], returned to [[Gondor]].  There he assumed the [[Elendilmir]] as King of Arnor.  He stayed for a year, restoring its order and defining its bounds, but the greater part of the army of Arnor returned to [[Eriador]] by the Númenórean road from the fords of [[Isen]] to [[Fornost]].  When at last he decided to return to his own realm he was in haste, for he wished to go first to [[Rivendell]] and find his wife and youngest son [[Valandil (King of Arnor)|Valandil]]Therefore he took the shortest route, making his way north from [[Osgiliath]] up the [[Vales of Anduin]] to [[High Pass|Cirith Forn en Andrath]], the high-climbing pass that led down to [[Rivendell|Imladris]]. With him were his three sons, [[Elendur (son of Isildur)|Elendur]], [[Aratan]] and [[Ciryon]], and his guard of two hundred knights and soldiers, stern men of Arnor and war-hardened. 
  
===The Battle===
+
On the twentieth day of their journey, under heavy rain, they came within sight of the distant forest crowning the highlands. Anduin had swollen with swift water and they saught the ancient paths of the [[Silvan Elves]] that ran near the eaves of the Forest by the entrance of the Vales between [[Lothlórien]] and [[Amon Lanc]].
The [[Dúnedain]] saw the Orcs issuing from the forest and moving down the slopes yelling their war-cries. In the dim light their number could not be guessed but the Dúnedain were plainly many times, even to ten times outnumbered.  Isildur commanded a [[Thangail]] to be drawn up, if the land had been flatter or the slope in his favour he would have formed his company into a [[Dirnaith]], hoping to cleave a way through them and scatter them in dismayIsildur realized that they were on their own: [[Moria]] and Lothlórien were far behind and [[Thranduil]] was four days' march ahead.
+
===Prelude===
 +
Late in the afternoon of the thirtieth day (5 [[Narbeleth]]), they were passing the north borders of the [[Gladden Fields]], with the forest looming on their right, and clouds gathering above the distant mountainsAs the sun plunged into a cloud, they were ambushed by [[Orcs of the Misty Mountains]], issuing from the forest and moving down the slopes yelling their war-cries.<ref name="Gladden" />
  
Isildur ordered [[Ohtar]] his esquire to take the [[Shards of Narsil]] and flee and save the Shards from capture at all costs.
+
The [[Dúnedain]] saw the Orcs but in the dim light their number could not be guessed, only that they were plainly many times, even to ten times outnumbered by them. Isildur realized that they were on their own: [[Moria]] and Lothlórien were far behind and [[Thranduil]] was four days' march ahead.
 +
==The Battle==
 +
Since the land was not flat enough, and the slope was not in his favour, Isildur was unable to form his company into a [[Dirnaith]]. He commanded a [[Thangail]] to be drawn up, hoping to cleave a way through them and scatter them in dismay.
 +
 
 +
Isildur ordered [[Ohtar]] his esquire to take the [[Shards of Narsil]] and flee, and to save the Shards from capture at all costs.
  
The Orcs let fly a hail of arrows, and then suddenly hurled a great mass of their chief warriors down the slope against the Dúnedain, hoping to break the shield-wall.  But it stood firm, the arrows had little effect on the Númenórean armour.  The great Men of Númenor towered above the tallest Orcs,  their Swords and Spears far outreached the weapons of their enemies.  After the initial attack the Orcs faltered and it seemed that they were withdrawing, the Dúnedain had slain many Orcs.  Isildur ordered the men to resume the march at once, but he was mistaken.  The Orcs of the Mountains were stiffened and commanded by servants of Barad-dûr, and there was cunning and a relentless hatered in their attacks.
+
The Orcs let fly a hail of arrows, then hurled a great mass of their chief warriors down the slope against the Dúnedain, hoping to break the shield-wall, but it stood firm.  The arrows had little effect on the Númenórean armour.  After the initial attack the Orcs faltered, and it seemed that they were withdrawing.  The Dúnedain had slain many of them.  Isildur ordered the men to resume the march at once, believing his enemies had been shaken enough by their losses, but he was mistaken.
  
The Dúnedain had gone scarcely a mile when the Orcs attacked again.  This time the Orcs attacked on a wide front, which bent into a crescent and soon closed into an unbroken ring about the Dúnedain.  Isildur could do nothing for he had too few archers to be of any effect and moreover the Orcs were at a distance out of range of even the dreaded steel-bows of Númenor.
+
The Dúnedain had gone scarcely a mile when the Orcs attacked again.  This time they attacked on a wide front, which bent into a crescent and soon closed into an unbroken ring about the Dúnedain, who had too few archers, and even their dreaded Númenorean [[steel-bows]] could not reach at the distance the Orcs stood.
  
The Orcs closed in on all the sides, flinging themselves on the Dúnedain with reckless ferocity.  Some of the greater Orcs leaped two at a time, and with their weight dead or alive bore down a [[Dúnedain|Dúnadan]], so that other strong claws could drag him out and slay him.  The Orcs might have paid five to one in this exchange but for them it was too cheap.  Ciryon was slain in this way and Aratan was mortally wounded while trying to save him.  
+
The Orcs closed in on all the sides, flinging themselves on the Dúnedain with reckless ferocity.  Some of the greater Orcs leaped two at a time, and with their weight, dead or alive, bore down a [[Dúnedain|Dúnadan]] so that other strong claws might drag him out and slay him.  The Orcs may have paid five to one in this exchange, but for them it was cheap.  Ciryon was slain in this way and Aratan was mortally wounded while trying to save him.<ref name="Gladden" />
  
 
===Isildur's Fall===
 
===Isildur's Fall===
 
{{quote|My King, Ciryon is dead and Aratan is dying.  Your last counselor must advise you, nay command you, as you commanded Ohtar. Go!  Take your burden, and at all costs bring it to the Keepers: even at the cost of abandoning your men and me!|Elendur}}
 
{{quote|My King, Ciryon is dead and Aratan is dying.  Your last counselor must advise you, nay command you, as you commanded Ohtar. Go!  Take your burden, and at all costs bring it to the Keepers: even at the cost of abandoning your men and me!|Elendur}}
  
As the battle progressed it became clear that defeat was imminent, Elendur sought Isildur who was rallying men on the east side where the assault was heaviest. The Orcs still feared the Elendilmir that Isildur bore on his brow and avoided him. Elendur commanded Isildur to take the Ring and flee, so Isildur put on the Ring and suddenly the Elendilmir of the West which could not be quenched blazed forth.  Men and Orcs gave way in fear and Isildur vanished into the night and was never seen again.
+
As the battle progressed it became clear that defeat was imminent. Isildur he was rallying men on the east side where the assault was heaviest. He considered to escape with the help of the Ring, but he delayed because of the pain it caused, and because he would not leave his son. But Elendur sought out Isildur, and commanded him to take the Ring and flee.  Asking Elendur to forgive him, Isildur put on the Ring, and suddenly the Elendilmir of the West, which could not be quenched, blazed forth.  Men and Orcs gave way in fearIsildur, pulling his cloak over his head, vanished into the night and was never seen again.
  
Isildur was a man of great strength and endurance such that few even of the Dúnedain of that age could equal.  He covered a great distance and when he reached the Anduin, he tried to swim across it, but the Ring betrayed him and slipped off his finger as he swam.  As he rose out of the water in the moonlight, prowling Orcs shot him.  No trace of his body was ever found by [[Elves]] or [[Men]].
+
He fled a great distance, and upon reaching the Anduin he tried in despair to swim across it.  Despite his strength, the current swept him down toward the Gladden Fields again, and the Ring betrayed him and slipped off his finger as he swam.  In his dismay he nearly gave up and drowned, but the mood passed and he found himself free from his long burden.  He reached an islet near the western bank, but as he rose out of the water in the moonlight, prowling Orcs spotted him.  Fearing his great height and the piercing light of the Elendilmir, they shot him with arrows.<ref name="Gladden" />
  
===Survivors===
+
==Aftermath==
Of the two hundred Númenórean knights only three survived.  Two of them were [[Ohtar]] and his companion who brought the Shards of Narsil to Rivendell.  The third was [[Estelmo]], he was Elendur's esquire, and was one of the last to fall; he was stunned by a club and not slain, and he was later found alive under Elendur's body.
+
Of the two hundred Númenórean knights only three survived.  Two of them were [[Ohtar]] and his companion who brought the Shards of Narsil to Rivendell.  The third was [[Estelmo]], Elendur's esquire, one of the last to fall.  He was stunned by a club and not slain, and was later found alive beneath Elendur's body.<ref name="Gladden" />
  
 +
The disaster marked the death of [[High King of Gondor and Arnor]] Isildur, and a change in the ''status quo'' of the two [[Realms in Exile]]. It also marked the loss of the Ring for several hundreds years.
 +
{{references}}
 
[[Category:Conflicts of the Third Age]]
 
[[Category:Conflicts of the Third Age]]
 
[[de:Verhängnis auf den Schwertelfeldern]]
 
[[de:Verhängnis auf den Schwertelfeldern]]
 
[[fr:encyclo:evenements:3a:guerres:bataille_des_champs_d_iris]]
 
[[fr:encyclo:evenements:3a:guerres:bataille_des_champs_d_iris]]
 
[[fi:Kurjenmiekkakenttien murhenäytelmä (KTK)]]
 
[[fi:Kurjenmiekkakenttien murhenäytelmä (KTK)]]

Latest revision as of 11:27, 9 October 2014

Battle of the Gladden Fields
Conflict: Post-Alliance War
Date: T.A. 2
Place: Gladden Fields, north of Rohan
Outcome: Death of Isildur, loss of the One Ring
Combatants
  • Isildur's Guard
Commanders
  • Unknown
Strength
  • Isildur
  • Isildur's three sons, Elendur, Aratan & Ciryon
  • 200 Knights and Soldiers
  • Fewer than 20 Archers
  • Said to be up to ten times the number of Númenóreans
Casualties
  • Isildur
  • Entire escort save three
  • Unknown

The Battle of Gladden Fields was an ambush on Isildur and his personal guard at the beginning of the Third Age.

Contents

[edit] Overview

The Dúnedain were outnumbered by as many as ten to one. The great Men of Númenor towered above the tallest Orcs, and their swords and spears far outreached the weapons of their enemies, but they were stiffened and commanded by grim servants of Barad-dûr and there was cunning and a relentless hatred in their attacks. Slowly but steadily the Orcs achieved the upper hand.

Isildur was a man of such strength and endurance as few even of the Dúnedain of that age could equal, and he was protected by the Elendilmir that he bore on his brow, as the Orcs feared it.

During the last stand, when it became clear that defeat was imminent, Elendur commanded Isildur to put on the One Ring and flee, and Isildur obeyed. Upon reaching the Anduin, Isildur tried to swim across it, but the Ring betrayed him and slipped off his finger as he swam. As he rose out of the water, prowling Orcs shot him. Arnor never fully recovered from this grave loss of its manpower.[1][2]

[edit] Background

After the defeat of Sauron by the Last Alliance, Isildur, son and heir of Elendil, returned to Gondor. There he assumed the Elendilmir as King of Arnor. He stayed for a year, restoring its order and defining its bounds, but the greater part of the army of Arnor returned to Eriador by the Númenórean road from the fords of Isen to Fornost. When at last he decided to return to his own realm he was in haste, for he wished to go first to Rivendell and find his wife and youngest son Valandil. Therefore he took the shortest route, making his way north from Osgiliath up the Vales of Anduin to Cirith Forn en Andrath, the high-climbing pass that led down to Imladris. With him were his three sons, Elendur, Aratan and Ciryon, and his guard of two hundred knights and soldiers, stern men of Arnor and war-hardened.

On the twentieth day of their journey, under heavy rain, they came within sight of the distant forest crowning the highlands. Anduin had swollen with swift water and they saught the ancient paths of the Silvan Elves that ran near the eaves of the Forest by the entrance of the Vales between Lothlórien and Amon Lanc.

[edit] Prelude

Late in the afternoon of the thirtieth day (5 Narbeleth), they were passing the north borders of the Gladden Fields, with the forest looming on their right, and clouds gathering above the distant mountains. As the sun plunged into a cloud, they were ambushed by Orcs of the Misty Mountains, issuing from the forest and moving down the slopes yelling their war-cries.[2]

The Dúnedain saw the Orcs but in the dim light their number could not be guessed, only that they were plainly many times, even to ten times outnumbered by them. Isildur realized that they were on their own: Moria and Lothlórien were far behind and Thranduil was four days' march ahead.

[edit] The Battle

Since the land was not flat enough, and the slope was not in his favour, Isildur was unable to form his company into a Dirnaith. He commanded a Thangail to be drawn up, hoping to cleave a way through them and scatter them in dismay.

Isildur ordered Ohtar his esquire to take the Shards of Narsil and flee, and to save the Shards from capture at all costs.

The Orcs let fly a hail of arrows, then hurled a great mass of their chief warriors down the slope against the Dúnedain, hoping to break the shield-wall, but it stood firm. The arrows had little effect on the Númenórean armour. After the initial attack the Orcs faltered, and it seemed that they were withdrawing. The Dúnedain had slain many of them. Isildur ordered the men to resume the march at once, believing his enemies had been shaken enough by their losses, but he was mistaken.

The Dúnedain had gone scarcely a mile when the Orcs attacked again. This time they attacked on a wide front, which bent into a crescent and soon closed into an unbroken ring about the Dúnedain, who had too few archers, and even their dreaded Númenorean steel-bows could not reach at the distance the Orcs stood.

The Orcs closed in on all the sides, flinging themselves on the Dúnedain with reckless ferocity. Some of the greater Orcs leaped two at a time, and with their weight, dead or alive, bore down a Dúnadan so that other strong claws might drag him out and slay him. The Orcs may have paid five to one in this exchange, but for them it was cheap. Ciryon was slain in this way and Aratan was mortally wounded while trying to save him.[2]

[edit] Isildur's Fall

"My King, Ciryon is dead and Aratan is dying. Your last counselor must advise you, nay command you, as you commanded Ohtar. Go! Take your burden, and at all costs bring it to the Keepers: even at the cost of abandoning your men and me!"
― Elendur

As the battle progressed it became clear that defeat was imminent. Isildur he was rallying men on the east side where the assault was heaviest. He considered to escape with the help of the Ring, but he delayed because of the pain it caused, and because he would not leave his son. But Elendur sought out Isildur, and commanded him to take the Ring and flee. Asking Elendur to forgive him, Isildur put on the Ring, and suddenly the Elendilmir of the West, which could not be quenched, blazed forth. Men and Orcs gave way in fear. Isildur, pulling his cloak over his head, vanished into the night and was never seen again.

He fled a great distance, and upon reaching the Anduin he tried in despair to swim across it. Despite his strength, the current swept him down toward the Gladden Fields again, and the Ring betrayed him and slipped off his finger as he swam. In his dismay he nearly gave up and drowned, but the mood passed and he found himself free from his long burden. He reached an islet near the western bank, but as he rose out of the water in the moonlight, prowling Orcs spotted him. Fearing his great height and the piercing light of the Elendilmir, they shot him with arrows.[2]

[edit] Aftermath

Of the two hundred Númenórean knights only three survived. Two of them were Ohtar and his companion who brought the Shards of Narsil to Rivendell. The third was Estelmo, Elendur's esquire, one of the last to fall. He was stunned by a club and not slain, and was later found alive beneath Elendur's body.[2]

The disaster marked the death of High King of Gondor and Arnor Isildur, and a change in the status quo of the two Realms in Exile. It also marked the loss of the Ring for several hundreds years.

[edit] References

  1. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Of the Rings of Power and the Third Age"
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), Unfinished Tales, "The Disaster of the Gladden Fields"