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Faramir's defense of Osgiliath

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|image=[[Image:Donato Giancola - Faramir at Osgiliath.jpg|300px]]
|image=[[Image:Donato Giancola - Faramir at Osgiliath.jpg|300px]]
|conflict=[[War of the Ring]]
|conflict=[[War of the Ring]]
|date=[[March 12|12 March]] {{TA|3019}}
|date=[[12 March]] {{TA|3019}}
|place=The ruins of western [[Osgiliath]]
|place=The ruins of western [[Osgiliath]]
|result=Victory for [[Sauron]], gaining the crossing of the Anduin River
|result=Victory for [[Sauron]], gaining the crossing of the Anduin River

Revision as of 18:07, 8 June 2011

"Tell me, who are you, alone, yourself and nameless?" - Tom Bombadil
This article describes a concept which is mentioned in J.R.R. Tolkien's works, but was never given a definite name.
The name Battle of Osgiliath refers to more than one character, item or concept. For a list of other meanings, see Battle of Osgiliath (disambiguation).
Faramir's defense of Osgiliath
Donato Giancola - Faramir at Osgiliath.jpg
Conflict: War of the Ring
Date: 12 March T.A. 3019
Place: The ruins of western Osgiliath
Outcome: Victory for Sauron, gaining the crossing of the Anduin River




John Howe - Icon Mordor 1 small.pngSauron


Unknown, the men of Gondor

Unknown, forces of Mordor, Southrons, Haradwaith




War of the Ring
Osgiliath (1) · Fords of Isen · Isengard · Hornburg · Osgiliath (2) · Dale · Siege of Gondor · Pelennor Fields · Black Gate · Dol Guldur · Bywater

Faramir's defense of Osgiliath was a futile attempt to stem the advance of Sauron's army advancing from Minas Morgul towards Minas Tirith through the ruins of the city on the Anduin.



Two days after the departure of Frodo Baggins from Henneth Annûn, Faramir returned to Minas Tirith.[1] Early in the morning of the next day Denethor ordered his son to Osgiliath, hoping to make the Enemy pay dearly for the crossing of the river. Although Faramir warned that Sauron could easily afford to lose ten times Gondor's losses, and that those so far afield would find retreat perilous, Denethor insisted that Faramir defend the ruined city because no army could cross the river north of Cair Andros or southwards towards Lebennin. After the meeting of the Council Faramir took what strength he could to Osgiliath.[2]

The Battle

On 12 March, T.A. 3019,[1] Sauron's army met and shoved Faramir's scratch forces west out of Osgiliath. Although the Enemy did pay dearly for the crossing, it was less than hoped. In secret, numerous floats and barges had been built in East Osgiliath which allowed Sauron's forces to swarm like beetles upon the defenders.[2]


Faramir retired with his men to the Causeway Forts where the ongoing battle resumed. Soon this battle would also be lost, Faramir would be wounded, and siege of Gondor would begin.

Portrayal in adaptations

The movie version of The Return of the King by Peter Jackson condensed the battle. In the book, Denethor did not order Faramir on a suicidal cavalry charge against Osgiliath, although Faramir did regard the order to go to help defend Osgiliath ill-advised. Also, in the movie the Causeway Forts and the Rammas Echor did not exist.


  1. 1.0 1.1 J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix B, "The Great Years"
  2. 2.0 2.1 J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Return of the King, "The Siege of Gondor"