Tolkien Gateway

Great Horn

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Revision as of 13:45, 31 March 2009

Ted Nasmith - Boromir's Last Stand.jpg
Great Horn
Other nameshorn of Boromir
Owned byVorondil and descendants up until Boromir
AppearanceWhite horn tipped with silver
"But always I have let my horn cry at setting forth, and though thereafter we may walk in the shadows, I will not go forth as a thief in the night."

The Great Horn[2] was an heirloom of the House of Stewards, until its destruction on February 26, Third Age 3019.


The Great Horn was made from the horn of a wild-ox of Rhûn. Vorondil the Hunter, the father of Mardil, hunted the beasts in the far fields of the East, and the horn was tipped in silver. So, it passed down to every eldest son after Mardil.[3] From Denethor, it passed down to Boromir, who wore it with him on a baldrick.[4]

Boromir bore the horn with him when he went to Imladris, and held it on his lap during the Council of Elrond.[4] After he was chosen to be one of the Fellowship, he let the horn rang through Rivendell.[1] He would wind the horn twice more. In reply to the meager horns of the Orcs in Moria, the Great Horn bellowed like the shout of many throats under the cavernous roof. Though it repelled the attackers for a while, they returned after the last echo disappeared.[5]

The last time the horn was rang was shortly before its destruction. On the slopes of Amon Hen, near Parth Galen, Boromir created a sound so loud that it could be heard in Minas Tirith.[3] So was it said in legend: if blown anywhere within the bounds of ancient Gondor, its call would not pass unheeded.[2]

Sadly, the little help that could come - the rest of the Fellowship - could not make it in time. Though the Uruk-hai were at first dispayed and drew back, they returned more fierce than ever.[6]

In the fight that cost Boromir's life, the horn was cloven in two. Aragorn, Gimli and Legolas laid it in the elven boat that with Boromir and his weapons, and send it down the falls of Rauros.[7] The two parts of the horn fell out of the boat. One was found in the reeds near the mouths of Entwash, the other further down the river. They were brought to Denethor, who held them on his lap, anxiously waiting for news of his beloved son.[2] Those answers came, evnetually, when Gandalf brought Peregrin Took, witness to Boromir's last stand, before the Steward.[3]

Portrayal in adaptations

2001: Peter Jackson's The Fellowship of the Ring:

The Horn is a white horn. Boromir blows it at Amon Hen, three short blows twice. When Lurtz shoots arrows at Boromir, the horn appears broken when the third arrow hits him.

2002: Vivendi's The Fellowship of the Ring:

Though Boromir does wear the horn, he does not use it.

2003: Peter Jackson's The Return of the King:

Denethor regained possession of the Horn, and showed it to Pippin.

2006: The Lord of the Rings: The Battle for Middle-earth:

The Horn of Gondor is one of Boromir's powers. It weakens nearby enemy units.


  1. 1.0 1.1 J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Fellowship of the Ring, "The Ring goes South"
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Two Towers, "The Window of the West"
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Return of the King, "Minas Tirith"
  4. 4.0 4.1 J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Fellowship of the Ring, "The Council of Elrond"
  5. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Fellowship of the Ring, "The Bridge of Khazad-dûm"
  6. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Two Towers, "The Uruk-hai"
  7. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Two Towers, "The Departure of Boromir"