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Rammas Echor

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"Foam dyed with blood flamed at sunset;
as beacons mountains burned at evening;
red fell the dew in Rammas Echor.
"
― The last lines of the Song of the Mounds of Mundburg, The Battle of the Pelennor Fields.

Rammas Echor was the great wall that surrounded Minas Tirith and enclosed the Pelennor Fields.

This outer defense-work of the city of Minas Tirith was constructed on the order of Steward Denethor II[1] as part of the defenses of Gondor, which had become necessary after the final loss of Ithilien in the year 2954 of the Third Age. It was a great wall, over 10 leagues in length, encircling the hitherto defenseless townlands of the city. Nonetheless, the defensive value of the Rammas was open to doubt: for at its furthest point, it was some four leagues from the city and thus could not be manned in strength, since the main defense of Minas Tirith lay in its city-walls and Great Gate. Moreover, defenders on the out-wall might find themselves cut off from retreat were a breach to be made and the gap stormed in strength. At best, Rammas could only serve to delay unsupported Cavalry forces or foot soldiers without breaking tools. The Rammas was repaired at the time of the War of the Ring, but was easily breached by by the armies of Sauron under their Black Captain on March 13th, 3019.

References

  1. The Lord of the Rings: A Reader's Companion, pp. 512 and 546.