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Siege of Gondor

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[[Image:Stephen Hickman - Siege of Minas Tirith.jpg|thumb|right|250px|[[Stephen Hickman]] - ''Siege of Minas Tirith'']]The '''Siege of Gondor''', also known as the '''Siege of Minas Tirith''' after [[Gondor]]'s chief city [[Minas Tirith]], was a series of battles waged by [[Sauron]] against Gondor, as part of the [[War of the Ring]]. The siege was broken by the [[Battle of the Pelennor Fields]].
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|image=[[Image:Stephen Hickman - Siege of Minas Tirith.jpg|300px]]
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|name=Siege of Gondor
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|conflict=[[War of the Ring]]
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|date=[[13 March]] - [[14 March]] {{TA|3019}}
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|place=[[Minas Tirith]] and fields of [[Pelennor]], [[Gondor]]
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|result=Siege broken by Gondor and Rohan
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|side1=[[Gondor]], [[Rohan]]
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|side2=[[Mordor]], [[Harad]], [[Rhûn]], [[Khand]]
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|commanders1=*[[Denethor]]
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*[[Gandalf]]
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*[[Faramir]]
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*[[Forlong]]
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*[[Imrahil]]
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*[[Hirluin]]
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*[[Théoden]]
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*[[Grimbold]]
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|commanders2=*The [[Witch-king]] of [[Angmar]]
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*[[Gothmog (Lieutenant of Morgul)|Gothmog]]
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|forces1=Unknown total strength, approx. 17-18,000+ total from Gondor, its fiefs, and Rohan.
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|forces2=Unknown total strength, but vast numerical superiority to Gondor's forces in Minas Tirith, possibly over 75,000.
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|casual1=Heavy
 +
|casual2=Heavy
 +
}}
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The '''Siege of Gondor''', also known as the '''Siege of Minas Tirith''' after [[Gondor]]'s chief city, was a series of battles waged by [[Sauron]] aimed at the capture of [[Minas Tirith]], as part of the [[War of the Ring]]. The siege was broken by the [[Battle of the Pelennor Fields]].
  
 
==History==
 
==History==
===Prelude===
 
 
{{main|War of the Ring}}
 
{{main|War of the Ring}}
For several months, [[Sauron]] had been building his forces for the strike against [[Minas Tirith]]. However, due to the use of the Orthanac [[Palantíri|palantír]] by [[Aragorn]], he struck before he was ready, but his armies still far exceeded the defenders of the city.
 
  
Gandalf arrived with Pippin a day before Sauron's forces attacked. Most of the citizens were sent north and west; except those in the arts of healing and boys who refused to leave. The same day, 3,000 men from [[Belfalas]], [[Dol Amroth]] and other places arrived to assist the garrison. But, it was less then a tenth of what was needed. Most that were needed were holding off the Black Fleet of Umbar.
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===Prelude===
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For many years (since {{TA|2901}}) the land of [[Ithilien]] had been held by Sauron's forces, but he had not breached the [[Anduin]] to attack deeper into Gondor, biding his time as he marshaled his strength.  In {{TA|3009|n}} [[Gollum]] was captured after he had ventured into [[Mordor]] and the Dark Lord learned that [[the One Ring]] was in [[the Shire]], a location unknown to Sauron. [[Gollum]] was released from Mordor in {{TA|3017|n}} and was soon taken by [[Aragorn]] in the [[Dead Marshes]].<ref>{{App|TA}}</ref>  His capture alarmed Sauron, causing him to send the [[Nazgûl]] out to hunt for the Ring.<ref name=Hunt>{{UT|Hunt}}</ref>  In order to conceal their purpose, on [[20 June]] {{TA|3018|n}} the [[Witch-king|Lord of the Nazgûl]] attacked [[Osgiliath]].<ref name=Great>{{App|Great}}</ref>  Although the chief and secret purpose of the battle was to release the Nazgûl for the hunt, it also served to test [[Denethor]]'s strength and to destroy the bridge across the river.<ref name=Hunt/>
  
Gandalf saved [[Faramir]] upon the latters return, for he was pursued closely by the Nazgul. Denethor, upon hearing the report of his son on the doings in [[Ithilien]], who allowed the Ring-Bearer go free, reprimended him for his decision. He also did not share his son's decision when he thought Osgilith was a liability. Faramir accepted the dangerous, perhaps suicidal, charge of defending the ruined city and the Rammas Echor. That night a dark cloud from Mordor covered the entire land.
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For months thereafter Sauron continued to amass his forces in Mordor.<ref>{{TT|IV4}}</ref>  However, the deliberate pace of his preparations were thrown into turmoil on [[6 March]] {{TA|3019|n}}<ref name=Great/> when Aragorn looked into the [[Orthanc-stone]] and revealed himself, the heir of [[Isildur]], and [[Andúril]] to Sauron.<ref>{{RK|V2}}</ref>  In response Sauron ordered all of his ready forces to immediately prepare to take the capital city of Gondor.
  
=== Battles at Osgiliath and the Rammas Echor ===
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[[Gandalf]] arrived with [[Peregrin Took|Pippin]] at Minas Tirith on [[9 March]].<ref name=Great/>  Most of the citizens were sent south and west, except those in the arts of healing and boys who refused to leave.  The same day, 3,000 men from [[Belfalas]], [[Dol Amroth]] and other places arrived to assist the garrison.  But, it was less then a tenth of what was needed.  Most that were needed were holding off the Black Fleet of Umbar.  As evening drew on darkness began flowing out of Mordor.<ref>{{RK|V1}}</ref>
  
The Witch-King led the assualt upon the western side of Osgiliath the next morning. Many boats had been built in secret which allowed them to swiftly overwhelm the defenders, who despite their fierce defense, could only do minimal casualties to the forces arrayed against them. They also could not stand against the Witch-King, for at his approach men fled in terror.
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On [[10 March]], [[the Dawnless Day]],<ref name=Great/> Gandalf saved [[Faramir]] as he was pursued closely by the Nazgul.  Denethor, upon hearing the report of his son on the doings in [[Ithilien]], who allowed the Ring-Bearer go free, reprimanded him for his decision. He also did not share his son's opinion that Osgilith was a liability. Faramir accepted the dangerous, perhaps suicidal, charge of defending the ruined city and the [[Rammas Echor]], riding for Osgiliath.<ref name=Siege>{{RK|V4}}</ref>  From the [[Morannon]] an army came forth, took [[Cair Andros]], and entered [[Anórien]].  In the evening a host issued from [[Minas Morgul]] and headed towards Osgiliath.<ref name=Great/>
  
Gandalf, upon learning the Witch-King was on the field, went from the city to assist the beleaguered forces which had fallen back to the Rammas Echor. It was taken by blasting stones, and on the retreat, Faramir fell wounded while battling against an Easterling champion. Only a charge by Prince [[Imrahil]] and the Knights of [[Dol Amroth]] saved him.
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=== Battles at Osgiliath and the Rammas Echor ===
 
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On the morning of [[11 March]]<ref name=Great/> the Lord of the Nazgûl led the assault upon the western side of Osgiliath. Many boats had been built in secret which allowed them to swiftly overwhelm the defenders, who despite their fierce defense, could only do minimal casualties to the forces arrayed against them.  On [[12 March]]<ref name=Great/> Faramir retreated to the Rammas Echor.  The wall did not hold long as the invaders blasted many breaches through the defenses.  Gandalf, upon learning the Lord of the Nazgûl was on the field, went from the city to assist the beleaguered forces. On [[13 March]],<ref name=Great/> as Faramir retired to the city he fell wounded while battling against an Easterling champion. Only a charge by Prince [[Imrahil]] and the Knights of [[Dol Amroth]] saved him. As the defenders retreated to the city, a sortie of calvary sent out by Denethor scattered the pursuit and allowed them to come in unharried. Denethor, upon seeing his son wounded and unconscious, lost his will to fight and gave no more thought to the defense of his city.<ref name=Siege/>
As the defenders retreated to the city, a sortie of calvary sent out by Denethor scattered the pursuit and allowed them to come in unharried. Denethor, upon seeing his son wounded and unconscious, lost his will to fight and gave no more thought to the defence of his city.
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=== The Siege ===
 
=== The Siege ===
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The defenders of Minas Tirith watched all day on [[14 March]]<ref name=Great/> as the hosts of Mordor dug pits and set up siege weapons beyond their range. At first they mocked the supposed foolishness. But, as the Nazgul continued swooping near the city and uttering cries of death, their morale dropped.  The Mordor host then used their siege engines to launch stones at the city, many of which burst into flame as they came crashing down. Then, the heads of all those that had been slain in battle were flung over the city. The whole first level was soon in flames.
  
The defenders of Minas Tirith watched all day as the hosts of Mordor dug pits and set up siege weapons beyond their range. At first they mocked the supposed foolishness. But, as the Nazgul continued swooping near the city and uttering cries of death, their morale dropped. The Mordor host then used their siege engines to launch stones at the city, many of which would burst into flame as they came crashing down. Then, the heads of all those that had been slain in battle were flung over the city. The whole first level was soon in flames.
+
Seeing that the defenders' will was already broken, near midnight the Lord of the Nazgûl launched his assault upon the city. Swathes of defenders fled to the higher levels, but enough stayed at their posts that many attackers were killed trying to reach the walls. Most of the siege towers were also destroyed as they rolled forward.  
 
+
Seeing that the defenders' will was already broken, near midnight the Witch-king launched his assualt upon the city. Swathes of defenders fled to the higher levels, but enough stayed at their posts that many attackers were killed trying to reach the walls. Most of the siege towers were also destroyed as they rolled forward.
+
 
+
The hardest thrust was made against the [[Great Gate of Minas Tirith|Great Gate]]. The Witch-king rode beside the battering ram [[Grond (battering ram)|Grond]]. When it began to strike the gate, the Witch-King cried spells that enforced it and weakened the gate and in only three strikes the gate was broken. All fled but steadfast Gandalf. The Witch-king rode through the gate to challenge Gandalf. But in this moment the winds began to blow away the clouds Sauron had gathered over Gondor, a cock crowed and horns blown in the north heralded the coming of the Rohirrim. The Witch-king left to deal with the Riders of Rohan and the [[Battle of the Pelennor Fields|Battle of Pelennor Fields]] commenced. The siege was broken during the battle.
+
  
===Aftermath===
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The hardest thrust was made against the [[Great Gate of Minas Tirith|Great Gate]]. The Witch-king rode beside the battering ram [[Grond (battering ram)|Grond]]. When it began to strike the gate, the Witch-King cried spells that reinforced it and weakened the gate; in only three strikes the gate was broken. All fled but Gandalf. The Lord of the Nazgûl rode through the gate to challenge the wizard.  But in this moment the winds began to blow away the clouds Sauron had gathered over Gondor, a cock crowed and horns blown in the north heralded the coming of the Rohirrim. The Lord of the Nazgûl left to deal with the Riders of [[Rohan]] and the [[Battle of the Pelennor Fields|Battle of Pelennor Fields]] ensued.  The siege was broken during the battle.<ref name=Siege/>
  
 
{{references}}
 
{{references}}
* {{HM|RK}}, "[[The Siege of Gondor]]"
 
 
[[Category:Conflicts of the War of the Ring]]
 
[[Category:Conflicts of the War of the Ring]]
 
[[Category:Sieges]]
 
[[Category:Sieges]]

Revision as of 23:47, 24 May 2015

The name Siege of Gondor refers to more than one character, item or concept. For a list of other meanings, see Siege of Gondor (disambiguation).
Siege of Gondor
Stephen Hickman - Siege of Minas Tirith.jpg
Conflict: War of the Ring
Date: 13 March - 14 March T.A. 3019
Place: Minas Tirith and fields of Pelennor, Gondor
Outcome: Siege broken by Gondor and Rohan
Combatants

Gondor, Rohan

Mordor, Harad, Rhûn, Khand

Commanders
Strength

Unknown total strength, approx. 17-18,000+ total from Gondor, its fiefs, and Rohan.

Unknown total strength, but vast numerical superiority to Gondor's forces in Minas Tirith, possibly over 75,000.

Casualties

Heavy

Heavy

The Siege of Gondor, also known as the Siege of Minas Tirith after Gondor's chief city, was a series of battles waged by Sauron aimed at the capture of Minas Tirith, as part of the War of the Ring. The siege was broken by the Battle of the Pelennor Fields.

Contents

History

Main article: War of the Ring

Prelude

For many years (since T.A. 2901) the land of Ithilien had been held by Sauron's forces, but he had not breached the Anduin to attack deeper into Gondor, biding his time as he marshaled his strength. In 3009 Gollum was captured after he had ventured into Mordor and the Dark Lord learned that the One Ring was in the Shire, a location unknown to Sauron. Gollum was released from Mordor in 3017 and was soon taken by Aragorn in the Dead Marshes.[1] His capture alarmed Sauron, causing him to send the Nazgûl out to hunt for the Ring.[2] In order to conceal their purpose, on 20 June 3018 the Lord of the Nazgûl attacked Osgiliath.[3] Although the chief and secret purpose of the battle was to release the Nazgûl for the hunt, it also served to test Denethor's strength and to destroy the bridge across the river.[2]

For months thereafter Sauron continued to amass his forces in Mordor.[4] However, the deliberate pace of his preparations were thrown into turmoil on 6 March 3019[3] when Aragorn looked into the Orthanc-stone and revealed himself, the heir of Isildur, and Andúril to Sauron.[5] In response Sauron ordered all of his ready forces to immediately prepare to take the capital city of Gondor.

Gandalf arrived with Pippin at Minas Tirith on 9 March.[3] Most of the citizens were sent south and west, except those in the arts of healing and boys who refused to leave. The same day, 3,000 men from Belfalas, Dol Amroth and other places arrived to assist the garrison. But, it was less then a tenth of what was needed. Most that were needed were holding off the Black Fleet of Umbar. As evening drew on darkness began flowing out of Mordor.[6]

On 10 March, the Dawnless Day,[3] Gandalf saved Faramir as he was pursued closely by the Nazgul. Denethor, upon hearing the report of his son on the doings in Ithilien, who allowed the Ring-Bearer go free, reprimanded him for his decision. He also did not share his son's opinion that Osgilith was a liability. Faramir accepted the dangerous, perhaps suicidal, charge of defending the ruined city and the Rammas Echor, riding for Osgiliath.[7] From the Morannon an army came forth, took Cair Andros, and entered Anórien. In the evening a host issued from Minas Morgul and headed towards Osgiliath.[3]

Battles at Osgiliath and the Rammas Echor

On the morning of 11 March[3] the Lord of the Nazgûl led the assault upon the western side of Osgiliath. Many boats had been built in secret which allowed them to swiftly overwhelm the defenders, who despite their fierce defense, could only do minimal casualties to the forces arrayed against them. On 12 March[3] Faramir retreated to the Rammas Echor. The wall did not hold long as the invaders blasted many breaches through the defenses. Gandalf, upon learning the Lord of the Nazgûl was on the field, went from the city to assist the beleaguered forces. On 13 March,[3] as Faramir retired to the city he fell wounded while battling against an Easterling champion. Only a charge by Prince Imrahil and the Knights of Dol Amroth saved him. As the defenders retreated to the city, a sortie of calvary sent out by Denethor scattered the pursuit and allowed them to come in unharried. Denethor, upon seeing his son wounded and unconscious, lost his will to fight and gave no more thought to the defense of his city.[7]

The Siege

The defenders of Minas Tirith watched all day on 14 March[3] as the hosts of Mordor dug pits and set up siege weapons beyond their range. At first they mocked the supposed foolishness. But, as the Nazgul continued swooping near the city and uttering cries of death, their morale dropped. The Mordor host then used their siege engines to launch stones at the city, many of which burst into flame as they came crashing down. Then, the heads of all those that had been slain in battle were flung over the city. The whole first level was soon in flames.

Seeing that the defenders' will was already broken, near midnight the Lord of the Nazgûl launched his assault upon the city. Swathes of defenders fled to the higher levels, but enough stayed at their posts that many attackers were killed trying to reach the walls. Most of the siege towers were also destroyed as they rolled forward.

The hardest thrust was made against the Great Gate. The Witch-king rode beside the battering ram Grond. When it began to strike the gate, the Witch-King cried spells that reinforced it and weakened the gate; in only three strikes the gate was broken. All fled but Gandalf. The Lord of the Nazgûl rode through the gate to challenge the wizard. But in this moment the winds began to blow away the clouds Sauron had gathered over Gondor, a cock crowed and horns blown in the north heralded the coming of the Rohirrim. The Lord of the Nazgûl left to deal with the Riders of Rohan and the Battle of Pelennor Fields ensued. The siege was broken during the battle.[7]

References

  1. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix B, "The Third Age"
  2. 2.0 2.1 J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), Unfinished Tales, "The Hunt for the Ring"
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 3.6 3.7 3.8 J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix B, "The Great Years"
  4. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Two Towers, "Of Herbs and Stewed Rabbit"
  5. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Return of the King, "The Passing of the Grey Company"
  6. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Return of the King, "Minas Tirith"
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Return of the King, "The Siege of Gondor"