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War of the Ring

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{{disambig-more|War of the Ring|[[War of the Ring (disambiguation)]]}}{{sources}}
 
{{disambig-more|War of the Ring|[[War of the Ring (disambiguation)]]}}{{sources}}
{{expansion}}<!--Too many images-->
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{{expansion}}
 
{{wotr}}
 
{{wotr}}
 
{{War
 
{{War
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| next=Unknown
 
| next=Unknown
 
| name=War of the Ring
 
| name=War of the Ring
| image=[[Image:Third Age.gif|250px]]
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| image=[[File:Ted Nasmith - Thus Came Aragorn.jpg|300px]]
 
| begin={{TA|3018}} (earlier fighting in Gondor)
 
| begin={{TA|3018}} (earlier fighting in Gondor)
 
| end={{TA|3019}}
 
| end={{TA|3019}}
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|result=Free Peoples' victory; destruction of [[the One Ring]], [[Sauron]] and [[Mordor]]; start of the [[Fourth Age]]; [[Arnor]] and [[Gondor]] reunited under restoration of the [[King of Gondor]]
 
|result=Free Peoples' victory; destruction of [[the One Ring]], [[Sauron]] and [[Mordor]]; start of the [[Fourth Age]]; [[Arnor]] and [[Gondor]] reunited under restoration of the [[King of Gondor]]
 
| battles=[[Sauron's attack on Osgiliath]], [[Battles of the Fords of Isen]], [[Battle of Isengard]], [[Battle of the Hornburg]], [[Faramir's defense of Osgiliath]], [[Battle of the Pelennor Fields]], [[Battle of the Morannon]], [[Battle Under Trees]], [[Fall of Dol Guldur]], [[Battle of Dale]], [[Battle of Bywater]]
 
| battles=[[Sauron's attack on Osgiliath]], [[Battles of the Fords of Isen]], [[Battle of Isengard]], [[Battle of the Hornburg]], [[Faramir's defense of Osgiliath]], [[Battle of the Pelennor Fields]], [[Battle of the Morannon]], [[Battle Under Trees]], [[Fall of Dol Guldur]], [[Battle of Dale]], [[Battle of Bywater]]
|side1='''Free Peoples of Middle-earth:''' [[Gondor]], [[Rohan]], [[Dale]], [[Lake-town|Esgaroth]], [[Erebor]], [[The Shire]], [[Lothlórien]], [[Woodland Realm]]
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|side1='''Free Peoples of Middle-earth:''' [[Gondor]], [[Rohan]], [[Dale]], [[Lake-town|Esgaroth]], [[Lonely Mountain|Erebor]], [[The Shire]], [[Lothlórien]], [[Woodland Realm]]
 
|side2='''Under [[Sauron]]:''' [[Mordor]], [[Rhûn]], [[Harad]], [[Haven of Umbar]], and [[Khand]]<br><br>'''Under [[Saruman]]:''' [[Isengard]] and [[Dunland]]
 
|side2='''Under [[Sauron]]:''' [[Mordor]], [[Rhûn]], [[Harad]], [[Haven of Umbar]], and [[Khand]]<br><br>'''Under [[Saruman]]:''' [[Isengard]] and [[Dunland]]
 
|commanders1=
 
|commanders1=
[[Image:WAR-ICONS Gondor.png|45px|left]] [[Aragorn]]{{clear}}
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[[File:John Howe - Icon Gondor transparent.png|45px|left]] [[Aragorn]]{{clear}}
[[Image:WAR-ICONS Gondor.png|45px|left]] [[Denethor II|Denethor]] †{{clear}}
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[[File:John Howe - Icon Gondor transparent.png|45px|left]] [[Denethor]] †{{clear}}
 
* [[Gandalf]] † (but resurrected)  
 
* [[Gandalf]] † (but resurrected)  
[[Image:WAR-ICONS Rohan.png|45px|left]] [[Théoden]] †{{clear}}
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[[File:John Howe - Icon Rohan transparent.png|45px|left]] [[Théoden]] †{{clear}}
[[Image:WAR-ICONS Rohan.png|45px|left]] [[Éomer]]{{clear}}
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[[File:John Howe - Icon Rohan transparent.png|45px|left]] [[Éomer]]{{clear}}
[[Image:ME-DolAmroth.png|45px|left]] [[Imrahil]]{{clear}}
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[[File:ME-DolAmroth.png|45px|left]] [[Imrahil]]{{clear}}
 
* [[Dáin Ironfoot]] †  
 
* [[Dáin Ironfoot]] †  
 
* [[Brand]] †  
 
* [[Brand]] †  
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|commanders2=
 
|commanders2=
 
{{Sauron blazon|died}}{{clear}}
 
{{Sauron blazon|died}}{{clear}}
[[Image:WAR-ICONS Saruman.png|45px|left]] [[Saruman]] †{{clear}}
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[[File:John Howe - Icon Saruman transparent.png|45px|left]] [[Saruman]] †{{clear}}
 
* [[Witch-king|The Witch-king of Angmar]] †
 
* [[Witch-king|The Witch-king of Angmar]] †
|}}
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}}
{{quote|So we come to it in the end, [...] the great battle of our time, in which many things shall pass away.|[[Théoden]]<ref>{{RK|Muster}}</ref>}}
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{{Quote|So we come to it in the end, [...] the great battle of our time, in which many things shall pass away.|[[Théoden]]<ref>{{RK|Muster}}</ref>}}
  
The '''War of the Ring''' was the great conflict at the end of the [[Third Age]], named for [[the One Ring]] and the importance this had in the final outcome. The war was fought between [[Sauron]] the [[Dark Lord]] of Mordor who wished to conquer [[Middle-earth]] as he nearly did in the [[Second Age]], and the [[Free peoples]], being a loose alliance of [[Elves]] and [[Men]] led by the Wise. [[Saruman]] was a third power based in [[Orthanc]].   
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The '''War of the Ring''' was the great conflict at the end of the [[Third Age]], named for [[the One Ring]] and the importance this had in the final outcome. The war was fought between [[Sauron]], the [[Dark Lord]] of [[Mordor]] who attempted to conquer [[Middle-earth]] as he nearly did in the [[Second Age]]; and the [[Free peoples]], being a loose alliance of [[Elves]] and [[Men]] led by the [[Wise]]. [[Saruman]] was a third power based in [[Orthanc]].   
  
Sauron at all times held the military advantage in the War, due to his overwhelming forces; not only [[Orcs]] and [[Trolls]], but [[Men of Harad]] and the [[East]].  His main immediate object was the overthrow of [[Gondor]], his near neighbour and the strongest of his enemies. He had such forces at his command, though, that he was able to fight the war on many fronts, simultaneously attacking [[Dale]], [[Erebor]] and the [[Elves of Mirkwood|Wood-elves]] in the far north, and [[Lothlórien]] from his secondary stronghold at [[Dol Guldur]]. There can be no doubt that, had the Wise not achieved possession of the Ring, Sauron would ultimately have been victorious.
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Sauron at all times held the military advantage in the War, due to his overwhelming forces; not only [[Orcs]] and [[Trolls]], but [[Men of Harad]] and the [[East]].  His main objective was to overthrow [[Gondor]], his neighbour and the strongest of his enemies. He had such forces at his command, though, that he was able to fight the war on many fronts, simultaneously attacking [[Dale]], [[Lonely Mountain|Erebor]] and the [[Elves of Mirkwood|Wood-elves]] in the far north, and [[Lothlórien]] from his secondary stronghold at [[Dol Guldur]]. There can be no doubt that, had the Wise not achieved and maintained possession of the Ring, Sauron would ultimately have been victorious.
  
 
The policy of the Wise was based around the [[Quest of Mount Doom]]: a company of nine under the leadership of [[Gandalf]] travelled from [[Rivendell]] with the One Ring, with the hope of taking it to [[Orodruin]] in [[Mordor]] and there destroying it. Because the Ring held much of Sauron's native power, they realised that in unmaking it, they would also defeat its creator.
 
The policy of the Wise was based around the [[Quest of Mount Doom]]: a company of nine under the leadership of [[Gandalf]] travelled from [[Rivendell]] with the One Ring, with the hope of taking it to [[Orodruin]] in [[Mordor]] and there destroying it. Because the Ring held much of Sauron's native power, they realised that in unmaking it, they would also defeat its creator.
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Saruman had claimed alliance with both the Wise and the Dark Lord, but was ultimately fighting for his own ends. In alliance with the [[Dunlendings]], and having [[Orcs]] at his own command, his objective was the defeat of [[Rohan]]. Until late in the War, he held the advantage, defeating Rohan twice at the [[Battles of the Fords of Isen]].
 
Saruman had claimed alliance with both the Wise and the Dark Lord, but was ultimately fighting for his own ends. In alliance with the [[Dunlendings]], and having [[Orcs]] at his own command, his objective was the defeat of [[Rohan]]. Until late in the War, he held the advantage, defeating Rohan twice at the [[Battles of the Fords of Isen]].
  
==History==
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==Background==
=== Prelude ===
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{{Seealso|Rings of Power|Third Age}}
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[[File:Third Age.gif|thumb|left|The change of states of the Third Age leading up to the War of the Ring]]
 
Sauron had been defeated in the [[War of the Last Alliance]], but because of Isildur's refusal to destroy [[the One Ring]], he was not entirely vanquished.  He survived in spirit form, and the foundations of Barad-dûr were also not destroyed.  Sauron's spirit wandered the wastelands of Middle-earth for over 1000 years, but eventually he rebuilt his power and became a threat once again. Around {{TA|1000}}, the [[Valar]] sent [[Maiar]] [[Wizards|emissaries]] to [[Middle-earth]] to help the [[Free peoples]] against Sauron, however Sauron succeeded in destroying the Kingdom of [[Arnor]], ending the line of the [[Kings of Gondor]], and weakening the kingdom.
 
Sauron had been defeated in the [[War of the Last Alliance]], but because of Isildur's refusal to destroy [[the One Ring]], he was not entirely vanquished.  He survived in spirit form, and the foundations of Barad-dûr were also not destroyed.  Sauron's spirit wandered the wastelands of Middle-earth for over 1000 years, but eventually he rebuilt his power and became a threat once again. Around {{TA|1000}}, the [[Valar]] sent [[Maiar]] [[Wizards|emissaries]] to [[Middle-earth]] to help the [[Free peoples]] against Sauron, however Sauron succeeded in destroying the Kingdom of [[Arnor]], ending the line of the [[Kings of Gondor]], and weakening the kingdom.
  
 
In the meantime, Sauron's One Ring was found by two of the [[Stoors]] in the [[Gladden River]]. The person who got it, under its influence, was corrupted as [[Gollum]] and eventually retreated in the [[Goblin-town]] under the [[Misty Mountains]].
 
In the meantime, Sauron's One Ring was found by two of the [[Stoors]] in the [[Gladden River]]. The person who got it, under its influence, was corrupted as [[Gollum]] and eventually retreated in the [[Goblin-town]] under the [[Misty Mountains]].
 
[[File:John Howe - Alert the Folk.jpg|thumb|Smaug attacking Esgaroth]]
 
[[File:John Howe - Alert the Folk.jpg|thumb|Smaug attacking Esgaroth]]
Years before the War, while Sauron was known as the "[[Necromancer]]" and abode in [[Dol Guldur]], [[Gandalf]] was concerned about the weak state of the North.  [[Smaug]] the [[Dragons|Dragon]] had destroyed both the [[Kingdom under the Mountain]] and the town of [[Dale]]. About [[Erebor]] was desolation which Sauron might use to regain the northern passes in the mountains and the old lands of [[Angmar]].  Gandalf, seeing no hope in [[Thorin]]'s plans of battle and war against Smaug, persuaded him that he should go secretly to Erebor to reclaim its treasure, and to take with him [[Bilbo Baggins]] of [[The Shire|the Shire]].<ref>{{UT|Quest}}</ref>. Smaug was killed by [[Bard]] with information obtained by Bilbo Baggins, Erebor was retaken, and most importantly, the kingdoms of Erebor and Dale were re-established. In a small incident along the way, [[the One Ring]] was lost by [[Gollum]] and wound up in Bilbo's hands.<ref>{{H|Riddles}}</ref>
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Years before the War, while Sauron was known as the "[[Necromancer]]" and abode in [[Dol Guldur]], [[Gandalf]] was concerned about the weak state of the North.  [[Smaug]] the [[Dragons|Dragon]] had destroyed both the [[Kingdom under the Mountain]] and the town of [[Dale]]. About [[Lonely Mountain|Erebor]] was desolation which Sauron might use to regain the northern passes in the mountains and the old lands of [[Angmar]].  Gandalf, seeing no hope in [[Thorin]]'s plans of battle and war against Smaug, persuaded him that he should go secretly to Erebor to reclaim its treasure, and to take with him [[Bilbo Baggins]] of [[The Shire|the Shire]].<ref>{{UT|Quest}}</ref>. Smaug was killed by [[Bard]] with information obtained by Bilbo Baggins, Erebor was retaken, and most importantly, the kingdoms of Erebor and Dale were re-established. In a small incident along the way, [[the One Ring]] was lost by [[Gollum]] and wound up in Bilbo's hands.<ref>{{H|Riddles}}</ref>
  
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Around the time the War begun, it is said that the [[Ithryn Luin]] had gained influence in the [[East]] and, thanks to their efforts, Sauron could not manage to gather as much people in his side.<ref>{{PM|Last}}</ref>
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==History==
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===Prelude===
 
During the Quest for Erebor, the [[White Council]] attacked Dol Guldur and the Necromancer withdrew. However, Sauron returned to his old abode in [[Mordor]] to reconstruct [[Barad-dûr]] and ten years after the fall of Smaug he sent three [[Nazgûl]] to reoccupy Dol Guldur. The [[White Council]] met for a last time in {{TA|2953}}.<ref>{{App|TA}}</ref>
 
During the Quest for Erebor, the [[White Council]] attacked Dol Guldur and the Necromancer withdrew. However, Sauron returned to his old abode in [[Mordor]] to reconstruct [[Barad-dûr]] and ten years after the fall of Smaug he sent three [[Nazgûl]] to reoccupy Dol Guldur. The [[White Council]] met for a last time in {{TA|2953}}.<ref>{{App|TA}}</ref>
  
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A messenger from Mordor visited King [[Dáin Ironfoot|Dáin II]] and asked information on Bilbo and the Ring. Meanwhile, Gandalf reading the [[Scroll of Isildur]] in [[Minas Tirith]], also realized that Bilbo's Ring was the One Ring.<ref name="council">{{FR|Council}}</ref>  
 
A messenger from Mordor visited King [[Dáin Ironfoot|Dáin II]] and asked information on Bilbo and the Ring. Meanwhile, Gandalf reading the [[Scroll of Isildur]] in [[Minas Tirith]], also realized that Bilbo's Ring was the One Ring.<ref name="council">{{FR|Council}}</ref>  
  
Around the time the War begun, it is said that the [[Ithryn Luin]] had gained influence in the [[East]] and, thanks to their efforts, Sauron could not manage to gather as much people in his side.<ref>{{PM|Last}}</ref>
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When Sauron decided to send his Nazgûl to find the Ring he thought using them to attack [[Osgiliath]]. This would make them seem like a part of his war policy against Gondor, concealing from the Wise their true mission; it would be also an opportunity to test [[Denethor|Denethor II]]'s strength.<ref name="hunt"/>
 
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===First conflicts===
 
===First conflicts===
 
[[File:Donato Giancola - Faramir at Osgiliath.jpg|thumb|left|Battle in Osgiliath]]
 
[[File:Donato Giancola - Faramir at Osgiliath.jpg|thumb|left|Battle in Osgiliath]]
Sauron decided to test [[Denethor II]]'s strength and made an [[Sauron's attack on Osgiliath|attack]] on [[Osgiliath]] on [[20 June|June 20]] of {{TA|3018}} which was the beginning of the War. It was also an opportunity of Sauron to make the appearance of the Nazgûl seem to be only part of his war policy against Gondor, in order to conceal from the Wise their true mission to hunt for the One Ring.<ref name="hunt"/> [[Boromir]] and [[Faramir]] managed to defend and destroy the Bridge in order to deny the enemy access to the western side of the river.  
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Sauron made an [[Sauron's attack on Osgiliath|attack]] on [[Osgiliath]] on [[20 June|June 20]] of {{TA|3018}} which was the beginning of the War. [[Boromir]] and [[Faramir]] managed to defend and destroy the Bridge in order to deny the enemy access to the western side of the river.<ref name="AB"/>
  
 
After the assault and under the leadership of the Witch-king, Sauron sent the Nine unclothed and invisible to search for the Ring .
 
After the assault and under the leadership of the Witch-king, Sauron sent the Nine unclothed and invisible to search for the Ring .
  
About the same time the [[Elves]] of [[Mirkwood]] were attacked and during the fray, the captive [[Gollum]] escaped and would not be found nor by the Elves nor by Sauron's servants.
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About the same time the [[Elves]] of [[Mirkwood]] were attacked and during the fray, the captive [[Gollum]] escaped and would not be found nor by the Elves nor by Sauron's servants.<ref name="AB"/>
  
 
The following months, Boromir would seek counsel in [[Rivendell]] while Faramir led several [[Rangers of Ithilien|Ranger]] attacks deep into Mordor-occupied Ithilien, ambushing enemy armies moving to the Black Gate.  
 
The following months, Boromir would seek counsel in [[Rivendell]] while Faramir led several [[Rangers of Ithilien|Ranger]] attacks deep into Mordor-occupied Ithilien, ambushing enemy armies moving to the Black Gate.  
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The Ringwraith [[Khamûl]] was unable to find the "[[the Shire|Shire]]" in the vales of [[Anduin]].  The [[Witch-king]] searched north and west for Gollum or the Shire.  But plans were halted when Sauron received word of the prophecy in Gondor and the doings of the turncoat [[Saruman]], and concluded that the [[Wise]] did not yet have possession of the Ring yet, as he feared. [[Black Riders]] arrived to [[Isengard]] around [[18 September|September 18]], but Gandalf had escaped. Traitor Saruman fortified himself in Isengard and convinced the Witch-king that Gandalf alone knew where the Shire and the Ring was, and so the Nine passed into [[Rohan]] in search of him.<ref name="hunt"/>
 
The Ringwraith [[Khamûl]] was unable to find the "[[the Shire|Shire]]" in the vales of [[Anduin]].  The [[Witch-king]] searched north and west for Gollum or the Shire.  But plans were halted when Sauron received word of the prophecy in Gondor and the doings of the turncoat [[Saruman]], and concluded that the [[Wise]] did not yet have possession of the Ring yet, as he feared. [[Black Riders]] arrived to [[Isengard]] around [[18 September|September 18]], but Gandalf had escaped. Traitor Saruman fortified himself in Isengard and convinced the Witch-king that Gandalf alone knew where the Shire and the Ring was, and so the Nine passed into [[Rohan]] in search of him.<ref name="hunt"/>
  
There, they questioned [[Wormtongue]], who, terrified, answered that Gandalf had passed through Rohan, where the Shire was, and even that Saruman had lied to them. The riders were divided into four pairs, and the Witch-King went with the swiftest to [[Minhiriath]].  Along the way they captured several spies of Saruman, and found charts and maps of the Shire.  They sent along the spy to [[Bree]], warning them that they now belonged to Mordor, not Saruman.<ref name="hunt"/>
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There, they questioned [[Gríma|Wormtongue]], who, terrified, answered that Gandalf had passed through Rohan, where the Shire was, and even that Saruman had lied to them. The riders were divided into four pairs, and the Witch-King went with the swiftest to [[Minhiriath]].  Along the way they captured several spies of Saruman, and found charts and maps of the Shire.  They sent along the spy to [[Bree]], warning them that they now belonged to Mordor, not Saruman.<ref name="hunt"/>
  
 
In [[22 September|September 22]] they came to [[Sarn Ford]].  Although the [[Dúnedain]] [[Rangers of the North|Rangers]] were guarding the crossing, their chieftain [[Aragorn|Aragorn II]] was away and the Riders captured the ford, killing many of the Rangers. The Witch-king sent Khamûl and three Riders into the Shire while he went east with the others and then returned to watch the [[Greenway]].<ref name="AB">{{App|B3}}</ref> A Rider came to Hobbiton at nightfall, but failed to capture [[Frodo Baggins|Frodo]] who departed that same day.<ref name="hunt"/>
 
In [[22 September|September 22]] they came to [[Sarn Ford]].  Although the [[Dúnedain]] [[Rangers of the North|Rangers]] were guarding the crossing, their chieftain [[Aragorn|Aragorn II]] was away and the Riders captured the ford, killing many of the Rangers. The Witch-king sent Khamûl and three Riders into the Shire while he went east with the others and then returned to watch the [[Greenway]].<ref name="AB">{{App|B3}}</ref> A Rider came to Hobbiton at nightfall, but failed to capture [[Frodo Baggins|Frodo]] who departed that same day.<ref name="hunt"/>
  
 
Saruman, caught now between both sides as a known traitor to both, implemented a strategy of attacking Rohan, endeavoring to kill the King's son [[Théodred]], sending spies to waylay Frodo Baggins on his flight from the Shire, and dispatching raiding parties on likely routes a company of the Ring might take to Gondor. During the fall of that year, some [[Ruffians]] were sent to the Shire to gain control of the region, collecting the crops and suppressing any dissent.
 
Saruman, caught now between both sides as a known traitor to both, implemented a strategy of attacking Rohan, endeavoring to kill the King's son [[Théodred]], sending spies to waylay Frodo Baggins on his flight from the Shire, and dispatching raiding parties on likely routes a company of the Ring might take to Gondor. During the fall of that year, some [[Ruffians]] were sent to the Shire to gain control of the region, collecting the crops and suppressing any dissent.
[[Image:Peter Jackson's The Fellowship of the Ring - The Council of Elrond.jpg|thumb|left|The Council of Elrond, a pivotal phase of the War.]]
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[[File:Peter Jackson's The Fellowship of the Ring - The Council of Elrond.jpg|thumb|left|The Council of Elrond, a pivotal phase of the War.]]
 
In October, Frodo came to [[Rivendell]] and during his arrival, the Black Riders were temporarily neutralized and the Ringwraiths were forced to return to Mordor to regroup. Some days later, the [[Council of Elrond]] was called, where it was decided that the only way to be free of Sauron and the Ring was to cast the Ring into the [[Crack of Doom]] in [[Mount Doom]]. Frodo surprised everyone, including himself, by declaring that he would take the Ring<ref name="council"/>. The [[Fellowship_of_the_Ring|team]] who would travel to Mordor departed Rivendell in December.<ref name="AB"/>
 
In October, Frodo came to [[Rivendell]] and during his arrival, the Black Riders were temporarily neutralized and the Ringwraiths were forced to return to Mordor to regroup. Some days later, the [[Council of Elrond]] was called, where it was decided that the only way to be free of Sauron and the Ring was to cast the Ring into the [[Crack of Doom]] in [[Mount Doom]]. Frodo surprised everyone, including himself, by declaring that he would take the Ring<ref name="council"/>. The [[Fellowship_of_the_Ring|team]] who would travel to Mordor departed Rivendell in December.<ref name="AB"/>
  
 
===Saruman's Part in the War===
 
===Saruman's Part in the War===
 
[[File:1st Battle of Isen.jpg|thumb|The aftermath at Isen]]
 
[[File:1st Battle of Isen.jpg|thumb|The aftermath at Isen]]
Months later, Saruman entered the War, his main aim being to get rid of [[Théodred]] and [[Éomer]] and have full control of [[Théoden]]. On [[25 February|February 25]], {{TA|3019}}, he sent his forces to attack [[Rohan]]'s army (commanded by [[Théodred]] and [[Grimbold]]) at the [[Isen]]. [[Dunlendings]], [[Wolfriders]] and [[Uruks]] clashed against the [[Rohirrim]] in the '''[[First Battle of the Fords of Isen]]''' with orders to slay Théodred at any cost. [[Elfhelm]] arrived only to avenge Théodred's killer and take the dying Prince away from the battle.<ref name="Isen">{{UT|Isen}}</ref>
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Months later, Saruman entered the War, his main aim being to get rid of [[Théodred]] and [[Éomer]] and have full control of [[Théoden]]. On [[25 February|February 25]], {{TA|3019}}, he sent his forces to attack [[Rohan]]'s army (commanded by [[Théodred]] and [[Grimbold]]) at the [[Isen]]. [[Dunlendings]], [[Wolfriders]] and [[Uruks]] clashed against the [[Rohirrim]] in the '''[[First Battle of the Fords of Isen]]''' with orders to slay Théodred at any cost. [[Erkenbrand]] took command of the western defenses of Rohan. He sent a messenger to Edoras to inform the King of the ill news and ask for reinforcements, but [[Gríma Wormtongue]] delayed the message. [[Elfhelm]] joined [[Grimbold of Grimslade]], left in charge of the Fords when Erkenbrand tried to send stragglers to [[Helm's Deep]] but managed only to avenge Théodred's killer and take the dying Prince away from the battle.<ref name="Isen">{{UT|Isen}}</ref>  
 
[[File:Matt Stewart - The Horn of Boromir.jpg|thumb|left|Boromir attempts to protect the hobbits from Saruman's Uruk-hai]]
 
[[File:Matt Stewart - The Horn of Boromir.jpg|thumb|left|Boromir attempts to protect the hobbits from Saruman's Uruk-hai]]
 
The [[26 February|next day]] while the [[Fellowship of the Ring|Company of the Ring]] was in the [[Emyn Muil]] thinking whether to take the Ring to Minas Tirith or go directly to Mordor, Orcs from Isengard attempted to capture the Ring-bearer; but instead they took Merry and Pippin as prisoners.<ref>{{FR|Breaking}}</ref> Éomer hearing of the descent of the Orcband set out from [[Eastfold]] against Théoden's orders and overtook them outside Fangorn Forest, unknowingly setting the hobbits free.<ref name="AB"/><ref>{{TT|Riders}}</ref>
 
The [[26 February|next day]] while the [[Fellowship of the Ring|Company of the Ring]] was in the [[Emyn Muil]] thinking whether to take the Ring to Minas Tirith or go directly to Mordor, Orcs from Isengard attempted to capture the Ring-bearer; but instead they took Merry and Pippin as prisoners.<ref>{{FR|Breaking}}</ref> Éomer hearing of the descent of the Orcband set out from [[Eastfold]] against Théoden's orders and overtook them outside Fangorn Forest, unknowingly setting the hobbits free.<ref name="AB"/><ref>{{TT|Riders}}</ref>
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Having heard the news about Théodred's death, [[Erkenbrand]], who became the commander of Rohan's western armies, gathered the forces of Grimbold and Elfhelm to assault Isen once more in the '''[[Second Battle of the Fords of Isen]]''' ([[2 March|March 2]]).  Though they had a force of about 2000 men and had constructed a shield wall to hold off the enemy, Saruman's forces overcame them and scattered the retreating Rohirrim across Rohan.<ref name="Isen"/><ref name="Deep">{{TT|Deep}}</ref>
 
Having heard the news about Théodred's death, [[Erkenbrand]], who became the commander of Rohan's western armies, gathered the forces of Grimbold and Elfhelm to assault Isen once more in the '''[[Second Battle of the Fords of Isen]]''' ([[2 March|March 2]]).  Though they had a force of about 2000 men and had constructed a shield wall to hold off the enemy, Saruman's forces overcame them and scattered the retreating Rohirrim across Rohan.<ref name="Isen"/><ref name="Deep">{{TT|Deep}}</ref>
  
Saruman's victory would not last; he did not know that on the very same day, Gandalf had healed Théoden from [[Wormtongue]]'s influence. In the meantime, the [[Ents]] after ending their long [[Entmoot]], decide to go to [[Isengard]] and battle Saruman.<ref name="AB"/>
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Saruman's victory would not last; he did not know that on the very same day, Gandalf had healed Théoden from [[Gríma|Wormtongue]]'s influence. In the meantime, the [[Ents]] after ending their long [[Entmoot]], decide to go to [[Isengard]] and battle Saruman.<ref name="AB"/>
[[File:Alan Lee - The Battle at Helm's Deep.JPG|thumb|right|Battle at the Helm's Deep]]
+
[[File:Alan Lee - The Battle at Helm's Deep.jpg|thumb|right|Battle at the Helm's Deep]]
 
The next day ([[3 March|March 3]]) seeking to take the fight away from his people, Théoden brought around a  thousand horsemen to the [[Fords of Isen]] along with any others in [[Edoras]]. Among this force were [[Éomer]], [[Aragorn]], [[Gimli]] and [[Legolas]]. On their way they found [[Ceorl]] who reported a defeat to the Fords; Théoden then redirected his troops to [[Helm's Deep]], which was commanded by [[Gamling]] in his lord Erkenbrand's absence. Against overwhelming odds, they fought the '''[[Battle of the Hornburg]]''' for two days against [[Uruk-hai]] and [[Dunlendings]], until the [[Deeping Wall]] was breached and all seemed lost. The surviving horsemen rode out to meet the hordes of Isengard.<ref name="Deep"/>
 
The next day ([[3 March|March 3]]) seeking to take the fight away from his people, Théoden brought around a  thousand horsemen to the [[Fords of Isen]] along with any others in [[Edoras]]. Among this force were [[Éomer]], [[Aragorn]], [[Gimli]] and [[Legolas]]. On their way they found [[Ceorl]] who reported a defeat to the Fords; Théoden then redirected his troops to [[Helm's Deep]], which was commanded by [[Gamling]] in his lord Erkenbrand's absence. Against overwhelming odds, they fought the '''[[Battle of the Hornburg]]''' for two days against [[Uruk-hai]] and [[Dunlendings]], until the [[Deeping Wall]] was breached and all seemed lost. The surviving horsemen rode out to meet the hordes of Isengard.<ref name="Deep"/>
 
[[File:Ted Nasmith - The Wrath of the Ents.jpg|thumb|left|The Wrath of the Ents]]
 
[[File:Ted Nasmith - The Wrath of the Ents.jpg|thumb|left|The Wrath of the Ents]]
 
At that moment, [[Gandalf]] returned, bringing with him Erkenbrand and many other soldiers from [[Westfold]]. They attacked the army from the rear, driving the attackers back into a forest of [[Huorns]]. Saruman was attacked by a march of [[Ents]] in the '''[[Battle of Isengard]]''' who drowned all the valley.<ref name="Flotsam">{{TT|Flotsam}}</ref>
 
At that moment, [[Gandalf]] returned, bringing with him Erkenbrand and many other soldiers from [[Westfold]]. They attacked the army from the rear, driving the attackers back into a forest of [[Huorns]]. Saruman was attacked by a march of [[Ents]] in the '''[[Battle of Isengard]]''' who drowned all the valley.<ref name="Flotsam">{{TT|Flotsam}}</ref>
  
After the defeat of Saruman, Pippin looked in the [[Orthanc-stone]] and saw the [[Eye of Sauron]]; Gandalf believed that seeing the Hobbit, Sauron would imagine that the [[Ring-bearer]] was caught by Saruman's Orcs and that they could make good use of the delay caused by this confusion.<ref name="Pal">{{TT|Palantir}}</ref> The protagonists of the War separated, anticipating Sauron's attack on Minas Tirith. Gandalf set out for Minas Tirith taking Pippin since he would not be safe. Théoden set out from the Hornburg for [[Harrowdale]] while Aragorn set out  with the [[Grey Company]] to [[Dunharrow]] and took the [[Paths of the Dead]]. Théoden would come to Dunharrow.
+
After the defeat of Saruman, Pippin looked in the [[Orthanc-stone]] and saw the [[Eye of Sauron]]; Gandalf believed that seeing the Hobbit, Sauron would imagine that the [[Ring-bearer]] was caught by Saruman's Orcs and that they could make good use of the delay caused by this confusion.<ref name="Pal">{{TT|Palantir}}</ref> The protagonists of the War separated, anticipating Sauron's attack on Minas Tirith. Gandalf set out for Minas Tirith taking Pippin since he would not be safe. Théoden set out from the Hornburg for [[Harrowdale]].
 +
 
 +
Aragorn consulted the Stone of Orthanc and confronted Sauron subduing the stone’s power to his own will. In doing so, however, Aragorn has alerted Sauron to his existence as Isildur’s heir to the throne of Gondor. Gimli feared that Sauron would now release his forces sooner because of this revelation. Aragorn, however, hoped such a hasty move may weaken the Enemy’s attack<ref>{{RK|V2}}</ref>. They set out  with the [[Grey Company]] to [[Dunharrow]] and took the [[Paths of the Dead]]. Théoden would come to Dunharrow.
  
 
===Sauron Strikes===
 
===Sauron Strikes===
 
On [[10 March|March 10]] fumes from Mordor veiled the [[Sun]] in an attempt by Sauron to disparage or misguide his enemies. The veil blacked out most of Gondor and Rohan who observed that day as [[The Dawnless Day]].
 
On [[10 March|March 10]] fumes from Mordor veiled the [[Sun]] in an attempt by Sauron to disparage or misguide his enemies. The veil blacked out most of Gondor and Rohan who observed that day as [[The Dawnless Day]].
 
[[File:Ted Nasmith - The Nazgûl.jpg|thumb|The Nazgûl set off]]
 
[[File:Ted Nasmith - The Nazgûl.jpg|thumb|The Nazgûl set off]]
Along with the Darkness, a host from [[Minas Morgul]] set forth toward Minas Tirith, as witnessed by Frodo, Sam and Gollum who passed the Cross-roads. Later Orcs from the [[Morannon]] took [[Cair Andros]] and passed into [[Anórien]].
+
Along with the Darkness, a host from [[Minas Morgul]] set forth toward Minas Tirith, as witnessed by Frodo, Sam and Gollum who passed the Cross-roads. Later Orcs from the [[Morannon]] took [[Cair Andros]] and passed into [[Anórien]].[[Denethor|Denethor II]] called the [[Council of Gondor]] together on that day<ref name="AB"/> and it advised him to make no stroke of war against the enemy due to the threat from the south.<ref name="siege"/>
  
 
The Rohirrim mustered their Riders and rode from Harrowdale, while Aragorn led the [[Dead Men]] and the Grey Company, across the river [[Ringló]].  
 
The Rohirrim mustered their Riders and rode from Harrowdale, while Aragorn led the [[Dead Men]] and the Grey Company, across the river [[Ringló]].  
  
While preparing against Gondor, Sauron also begun campaigns to conquer [[Wilderland]], activating his armies stationed in [[Dol Guldur]] and eastern allies. This would bring the eastern half of Middle-earth entirely into his dominion.  
+
While preparing against Gondor, Sauron also begun campaigns to conquer [[Wilderland]], activating his armies stationed in [[Dol Guldur]] and eastern allies. This would bring the eastern half of Middle-earth entirely into his dominion. On [[11 March|March 11]] Orcs from Dol Guldur attacked [[Lórien]] and Eastern Rohan. [[12 March|The next day]] the invaders of Rohan are utterly defeated by Ents.<ref name="AB"/>
  
On [[11 March|March 11]] Orcs from Dol Guldur attacked [[Lórien]] and Eastern Rohan. [[12 March|The next day]] the invaders of Rohan are utterly defeated by Ents.
+
In Gondor, 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]].
  
In Gondor, [[Denethor II]] sent Faramir to Osgiliath to [[Faramir's defense of Osgiliath|intercept the Morgul-host]] and [[13 March|two days later]] he retreated to the [[Causeway Forts]]; but [[14 March|the next day]] he was wounded seriously while [[Pelennor]] was overrun. The [[Siege of Minas Tirith]] began.
+
[[Denethor|Denethor II]] sent Faramir to Osgiliath to [[Faramir's defense of Osgiliath|intercept the Morgul-host]]. The Witch-King led the assault upon the western side the next morning aided by boats built in secret, and swiftly overwhelmed the defenders swiftly and on [[13 March]] Faramir retreated to the [[Causeway Forts]]; Gandalf, upon learning the Witch-King was on the field, [[14 March|the next day]] went from the city to the Rammas Echor where the forces which had fallen back. It was taken by blasting stones, and a charge by Prince [[Imrahil]] and the Knights of [[Dol Amroth]] saved Faramir who fell wounded by an Easterling champion.
 +
 
 +
As Pelennor was overrun, Denethor sent a sortie of cavalry to assist the defenders who retreated back to the city. Denethor, upon seeing his son in this grave state, lost his will to fight and gave no more thought to the defense of his city.he was wounded seriously while [[Pelennor]] was overrun. The [[Siege of Minas Tirith]] began.<ref name="siege"/>
 +
[[File:Luca Michelucci - 1999 - March.jpg|left|thumb|The Black Ships]]
 +
Meanwhile, invaders from [[Umbar]] and [[Harad]] who sought to capture [[Linhir]] and the fords of the River [[Gilrain]]. The men of [[Lamedon]] fought against them and the arrival of Aragorn with the Army of the Dead from [[Erech]] terrified both sides. As Aragorn pressed on to [[Pelargir]], [[Angbor]] mustered as many horsemen as he could, helped by the fast-spreading rumour of the return of the [[Heir of Isildur]]. Soon later the group reached Pelargir, drove the Corsairs away and captured their [[Black Ships|fleet]] an [[Surprise Attack on Umbar|assault]] he had also carried out decades earlier.<ref name="debate">{{RK|Debate}}</ref>
  
 
===The climax of the War===
 
===The climax of the War===
On [[15 March|March 15]] three simultaneous battles occurred.
+
On [[15 March]] three simultaneous battles occurred.
  
In [[Rhovanion]], an army was sent to destroy the realm of [[Thranduil]] and a second assault against Lorien was made. After a long battle under the trees, and great ruin of fire<ref>{{HM|AB}}</ref> the Orcs were defeated on both fronts on the same day.
+
In [[Rhovanion]], an army was sent to destroy the realm of [[Thranduil]] and a second assault against Lorien was made. After a long battle under the trees, and great ruin of fire<ref name="AB"/> the Orcs were defeated on both fronts on the same day.
  
Aragorn consulted the [[Stone of Orthanc]] that Saruman used to communicate with Sauron. He confronted Sauron through the palantír subduing the stone’s power to his own will. In doing so, however, Aragorn has alerted Sauron to his existence as Isildur’s heir to the throne of Gondor. Gimli feared that Sauron would now release his forces sooner because of this revelation. Aragorn, however, hoped such a hasty move may weaken the Enemy’s attack<ref>{{RK|Passing}}</ref>
+
In Gondor, after the enemy passed Osgiliath, [[Pelennor]] outside Minas Tirith was overrun, despite the armies that gathered from southern Gondor already in the days before the battle. The hosts of Mordor dug pits and set up siege weapons beyond the city's range as the Nazgul swooped near the city uttering cries of death, demoralizing the defenders. Then the weapons began launching 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.<ref name="siege">{{RK|Siege}}</ref>
[[File:Luca Michelucci - 1999 - March.jpg|left|thumb|The Black Ships]]
+
[[File:Stephen Hickman - Siege of Minas Tirith.jpg|thumb|The Witch-King rides beside Grond]]
Aragorn, after enlisting the help of [[Army of the Dead]], and other Rangers of the North, Gimli, Legolas, [[Elladan]], [[Elrohir]] and many reinforcements from southern fiefdoms of Gondor, attacked the Corsair fleet at Umbar, an [[Surprise Attack on Umbar|assault]] he had also carried out decades earlier.
+
Near midnight the Witch-King launched his assault pushing many defenders to the higher levels, while others were slain trying to reach the walls. Many towers were also destroyed as they rolled forward. <ref name="siege"/>
  
In Gondor, after the enemy passed Osgiliath, [[Pelennor]] outside Minas Tirith was overrun, despite the armies that gathered from southern Gondor already in the days before the battle. The '''[[Battle of the Pelennor Fields]]''' erupted until the Witch-king broke the [[Great Gate of Minas Tirith]] with [[Grond]], when the Rohirrim reached [[Rammas Echor]] and joined the battle.
+
The Witch-King rode assisted by magic the battering ram [[Grond (battering ram)|Grond]] as it hit the [[Great Gate of Minas Tirith]]. As he entered the gate he was confronted by Gandalf who alone stood steadfast. Then a cock crowed and horn from the west sounded. The Witch-King left to deal with the Riders of Rohan at the Rammas Echor. The '''[[Battle of the Pelennor Fields]]''' begun.<ref name="siege"/>
  
[[File:Anke Eissmann - The Black Serpent founders.jpg|thumb|Haradrim fight the Rohirrim in the Battle of the Pelennor]]
+
[[File:Anke Eißmann - The Black Serpent founders.jpg|thumb|left|Haradrim fight the Rohirrim in the Battle of the Pelennor]]
The combined army of Orcs, [[Haradrim]], [[Men of Rhûn]] and [[Men of Khand]], outnumbered them at least 10 to 1, but lost almost a third of their own forces. In the process King Théoden was killed, and the Witch-King was destroyed by Théoden's niece, Lady [[Éowyn]] of Rohan. When all seemed lost, a fleet of enemy ships with black sails arrived at the landings to the south of the Pelennor in the Rammas, but it was actually manned by Aragorn. As his army drove north a great part of Mordor's forces were pinned between Aragorn and Éomer's cavalry, and were "caught between the hammer and the anvil".  
+
The combined army of Orcs, [[Haradrim]], [[Men of Rhûn]] and [[Men of Khand]], outnumbered the Rohirrim at least 10 to 1, but lost almost a third of their own forces. In the process King Théoden was killed, and the Witch-King was destroyed by Théoden's niece, Lady [[Éowyn]] of Rohan. When all seemed lost, a fleet of enemy ships with black sails arrived at the landings to the south of the Pelennor in the Rammas, but it was actually manned by Aragorn. As his army drove north a great part of Mordor's forces were pinned between Aragorn and Éomer's cavalry, and were "caught between the hammer and the anvil".  
  
[[File:Jan Pospisil - Dale units vs. Rhun.jpg|thumb|left|The battle of Dale]]
+
[[File:Jan Pospisil - Dale units vs. Rhun.jpg|thumb|The battle of Dale]]
Meanwhile in the North, [[Easterlings]] crossed the [[Carnen]], and King [[Brand]] was driven back to [[Dale]]. He gathered there with the [[Dwarves of Erebor]], and engaged in the '''[[Battle of Dale]]''' against the Orcs at the feet of the [[Lonely Mountain]] for three days until ([[17 March|March 17]]) he fell alongside King [[Dáin Ironfoot]]. Many Dwarves and Men took refuge in [[Erebor]] and were besieged by the Easterlings. However news from the defeat at the Pelennor reached the Easterlings who begun to fail.
+
Meanwhile in the North, [[Easterlings]] crossed the [[Carnen]], and King [[Brand]] was driven back to [[Dale]]. He gathered there with the [[Dwarves of Erebor]], and engaged in the '''[[Battle of Dale]]''' against the Orcs at the feet of the [[Lonely Mountain]] for three days until ([[17 March|March 17]]) he fell alongside King [[Dáin Ironfoot]]. Many Dwarves and Men took refuge in [[Lonely Mountain|Erebor]] and were besieged by the Easterlings. However news from the defeat at the Pelennor reached the Easterlings who begun to fail.
  
 
===The end of Sauron===
 
===The end of Sauron===
The [[18 March|next day]] it was understood that the army vanquished in the Battle of the Pelennor was only a fraction of Sauron's forces, and eventually Minas Tirith would not manage to withstand forever. The [[Host of the West]] marched from Minas Tirith to confront Sauron. During that course, Lórien was attacked for a third and last time by Orcs ([[22 March|March 22]]). After much destruction, the Elves repulsed them once again.
+
The [[16 March|next day]] it was understood that the army vanquished in the Battle of the Pelennor was only a fraction of Sauron's forces, and eventually Minas Tirith would not manage to withstand forever. [[Imrahil]] expressed concern for the defense of Gondor. Aragorn assured him that [[Angbor]] was marching with 4,000 men through [[Lossarnach]] to garrison Minas Tirith.<ref name="debate"/>
 +
 
 +
The [[Host of the West]] marched from Minas Tirith on [[18 March]] to confront Sauron. During that course, Lórien was attacked for a third and last time by Orcs ([[22 March]]). After much destruction, the Elves repulsed them once again.  
  
 
The Host of the West would meet Sauron's forces outside the gates of Mordor [[25 March|seven days later]], hoping to divert their attention away from the [[Ring-bearer]], who was nearing the end of his mission.
 
The Host of the West would meet Sauron's forces outside the gates of Mordor [[25 March|seven days later]], hoping to divert their attention away from the [[Ring-bearer]], who was nearing the end of his mission.
Line 132: Line 144:
 
The Nazgûl were all destroyed as they flew over Mount Doom just as it underwent a gigantic eruption. [[Barad-dûr]], the [[Black Gate]], and the [[Towers of the Teeth]] collapsed to ruin. The Orcs and other creatures of Sauron were completely directionless with the Dark Lord's demise and were easily decimated by the army of the West and the Easterlings eventually threw down their weapons and surrendered. <Ref name="Doom">{{RK|Doom}}</ref>
 
The Nazgûl were all destroyed as they flew over Mount Doom just as it underwent a gigantic eruption. [[Barad-dûr]], the [[Black Gate]], and the [[Towers of the Teeth]] collapsed to ruin. The Orcs and other creatures of Sauron were completely directionless with the Dark Lord's demise and were easily decimated by the army of the West and the Easterlings eventually threw down their weapons and surrendered. <Ref name="Doom">{{RK|Doom}}</ref>
  
[[27 March|Two days later]], [[Bard II]] and [[Thorin Stonehelm|Thorin III]] Stonehelm drive the enemy from Dale.<ref name="AB"/>
+
[[27 March|Two days later]], [[Bard II]] and [[Thorin Stonehelm|Thorin III]] Stonehelm, taking the reign from their respective fathers who fell in the assault, drove the enemy from Dale.<ref name="AB"/>
  
 
[[File:Galadriel dol guldur bfmeII.JPG|thumb|right|The fall of Dol Guldur]]
 
[[File:Galadriel dol guldur bfmeII.JPG|thumb|right|The fall of Dol Guldur]]
Line 140: Line 152:
 
The War did not end with the defeat of Sauron, for Saruman fled northward after the capture of Orthanc, and established himself in the Shire, bending the Hobbits to his will by threat of violence and the persuasive power of his voice. The return of Frodo Baggins and his companions from the coronation of King Elessar and the reunification of Gondor and Arnor, led to their arrest by the [[Shire-hobbits]] but they talked their way out.<ref>{{RK|Homeward}}</ref>
 
The War did not end with the defeat of Sauron, for Saruman fled northward after the capture of Orthanc, and established himself in the Shire, bending the Hobbits to his will by threat of violence and the persuasive power of his voice. The return of Frodo Baggins and his companions from the coronation of King Elessar and the reunification of Gondor and Arnor, led to their arrest by the [[Shire-hobbits]] but they talked their way out.<ref>{{RK|Homeward}}</ref>
  
A small group of [[Ruffians]] was encountered, and Pippin declared the return of the King to them, and the message that emissaries were on their way. When he was scoffed, he declared himself the emissary, as he was not released from Elessar's service yet. The group was routed, but managed to get a message to a bigger contingent in [[Waymeet]].<ref name="Scouring">{{RK|Scouring}}</ref> 20 Men marched from [[Hobbiton]] towards [[Bywater]], and 200 Bucklanders and [[Cotton Family|Cottons]] answered the call of Captain Merry's horn.  
+
A small group of [[Ruffians]] was encountered, and Pippin declared the return of the King to them, and the message that emissaries were on their way. The group was routed, but managed to get a message to a bigger contingent in [[Waymeet]].<ref name="Scouring">{{RK|Scouring}}</ref> 20 Men marched from [[Hobbiton]] towards [[Bywater]], and 200 Bucklanders and [[Cotton Family|Cottons]] answered the call of Captain Merry's horn.  
 
[[File:Ted Nasmith - Storming the Bank.jpg|left|thumb|The Battle of Bywater]]
 
[[File:Ted Nasmith - Storming the Bank.jpg|left|thumb|The Battle of Bywater]]
The Men walked up [[Bywater Road]], to the point where [[Tolman Cotton Senior|Farmer Cotton]] was standing and found themselves heavily outnumbered. Their leader fell by arrows as he tried to strike at Merry. The rest surrendered. Pippin had set up a rebellion in [[Tookland]], and returned with one hundred Tooks when the larger group of Men from Waymeet arrived the following day and walked straight into a defensive pocket set up by Merry. Merry and Pippin charged from the eastern bank, and Merry killed the leader.<ref name="Scouring"/> Nearly seventy Men were killed and twelve were taken prisoner, while nineteen Hobbits died and about 30 were wounded.  
+
The Men walked up [[Bywater Road]], to the point where [[Tolman Cotton Senior|Farmer Cotton]] was standing and found themselves heavily outnumbered. Their leader fell by arrows as he tried to strike at Merry. The rest surrendered. Pippin had set up a rebellion in [[Tookland]], and returned with one hundred Tooks when the larger group of Men from Waymeet arrived the following day and walked straight into a defensive pocket set up by Merry. Merry and Pippin charged from the eastern bank, and Merry killed the leader.<ref name="Scouring"/> Nearly 70 Men were killed and 12 were taken prisoner, while 19 Hobbits died and about 30 were wounded.  
  
After their victory the Hobbits marched on to [[Bag End]], where they found [[Sharkey]]. It was not [[Lotho Sackville-Baggins|Lotho]] as had been thought, but rather [[Saruman]] who revealed that his servant [[Gríma Wormtongue|Gríma]] killed Lotho. Gríma cut Saruman's throat in a rage for years of oppression and abuse, but was himself shot by Hobbit archers. As the spirit of Saruman rose from its bodily form, it was blown away by a wind from the West; [[Manwë]] did not want him back.<ref name="Scouring"/>
+
After their victory the Hobbits marched on to [[Bag End]], where they found [[Sharkey]]. It was not [[Lotho Sackville-Baggins|Lotho]] as had been thought, but rather [[Saruman]] who revealed that his servant [[Gríma]] killed Lotho. Gríma cut Saruman's throat in a rage for years of oppression and abuse, but was himself shot by Hobbit archers. As the spirit of Saruman rose from its bodily form, it was blown away by a wind from the West; [[Manwë]] did not want him back.<ref name="Scouring"/>
  
 
This battle is considered to mark the end of the War.
 
This battle is considered to mark the end of the War.
  
== Aftermath ==
+
==Aftermath==
{{quote|You were born at the end of a great age, [[Elanor Gamgee|Elanorellë]]|[[Samwise Gamgee]], ''[[Sauron Defeated]]'', [[The Epilogue]]}}
+
 
{{main|Fourth Age}}
 
{{main|Fourth Age}}
 
[[File:Darrell Sweet - The White Sapling.jpg|thumb|[[Darrell Sweet]] - Aragorn finds the White Sapling, signifying a new era]]
 
[[File:Darrell Sweet - The White Sapling.jpg|thumb|[[Darrell Sweet]] - Aragorn finds the White Sapling, signifying a new era]]
Line 162: Line 173:
  
 
===Calendrical impact===
 
===Calendrical impact===
 +
{{quote|You were born at the end of a great age, [[Elanor Gamgee|Elanorellë]]|[[Samwise Gamgee]], ''[[Sauron Defeated]]'', [[The Epilogue]]}}
 
All the above events made historians to mark the years following the War as the end of the [[Third Age]].  
 
All the above events made historians to mark the years following the War as the end of the [[Third Age]].  
  
Line 167: Line 179:
  
 
==Combatants==
 
==Combatants==
[[Image:Darrell Sweet - The Fleet of Harad.jpg|thumb|''The Fleet of Harad'' by Darrell Sweet]]
+
[[File:Darrell Sweet - The Fleet of Harad.jpg|thumb|''The Fleet of Harad'' by Darrell Sweet]]
===Sauron and his Allies===
+
  
 +
===Sauron and his allies===
 
*[[Mordor]]
 
*[[Mordor]]
 
**[[Sauron]] †
 
**[[Sauron]] †
**[[Mouth of Sauron]]  
+
**[[Mouth of Sauron]]
 
**[[Nazgûl]] †
 
**[[Nazgûl]] †
 
*[[Orthanc]]
 
*[[Orthanc]]
 
**[[Saruman]] †
 
**[[Saruman]] †
**[[Gríma Wormtongue]] †
+
**[[Gríma|Gríma Wormtongue]] †
 
*[[Harad]]
 
*[[Harad]]
 
**[[Black Serpent]] †
 
**[[Black Serpent]] †
Line 182: Line 194:
 
*[[Orcs of the Misty Mountains]]
 
*[[Orcs of the Misty Mountains]]
  
===Free Peoples===
+
===Free peoples===
 
+
 
*[[Gondor]]
 
*[[Gondor]]
 
**[[Dol Amroth]]
 
**[[Dol Amroth]]
Line 206: Line 217:
 
***[[Dead Men]]
 
***[[Dead Men]]
 
**[[Minas Tirith]]
 
**[[Minas Tirith]]
***[[Denethor II]] †
+
***[[Denethor|Denethor II]] †
 
***[[Boromir]] †
 
***[[Boromir]] †
 
***[[Faramir]]
 
***[[Faramir]]
Line 238: Line 249:
 
*[[Istari]]
 
*[[Istari]]
 
**[[Gandalf]]
 
**[[Gandalf]]
*[[Erebor]] and the Lands of the North
+
*[[Lonely Mountain|Erebor]] and the Lands of the North
 
**The [[Lonely Mountain]]
 
**The [[Lonely Mountain]]
 
***[[Gimli]]
 
***[[Gimli]]
Line 249: Line 260:
  
 
==Non-combatants==
 
==Non-combatants==
 
 
*[[Elvendom]]
 
*[[Elvendom]]
 
**[[Rivendell]]
 
**[[Rivendell]]
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**[[Radagast]]
 
**[[Radagast]]
  
{{references}}
+
{{References}}
 +
 
 
[[Category:Conflicts of the Third Age]]
 
[[Category:Conflicts of the Third Age]]
 
[[Category:Wars]]
 
[[Category:Wars]]
 
[[fr:encyclo/evenements/3a/guerres/guerre_de_l_anneau]]
 
[[fr:encyclo/evenements/3a/guerres/guerre_de_l_anneau]]

Revision as of 19:09, 1 September 2012

The name War of the Ring refers to more than one character, item or concept. For a list of other meanings, see War of the Ring (disambiguation).
"Who told you, and who sent you?" — Gandalf
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War of the Ring
Osgiliath (1) · Fords of Isen · Isengard · Hornburg · Osgiliath (2) · Dale · Siege of Gondor · Pelennor Fields · Black Gate · Dol Guldur · Bywater
Previous war: Corsair Wars
Next war: Unknown
War of the Ring
Ted Nasmith - Thus Came Aragorn.jpg
Beginning: T.A. 3018 (earlier fighting in Gondor)End: T.A. 3019
Place: Northwestern Middle-earth
Outcome: Free Peoples' victory; destruction of the One Ring, Sauron and Mordor; start of the Fourth Age; Arnor and Gondor reunited under restoration of the King of Gondor
Major battles: Sauron's attack on Osgiliath, Battles of the Fords of Isen, Battle of Isengard, Battle of the Hornburg, Faramir's defense of Osgiliath, Battle of the Pelennor Fields, Battle of the Morannon, Battle Under Trees, Fall of Dol Guldur, Battle of Dale, Battle of Bywater
Combatants
Free Peoples of Middle-earth: Gondor, Rohan, Dale, Esgaroth, Erebor, The Shire, Lothlórien, Woodland RealmUnder Sauron: Mordor, Rhûn, Harad, Haven of Umbar, and Khand

Under Saruman: Isengard and Dunland
Commanders
John Howe - Icon Gondor transparent.png
Aragorn
John Howe - Icon Gondor transparent.png
Denethor
John Howe - Icon Rohan transparent.png
Théoden
John Howe - Icon Rohan transparent.png
Éomer
Imrahil
John Howe - Icon Mordor 1 small.pngSauron
John Howe - Icon Saruman transparent.png
Saruman
"So we come to it in the end, [...] the great battle of our time, in which many things shall pass away."
Théoden[1]

The War of the Ring was the great conflict at the end of the Third Age, named for the One Ring and the importance this had in the final outcome. The war was fought between Sauron, the Dark Lord of Mordor who attempted to conquer Middle-earth as he nearly did in the Second Age; and the Free peoples, being a loose alliance of Elves and Men led by the Wise. Saruman was a third power based in Orthanc.

Sauron at all times held the military advantage in the War, due to his overwhelming forces; not only Orcs and Trolls, but Men of Harad and the East. His main objective was to overthrow Gondor, his neighbour and the strongest of his enemies. He had such forces at his command, though, that he was able to fight the war on many fronts, simultaneously attacking Dale, Erebor and the Wood-elves in the far north, and Lothlórien from his secondary stronghold at Dol Guldur. There can be no doubt that, had the Wise not achieved and maintained possession of the Ring, Sauron would ultimately have been victorious.

The policy of the Wise was based around the Quest of Mount Doom: a company of nine under the leadership of Gandalf travelled from Rivendell with the One Ring, with the hope of taking it to Orodruin in Mordor and there destroying it. Because the Ring held much of Sauron's native power, they realised that in unmaking it, they would also defeat its creator.

Saruman had claimed alliance with both the Wise and the Dark Lord, but was ultimately fighting for his own ends. In alliance with the Dunlendings, and having Orcs at his own command, his objective was the defeat of Rohan. Until late in the War, he held the advantage, defeating Rohan twice at the Battles of the Fords of Isen.

Contents

Background

See also: Rings of Power
The change of states of the Third Age leading up to the War of the Ring

Sauron had been defeated in the War of the Last Alliance, but because of Isildur's refusal to destroy the One Ring, he was not entirely vanquished. He survived in spirit form, and the foundations of Barad-dûr were also not destroyed. Sauron's spirit wandered the wastelands of Middle-earth for over 1000 years, but eventually he rebuilt his power and became a threat once again. Around T.A. 1000, the Valar sent Maiar emissaries to Middle-earth to help the Free peoples against Sauron, however Sauron succeeded in destroying the Kingdom of Arnor, ending the line of the Kings of Gondor, and weakening the kingdom.

In the meantime, Sauron's One Ring was found by two of the Stoors in the Gladden River. The person who got it, under its influence, was corrupted as Gollum and eventually retreated in the Goblin-town under the Misty Mountains.

Smaug attacking Esgaroth

Years before the War, while Sauron was known as the "Necromancer" and abode in Dol Guldur, Gandalf was concerned about the weak state of the North. Smaug the Dragon had destroyed both the Kingdom under the Mountain and the town of Dale. About Erebor was desolation which Sauron might use to regain the northern passes in the mountains and the old lands of Angmar. Gandalf, seeing no hope in Thorin's plans of battle and war against Smaug, persuaded him that he should go secretly to Erebor to reclaim its treasure, and to take with him Bilbo Baggins of the Shire.[2]. Smaug was killed by Bard with information obtained by Bilbo Baggins, Erebor was retaken, and most importantly, the kingdoms of Erebor and Dale were re-established. In a small incident along the way, the One Ring was lost by Gollum and wound up in Bilbo's hands.[3]

Around the time the War begun, it is said that the Ithryn Luin had gained influence in the East and, thanks to their efforts, Sauron could not manage to gather as much people in his side.[4]

History

Prelude

During the Quest for Erebor, the White Council attacked Dol Guldur and the Necromancer withdrew. However, Sauron returned to his old abode in Mordor to reconstruct Barad-dûr and ten years after the fall of Smaug he sent three Nazgûl to reoccupy Dol Guldur. The White Council met for a last time in T.A. 2953.[5]

A year before the war, while Gollum was looking for his ring, he was taken to Mordor and interrogated by Sauron, who learned that the One Ring was in the possession of a "Baggins" in a place called "the Shire". However Sauron was led into thinking that the Shire was on the banks of the Gladden River.[6] Gollum was then set free, but caught by Aragorn, who placed him in the care of the Silvan Elves and held him in Mirkwood.

A messenger from Mordor visited King Dáin II and asked information on Bilbo and the Ring. Meanwhile, Gandalf reading the Scroll of Isildur in Minas Tirith, also realized that Bilbo's Ring was the One Ring.[7]

When Sauron decided to send his Nazgûl to find the Ring he thought using them to attack Osgiliath. This would make them seem like a part of his war policy against Gondor, concealing from the Wise their true mission; it would be also an opportunity to test Denethor II's strength.[6]

First conflicts

Battle in Osgiliath

Sauron made an attack on Osgiliath on June 20 of T.A. 3018 which was the beginning of the War. Boromir and Faramir managed to defend and destroy the Bridge in order to deny the enemy access to the western side of the river.[8]

After the assault and under the leadership of the Witch-king, Sauron sent the Nine unclothed and invisible to search for the Ring .

About the same time the Elves of Mirkwood were attacked and during the fray, the captive Gollum escaped and would not be found nor by the Elves nor by Sauron's servants.[8]

The following months, Boromir would seek counsel in Rivendell while Faramir led several Ranger attacks deep into Mordor-occupied Ithilien, ambushing enemy armies moving to the Black Gate.

The Ringwraith Khamûl was unable to find the "Shire" in the vales of Anduin. The Witch-king searched north and west for Gollum or the Shire. But plans were halted when Sauron received word of the prophecy in Gondor and the doings of the turncoat Saruman, and concluded that the Wise did not yet have possession of the Ring yet, as he feared. Black Riders arrived to Isengard around September 18, but Gandalf had escaped. Traitor Saruman fortified himself in Isengard and convinced the Witch-king that Gandalf alone knew where the Shire and the Ring was, and so the Nine passed into Rohan in search of him.[6]

There, they questioned Wormtongue, who, terrified, answered that Gandalf had passed through Rohan, where the Shire was, and even that Saruman had lied to them. The riders were divided into four pairs, and the Witch-King went with the swiftest to Minhiriath. Along the way they captured several spies of Saruman, and found charts and maps of the Shire. They sent along the spy to Bree, warning them that they now belonged to Mordor, not Saruman.[6]

In September 22 they came to Sarn Ford. Although the Dúnedain Rangers were guarding the crossing, their chieftain Aragorn II was away and the Riders captured the ford, killing many of the Rangers. The Witch-king sent Khamûl and three Riders into the Shire while he went east with the others and then returned to watch the Greenway.[8] A Rider came to Hobbiton at nightfall, but failed to capture Frodo who departed that same day.[6]

Saruman, caught now between both sides as a known traitor to both, implemented a strategy of attacking Rohan, endeavoring to kill the King's son Théodred, sending spies to waylay Frodo Baggins on his flight from the Shire, and dispatching raiding parties on likely routes a company of the Ring might take to Gondor. During the fall of that year, some Ruffians were sent to the Shire to gain control of the region, collecting the crops and suppressing any dissent.

File:Peter Jackson's The Fellowship of the Ring - The Council of Elrond.jpg
The Council of Elrond, a pivotal phase of the War.

In October, Frodo came to Rivendell and during his arrival, the Black Riders were temporarily neutralized and the Ringwraiths were forced to return to Mordor to regroup. Some days later, the Council of Elrond was called, where it was decided that the only way to be free of Sauron and the Ring was to cast the Ring into the Crack of Doom in Mount Doom. Frodo surprised everyone, including himself, by declaring that he would take the Ring[7]. The team who would travel to Mordor departed Rivendell in December.[8]

Saruman's Part in the War

The aftermath at Isen

Months later, Saruman entered the War, his main aim being to get rid of Théodred and Éomer and have full control of Théoden. On February 25, T.A. 3019, he sent his forces to attack Rohan's army (commanded by Théodred and Grimbold) at the Isen. Dunlendings, Wolfriders and Uruks clashed against the Rohirrim in the First Battle of the Fords of Isen with orders to slay Théodred at any cost. Erkenbrand took command of the western defenses of Rohan. He sent a messenger to Edoras to inform the King of the ill news and ask for reinforcements, but Gríma Wormtongue delayed the message. Elfhelm joined Grimbold of Grimslade, left in charge of the Fords when Erkenbrand tried to send stragglers to Helm's Deep but managed only to avenge Théodred's killer and take the dying Prince away from the battle.[9]

Boromir attempts to protect the hobbits from Saruman's Uruk-hai

The next day while the Company of the Ring was in the Emyn Muil thinking whether to take the Ring to Minas Tirith or go directly to Mordor, Orcs from Isengard attempted to capture the Ring-bearer; but instead they took Merry and Pippin as prisoners.[10] Éomer hearing of the descent of the Orcband set out from Eastfold against Théoden's orders and overtook them outside Fangorn Forest, unknowingly setting the hobbits free.[8][11]

Having heard the news about Théodred's death, Erkenbrand, who became the commander of Rohan's western armies, gathered the forces of Grimbold and Elfhelm to assault Isen once more in the Second Battle of the Fords of Isen (March 2). Though they had a force of about 2000 men and had constructed a shield wall to hold off the enemy, Saruman's forces overcame them and scattered the retreating Rohirrim across Rohan.[9][12]

Saruman's victory would not last; he did not know that on the very same day, Gandalf had healed Théoden from Wormtongue's influence. In the meantime, the Ents after ending their long Entmoot, decide to go to Isengard and battle Saruman.[8]

Battle at the Helm's Deep

The next day (March 3) seeking to take the fight away from his people, Théoden brought around a thousand horsemen to the Fords of Isen along with any others in Edoras. Among this force were Éomer, Aragorn, Gimli and Legolas. On their way they found Ceorl who reported a defeat to the Fords; Théoden then redirected his troops to Helm's Deep, which was commanded by Gamling in his lord Erkenbrand's absence. Against overwhelming odds, they fought the Battle of the Hornburg for two days against Uruk-hai and Dunlendings, until the Deeping Wall was breached and all seemed lost. The surviving horsemen rode out to meet the hordes of Isengard.[12]

The Wrath of the Ents

At that moment, Gandalf returned, bringing with him Erkenbrand and many other soldiers from Westfold. They attacked the army from the rear, driving the attackers back into a forest of Huorns. Saruman was attacked by a march of Ents in the Battle of Isengard who drowned all the valley.[13]

After the defeat of Saruman, Pippin looked in the Orthanc-stone and saw the Eye of Sauron; Gandalf believed that seeing the Hobbit, Sauron would imagine that the Ring-bearer was caught by Saruman's Orcs and that they could make good use of the delay caused by this confusion.[14] The protagonists of the War separated, anticipating Sauron's attack on Minas Tirith. Gandalf set out for Minas Tirith taking Pippin since he would not be safe. Théoden set out from the Hornburg for Harrowdale.

Aragorn consulted the Stone of Orthanc and confronted Sauron subduing the stone’s power to his own will. In doing so, however, Aragorn has alerted Sauron to his existence as Isildur’s heir to the throne of Gondor. Gimli feared that Sauron would now release his forces sooner because of this revelation. Aragorn, however, hoped such a hasty move may weaken the Enemy’s attack[15]. They set out with the Grey Company to Dunharrow and took the Paths of the Dead. Théoden would come to Dunharrow.

Sauron Strikes

On March 10 fumes from Mordor veiled the Sun in an attempt by Sauron to disparage or misguide his enemies. The veil blacked out most of Gondor and Rohan who observed that day as The Dawnless Day.

The Nazgûl set off

Along with the Darkness, a host from Minas Morgul set forth toward Minas Tirith, as witnessed by Frodo, Sam and Gollum who passed the Cross-roads. Later Orcs from the Morannon took Cair Andros and passed into Anórien.Denethor II called the Council of Gondor together on that day[8] and it advised him to make no stroke of war against the enemy due to the threat from the south.[16]

The Rohirrim mustered their Riders and rode from Harrowdale, while Aragorn led the Dead Men and the Grey Company, across the river Ringló.

While preparing against Gondor, Sauron also begun campaigns to conquer Wilderland, activating his armies stationed in Dol Guldur and eastern allies. This would bring the eastern half of Middle-earth entirely into his dominion. On March 11 Orcs from Dol Guldur attacked Lórien and Eastern Rohan. The next day the invaders of Rohan are utterly defeated by Ents.[8]

In Gondor, 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.

Denethor II sent Faramir to Osgiliath to intercept the Morgul-host. The Witch-King led the assault upon the western side the next morning aided by boats built in secret, and swiftly overwhelmed the defenders swiftly and on 13 March Faramir retreated to the Causeway Forts; Gandalf, upon learning the Witch-King was on the field, the next day went from the city to the Rammas Echor where the forces which had fallen back. It was taken by blasting stones, and a charge by Prince Imrahil and the Knights of Dol Amroth saved Faramir who fell wounded by an Easterling champion.

As Pelennor was overrun, Denethor sent a sortie of cavalry to assist the defenders who retreated back to the city. Denethor, upon seeing his son in this grave state, lost his will to fight and gave no more thought to the defense of his city.he was wounded seriously while Pelennor was overrun. The Siege of Minas Tirith began.[16]

Meanwhile, invaders from Umbar and Harad who sought to capture Linhir and the fords of the River Gilrain. The men of Lamedon fought against them and the arrival of Aragorn with the Army of the Dead from Erech terrified both sides. As Aragorn pressed on to Pelargir, Angbor mustered as many horsemen as he could, helped by the fast-spreading rumour of the return of the Heir of Isildur. Soon later the group reached Pelargir, drove the Corsairs away and captured their fleet an assault he had also carried out decades earlier.[17]

The climax of the War

On 15 March three simultaneous battles occurred.

In Rhovanion, an army was sent to destroy the realm of Thranduil and a second assault against Lorien was made. After a long battle under the trees, and great ruin of fire[8] the Orcs were defeated on both fronts on the same day.

In Gondor, after the enemy passed Osgiliath, Pelennor outside Minas Tirith was overrun, despite the armies that gathered from southern Gondor already in the days before the battle. The hosts of Mordor dug pits and set up siege weapons beyond the city's range as the Nazgul swooped near the city uttering cries of death, demoralizing the defenders. Then the weapons began launching 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.[16]

The Witch-King rides beside Grond

Near midnight the Witch-King launched his assault pushing many defenders to the higher levels, while others were slain trying to reach the walls. Many towers were also destroyed as they rolled forward. [16]

The Witch-King rode assisted by magic the battering ram Grond as it hit the Great Gate of Minas Tirith. As he entered the gate he was confronted by Gandalf who alone stood steadfast. Then a cock crowed and horn from the west sounded. The Witch-King left to deal with the Riders of Rohan at the Rammas Echor. The Battle of the Pelennor Fields begun.[16]

Haradrim fight the Rohirrim in the Battle of the Pelennor

The combined army of Orcs, Haradrim, Men of Rhûn and Men of Khand, outnumbered the Rohirrim at least 10 to 1, but lost almost a third of their own forces. In the process King Théoden was killed, and the Witch-King was destroyed by Théoden's niece, Lady Éowyn of Rohan. When all seemed lost, a fleet of enemy ships with black sails arrived at the landings to the south of the Pelennor in the Rammas, but it was actually manned by Aragorn. As his army drove north a great part of Mordor's forces were pinned between Aragorn and Éomer's cavalry, and were "caught between the hammer and the anvil".

The battle of Dale

Meanwhile in the North, Easterlings crossed the Carnen, and King Brand was driven back to Dale. He gathered there with the Dwarves of Erebor, and engaged in the Battle of Dale against the Orcs at the feet of the Lonely Mountain for three days until (March 17) he fell alongside King Dáin Ironfoot. Many Dwarves and Men took refuge in Erebor and were besieged by the Easterlings. However news from the defeat at the Pelennor reached the Easterlings who begun to fail.

The end of Sauron

The next day it was understood that the army vanquished in the Battle of the Pelennor was only a fraction of Sauron's forces, and eventually Minas Tirith would not manage to withstand forever. Imrahil expressed concern for the defense of Gondor. Aragorn assured him that Angbor was marching with 4,000 men through Lossarnach to garrison Minas Tirith.[17]

The Host of the West marched from Minas Tirith on 18 March to confront Sauron. During that course, Lórien was attacked for a third and last time by Orcs (22 March). After much destruction, the Elves repulsed them once again.

The Host of the West would meet Sauron's forces outside the gates of Mordor seven days later, hoping to divert their attention away from the Ring-bearer, who was nearing the end of his mission.

Fell beasts fly over the Battle of the Morannon

During the course of the Battle of the Morannon against Trolls, Orcs and Men, the eight remaining Nazgûl attacked the army of the West. The Eagles of the Misty Mountains, led by Gwaihir arrived and attacked the Ringwraiths. When all hope seemed lost, Frodo failed his mission: he claimed the One Ring for himself, and Sauron was suddenly aware that Frodo had the ring and was standing on the Crack of Doom. Realizing that his enemies meant to destroy his ring, Sauron immediately sent the Nazgûl away from the battle to Mount Doom to intercept Frodo. However, the One Ring was destroyed before they arrived. The hosts of Mordor, suddenly without direction, hesitated until Sauron's power was overthrown.

The Nazgûl were all destroyed as they flew over Mount Doom just as it underwent a gigantic eruption. Barad-dûr, the Black Gate, and the Towers of the Teeth collapsed to ruin. The Orcs and other creatures of Sauron were completely directionless with the Dark Lord's demise and were easily decimated by the army of the West and the Easterlings eventually threw down their weapons and surrendered. [18]

Two days later, Bard II and Thorin III Stonehelm, taking the reign from their respective fathers who fell in the assault, drove the enemy from Dale.[8]

The fall of Dol Guldur

On March 28 with Celeborn at their head, Elves crossed the Anduin in many boats and stormed Dol Guldur. Galadriel came after them in the Fall of Dol Guldur, throwing down the walls of the fortress and laying bare its pits, so that the forest was cleansed. Thranduil cleared all the orcs and foul beings from North Mirkwood.[8]

The Scouring of the Shire

The War did not end with the defeat of Sauron, for Saruman fled northward after the capture of Orthanc, and established himself in the Shire, bending the Hobbits to his will by threat of violence and the persuasive power of his voice. The return of Frodo Baggins and his companions from the coronation of King Elessar and the reunification of Gondor and Arnor, led to their arrest by the Shire-hobbits but they talked their way out.[19]

A small group of Ruffians was encountered, and Pippin declared the return of the King to them, and the message that emissaries were on their way. The group was routed, but managed to get a message to a bigger contingent in Waymeet.[20] 20 Men marched from Hobbiton towards Bywater, and 200 Bucklanders and Cottons answered the call of Captain Merry's horn.

The Battle of Bywater

The Men walked up Bywater Road, to the point where Farmer Cotton was standing and found themselves heavily outnumbered. Their leader fell by arrows as he tried to strike at Merry. The rest surrendered. Pippin had set up a rebellion in Tookland, and returned with one hundred Tooks when the larger group of Men from Waymeet arrived the following day and walked straight into a defensive pocket set up by Merry. Merry and Pippin charged from the eastern bank, and Merry killed the leader.[20] Nearly 70 Men were killed and 12 were taken prisoner, while 19 Hobbits died and about 30 were wounded.

After their victory the Hobbits marched on to Bag End, where they found Sharkey. It was not Lotho as had been thought, but rather Saruman who revealed that his servant Gríma killed Lotho. Gríma cut Saruman's throat in a rage for years of oppression and abuse, but was himself shot by Hobbit archers. As the spirit of Saruman rose from its bodily form, it was blown away by a wind from the West; Manwë did not want him back.[20]

This battle is considered to mark the end of the War.

Aftermath

Main article: Fourth Age
Darrell Sweet - Aragorn finds the White Sapling, signifying a new era

The consequences of the War were "apocalyptical" for the Westlands of Middle-earth. The status quo of many entities were restored, or even radically changed after centuries. Not only the millennia of Sauron's dominion were permanently brought to an end, but the relationships of peoples and races were redefined. It is also notable that during the War many personalities died (Denethor, Théoden, Brand, Dain), and brought their descendants into the aftermath.

The major effect of the war however was that with the destruction of the One Ring, the Three Rings that had maintained the realms of the Elves in Middle-earth lost their power, and the Elves began to leave for the Undying Lands; significant Elves who marked the history of the Westlands for millennia, like Galadriel and Elrond departed, setting stage for the Dominion of Men.

Political

The downfall of Sauron brought the restoration of the long-awaited line of Kings of Gondor, the restoration of Arnor and simultaneously the reunification of the two kingdoms; after of centuries of nomadic wandering the Rangers of the North had again a kingdom and the Gondorians had a king. This King was Aragorn II a descendant both of Isildur and Anarion; furthermore, his marriage with Arwen reunited the lines of Elrond and Elros since the First Age.

The Reunited Kingdom

Other political repercussions were the strengthening of the relationships between the Kingdom and Rohan, new relationships with the Ents (who now occupied Treegarth, former Isengard), the Woses and the Hobbits, now known as free peoples. On the Elven New Year, Celeborn and Thranduil renamed Mirkwood as Eryn Lasgalen and Celeborn took the southern part below the Narrows, naming it East Lórien. The wide forest inbetween was given to the Beornings and the Woodmen.

Calendrical impact

"You were born at the end of a great age, Elanorellë"
Samwise Gamgee, Sauron Defeated, The Epilogue

All the above events made historians to mark the years following the War as the end of the Third Age.

Another calendric change was the New Reckoning which replaced the Stewards' Reckoning, and the introduction of Cormarë, a holiday on March 25 that commemorated the fall of Sauron.[21]

Combatants

The Fleet of Harad by Darrell Sweet

Sauron and his allies

Free peoples

Non-combatants

References

  1. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Return of the King, "The Muster of Rohan"
  2. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), Unfinished Tales, "The Quest of Erebor"
  3. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit, "Riddles in the Dark"
  4. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Peoples of Middle-earth, "Last Writings"
  5. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix B, "The Third Age"
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), Unfinished Tales, "The Hunt for the Ring"
  7. 7.0 7.1 J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Fellowship of the Ring, "The Council of Elrond"
  8. 8.00 8.01 8.02 8.03 8.04 8.05 8.06 8.07 8.08 8.09 8.10 J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix B, "The Great Years"
  9. 9.0 9.1 J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), Unfinished Tales, "The Battles of the Fords of Isen"
  10. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Fellowship of the Ring, "The Breaking of the Fellowship"
  11. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Two Towers, "The Riders of Rohan"
  12. 12.0 12.1 J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Two Towers, "Helm's Deep"
  13. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Two Towers, "Flotsam and Jetsam"
  14. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Two Towers, "The Palantír"
  15. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Return of the King, "The Passing of the Grey Company"
  16. 16.0 16.1 16.2 16.3 16.4 J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Return of the King, "The Siege of Gondor"
  17. 17.0 17.1 J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Return of the King, "The Last Debate"
  18. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Return of the King, "Mount Doom"
  19. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Return of the King, "Homeward Bound"
  20. 20.0 20.1 20.2 J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Return of the King, "The Scouring of the Shire"
  21. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix D, "The Calendars"