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Warning beacons of Gondor

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[[File:Mark Fisher - Anorien.png|thumb|[[Anórien]] and the [[White Mountains]] with the beacon hills]]
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The '''warning beacons of Gondor''' were an alarm system for the realm of [[Gondor]].
 
The '''warning beacons of Gondor''' were an alarm system for the realm of [[Gondor]].
  
The beacons were great fire places permanently manned by men of Gondor, and were placed on top of seven peaks in the range of the [[White Mountains]]. From east to west they were the ''[[Amon Dîn]]'', ''[[Eilenach]]'', ''[[Nardol]]'', ''[[Erelas]]'', ''[[Min-Rimmon]]'', ''[[Calenhad]]'' and ''[[Halifirien]]'' (or ''[[Amon Anwar]]'').
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<blockquote>“See, there is the fire on [[Amon Dîn]], and flame on [[Eilenach]]; and there they go speeding west: [[Nardol]], [[Erelas]], [[Min-Rimmon]], [[Calenhad]], and the [[Halifirien]] on the borders of [[Rohan]]” — [[Gandalf]] to [[Peregrin Took|Pippin]]<ref>[[The Return of the King]], page 731</ref></blockquote>
  
In the late [[Second Age]] and early [[Third Age]], they mainly served to warn south Gondor of a danger for the northern province of [[Calenardhon]], or vice versa, but after the [[Steward of Gondor]] [[Cirion]] granted Calenardhon to the [[Éothéod]] they were used mainly to warn the people in [[Anórien]] (the only part of Calenardhon Gondor kept in its realm) of danger.
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<blockquote>“…The Lord of the City had beacons built on the tops of outlying hills along both borders of the great range, and maintained posts on these points where fresh horses were always in readiness to bear his errand-riders to [[Rohan]] in the North, or to [[Belfalas]] in the South.” — [[Gandalf]] to [[Peregrin Took|Pippin]]<ref>[[The Return of the King]], page 732</ref></blockquote>
  
Calls for aid between Gondor and [[Rohan]] were exchanged by a messenger carrying the [[Red Arrow]] instead.
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The beacons were two series of permanently manned stations maintained by the lord of [[Minas Tirith]] for raising the alarm in northern and southern [[Gondor]] respectively.  The stations were on the summits of foothills in the [[White Mountains]] (''[[Ered Nimrais]]''). The stations kept signal fires in readiness and stabled fresh horses for couriers.
  
During the [[War of the Ring]] the beacons were lit when [[Minas Tirith]] came under siege, and as the [[Rohirrim]] rode to Gondor's aid they passed all seven beacons by on their way east.
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The northern posts, listed from nearest to [[Minas Tirith]] to nearest [[Rohan]], were ''[[Amon Dîn]]'', ''[[Eilenach]]'', ''[[Nardol]]'', ''[[Erelas]]'', ''[[Min-Rimmon]]'', ''[[Calenhad]]'' and ''[[Halifirien]]'' (or ''[[Amon Anwar]]'').
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[[Image:Matěj Čadil - Eilenach.jpg|thumb|left|''Eilenach'' by [[Matěj Čadil]]]]
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We can only speculate on the positions of the southern posts, but based on the description of following foothills of the [[White Mountains]], and their spread of 20 to 30 miles, there may have been as many as ten beacons along the southern foothills, following a course west by southwest through [[Lebennin]] and passing through the hills north of [[Dor-en-Ernil]], south of [[Ringlo]].
  
The tomb of [[Elendil]] was hidden on the summit of Halifirien, westernmost of the beacon mountains.
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In the late [[Second Age]] and early [[Third Age]], they mainly served to warn south Gondor of a danger for the northern province of [[Calenardhon]], or vice versa, but after the [[Steward of Gondor]] [[Cirion]] granted Calenardhon to the [[Éothéod]] they were used mainly to warn the people in [[Anórien]] (the only part of Calenardhon Gondor kept in its realm) of danger{{fact}}.
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Calls for aid between Gondor and [[Rohan]] were exchanged by a messenger carrying the [[Red Arrow]] instead{{fact}}.
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During the [[War of the Ring]] the beacons were lit when [[Minas Tirith]] came under siege, and as the [[Rohirrim]] rode to Gondor's aid they passed all seven beacons by on their way east{{fact}}.
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The tomb of [[Elendil]] was hidden on the summit of Halifirien, westernmost of the beacon mountains{{fact}}.
  
 
==Portrayal in Adaptions==
 
==Portrayal in Adaptions==
'''2003: ''[[Peter Jackson's The Return of the King]]'':'''
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'''2003: ''[[The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King]]'':'''
 
:One of the major changes made to the story is that when [[Gandalf]] and [[Peregrin Took|Pippin]] ride to [[Minas Tirith]] the beacons are ''not'' lit, since the despairing [[Denethor]] has decided not to ask for for help. In the movie there is a beacon just above the city, and to summon the Rohirrim Gandalf asks Pippin to evade the guards and light it. Once he has done so, the film depicts the other beacons being lit one by one until the last is sighted by [[Aragorn]] who is in [[Edoras]], and it is this (and not the [[Red Arrow]], which is not mentioned in the film) which finally helps him to persuade [[Théoden]] to muster the Rohirrim to Gondor's aid.
 
:One of the major changes made to the story is that when [[Gandalf]] and [[Peregrin Took|Pippin]] ride to [[Minas Tirith]] the beacons are ''not'' lit, since the despairing [[Denethor]] has decided not to ask for for help. In the movie there is a beacon just above the city, and to summon the Rohirrim Gandalf asks Pippin to evade the guards and light it. Once he has done so, the film depicts the other beacons being lit one by one until the last is sighted by [[Aragorn]] who is in [[Edoras]], and it is this (and not the [[Red Arrow]], which is not mentioned in the film) which finally helps him to persuade [[Théoden]] to muster the Rohirrim to Gondor's aid.
  
:Another change is that in the movie there are about ten beacons as opposed to the seven described in the book.<ref>''[[The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King]]'', "[[The Lighting of the Beacons]]"</ref>
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:Another change is that in the movie there are about ten beacons as opposed to the seven described in the book.<ref>''[[The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King]]'', "[[The Lighting of the Beacons]]"
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:Also, the beacons were depicted as signal fires only (without stables), atop mountain peaks instead of foothills.</ref>
  
 
{{references}}
 
{{references}}
  
[[Category:Beacons of Gondor]]
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[[Category:White Mountains]]
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[[de:Leuchtfeuerberge von Gondor]]
 
[[de:Leuchtfeuerberge von Gondor]]
 
[[fi:Gondorin kokkovaarat]]
 
[[fi:Gondorin kokkovaarat]]
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[[fr:encyclo/geographie/reliefs/montagnes_blanches/feux_d_alarme_du_gondor]]

Revision as of 01:04, 21 November 2012

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Anórien and the White Mountains with the beacon hills


The warning beacons of Gondor were an alarm system for the realm of Gondor.

“See, there is the fire on Amon Dîn, and flame on Eilenach; and there they go speeding west: Nardol, Erelas, Min-Rimmon, Calenhad, and the Halifirien on the borders of Rohan” — Gandalf to Pippin[1]
“…The Lord of the City had beacons built on the tops of outlying hills along both borders of the great range, and maintained posts on these points where fresh horses were always in readiness to bear his errand-riders to Rohan in the North, or to Belfalas in the South.” — Gandalf to Pippin[2]

The beacons were two series of permanently manned stations maintained by the lord of Minas Tirith for raising the alarm in northern and southern Gondor respectively. The stations were on the summits of foothills in the White Mountains (Ered Nimrais). The stations kept signal fires in readiness and stabled fresh horses for couriers.

The northern posts, listed from nearest to Minas Tirith to nearest Rohan, were Amon Dîn, Eilenach, Nardol, Erelas, Min-Rimmon, Calenhad and Halifirien (or Amon Anwar).

Eilenach by Matěj Čadil

We can only speculate on the positions of the southern posts, but based on the description of following foothills of the White Mountains, and their spread of 20 to 30 miles, there may have been as many as ten beacons along the southern foothills, following a course west by southwest through Lebennin and passing through the hills north of Dor-en-Ernil, south of Ringlo.

In the late Second Age and early Third Age, they mainly served to warn south Gondor of a danger for the northern province of Calenardhon, or vice versa, but after the Steward of Gondor Cirion granted Calenardhon to the Éothéod they were used mainly to warn the people in Anórien (the only part of Calenardhon Gondor kept in its realm) of danger[source?].

Calls for aid between Gondor and Rohan were exchanged by a messenger carrying the Red Arrow instead[source?].

During the War of the Ring the beacons were lit when Minas Tirith came under siege, and as the Rohirrim rode to Gondor's aid they passed all seven beacons by on their way east[source?].

The tomb of Elendil was hidden on the summit of Halifirien, westernmost of the beacon mountains[source?].

Portrayal in Adaptions

2003: The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King:

One of the major changes made to the story is that when Gandalf and Pippin ride to Minas Tirith the beacons are not lit, since the despairing Denethor has decided not to ask for for help. In the movie there is a beacon just above the city, and to summon the Rohirrim Gandalf asks Pippin to evade the guards and light it. Once he has done so, the film depicts the other beacons being lit one by one until the last is sighted by Aragorn who is in Edoras, and it is this (and not the Red Arrow, which is not mentioned in the film) which finally helps him to persuade Théoden to muster the Rohirrim to Gondor's aid.
Another change is that in the movie there are about ten beacons as opposed to the seven described in the book.[3]

References

  1. The Return of the King, page 731
  2. The Return of the King, page 732
  3. The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, "The Lighting of the Beacons"
    Also, the beacons were depicted as signal fires only (without stables), atop mountain peaks instead of foothills.