City Wall

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City Wall
General Information
Other namesOthram
LocationEncircling the city of Minas Tirith
DescriptionTall dark stone wall curving around the City
EventsBattle of the Pelennor Fields

The City Wall was the protective stone wall that enclosed Minas Tirith on its lowest level. Its only opening was the Great Gate that pierced the wall at its easternmost point.[1]

"For the main wall of the City was of great height and marvellous thickness, built ere the power and craft of Númenor waned in exile; and its outward face was like to the Tower of Orthanc, hard and dark and smooth, unconquerable by steel or fire, unbreakable except by some convulsion that would rend the very earth on which it stood."
J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Return of the King, "The Siege of Gondor"


The city of Minas Anor (later Minas Tirith) was built after S.A. 3320 upon the founding of the realm of Gondor.[2] The City Wall may have been built at this time, although it is unknown if the fortress-city had all seven of its levels at its earliest stage.

In the great Battle of the Pelennor Fields on 15 March 3019[3], the host of Sauron did not attempt to breach the City Wall; instead they concentrated upon breaking the Great Gate.[4]

Other versions of the legendarium

On a plan of Minas Tirith, drawn on the back of a typescript page, J.R.R. Tolkien wrote "Othram or City Wall" to the left of the words "Great Gate".[5] Although the phrase "City Wall" was used in The Return of the King,[1] the Sindarin word Othram was not included.

Portrayal in adaptations

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

Although the text of The Return of the King states that the outer wall of Minas Tirith was "dark" (see quotation above) in the movie, as in other depictions of the City, the wall is white.