City Wall

From Tolkien Gateway
City Wall
Wall
The White City by Ralph Damiani
General Information
Other namesOthram
LocationEncircling the city of Minas Tirith
TypeWall
DescriptionTall dark stone wall curving around the City
History
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][2]

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.

History

The city of Minas Anor (later Minas Tirith) was probably built after the founding of the realm of Gondor in S.A. 3320 before S.A. 3429.[3] Minas Anor was built as a small fort on the summit of Amon Anor mostly to guard Rath Dínen, the Tombs of the Kings and was originally of less importance than its eastern counterpart Minas Ithil (S. 'Tower of the Moon').[4] It is thus probable that Minas Anor did not have all seven of its levels at its earliest stage and that the City Wall was built later.

In the great Battle of the Pelennor Fields on 15 March 3019[5], the host of Sauron did not attempt to breach the City Wall; instead they concentrated upon breaking the Great Gate.[6]

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".[7] 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.

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Return of the King, "Minas Tirith", p. 751
  2. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The War of the Ring, "Part Three: Minas Tirith", "III. Minas Tirith", plan of Minas Tirith, p. 288
  3. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix B, "The Second Age", entries for the years 3320 and 3429, p. 1084
  4. J.R.R. Tolkien, Carl F. Hostetter (ed.), The Nature of Middle-earth, "Part Three. The World, its Lands, and its Inhabitants: XVII. Silvan Elves and Silvan Elvish", Text 2, p. 365
  5. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix B, "The Great Years", entry for the year 3019, March 15, p. 1093-4
  6. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Return of the King, "The Siege of Gondor", pp. 822 and 828-9
  7. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The War of the Ring, "Part Three: Minas Tirith", "III. Minas Tirith", p. 288