Great Gate of Minas Tirith
|"The Gates of Minas Tirith" by Eric Faure-Brac|
|Location||Eastern point in the City Wall of Minas Tirith|
|Description||Large rolling doors originally made of steel and iron, later mithril and steel|
|Created||Late Second Age|
|Destroyed||15 March T.A. 3019|
|Events||Battle of the Pelennor Fields|
The Gate itself consisted of large rolling doors made of steel and iron, set between towers and bastions of indomitable stone. Behind the Gate was a wide court that ended at the base of the great "ship-keel" of stone that cut through most of the city. Before the Gate was the Gateway, a short avenue which led to the intersection of roads in the Pelennor Fields.
The city of Minas Tirith (then known as Minas Anor) was built after S.A. 3320 upon the founding of the realm of Gondor; presumably the first Great Gate was installed at this time although it is unknown if the fortress-city had all seven of its levels at its earliest stage.
On 9 March T.A. 3019 Gandalf and Pippin passed through the Great Gates on their way to meet Denethor II. Seeing the wizard the men at the Gate knew that "the storm is indeed nigh!" Gandalf did not dissuade them of this conclusion, proclaiming, "It is upon you" and that he had "ridden on its wings".
Faramir was returning with his men to the city on 10 March when the Nazgûl swooped upon them. Just before the Great Gate it appeared that they would reach Faramir when Gandalf rode in and dispelled them. The next day Denethor sent his son to man the Rammas Echor; when the forces of Sauron overwhelmed the defenders Faramir was again forced to lead his men back to the city. Again the Nazgûl dove upon the Gondorians. Not two furlongs from the Great Gate they attacked and this time managed to wound Faramir.
In the great Battle of the Pelennor Fields, on 15 March 3019, the host of Sauron did not attempt to breach the City Wall; instead they concentrated upon breaking the Great Gate. Just before dawn they succeeded by using Grond, a hundred-foot long battering ram under the command of the Witch-king; the battering ram smashed the Great Gate three times while the Witch-king spoke words of power. He rode through the Great Gate where Gandalf awaited him, but then he flew away when the Rohirrim arrived.
After the rout of the host of Sauron from the Pelennor, a temporary barricade was erected in place of the Great Gate. Later, on 1 May, 3019, Aragorn received the Crown of Gondor in front of the ruined Gate and then Húrin, the Warden of the Keys, opened the barricade for him to enter the City.
- J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Return of the King, "Minas Tirith"
- J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Return of the King, "The Siege of Gondor"
- J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Return of the King, "The Steward and the King"
- J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix B, "The Second Age"
- J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix B, "The Great Years"
- J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix B, "The Chief Days from the Fall of Barad-dûr to the End of the Third Age"
- J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix A, "Durin's Folk"