The Lighting of the Beacons

From Tolkien Gateway
The Lighting of the Beacons
Scene from
The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King
Scene number14 (theatrical)
19 (extended)
Event Pippin lights the beacon at Minas Tirith
Characters Pippin, Gandalf, Aragorn
Osgiliath Invaded
Théoden's Decision

The Lighting of the Beacons is the fourteenth scene of The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King and the nineteenth scene of The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (extended edition).


Pippin climbs a high peak in Minas Tirith to light the signal beacon calling for aid from Rohan. He attempts to be stealthy since Denethor disapproves of this. Gandalf, having sent Pippin on this mission, watches and hopes for success. Pippin spills oil on the stacked wood of the beacon; he lights the oiled wood, setting it on fire, much to the surprise of the guards. Gandalf sees the beacon is lit, and utters "Hope is kindled". Denethor sees this through a citadel window and is not impressed.

The multitude of beacons existing in mountainous terrain between Minas Tirith and Edoras are successively lit, until Aragorn sees the signal. He rushes to the Golden Hall, to Théoden, shouting "The beacons are lit! Gondor calls for aid".


  • In the books, it was not Pippin that lit the beacons, but the men of Gondor, as Denethor did order for the lighting of the beacons for aid, though he thought aid was unlikely. Pippin and Gandalf saw the lit beacons as they were riding to Minas Tirith.[1]
  • Denethor also sent a rider, Hirgon to deliver the Red Arrow, who delivered it to Théoden,[2] which convinced the King to ride out to Gondor's aid.[3] However this does not take place in the films; it is solely the lit beacons that persuade Théoden to ride out.