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  • Updated 15 March 2016
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"It was as if they stood at the window of some elven-tower, curtained with threaded jewels of silver and gold, and ruby, sapphire and amethyst, all kindled with an unconsuming fire."
The Two Towers IV 5
The Window on the West

A thin, pale waterfall in North Ithilien that shrouded a rocky entranceway and gate leading to a hidden inner chamber. From behind the fall it was possible to look westward through the sheen of the falling water to catch the light of the Sun as it set, splintered into many shimmering colours. From this curtain of shimmering light this place took its name, Henneth Annûn, the Window of the Sunset or Window on the West.

Below the fall, its waters gathered in a pool, from which a stream ran southwards to meet Anduin below Cair Andros. The remarkable fall was said to have been the most beautiful in the garden land of Ithilien before that land fell on troubled times.1 Attacks by Uruks out of Mordor caused most of its people to flee, but a force of Rangers defended the land as best they could. In III 2901, they established a hidden refuge behind the Curtain, which they were able to use to strike in secret against their foes. That refuge survived for more than a century, and it was there that Faramir took Frodo and his companions before releasing them to continue the Quest of Mount Doom.


Notes

1

The history of the curtain fall is not described in detail, but it seems that the simple rocky bay that lay behind the fall was natural, or only lightly worked, and presumably was used by earlier generations of Gondorians to simply admire the beauty of the setting Sun through the Curtain. The gate cut into the rock that led to wider chamber beyond seems to have been added later, providing the hidden refuge of Henneth Annûn used by the Rangers of Ithilien.

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  • Updated 15 March 2016
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