The Encyclopedia of Arda - an interactive guide to the world of J.R.R. Tolkien
Dates
Erected some time after II 3320
Location
Among the Tower Hills (Emyn Beraid) eastward of the Gulf of Lhûn
Origins
Built by Gil-galad for Elendil, and later watched over by the Elves of Lindon
Race
Created and maintained by Elves
Culture
Pronunciation
elosti'rion
Meaning
Uncertain; possibly 'walled watchtower of the Elves'1

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About this entry:

  • Updated 7 May 2012
  • This entry is complete

Elostirion

Tallest tower of the Tower Hills

Encyclopedia of Arda Timeline
Years of the Trees First Age Second Age Third Age Fourth Age and Beyond
Map of Elostirion
Map of Elostirion (slightly conjectural)2

The tallest of the three Elf-towers that stood on Emyn Beraid, the Tower Hills between the Grey Havens and (in later years) the Shire. These towers were built by Gil-galad of Lindon for Elendil in the earliest days of the North-kingdom. Within Elostirion, Elendil placed the Seeing-stone of Emyn Beraid, a palantír that allowed him to see back across the Great Sea into the West, now lost to him and his people. After his time, the towers and their Stone were guarded and maintained by Círdan and the people of Lindon, and became a place of pilgrimage for the Elves (and thus Elves out of Rivendell were sometimes encountered by the Shire-hobbits, travelling west to look into the Elendil Stone in Elostirion).

At the end of the Third Age, the Stone was removed from Elostirion and taken back into the West aboard the White Ship, but the Towers remained. This area became part of the Westmarch of the Shire, and the Hobbits settled on Emyn Beraid beneath Elostirion and the other towers, from which they named their new settlement 'Undertowers'.


Notes

1

The -tirion of Elostirion's name can be safely interpreted as 'watchtower' (in a special sense that it held the Elendil Stone, which granted a view of Tol Eressëa in the lost West). The el- element is either 'Elf' or 'star' (with 'Elf' more likely, as the towers of the Tower Hills are elsewhere called 'Elf-towers'). Finally the connecting -os- typically refers to walled or fortified buildings or cities, hinting that the tower was protected by its own encircling wall.

2

Most of the locations shown on this map are well established, but the exact position of Undertowers is open to question. We know that it was in the Tower Hills (Emyn Beraid on the map), and the fact that it was the most important settlement in the Westmarch probably places it on the eastern slopes of those hills.

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