The Encyclopedia of Arda - an interactive guide to the world of J.R.R. Tolkien


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  • Updated 12 December 2016
  • Updates planned: 2

Gate of Kings

The Argonath on the Great River

The two Pillars set to watch over the Great River, marking the ancient northern border of the realm of Gondor. Known as the Argonath ('two kingly stones'), the Gate consisted of two stones carved in the shapes of the first two Kings to rule over Gondor: Isildur and Anárion, who founded the kingdom and sat on twin thrones, ruling jointly under their father, High King Elendil. The stones were raised centuries after the time of those famous Kings, to stand as a warning to the Northmen who were at that time passing down the Vales of Anduin; beyond the Gate of Kings, none could pass without permission from Gondor.

In the long years after their making, the power of Gondor waned, and its boundaries were reduced. By the time of the War of the Ring at the end of the Third Age, the two stone Kings still watched over the Great River, but the border they had once guarded had retreated far down the river behind them, and Anduin ran on for some hundred and thirty miles before it came to the northern borders of Gondor.

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