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


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  • Updated 23 February 2013
  • Updates planned: 2

Gates of Gondor

The stones of the Argonath

Two ancient border markers placed on either side of the Great River Anduin to mark the northern border of Gondor, and more commonly called the Argonath. The stones were carved in the form of the sons of Elendil - Isildur and Anárion - who had jointly ruled the South-kingdom during its earliest years, more than a thousand years before the Gates of Gondor were raised.

Gondor's northern border had not remained fixed over history. At its greatest extent, it had reached as far north as the Field of Celebrant, but during the thirteenth century of the Third Age circumstances forced Gondor to contract and consolidate its borders in the north. These were settled in the Emyn Muil, and where Anduin ran through those hills into Nen Hithoel, the Gates of Gondor were placed.

As history moved on, the borders of Gondor were further reduced, and after Steward Cirion ceded Calenardhon to the Rohirrim, the Argonath no longer stood within the realm of Gondor. Nonetheless, the stone forms of Isildur and Anárion survived for centuries to come, sternly guarding the way toward the land they had once ruled.

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