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


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  • Updated 15 June 2003
  • Updates planned: 3

Guards of the Citadel

Guardians of the White Tree

Those honoured guards of Minas Tirith who were charged with protecting the Citadel, the highest and most important tier of the city. At the end of the Third Age, they were the only soldiers of the city to be liveried in the arms of Elendil himself - a white tree in blossom, surmounted by a silver crown and stars, all embroidered on a field of black. They also bore heirlooms of Gondor's ancient wealth, tall helmets wrought out of mithril, and bearing the carved wings of sea-birds. The numbers of these Guards is not known, but there seem to have been at least three companies (at least, one of their number - Beregond - is said in The Lord of the Rings to belong to the Third Company).1

In the past, they had watched over the White Tree that stood in the Court of the Fountain, though at the time of the War of the Ring, that Tree had been dead for nearly one hundred and fifty years. After the War, the new King Aragorn Elessar, with the aid of Gandalf, found a new seedling of the Tree, and the Guards' great duty was refounded.



We know that the Third Company stood guard from noon to sundown, which seems to circumstantially imply that the day was divided into four watches (midnight, dawn, noon and sunset). On that basis there would seem to have been four companies in total (assuming, of course, of that each company had charge of one of the four watches).

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