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


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  • Updated 13 April 2017
  • Updates planned: 1

Host of the West

An army allied against a Dark Lord

A term used for several different forces that marched against both Morgoth and Sauron at different points in history. The earliest and greatest of the Hosts of the West was the force sent by the Valar against Morgoth at the end of the First Age, who fought a war so terrible that it broke the lands of Middle-earth. They subdued the first Dark Lord and cast him out of the World.

The other Hosts of the West both belong to the Third Age, and both centred around Gondorian forces. The first of these was the army that was sent north from Gondor in III 1975 to the aid of Arthedain. It arrived too late to save the last remnant of the North-kingdom, but it succeeded in defeating Angmar and driving the Witch-king out of the North.

More than a thousand years later, Aragorn son of Arathorn led another Gondorian Host against the Witch-king's master Sauron in the War of the Ring. This Host of the West marched to the Gates of Mordor, though militarily they were outmatched by Sauron's forces. Their purpose was to distract the Dark Lord from the mission of the Ring-bearer, and in this they succeeded, allowing Frodo Baggins to bring the One Ring to Mount Doom, leading to the end of the War of the Ring.

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