The Encyclopedia of Arda - an interactive guide to the world of J.R.R. Tolkien
Dates
Set out from Minas Tirith on 18 March III 3019; their battle before the Black Gate was seven days later, on 25 March
Location
Marched from Minas Tirith across Anduin and northward through Ithilien to the Morannon
Races
Primarily Men, but accompanied by the Wizard Gandalf, and with an Elf, Dwarf and Hobbit among their numbers
Divisions
Cultures
Settlements
Set out from Minas Tirith, and passed Osgiliath and Minas Morgul on their journey
Meaning
The 'West' here is a reference to the Westlands of Middle-earth, outside the power of Sauron
Other names
Title of
Aragorn Elessar, Éomer, Gandalf, Imrahil, and possibly others1

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About this entry:

  • Updated 27 May 2020
  • Updates planned: 1

Lords of the West

The leaders of the march into Mordor at the end of the Third Age

Those lords and kings who accompanied Aragorn on the hopeless march from Minas Tirith to the Black Gate of Mordor in the closing days of the War of the Ring. As well as Aragorn himself, the Lords included Gandalf, Imrahil of Dol Amroth and Éomer of Rohan. They had no real hope of overcoming the forces of Sauron, but rather sought to distract his Eye and allow Frodo the Ring-bearer to achieve the Quest of Mount Doom and cast the Ring into the Fire. In this they succeeded: Sauron was defeated, and an Eagle flew to Minas Tirith bearing tidings of the victory of the Lords of the West over the Dark Lord.


It should be noted that this is a very unusual use of the title 'Lords of the West'. In almost all cases, this is a title of the Valar, the Lords of Valinor in the West of the World. In this unique case, however, the title is evidently applied to the lords of the Westlands of Middle-earth who confronted the Dark Lord.

It might be noted that, historically, when the Númenórean King Ar-Adûnakhôr claimed the title 'Lord of the West', this was considered to be nothing short of blasphemy against the Valar. The fact that Aragorn and his companions are so described without any such reservation is therefore remarkable, and perhaps shows how highly their achievement was esteemed.


Notes

1

For some of the leaders of the army that marched from Minas Tirith, it is perfectly clear whether they counted as one of the Lords or not. King Aragorn Elessar obviously qualified, as did King Éomer and Prince Imrahil, and doubtless also Gandalf. For other members of the host, their status is less clear. Legolas led no Elves to the Black Gate, but he was nonetheless a prince among his own people, and might considered one the Lords. For others such as Gimli or Peregrin Took, or the Sons of Elrond, the case is less clear. Important as their roles had been in the War of the Ring, they were neither nobles nor leaders, and whether they could be considered as Lords of the West is open to question.

Indexes:

About this entry:

  • Updated 27 May 2020
  • Updates planned: 1

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