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

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  • Updated 19 February 2020
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Pillars of the Kings

The Argonath on Anduin

Map of the Pillars of the Kings

During the middle years of the Third Age, the Vales of Anduin saw a great movement of people. Northmen from the upper vales were beginning to encroach on the lands under the control of the South-kingdom of Gondor. To stem this influx, Regent Minalcar of Gondor raised two great Pillars to form a Gate on the Great River, beyond which travellers were not permitted to pass without express leave.

These Pillars were formed in the shapes of Gondor's founding Kings, the brothers Isildur and Anárion. Each was carved with an axe in their right hand, and their left hand raised in warning as they frowned out towards the north. The two great stones were known together as the Argonath, the Pillars of the Kings. They remained in place over the centuries to come, as Gondor's power receded far down Anduin and travellers on the river became rarer. By the end of the Third Age, the Pillars had stood for nearly two thousand years, two ancient stone Kings guarding lands that had long fallen away from Gondor's control.


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  • Updated 19 February 2020
  • Updates planned: 1

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