The Encyclopedia of Arda - an interactive guide to the world of J.R.R. Tolkien
Dates
Went to war in III 1944
Location
Formed to defend South Ithilien, but also fought in the Battle of the Camp in the North
Race
Division
Culture
Family
Led by Eärnil, a descendant of the House of Anárion

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  • Updated 23 January 2017
  • This entry is complete

Southern Army

Gondor’s defence against the Haradrim

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In the year III 1944, Gondor was attacked in concert by the Wainriders from the northeast and the Haradrim from the south. King Ondoher desperately divided his forces into two armies to meet the oncoming threat. While Ondoher himself commanded the larger Northern Army, the Southern Army was set against the Haradrim under the command of Eärnil. Near the Crossings of Poros on the southern borders of Ithilien, Eärnil and his Southern Army engaged and defeated the forces of Harad advancing northward along the Harad Road.

After this victory, Eärnil began the march northward to rejoin the King and his Northern Army, but he soon found remnants of that army in retreat. They had been overwhelmed by the Wainriders near the Morannon, and the King had been slain. Eärnil gathered what survivors he could into his Southern Army and continued northward. He found the Wainriders in their camp, feasting a victory they imagined was total. Eärnil and his army charged the enemy in an action later known as the Battle of the Camp: caught entirely by surprise, the Wainriders were routed by the Southern Army. Their great war-wagons were put to the torch, and those who were not driven into the Dead Marshes fled back into the East.

Thus Gondor's invaders were defeated and driven back, but its King Ondoher had fallen. It was soon discovered that both his heirs, Artamir and Faramir, had also fallen in battle, leaving Gondor without a clear successor to the Kingship. After a year of debate, the Crown was ultimately given to Captain Eärnil, a distant descendant of the Royal House whose Southern Army had saved the realm from total destruction.


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