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


About this entry:

  • Updated 22 October 2016
  • Updates planned: 1

The three Seeing-stones held within the borders of Arnor, the North-kingdom of the Dúnedain. One of these, the Elendil Stone, was held in Elostirion on the Tower Hills, and was permanently attuned to the distant West, so it could not be used for communicating with the other Stones. The other two were suitable for more general communication and observation, being sited originally at Annúminas and in the Tower of Amon Sûl.

As Arnor broke into three states, and was overrun by war, the Stones of Annúminas and Amon Súl were both ultimately removed to Fornost. When Fornost itself was assaulted, Arvedui attempted to rescue the Stones by fleeing with them into the North, but they were lost when his ship sank in the Icebay of Forochel. The Elendil Stone survived these troubles and remained in its tower until the end of the Third Age, when it was taken aboard the White Ship and returned into the West.

Elendil Stone Taken into the West III 3021
The palantír held in the tower of Elostirion, which remained there throughout the Third Age. It was set so that it could view the lost West beyond the Sea, and Elves would often make pilgrimages to the tower to use the Stone. When the White Ship set out from the Grey Havens at the end of the Third Age, it carried the Elendil Stone back to Aman across the Sea.
Stone of Amon Sûl Lost III 1974
Said to have been the most powerful of the Stones of Arnor, and also by far the largest. It was set in the Tower of Amon Sûl that had originally stood in the heart of Arnor. After the breakup of the North-kingdom, however, this Tower lay on the borders of the remaining kingdoms, and there was great dispute over the ownership of the Stone. In III 1409 the Tower was attacked by Angmar, but the Stone was rescued by the Dúnedain, who carried it to Fornost for safekeeping. Centuries later Fornost itself was attacked, and the large Stone was taken northward by Arvedui. It was lost in the cold Icebay of Forochel when the ship sent to rescue that last King of Arthedain foundered and sank.
Stone of Annúminas Lost III 1974
Annúminas on Nenuial was the original capital of the North-kingdom, and the Dúnedain maintained a Seeing-stone there at the seat of their Kings. When that seat was removed to Fornost, the Stone was also relocated to that city, so that in III 1974, when the Witch-king overran Fornost, both this Stone and that of Amon Sûl were held there. Like the Stone of Amon Sûl, the Stone of Annúminas was carried into the cold north by Arvedui Last-king, so that when Arvedui's ship sank in the Icebay, both Stones were lost in its waters.

For acknowledgements and references, see the Disclaimer & Bibliography page.

Website services kindly sponsored by Axiom Software Ltd.

Original content © copyright Mark Fisher 2010, 2016. All rights reserved. For conditions of reuse, see the Site FAQ.