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  • Updated 27 May 2019
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The Tree

Royal emblem of Gondor

The Kings of Gondor took as their sigil and banner a White Tree against a black field. This was more than a mere symbol, but referred to a lineage of actual White Trees that grew in the royal courts. These Trees dated back to Númenor, where the Tree Nimloth grew in the courts of the Kings, itself descending from a gift of Yavanna to the Elves of Tirion in the Blessed Realm. When Sauron gained power in Númenor, he planned to destroy this White Tree, but a young Isildur rescued a fruit from the Tree before it was burned. From that fruit grew the first of the White Trees of Gondor.

Isildur was among those who escaped the Downfall of Númenor soon afterward, and established the Kingdoms of the Dúnedain in Middle-earth. Isildur ruled the South-kingdom of Gondor with his brother Anárion, and he built a fortress city for himself, Minas Ithil, in which he planted the Tree. That first Tree survived for a little over a century; it was destroyed when Sauron captured Minas Ithil, but Isildur escaped with a seedling that would later grow into a second Tree.

That Tree, planted in the courts of Minas Anor, lived for nearly two thousand years, and was followed by another seedling that grew into a Tree that outlasted the line of the Kings. With the succession of the Stewards to the rule of Gondor, the royal banner of the Tree was replaced by the white banner of the Stewards, but the symbol of the Tree was retained on the livery of the Guards of the Citadel. The second Tree itself died during the rule of Belecthor II. It had produced no fruit, and with no seedling to be found it was left to stand as the Dead Tree beneath the White Tower until the end of the Third Age.

After the War of the Ring, the line of Kings in Gondor was restored by Aragorn Elessar, and the banner of the White Tree on black was raised once again above Minas Tirith. With the aid of Mithrandir, King Elessar discovered a new seedling, and so not only did the symbolic Tree of Gondor return with Elessar, but so did the line of the living White Trees themselves.


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  • Updated 27 May 2019
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