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A Beacon was established on this hilltop at some point after III 20021
On a spur of the White Mountains, westward of the Drúadan Forest in Anórien
The hilltop was host to a permanent guard
Other names


About this entry:

  • Updated 12 February 2020
  • This entry is complete


The Beacon of Nardol

Map of Nardol, the Fire-hilltop

Nardol, the third of the Beacons of Gondor counting westward from Minas Tirith. After the first Beacon, Amon Dîn, there were few suitable hills available for the next in the sequence. The Gondorians placed their second Beacon on Eilenach, a narrow height rising out of the Drúadan Forest, but that hill rose to a peak with little space for a significant signal fire. So, to continue the line of Beacons effectively, the third in sequence after Eilenach needed to be a particularly large and bright fire.

This third Beacon lay on a height at the end of a ridge running out from the White Mountains directly westward of the Drúadan Forest. From the large fire constructed there, it acquired the name Nardol, which translates as 'Fire-hilltop' or 'Fire-head'. This Beacon was important enough that it had its own contingent of permanent guards. So bright was its flame that, under perfect conditions, it could be seen as far away as the last of the seven Beacons on the Halifirien, nearly a hundred miles away on the borders of Rohan.



The Beacons were built in two phases. The first three were put in place to send warning into Anórien in the years after III 2002, and the Fire-hilltop of Nardol was presumably one of these first three. Indeed, the Beacon directly to the east, on Eilenach, was considerably less bright, and it would seem necessary to have had the more prominent Beacon of the Fire-hilltop in place for the system to work usefully.

This assumption is complicated by the fact that the first three Beacons are named (in notes reproduced in Unfinished Tales) as being Amon Dîn, Eilenach and finally Min-Rimmon (rather than Nardol as we might expect). Min-Rimmon lay far to the west, and likely the fire of Eilenach could not even be seen from its location, so this arrangement seems unlikely. It seems to reflect an earlier phase of the Beacons' names (which Tolkien rearranged during the writing of The Lord of the Rings) so we can probably take it that Min-Rimmon here actually refers to the Beacon later known as Nardol the Fire-hilltop. Nonetheless, it is at least conceivable that Nardol belonged to the later phase of Beacon building, which took place after the foundation of Rohan in III 2510.

See also...

Beacons of Gondor, Nardol


About this entry:

  • Updated 12 February 2020
  • This entry is complete

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