|Location||Northern end of Nen Hithoel, both sides of Anduin|
|Description||Gigantic figures of Isildur and Anárion|
|Other names||Pillars of the Kings, Gates of Argonath, Gates of the Kings, Gates of Gondor|
|Etymology||S. ar "royal" + gond "stone" + -ath "both"|
The Argonath consisted of two enormous rock pillars, carved in the likenesses of Isildur and Anárion facing to the north. Placed upon huge pedestals, each of the two figures held an axe in its right hand and its left hand rose in a gesture of defiance to the enemies of Gondor. The two statues stood upon either side of the River Anduin at the northern approach to Nen Hithoel.
From its earliest days the kingdom of Gondor set part of its northern boundary at the north end of Nen Hithoel. When Isildur and Anárion jointly governed as the first rulers of the realm they built many marvelous works, one of which was at the Argonath.[note 1]
Centuries later, the son and regent of Narmacil I, Minalcar, led a great force that defeated the Easterlings between Rhovanion and the Sea of Rhûn in T.A. 1248. When he returned he fortified the banks of the Anduin and built the pillars of the Argonath.
As the Third Age wore on the power and size of Gondor diminished, leaving the Argonath in deserted lands, not marking her boundaries any more. On 25 February, T.A. 3019 the Fellowship of the Ring cruised between the pillars on their journey south. Time had blurred their eyes and crannied their brows but the two figures still exuded power and majesty.
Portrayal in adaptations
- The Argonath comprises two large and highly detailed models which were combined with live action footage and digital backgrounds to convey the proper sense of scale. Also seen in the movie is the quarry near one of the statues' feet, which the filmmakers reasoned would be necessary to provide stone blocks for the construction of the statues' uppermost sections.
- Note that in the film, the statues are of Isildur and Elendil (as all references to Anárion were cut from the films) and the statue of Elendil is holding Narsil rather than an axe.
- ↑ J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Two Towers, "The Departure of Boromir"
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 2.2 J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Fellowship of the Ring, "The Great River"
- ↑ J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Of the Rings of Power and the Third Age"
- ↑ J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix A, "The Númenorean Kings", "Gondor and the Heirs of Anárion"
- ↑ J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix B, "The Great Years"
- ↑ J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Appendix: Elements in Quenya and Sindarin Names", ar(a)-
- ↑ J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Appendix: Elements in Quenya and Sindarin Names",entry gond
- ↑ J.R.R. Tolkien, "Notes and Translations", in The Road Goes Ever On (J.R.R. Tolkien, Donald Swann)