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Tower of Ecthelion

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The name Ecthelion refers to more than one character, item or concept. For a list of other meanings, see Ecthelion (disambiguation).
Tower of Ecthelion
Tower
John Howe - Minas Tirith.jpg
"Minas Tirith" by John Howe
General Information
Other namesWhite Tower
LocationMinas Tirith, above the Tower Hall
TypeTower
People and History
InhabitantsKing of Gondor
CreatedT.A. 1900

The Tower of Ecthelion, also known as the White Tower, was a tall white tower atop Minas Tirith which contained the throne of the King of Gondor and a secret room housing a palantír. Although a tower had graced the highest point of Minas Tirith since ancient times, it was rebuilt by Steward Ecthelion I some three centuries before the War of the Ring, and so gained his name.

The Tower had "its eye upon many lands". It was because of this Tower that the city was later named Minas Tirith ("Tower of the Guard").[1]

Contents

[edit] Overview

Ted Nasmith - At the Court of the Fountain

The Tower of Ecthelion was 50 fathoms (300 feet) tall. The plain white standard of the Stewards of Gondor flew from its pinnacle. The Tower stood in the center of the Citadel on the seventh level of the city. In front of the Tower was the Court of the Fountain where the White Tree of Gondor grew.

Under the sun, the Tower's shapely form shone and glimmered like a spike of crystals, pearl and silver against the sky. White banners waved from its battlements.[2]

In the Tower Hall was the throne of the King of Gondor upon a dais, and at the foot the dais on the lowest step was a black chair where the Steward of Gondor sat. The royal court must have been also there.[3]

There was a chamber high in the Tower and above it in the summit, just under its dome, there was a secret room where the palantír of Minas Anor, the Anor-stone was kept.

[edit] History

The White Tower was first built by King Calimehtar in T.A. 1900 to house the Anor-stone and the royal Throne. In T.A. 2698, the Tower was repaired and rebuilt by the Steward Ecthelion I, for whom the Tower came to be named.[4]

On March 9, T.A. 3019, Peregrin Took got his first glimpse of the Tower of Ecthelion as he rode with Gandalf to Minas Tirith.

After the fall of Sauron, on May 1, the standard of the Stewards of Gondor was raised for the last time. That day Aragorn was crowned King and when he entered the Citadel, the Livery of Elendil bearing the Tree and the Stars was unfurled on the pinnacle of the Tower of Ecthelion.[5]

[edit] Etymology

Also called the White Tower. It was renamed the Tower of Ecthelion after the Steward Ecthelion I who rebuilt it. Also called the Tower of Denethor during the reign of Denethor II.

References

  1. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Silmarillion, "Of the Rings of Power and the Third Age"
  2. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Return of the King, "Minas Tirith"
  3. Robert Foster, The Complete Guide to Middle-earth, entry "White Tower"
  4. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix B, "The Third Age"
  5. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Return of the King, "The Steward and the King"