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Places in Middle-earth


Type: Kingdoms, Realms, Lands

Region: Gondor

Meaning: Stone land

Other Names The South Kingdom

Location: Gondor's borders waxed and waned with the years and fortune. Initially "...they brought their ships up the Great River Anduin, that flows out of Rhovanion into the western sea in the Bay of Belfalas; and they established a realm in those lands that were after called Gondor..."

The Silmarillion, Of the Rings of Power and the Third Age

Description: "In [Hyarmendacil I's] day Gondor reached the summit of its power. The realm then extended north to [the Field of] 1 Celebrant and the southern eaves of Mirkwood; west to the Greyflood; east to the inland Sea of Rhûn; south to the River Harnen, and thence along the coast to the peninsula and haven of Umbar. The Men of the Vales of Anduin acknowledged its authority; and the kings of the Harad did homage to Gondor, and their sons lived as hostages in the court of its King. Mordor was desolate, but was watched over by great fortresses that guarded the passes."

RotK, Appendix A, I, iv, Gondor and the Heirs of Anarion

The waning began shortly thereafter, in the time of Hyarmendacil's son Atanatar. Territory was lost through various events: the Kin-strife, the attacks of the Wainriders, the return of the Nazgûl. The southern lands changed hands a few times, but were eventually lost, and in 1856 Gondor lost its eastern territories. In 2002 after Minas Ithil was taken by nazgul:

"Few people were willing any longer to dwell in Ithilien, but this was still held and garrisoned by Gondor."

Peoples of Middle-earth, Part 1, Ch VII, The Heirs of Elendil

In 2510 Calenardhon was ceded to the Rohirrim to become the allied kingdom of Rohan.

Events from RotK, Appendix B, The Tale of Years

By the time of the Ring War, Gondor consisted of the lands south and east of the White Mountains on the western side of the Anduin, along with Anórien. Ithilien was contested land, and South Gondor even more debatable.

1. Note that Christopher Tolkien mentions both in Unfinished Tales and in Peoples of Middle-earth that "to the Celebrant" was an error which should read "to the Field of Celebrant."

"... Gandalf brought Aragorn to the southern feet of Mount Mindolluin; and there they found a path ... And they went ... until they came to a high field below the snows that clad the lofty peaks, and it looked down over the precipice that stood behind the City. And standing there they surveyed the lands, for the morning was come; and they saw the towers of the City far below them like white pencils touched by the sunlight, and all the Vale of Anduin was like a garden, and the Mountains of Shadow were veiled in a golden mist. Upon the one side their sight reached to the grey Emyn Muil, and the glint of Rauros was like a star twinkling far off; and upon the other side they saw the River like a ribbon laid down to Pelargir, and beyond that was a light on the hem of the sky that spoke of the Sea."

The Return of the King, LoTR Book 6, Ch 5, The Steward and the King

"In Gondor the word sūza was still applied to the divisions of the realm, such as Anorien, Ithilien, Lebennin, for which in [Sindarin] the word lhann was used."

The Peoples of Middle-Earth, HoME Vol 12, Part 1, Ch 2, The Appendix on Languages: On Translation

(Note: from the context in the rest of this passage, sūza is a Westron or Adûnaic word.)

Contributors: Lyllyn 8.17.03
added South Kingdom: Elena Tiriel 1Jul04
added quotes: ET 12Jan05
added quote about divisions: Tanaqui 18Apr05

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