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Places in Middle-earth

Tower of the Moon

Type: Fortresses, Towers, Defenses

Region: Gondor

Other Names
Tower of the Rising Moon
Tower of Minas Morgul
Tower of Minas Ithil
The Moontower

Location: The tower in the city of Minas Ithil (later called Minas Morgul).

Description: 'Tales out of the South,' Gollum went on again, 'about the tall Men with the shining eyes ... and the silver crown of their King and his White Tree.... They built very tall towers, and one they raised was silver-white, and in it there was a stone like the Moon, and round it were great white walls. O yes, there were many tales about the Tower of the Moon.'

'That would be Minas Ithil that Isildur the son of Elendil built,' said Frodo. ...

'Well, master, there it was and there it is: the tall tower and the white houses and the wall; but not nice now, not beautiful. He conquered it long ago. It is a very terrible place now.' ...

[Asked Sam,] 'The tower isn't empty, is it?'

'O no, not empty!' whispered Gollum. '... Very dreadful things live there. Orcs, yes always Orcs; but worse things, worse things live there too. The road climbs right under the shadow of the walls and passes the gate. Nothing moves on the road that they don't know about. The things inside know: the Silent Watchers.' ...

[Said Gollum,] '... [Sauron] does not expect attack that way. ... He thinks no one can come to the Moontower without fighting big battle at the bridges, or getting lots of boats which they cannot hide and He will know about.'

The Two Towers, LoTR Book 4, Ch 3, The Black Gate Is Closed

... some way within the valley's arms high on a rocky seat upon the black knees of the Ephel Dúath, stood the walls and tower of Minas Morgul. All was dark about it ... but it was lit with light. Not the imprisoned moonlight welling through the marble walls of Minas Ithil long ago, Tower of the Moon, fair and radiant in the hollow of the hills. Paler ... was the light of it now, wavering and blowing..., a light that illuminated nothing. In the walls and tower windows showed, like countless black holes looking inward into emptiness; but the topmost course of the tower revolved slowly, first one way and then another, a huge ghostly head leering into the night. ...

The luminous tower fascinated [Frodo]...

The Two Towers, LoTR Book 4, Ch 8, The Stairs of Cirith Ungol

Contributors: Elena Tiriel 28Nov04

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