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Things of Middle-earth

Tomb of Elendil

Type: Miscellaneous

Description:

The original burial place of Elendil on the hill of Halifirien:
It is said that when Isildur returned from the War of the Last Alliance he remained for a time in Gondor.... With Meneldil and a company of trusted friends he made a journey about the borders of all the lands to which Gondor laid claim; and as they were returning from the northern bound to Anórien they came to the high hill that was then called Eilenaer but was afterwards called Amon Anwar, "Hill of Awe." That was near to the centre of the lands of Gondor. They made a path through the dense woods of its northward slopes, and so came to its summit, which was green and treeless. There they made a level space, and at its eastward end they raised a mound; within the mound Isildur laid a casket that he bore with him. Then he said: "This is a tomb and memorial of Elendil the Faithful. Here it shall stand at the mid-point of the Kingdom of the South in the keeping of the Valar, while the Kingdom endures; and this place shall be a hallow that none shall profane. Let no man disturb its silence and peace, unless he be an heir of Elendil."

Unfinished Tales, Part 3, Ch 2, Cirion and Eorl and the Friendship of Gondor and Rohan: The Tradition of Isildur

Then Cirion went up the stair with Eorl and the others followed; and when they came to the summit they saw there a wide oval place of level turf, unfenced, but at its eastern end there stood a low mound on which grew the white flowers of alfirin, and the westering sun touched them with gold. Then the Lord of Dol Amroth, chief of those in the company of Cirion, went towards the mound and saw, lying on the grass before it and yet unmarred by weed or weather, a black stone; and on the stone three letters 1 were engraved. Then he said to Cirion: "Is this then a tomb? But what great man of old lies here?"

"Have you not read the letters?" said Cirion.

"I have," said the Prince, "and therefore I wonder; for the letters are lambe, ando, lambe, but there is no tomb for Elendil, nor has any man since his day dared to use that name."

"Nonetheless this is his tomb," said Cirion; "and from it comes the awe that dwells on this hill and in the woods below. From Isildur who raised it to Meneldil who succeeded him, and so down all the line of the Kings and down the line of the Stewards even to myself, this tomb has been kept a secret by Isildur's command.

Unfinished Tales, Part 3, Ch 2, Cirion and Eorl and the Friendship of Gondor and Rohan: Cirion and Eorl

To that place [the hallow of Amon Anwar] he brought the Lord of the Rohirrim, and there by the mound of Elendil he with the greatest solemnity took the Oath of Eorl, and was answered by the Oath of Cirion, confirming for ever the alliance of the Kingdoms of the Rohirrim and of Gondor. But when this was done, and Eorl had returned to the North to bring back all his people to their new dwelling, Cirion removed the tomb of Elendil. For he judged that the... hallow was no longer "at the midpoint of the Kingdom of the South," but on the borders of another realm.... The casket therefore that Isildur had set within the mound Cirion removed to the Hallows of Minas Tirith; but the green mound remained as the memorial of a memorial. Nonetheless, even when it had become the site of a great beacon, the Hill of Anwar was still a place of reverence to Gondor and to the Rohirrim, who named it in their own tongue Halifirien, the Holy Mount.

Unfinished Tales, Part 3, Ch 2, Cirion and Eorl and the Friendship of Gondor and Rohan: The Tradition of Isildur


Notes
1The letters were  Tengwar L•ND•L  (L • ND • L):  Elendil's name without vowel-marks, which he used as a badge, and a device upon his seal. [Author's note.]

Unfinished Tales, Part 3, Ch 2, Cirion and Eorl and the Friendship of Gondor and Rohan: Notes, Note 40

Contributors: Elena Tiriel 26Jul04

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