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Timeline Event

Siege of Minas Tirith: Overview

Event Type: Military/Strategic

Age: 3rd Age - Ring War

Dates: March 14, 3019 ~ March 15, 3019


An event in the War of the Ring; see that entry for an overview:

Table of Contents:
The Summary
The Enemy
The Prelude
The Siege
The Aftermath

The Summary
Sauron's encirclement of Minas Tirith with overwhelming forces, cutting off all movement into or out of the capital city of Gondor.

The Enemy
... Frodo could see... small black figures in rank upon rank, marching swiftly and silently... in an endless stream. Before them went a great cavalry of horsemen moving like ordered shadows, and at their head was one greater than all the rest: a Rider, all black, save that on his hooded head he had a helm like a crown....

So great an army had never issued from [Morgul Vale] since the days of Isildur's might; no host so fell and strong in arms had yet assailed the fords of Anduin; and yet it was but one and not the greatest of the hosts that Mordor now sent forth.

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

[Battalions] of Orcs of the Eye, and countless companies of Men of a new sort.... Not tall, but broad and grim, bearded like dwarves, wielding great axes. Out of some savage land in the wide East....

The Return of the King, LoTR Book 5, Ch 4, The Siege of Gondor

[File] upon file of Orcs bearing flames, and wild Southron men with red banners.... And with a piercing cry out of the dim sky fell the winged shadows, the Nazgûl stooping to the kill.

The Return of the King, LoTR Book 5, Ch 4, The Siege of Gondor

[Troll-men] and Variags and orcs that hated the sunlight....

[The] Southrons were bold men and grim, and fierce in despair; and the Easterlings were strong and war-hardened and asked for no quarter.

The Return of the King, LoTR Book 5, Ch 6, The Battle of the Pelennor Fields

'[A] great fleet... manned by the corsairs of Umbar....'

The Return of the King, LoTR Book 5, Ch 1, Minas Tirith

The Prelude
... Denethor became... grim and silent... and would sit long alone in his tower deep in thought, foreseeing that the assault of Mordor would come in his time. It was afterwards believed that needing knowledge, but being proud, and trusting in his own strength of will, he dared to look in the palantír of the White Tower. None of the Stewards had dared to do this, nor even the kings Eärnil and Eärnur, after the fall of Minas Ithil when the palantír of Isildur came into the hands of the Enemy; for the Stone of Minas Tirith was the palantír of Anárion, most close in accord with the one that Sauron possessed.

In this way Denethor gained his great knowledge of things that passed in his realm, and far beyond his borders, at which men marvelled; but he bought the knowledge dearly, being aged before his time by his contest with the will of Sauron. Thus pride increased in Denethor together with despair, until he saw in all the deeds of that time only a single combat between the Lord of the White Tower and the Lord of the Barad-dûr, and mistrusted all others who resisted Sauron, unless they served himself alone.

The Lord of the Rings, Appendix A, Annals of the Kings and Rulers: Gondor and the Heirs of Anárion

June 3018
Sauron attacks Osgiliath....

[See: Sauron's forces attack Osgiliath]

The Lord of the Rings, Appendix B, The Tale of Years: The Third Age

'It is reported to us that many kings have ridden in from the East to the service of Mordor. From the North to the field of Dagorlad there is skirmish and rumour of war. In the South the Haradrim are moving, and fear has fallen on all our coastlands, so that little help will come to us thence.'

The Return of the King, LoTR Book 5, Ch 3, The Muster of Rohan

'And yet... the doings at Isengard should warn us that we are caught now in a great net and strategy. This is no longer a bickering at the fords, raiding from Ithilien and from Anórien, ambushing and pillaging. This is a great war long-planned, and we are but one piece in it, whatever pride may say. Things move in the far East beyond the Inland Sea, it is reported; and north in Mirkwood and beyond; and south in Harad. And now all realms shall be put to the test, to stand, or fall — under the Shadow.

'Yet, Master Peregrin, we have this honour: ever we bear the brunt of the chief hatred of the Dark Lord, for that hatred comes down out of the depths of time and over the deeps of the Sea. Here will the hammer-stroke fall hardest.'

The Return of the King, LoTR Book 5, Ch 1, Minas Tirith

The Siege
March 3019
Frodo taken by Faramir to Henneth Annûn. Aragorn comes to Dunharrow at nightfall.

[See: Faramir's Rangers ambush the Haradrim in Ithilien]
[See: Faramir takes Frodo and Sam to Henneth Annûn]
[See: Faramir resists temptation by the One Ring]

Aragorn takes the 'Paths of the Dead' at daybreak; he reaches Erech at midnight....

[See: Aragorn takes the Paths of the Dead]
[See: Aragorn arrives at the Hill of Erech]
[See: Aragorn summons the Oathbreakers at the Stone of Erech]

[See: Corsair fleet approaches the Mouths of the Anduin]

[See: Denethor sends for aid from Rohan]

[See: Gandalf and Pippin see the beacons of Gondor]

Gandalf reaches Minas Tirith. Faramir leaves Henneth Annûn. Aragorn sets out from Erech and comes to Calembel.... Théoden comes to Dunharrow. Darkness begins to flow out of Mordor.

[See: Minas Tirith evacuated before the Siege]

[See: Faramir leaves Henneth Annûn]
[See: Faramir reinforces the garrison at Osgiliath]

[See: Darkness flows out of Mordor]

The Dawnless Day. The Muster of Rohan: the Rohirrim ride from Harrowdale. Faramir rescued by Gandalf outside the gates of the City. Aragorn crosses Ringló. An army from the Morannon takes Cair Andros and passes into Anórien. Frodo... sees the Morgul-host set forth.

[See: Dawnless Day arrives]

[See: Muster of the Rohirrim]
[See: Ride of the Rohirrim]

[See: Gandalf rescues Faramir from the Nazgûl on the Pelennor]
[See: Faramir brings news of Frodo and Sam to Minas Tirith]

[See: Sauron's forces from the Morannon invade Anórien]
[See: Sauron's forces set out from Minas Morgul for Osgiliath]

... Denethor sends Faramir to Osgiliath. Aragorn reaches Linhir and crosses into Lebennin....

[See: Denethor sends Faramir to defend Osgiliath]

[See: Aragorn crosses into Lebennin]

[See: Sauron's forces blockade the roads to Minas Tirith]

... Faramir retreats to the Causeway Forts. Théoden camps under Minrimmon. Aragorn drives the enemy towards Pelargir....

[See: Faramir defeated at Osgiliath]

... The Pelennor is overrun. Faramir is wounded. Aragorn reaches Pelargir and captures the fleet. Théoden in Drúadan Forest.

[See: Faramir defeated at the Causeway Forts]
[See: Sauron's forces breach the Pelennor Wall]

[See: Faramir guards the Retreat over the Pelennor]
[See: Faramir falls in the Retreat over the Pelennor]
[See: Imrahil and Gandalf rescue the Retreat over the Pelennor]

[See: Denethor deceived by Sauron via the Palantíri]

[See: Sauron's forces overrun the Pelennor]

[See: Aragorn captures the Corsair fleet at Pelargir]

... Minas Tirith is besieged. The Rohirrim led by the Wild Men come to the Grey Wood.

[See: Siege of Minas Tirith begins]

[See: Ghân-buri-Ghân of the Drúedain offers his services to Théoden]
[See: Ghân-buri-Ghân guides the Rohirrim to the Grey Wood]

[See: Denethor driven to madness
[See: Gandalf takes command of the defence of Minas Tirith]

In the early hours the Witch-king breaks the Gates of the City. Denethor burns himself on a pyre. The horns of the Rohirrim are heard at cockcrow. Battle of the Pelennor. Théoden is slain. Aragorn raises the standard of Arwen....

[See: The Witch-king breaches the City Gate]
[See: Gandalf obstructs the Witch-king at the City Gate]

[See: Battle of the Pelennor: Overview]
[See: Charge of the Rohirrim begins the Battle of the Pelennor]
[See: Théoden slain by the Witch-king]

[See: Denethor decides to slay Faramir]
[See: Pippin and Beregond protect Faramir]
[See: Gandalf rescues Faramir from Denethor's madness]
[See: Denethor commits suicide]
[See: Palantír of Minas Tirith burned]

[See: Imrahil takes temporary charge of Gondor]

[See: Aragorn arrives with the Corsair fleet]

[See: Sauron's forces defeated in the Battle of the Pelennor]
[See: Siege of Minas Tirith broken]

The Lord of the Rings, Appendix B, The Tale of Years: The Third Age

The Aftermath
[The] wind brought a grey rain, and all the fires sank, and there arose a great smoke....

The Return of the King, LoTR Book 5, Ch 7, The Pyre of Denethor

[Not] one living foe was left within the circuit of the Rammas.

The Return of the King, LoTR Book 5, Ch 6, The Battle of the Pelennor Fields

March [3019]
Debate of the commanders....

[See: Winged Nazgûl fly over the Pelennor before dawn]
[See: Last Debate of the Captains of the West]

... Shagrat brings Frodo's cloak, mail-shirt, and sword to Barad-dûr.

[See: Rohirrim rout Sauron's forces from Anórien after the Siege of Minas Tirith]

The Lord of the Rings, Appendix B, The Tale of Years: The Third Age

The dates are set to include the events Siege of Minas Tirith begins through Siege of Minas Tirith broken by the Battle of the Pelennor.

Elena Tiriel 13Sep04, 8Dec04, 22Sep05, 17Oct05, 18Oct05, 14Mar07, 19Mar07

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