HASA Resources

Timeline Event

Reinforcements arrive from the Outlands for the Siege of Minas Tirith

Event Type: Military/Strategic

Age: 3rd Age - Ring War

Date: March 9, 3019

Description:

An event in the prelude to the Siege of Minas Tirith; see that entry for an overview:
'The Captains of the Outlands are expected up the South Road ere sundown. Come with us and you will see.'

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

Beyond the Gate there was a crowd of men along the verge of the road and of the great paved space into which all the ways to Minas Tirith ran. All eyes were turned southwards, and soon a murmur rose: 'There is dust away there! They are coming!'....

Horns sounded at some distance, and the noise of cheering rolled towards them like a gathering wind. Then there was a loud trumpet-blast, and all about them people were shouting.

'Forlong! Forlong!' Pippin heard men calling. 'What do they say?' he asked.

'Forlong has come,' Bergil answered; 'old Forlong the Fat, the Lord of Lossarnach.... Hurrah! Here he is. Good old Forlong!'

Leading the line there came walking a big thick-limbed horse, and on it sat a man... old and grey-bearded, yet mail-clad and black-helmed and bearing a long heavy spear. Behind him marched proudly a dusty line of men, well-armed and bearing great battle-axes; grim-faced they were, and shorter and somewhat swarthier than any men that Pippin had yet seen in Gondor.

'Forlong!' men shouted.... But when the men of Lossarnach had passed they muttered: 'So few! Two hundreds, what are they? We hoped for ten times the number. That will be the new tidings 1 of the black fleet. They are sparing only a tithe of their strength. Still every little is a gain.'

And so the companies came 2 and were hailed and cheered and passed through the Gate, men of the Outlands marching to defend the City of Gondor in a dark hour; but always too few, always less than hope looked for or need asked. The men of Ringló Vale behind the son of their lord, Dervorin striding on foot: three hundreds. From the uplands of Morthond, the great Blackroot Vale, tall Duinhir with his sons, Duilin and Derufin, and five hundred bowmen. From the Anfalas, the Langstrand far away, a long line of men of many sorts, hunters and herdsmen and men of little villages, scantily equipped save for the household of Golasgil their lord. From Lamedon, a few grim hillmen without a captain. Fisher-folk of the Ethir, some hundred or more spared from the ships. Hirluin the Fair of the Green Hills from Pinnath Gelin with three hundreds of gallant green-clad men. And last and proudest, Imrahil, Prince of Dol Amroth, kinsman of the Lord, with gilded banners bearing his token of the Ship and the Silver Swan, and a company of knights in full harness riding grey horses; and behind them seven hundreds of men at arms, tall as lords, grey-eyed, dark-haired, singing as they came.

And that was all, less than three thousands full told. No more would come.... The onlookers stood silent.... [The] red sun had gone behind Mindolluin. Shadow came down on the City.

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

Now all roads were running together to the East to meet the coming of war and the onset of the Shadow. And even as Pippin stood at the Great Gate of the City and saw the Prince of Dol Amroth ride in with his banners, the King of Rohan came down out of the hills [to Dunharrow].

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


Notes
1'There is a great fleet drawing near to the mouths of Anduin, manned by the corsairs of Umbar.... [This] attack will draw off much of the help that we looked to have from Lebennin and Belfalas, where folk are hardy and numerous.'

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

2And so the companies came — Tolkien wrote on a working synopsis for The Lord of the Rings: 'Homeric catalogue. Forlong the Fat. The folk of Lebennin. (The War of the Ring [HoME vol 8]...), thus comparing the arrival of the reinforcements at Minas Tirith to the catalog of ships in Homer's Iliad. Todd Jensen, in 'Elements of the Classical Epic in The Lord of the Rings', Beyond Bree, March 1990, comments that one of the traditional features of the epic is a catalogue or list of chieftains or officers in an army. Homer includes in Book 2 of the Iliad

a list of each of the Greek leaders before Troy, including a description of each one's kingdom (listing all the towns in it), and how many ships he brought with him. There is also a similar list of Trojan leaders, at the end of the same book. When Vergil wrote the Aeneid, and got to the point of the war that Aeneas has to fight to ensure the preservation of the Trojan kingdom that he has founded in Italy, there is a similar catalogue of the leaders in the stories on both sides. Finally, Milton, in Book One of Paradise Lost, gives a catalogue of Satan's foremost officers in his army....[Jensen, p. 2]

The Lord of the Rings: A Reader's Companion, by Wayne G Hammond and Christina Scull, Book 5, Ch 1, Minas Tirith

Contributors:
Elena Tiriel 21Oct06, 14Mar08

Related Library Entries

Events Search

All fields are optional. Dates default to the start of an event if it is multi-day.
Leave year set to "0" to see all years.



Start:    

  End:  

Things

No related things

Go to Things

Full Text Search


Search runs slowly