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An image of Cair Andros from The Battle for Middle-earth

Cair Andros, meaning "Ship of the Long-Foam," and pronounced "cyre an-dros", was an island in the river Anduin, resting nearly forty miles to the north of Osgiliath. It was of paramount importance to Gondor during the long war with Mordor in order to prevent the enemy from crossing the river and entering into Anórien.[1] [2]


The namesake of this island was derived from the long shape of the isle, which was boat-like in nature, and the effects of the water breaking upon what was seen as the prow of the ship. The island was around ten miles in length, and narrowed toward its northern end, creating the prow.[3] Cair Andros was one of the main sites used to cross the river Anduin, along with Osgiliath to the south. As the northern parts of the river were nearly impassable marshland, and the south of the river near Lebennin became too wide to ford safely, these two locations were critical to both Gondor and Mordor during the war.[4]

The island was fortified by Túrin II following the loss of Ithilien in TA 2901 and was further strengthened during the rule of Ecthelion II.

Cair Andros had a steady garrison, and was well-maintained until the outbreak of the War of the Ring; military incursions were expected both here and at Osgiliath, but the southern crossing was considered by Denethor II to be of more importance, and therefore was more heavily guarded. Being a vital point in the defenses of Gondor, a crucial river junction, and due to the fact that it was less manned than was Osgiliath, shortly before the Battle of the Pelennor Fields, Sauron sent a force of Orcs and Easterlings from the Black Gate to lay siege to the fort, and the island was overrun. Around the time of the fall of Osgiliath, fugitives began arriving at Minas Tirith from Cair Andros.[5]

Aragorn, during his march toward the Black Gate, sent soldiers to reclaim the island for Gondor; these soldiers were young men of Rohan and Lossarnach too afraid to proceed further, who were eventually successful in their quest to retake the island. After the fall of Sauron and the conclusion of the war, the island continued to serve as a vital place of crossing, and the Captains of the West set sail from Cair Andros on their way down the Anduin to Osgiliath.[6]  

Artist's rendition


Foreign Language Translated name
Amharic ካኢር ኣንድሮስ
Arabic كير أندروس
Armenian Քեյր Անդրոս
Belarusian Cyrillic Каір Андрос
Bengali কেয়ার আন্দ্রোস
Bulgarian Cyrillic Каир Андрос
Chinese 凱爾安卓斯島
Danish Cair Andros (ø i Anduinfloden)
Georgian კირ ანდროსი
Greek Κάιρ Άνδρος
Gujarati કેયર એન્ડ્રોસ
Hindi केयर एंड्रोस
Japanese ケア・アンドロス
Kannada ಕೈರ್ ಆಂಡ್ರೋಸ್
Kazakh Каир Андрос (Cyrillic) Kaïr Andros (Latin)
Korean 카일 안드로스
Kyrgyz Cyrillic Каир Андрос
Macedonian Cyrillic Каир Андрос
Marathi कॅअर अॅन्ड्रोस
Mongolian Cyrillic Каир Андрос
Nepalese केयर एन्ड्रोस
Punjabi ਕੇਅਰ ਐਂਡਰੋਸ
Russian Каир Андрос
Serbian Каир Андрос (Cyrillic) Kair Andros (Latin)
Sinhalese කෙයාර් ඇන්ඩ්‍රොස්
Tamil கெய்ர் ஆண்ட்ரோஸ்
Telugu కైర్ ఆండ్రోస్
Thai ไคร์อันดรอส
Ukrainian Cyrillic Каір-Андрос
Urdu کیئر اندراوس
Yiddish קאַיר אַנדראָס
Places of Middle-earth and Arda

Middle-earth Locations:


Arnor | Dunland | Ettenmoors | Forochel | Forodwaith | Gondor | Harad | Ithilien | Khand | Lindon | Minhiriath | Mordor | Rhûn | Rohan | The Shire

Forests & Mountains:

Amon Dîn | Amon Hen | Amon Lhaw | Caradhras | Emyn Muil | Erebor | Fangorn Forest | High Pass | Iron Hills | Lórien | Mirkwood | Mount Doom | Mount Gundabad | Old Forest | Tower Hills | Weather Hills


Angband | Barad-dûr | Bree | Caras Galadhon | Dol Guldur | Fornost | Hornburg | Isengard | Minas Morgul | Minas Tirith | Orthanc | Osgiliath | Rivendell | Umbar | Utumno


Argonath | Buckland | Cair Andros | Dagorlad | Dead Marshes | Enedwaith | Fords of Isen | Gap of Rohan | Grey Havens | Weather Hills

The rest of Arda:

Aman | Dark Land | Land of the Sun | Númenor | Tol Eressëa | Valinor


  1. The Lord of the Rings, Appendix A: Annals of the Kings and Rulers, I: The Númenórean Kings, (iv): "Gondor and the Heirs of Anárion": The Stewards, Footnote 1
  2. The Atlas of Middle-earth, The Third Age, "The Brown Lands, the Wold, The Downs, and the Emyn Muil"
  3. The Lord of the Rings, Appendix A: Annals of the Kings and Rulers, I: The Númenórean Kings, (iv): "Gondor and the Heirs of Anárion": The Stewards, Footnote 1
  4. The Lord of the Rings, The Return of the King, Book Five, Ch. IV: "The Siege of Gondor"
  5. The Lord of the Rings, Appendix B: "The Great Years"
  6. The Lord of the Rings, The Return of the King, Book V, Ch.X: "The Black Gate Opens"