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Conquest of Minas Ithil - Defense of Minas Anor and Osgiliath - Battle of Dagorlad - Siege of Barad-dûr

The Conquest of Minas Ithil was an engagement between the armies of Mordor and Gondor, commanded by Anárion, son of King Elendil, who was lord of the city. The battle was fought for control of the major fortress-city of Minas Ithil, in the east of Gondor; and was the first engagement of the War of the Last Alliance.


When the island of Númenor was sunk in SA 3319, the Elendili escaped and founded the Realms in Exile in SA 3320. In the southern kingdom of Gondor, Isildur founded the city of Minas Tirith and Anárion built Minas Ithil, where he planted the White Tree. Minas Ithil was a fortress-city strategically built in the Ephel Duath to threaten Mordor. After Númenor was sunk, Sauron secretly returned to Mordor and mustered a huge army, desiring to once more go to war with the West now that Númenor was destroyed.

The battle

In SA 3429, Sauron sent a vast army from Gorgoroth to besiege Minas Ithil.[1] An army of Gondor under Isildur defended the city. In the course of the siege, Sauron's forces drove into the fortress and set fire to the White Tree. Isildur, his wife, his sons, and an unknown number of soldiers escaped the citadel; and Isildur brought with him a seedling of the White Tree. His family retreated to Elendil, while Anárion, hearing of the fall of Minas Ithil, sent a strong force to garrison at Osgiliath in the advent of attack.[2]


Following the capture of Minas Ithil, the Army of Mordor terrorized the Eastern side of the Anduin, then a territory of Gondor. The battle sparked the War of the Last Alliance, and led to the Western kingdoms forming an alliance to, so they hoped, stop Sauron once and for all. Minas Ithil was retaken a year later, but by the Third Age, the citadel was nearly abandoned. The Witch-king and the Ringwraiths later retook the fortress for Mordor in TA 2002, and the settlement was renamed to Minas Morgul.


  1. The Lord of the Rings, Appendix B, The Tale of Years (Chronology of the Westlands), "The Second Age"
  2. The Silmarillion, Of the Rings of Power and the Third Age
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