The War of the Last Alliance referred to the war waged by the Last Alliance of Elves and Men against Sauron in response to the Dark Lord's threat of conquest. It lasted for twelve years and had four distinct stages.
This conjoined army of Elves, under Gil-galad, the High King of the Ñoldor, and the woodland realm under King Oropher met with King Elendil's host, which was the most significant force ever assembled in Middle-earth since the Host of Valinor during the War of Wrath. The Last Alliance was the most significant military alliance involving all the Free Peoples of the world united under one banner, and the only large-scale war fought until the days of the climax of the War of the Ring an age later. After this war, the Elven people never managed to bring about such a high and mighty show of force in battle again.
Durin IV was the King of Durin's Folk during the War of the Last Alliance, and he sent a vast army of Dwarves of Khazad-dûm to fight alongside the Last Alliance of Elves and Men to help in the battles. It is said that very few Dwarves fought on either side, but the Longbeards fought alongside the Last Alliance of Elves and Men.
Because Elendil and Gil-galad had taken the initiative, they had the luxury of time to prepare for the Battle of Dagorlad. Both kings spent two years gathering their forces; Elendil and Isildur met Gil-galad at the watchtower of Amon Sûl on Weathertop, and together they led their hosts to Rivendell, where they were joined by Elrond and his company of Elves. In Rivendell, they spent a further three years making plans, forging weapons, and training for the great battle ahead of them. That is the reason Rivendell is also known as "The Great Forge."
They journeyed south down the River Anduin, gathering Elves led by Oropher and Amdír, the kings of Greenwood and Lórien, respectively, and eventually were joined by the army of Númenóreans from Gondor led by Isildur's brother Anárion and an army of Dwarves of Khazad-dûm. But when they reached the area of Fangorn forest, a battle took place. Sauron had sent a host ahead of them to destroy the Entwives who lived there. From then on, they were believed to be wiped out.
The greatest and most decisive battle took place before Mordor, on the plains of Dagorlad. It was here when the Last Alliance destroyed Sauron's main force. Although this was a victory, many were lost, including both kings Amdír and Oropher, due to their annoyance at following the supreme command of Gil-galad, the High King of the Ñoldor, and thus charging prematurely at the enemy. Many Silvan Elves were also killed alongside Oropher, and so were many Elves and Men. Oropher's army fell in the face of the Black Gate, but Amdír and his army were driven back all the way to the Dead Marshes, where they were slain bitterly. The bodies of these elves stayed preserved in these Marshes up until Frodo and Sam passed it with Gollum.
After this battle, the Black Gate was thrown down by the host of Men and Elves who followed Gil-galad and Elendil and the Siege of Barad-dûr began, lasting seven years, during which Anarion, son of Elendil and lord of Minas Anor, was killed by a rock shot from a catapult atop Barad-dûr. It is said that Anarion and his army had made it all the way to the gates of Barad-dûr without the help of the other armies, but as soon as Anarion fell, the army joined the main host and came to the command of Elendil. The war ended when Sauron himself came forth and fought Gil-galad in combat, who was then joined by Elendil. Although they too both fell, they managed to defeat Sauron and bring him down. Isildur in the same hour then subsequently cut the One Ring from Sauron's hand, dispersing his spirit.
It should be noted that while the Last Alliance was named as of Elves and Men, Tolkien states that in fact, all living races came to battle that day, even birds and beasts and that all were found on either side except for the Elves, who fought solely under the banner of Gil-galad.
After this defeat of Sauron, several notable things occurred. The battle brought a close to the Second Age and began the Third Age. The High Kingship of the Dúnedain passed to Isildur, son of Elendil; however, the death of Gil-galad ended the line of High Kings of the Ñoldor, and the titles of King of Lindon and High King of the Elves in Middle Earth ceased to be because no one had the authority to claim them. Also, Thranduil and Amroth became the kings of Greenwood and Lothlorien, respectively, after the deaths of their fathers Oropher and Amdír.
Three years after the war ended, Isildur was killed at the Gladden Fields, and the One Ring was lost in the river for two and a half millennia. Sauron was hidden somewhere in the East, becoming known as "the Necromancer."
Portrayal in adaptations
Peter Jackson's The Fellowship of the Ring
Peter Jackson's The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring differs in some ways from the above account, supplying more details and changing some aspects. The elves used falxes (two-handed, curved swords), and Sauron wielded a giant mace. The original concept for the battle included Sauron and Gil-galad's duel, and Sauron seizing Gil-galad by the throat when the High King fell; the heat of Sauron's hand would cause the Elf-lord to burst into flames. However, this scene was cut.
The remainder of the scene is in the film. Elendil goes to avenge Gil-galad, but a blow from Sauron's mace throws him against some rocks, and he is killed. His son Isildur rushes to his side to weep and cradle his lifeless body. Sauron approaches, and Isildur in a fit of anger lunges to grab his father's sword, Narsil. However, Sauron steps on the blade, and it breaks into several pieces. As Sauron attempts to grab Isildur, he uses the hilt to slice off Sauron's fingers, including his right index finger, which bore the One Ring. As Sauron's life force is bound to the Ring, a gush of energy fills his armor, and the winds suck towards him; he then explodes, and his body and spirit vanish, sending a shockwave in all directions. The force of the explosion knocks over everyone in the surrounding area.
Some important characters are never mentioned. Cirdan and Anarion are both omitted. While the name never identifies Gil-galad, he can still be spotted, recognizably the Elf who viciously skewers an orc with his spear, Aiglos.
In the book, both Elrond and Cirdan counseled Isildur to destroy the Ring. In the film, Elrond immediately takes Isildur to the Crack of Doom itself after the battle. There he urges Isildur to destroy the Ring, but Isildur refuses and departs.
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|Foreign Language||Translated name|
|Afrikaans||Oorlog van die Laaste Alliansie|
|Albanian||Lufta e Aleancës së Fundit|
|Amharic||የመጨረሻው ጥምረት ጦርነት|
|Arabic||حرب التحالف الأخير|
|Armenian||պատերազմը վերջին դաշինքի|
|Basque||Azken Aliantza Gerra|
|Belarusian Cyrillic||вайна апошняга саюза|
|Bengali||শেষ জোটের যুদ্ধ|
|Bosnian||Rata Prošlog Saveza|
|Bulgarian Cyrillic||Войната на последния съюз|
|Catalan||Guerra de l'última Aliança|
|Cebuano||Gubat sa Katapusan Alyansa|
|Chinese (Hong Kong)||最後同盟戰役|
|Corsican||Guerra di i Noms de Fronti|
|Croatian||Rat Posljednjeg Saveza|
|Czech||Válka Posledního spojenectví|
|Danish||Krig af den Sidste Forbund|
|Dutch||Oorlog van de Laatste Alliantie|
|Esperanto||Milito de la Lasta Alianco|
|Estonian||Sõda Eelmisel Liit|
|Filipino||Digmaan ng Huling Alyansa|
|French||Guerre de la Dernière Alliance|
|Galician||Guerra da Última Alianza|
|Georgian||უკანასკნელი კავშირის ომი|
|German||Krieg der Letzten Allianz|
|Greek||Πόλεμος της Τελευταίας Συμμαχίας|
|Gujarati||છેલ્લા એલાયન્સ યુદ્ધ|
|Hausa||Yaki na Karshe alliance|
|Hebrew||מלחמה של הברית האחרונה|
|Hindi||पिछले गठबंधन का युद्ध|
|Hungarian||Háború Utolsó Szövetség|
|Icelandic||Stríð af Síðustu Bandalag|
|Igbo||Agha nke Ikpeazụ Mmekorita|
|Indonesian||Perang Aliansi Terakhir|
|Irish Gaelic||Cogadh ar an chomhghuaillíocht seo caite|
|Italian||La Guerra degli Ultimi Alleanza|
|Javanese||Perang saka Aliansi Pungkasan|
|Kannada||ಕೊನೆಯ ಒಕ್ಕೂಟದ ಯುದ್ಧ|
|Kazakh Cyrillic||Соңғы Альянстың соғысы (Cyrillic) Soñğı Alyanstıñ soğısı (Latin)|
|Korean||마지막 동맹의 전쟁|
|Kurdish||Şer yên Cara Tifaqa (Kurmanji Kurdish)|
|Kyrgyz Cyrillic||акыркы бирикменин согуш|
|Latvian||Karš Pēdējā Alianses|
|Lithuanian||Paskutinio Aljanso Karas|
|Luxembourgish||Krich vun de Leschte Allianz|
|Macedonian Cyrillic||војната на најновиот сојуз|
|Malayalam||കഴിഞ്ഞ സഖ്യം യുദ്ധം|
|Marathi||वॉच ऑफ द फायनल अलायन्स|
|Mongolian Cyrillic||Сүүлчийн холбоотны дайн|
|Nepalese||अन्तिम गठबन्धनको युद्ध|
|Norwegian||Krig av den Siste Alliansen|
|Pashto||da jang akheranay qisa|
|Persian||(War of the Last Alliance) جنگ آخرین اتحاد
(Last Alliance of Elves and Men) آخرین اتحاد الفها و آدمها
|Polish||Wojna Ostatniego Przymierza|
|Portuguese||Guerra da Última Aliança|
|Punjabi||ਪਿਛਲੇ ਗਠਜੋੜ ਦੀ ਲੜਾਈ|
|Romanian||Război al Ultimei Alianțe|
|Russian||Война Последнего Союза|
|Scottish Gaelic||Cogadh nan Air Caidreachas|
|Serbian||рат последњег савеза (Cyrillic) Rat Poslednjeg Saveza (Latin)|
|Sesotho||Ntoa ea Selekane Qetela|
|Sindhi||آخري اتحاد جي جنگ|
|Sinhalese||පසුගිය සන්ධානයේ යුද්ධය|
|Slovak||Vojna Posledného spojenectva|
|Slovenian||Vojna Zadnje Zveze|
|Spanish||Guerra de la Última Alianza|
|Swahili||Vita ya Muungano Iliyopita|
|Swedish||Krig av den Sista Alliansen|
|Tamil||கடந்த கூட்டணி போர்|
|Telugu||గత కూటమి యుద్ధం|
|Turkish||Son İttifak Savaşı|
|Ukrainian Cyrillic||війна останнього союзу|
|Urdu||جنگ کے آخری اتحاد|
|Uzbek||Ўтган алянсга уруш (Cyrillic) O'tgan alyansga urush (Latin)|
|Vietnamese||Cuộc chiến của Liên Minh Cuối Cùng|
|Welsh||Rhyfel y Gynghrair Ddiwethaf|
|Yiddish||מלחמה פון די לעצטע בונד|