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War of the Last Alliance

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

The War of the Last Alliance was brought by the Last Alliance of Elves and Men upon the Dark Lord Sauron in response to his threat of conquest. It lasted for twelve years and had four distinct stages.


The conjoined army of Elves under Gil-galad, High King of the Ñoldor, King Oropher of the Woodland Realm and King Amdír of Lothlórien joined with Elendil's host from Arnor and Gondor to create the most significant force assembled in Middle-earth since the landing of Ar-Pharazôn. The Last Alliance was the largest military union of the Free Peoples of the world, and the only large-scale war fought until the climax of the War of the Ring an age later. After this war, the Elves of Middle-earth could never muster a force of this strength again.


Durin IV, King of Durin's Folk during the War of the Last Alliance, sent an 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.



Having been weakened in the Akallabêth it took Sauron some time to rebuild his physical form. Once he had done so he became aware that Elendil had survived the Downfall and that his sons Isildur and Anárion had founded a realm next to Mordor itself. Determined to crush the Númenórean exiles before their realms could take root, Sauron launched a surprise attack on Minas Ithil in SA 3429, taking the city and burning the White Tree of Gondor.

However he struck before his own power was fully rebuilt and in his absence the power of Gil-galad had grown stronger, even drawing nigh to Mordor itself. While Anárion defended Osgiliath, Isildur sailed north to Arnor to take counsel with Elendil. Realising that they had sufficient power to strike back, Elendil and Gil-galad formed the Last Alliance of Elves and Men, with the aim of putting an end to Sauron for good.

Because Elendil and Gil-galad had taken the initiative, they had the luxury of time to prepare for the coming battles. 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. This was the reason Rivendell was also known as "The Great Forge".[citation needed]


Crossing the Misty Mountains, 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 Gondor led by Isildur's brother Anárion and an army of Dwarves of Khazad-dûm.

The 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 the Marshes up until Frodo and Sam passed with Gollum.

After this battle, the Black Gate was breached by the Alliance and the Siege of Barad-dûr began, lasting seven years, during which Anárion, son of Elendil and lord of Minas Anor, was killed by a rock cast from Barad-dûr. The war ended when Sauron himself came forth and fought Gil-galad in combat, who was then joined by Elendil. Although they 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.[1]


After this defeat of Sauron, several notable things occurred. The war 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 Lothlórien, respectively, after the deaths of their fathers Oropher and Amdír.

Three years after the war, Isildur was killed at the Gladden Fields, and the One Ring was lost in the river for two-and-a-half millennia. Sauron fled to the East, returning after a thousand years to Dol Guldur and becoming known as "the Necromancer".[1]

Portrayal in adaptations

Peter Jackson's The Fellowship of the Ring

The war's portrayal in Peter Jackson's The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring differs in some ways from canon, supplying more details and changing some aspects. The elves used "lhangs" (two-handed, curved swords somewhat reminiscent of Dacian falxes), and Sauron wields a giant mace. The original concept for the battle included Sauron and Gil-galad's duel in which Sauron seizes Gil-galad by the throat and burns him - however, this scene was cut.

The remainder of the event is in the film. Elendil tries 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 Elendil's body. Sauron approaches, and in anger Isildur lunges to grab his father's sword, Narsil, but Sauron crushes it with his foot. Sauron attempts to grab Isildur, but Isildur uses the remnant of the blade to slice off Sauron's fingers including that which bore the One Ring. Sauron's body trembles and glows, and explodes as his life-force is expelled and flees.

Círdan and Anárion are both omitted. Gil-galad can be spotted briefly before Sauron's entrance, skewing an Orc with his spear, Aiglos.

In the book, both Elrond and Círdan counselled 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.


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 Rat Posljednjeg Saveza
Bulgarian Cyrillic Войната на последния съюз
Cambodian សង្រ្គាមនៃសម្ព័ន្ធភាពចុងក្រោយនេះ
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 Det Sidste Forbunds krig mod Sauron
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
Japanese 最後の同盟の戦い
Javanese Perang saka Aliansi Pungkasan
Kannada ಕೊನೆಯ ಒಕ್ಕೂಟದ ಯುದ್ಧ
Kazakh Соңғы Альянстың соғысы (Cyrillic) Soñğı Alyanstıñ soğısı (Latin)
Korean 마지막 동맹의 전쟁
Kurdish Şer yên Cara Tifaqa (Kurmanji)
Kyrgyz Cyrillic акыркы бирикменин согуш
Laotian ສົງຄາມຂອງພັນທະມິດທີ່ຜ່ານມາ
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
Thai สงครามแห่งพันธมิตรครั้งสุดท้าย
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