The War of the Ring
Part of {{{partof}}}
Battle of the Hornburg, a significant armed conflict in the War of the Ring
Date: TA 3018TA 3019
Location: Middle-earth

Southern Theater:
Battle of Osgiliath
Battle of the Pelennor Fields
Battle of the Black Gate
Battles of the Fords of Isen
Battle of the Hornburg
Battle of Isengard
Northern Theater:
Fight in Balin's Tomb
Skirmish at Amon Hen
Battles of Lórien
Battle of Dol Guldur
Battle Under the Trees
Battle of Dale
Battle of Bywater

Result: Victory for the Free Peoples
  • Complete destruction of Sauron and the One Ring, and final defeat of Mordor
  • Reunification of Gondor and Arnor as the Reunited Kingdom
  • Line of Kings of Arnor and Gondor is restored
Casus belli: {{{casus}}}
Territory changes: {{{territory}}}
Sauron and his Dark Servants:
Dol Guldur
Orc-occupied Moria
Orcs of the Misty Mountains
Free Peoples:
White Mountains
Woodland Realm of Mirkwood
Grey Company (only in the Books)
Kingdom of Dale
Iron Hills
Fangorn Forest
Rivendell (support)
Great Eagles
Witch-King of Angmar
Mouth of Sauron
Durin's Bane
Gandalf† (later ressurected)
Denethor II
Aragorn II Elessar
Imrahil (only in the Books)
The King of the Dead
Dáin II Ironfoot
Thorin III Stonehelm
Bard II
Roughly 600,000 Orcs
400,000 Easterlings, Haradrim and Variags
Over 10,000 Uruk-hai
Thousands of Corsairs of Umbar
Trolls, Wargs and other creatures of Darkness.
100,000 Gondorians
50,000 Rohirrim soldiers
50,000 Oathbreakers
20,000 Elves of Lórien
35,000 Elves of the Woodland Realm
50,000 Men of Dale and Lake-town
100,000 Dwarves of Durin's folk
350 Hobbits
1,000 Ents and 10,000 Huorns
Complete destruction of Sauron's and Saruman's armies. All Orcs and Uruk-hai die. Survivors fled. Evil men survivors captured. Severe

The War of the Ring was fought between Sauron and the free people of Middle-earth for control of the One Ring and dominion over the continent. It took place at the end of the Third Age. Together with the Quest of Mount Doom, it is one of the overarching plot-lines of The Lord of the Rings.

The war was initiated by Sauron, who had gained strength since the end of the Second Age and sought the One Ring. During the War of the Ring, many thousands of Men of Rohan and Men of Gondor were killed. The overall number of combatants in the war is estimated to be over one million—tens of thousands from the side of the Free Peoples and hundreds of thousands from the Evil side. The war also signified the decline of the Elves' power in Middle-earth, the rise of Men in the West, the restoration of the King of Gondor and Arnor and the start of the Fourth Age.

Battles were fought in Gondor, Rohan, Lórien, Mirkwood, at the Lonely Mountain and at Dale. These were primarily waged against Sauron's forces, but Saruman, a third contender, also had armies, who fought battles at the Fords of Isen and Helm's Deep.

The first full-scale battle fought in the war was the first Battle of the Fords of Isen, and the war ended after the Battle of Bywater and, shortly afterwards, the deaths of Saruman and Gríma Wormtongue. Towards the end of the War of the Ring, Aragorn II Elessar was crowned King of Gondor, and forgave the Men who had fought under Sauron, heralding a great renewal of cooperation and communication between Men, Elves, and Dwarves.

Origins of the War Edit

According to Mithrandir, the War of the Ring had begun at the time Thorin Oakenshield met Bilbo Baggins in The Shire. Gandalf's reasoning is explained in the book Unfinished Tales. This is an excerpt from a narrative of Gandalf to Frodo set in a house in Minas Tirith. "You may think that Rivendell was out of his reach, but I did not think so. The state of things in the North was very bad. The Kingdom Under the Mountain and the Strong Men of Dale were no more. To resist any force that Sauron might send North to regain Angmar were only the Dwarves of the Iron Hills, and behind them lay desolation and a Dragon. The Dragon Sauron might use with terrible effect." That is why Gandalf thought that he had to get rid of Smaug, and he chanced upon Thorin and Bilbo at different times, and saw the way to do it, which is told in The Hobbit.[citation needed]

Gandalf's role Edit

Gandalf was to the Free Peoples of Middle-earth as a field marshal is to his army fighting on the field—a master strategist and tactician. As seen in the opening stages of The Fellowship of the Ring book and movie, Gandalf the Grey would spend many hours, searching, scavenging, and sifting out archaic maps and accounts in long-hidden archives strewn about Middle-earth. He would often carefully examine them, figuring out the best way to defeat the Enemy and marshal as many allies as possible to his cause.

Gandalf likely spent much thought in strategy, before implementing his plans to maximum effect. He had been roaming Middle-earth for many years during the Third Age, before Sauron's power was at its apex. He might have had a 'hit list' of targets to neutralize that Sauron might use in the next war upon the Free Peoples. One of these targets was Smaug, as seen in The Hobbit.

Gandalf's adaptability and aptitude for strategy proved invaluable to his allies during the complicated web that was to prove to become the War of the Ring. As told in Unfinished Tales, Gandalf had known for quite a while that Sauron's use of Smaug would virtually guarantee victory over his enemies, namely those of Gondor. He and his Dwarf companions thus set out to destroy Smaug, and bring the victory of the War of the Ring one step closer for the Free Peoples.[citation needed]

The Roles of the other Istari Edit

Saruman became the secondary enemy in the War of the Ring, originally having served the Free Peoples and eventually succumbing to the power of the One Ring.

The two Blue Wizards, Alatar and Pallando, also served an important role in the outcome of the war. Although they weren't directly mentioned in the Lord of the Rings, they were enemies of Sauron, and might have used the Dark Elves and the Dwarves of the Red Mountains to weaken the Easterlings.

Events Edit

Southern Theatre Edit

The objective of Sauron's grand strategy was to defeat the strongest of the nations that opposed him, Gondor, and to do so he would need to take the capital city and greatest fortress of Gondor, Minas Tirith. To this end, the war effort of Mordor was focused in the south in and around Gondor, in a strategy of divide and conquer. To keep Gondor's ally Rohan, on its northern border, from sending aid, Sauron promoted the rise of Saruman at Isengard to the west of Rohan. Thus all of Rohan's forces would be focused in the west trying to stem the tide of the Isengard attack, and none would be sent to Minas Tirith's defence. Meanwhile, Sauron sent the Mordor-allied Corsairs of Umbar to attack Gondor's populous southern coastal fiefs, which as a result sent only a fraction of their forces to defend Minas Tirith in northern Gondor, while the rest stayed on the coasts preparing for the Corsair assault. However, Sauron's divide and conquer strategy was ultimately foiled and a united front of Gondor and Rohan's forces faced Mordor.[citation needed]

Rohan Edit

Main article: Fords of Isen

The War of the Ring started in Rohan when Saruman's troops crossed the Fords of Isen. Théodred, the son of the King Théoden, had mustered his forces on the fords in order to launch a surprise attack against the enemy. On February 23, 3019 he attacked the vanguard of the Orcs marching out of Isengard. Reinforcements were quickly sent from Isengard however, and Théodred ordered a retreat. His forces retreated to an island in the fords, but they were soon surrounded and he was killed. Grimbold managed to hold the island, but would not have succeeded if Elfhelm had not come with reinforcements from Helm's Deep. Thus the first battle of the Fords of Isen ended in victory for the Rohirrim.

Now that the Marshal of the Westmark was dead, Erkenbrand took command of the Westfold. He placed Grimbold and Elfhelm at the Fords. However, they were unable to withstand the force of Isengard, and were surrounded. Though they successfully broke through the enemy's lines, they ended up scattered around the Westfold, giving Saruman clear passage into Rohan.

Meanwhile, Gandalf drove Gríma Wormtongue out of Edoras and went to gather Erkenbrand's scattered forces, advising King Théoden to move to the stronghold of Helm's Deep. The king and his forces arrived unmolested, but soon the fortress was surrounded by Saruman's troops. All through the night of March 3rd-4th a combined force of Orcs and Wild Men from Dunland besieged Helm's Deep, and despite the efforts of the Rohirrim (aided by Aragorn, Legolas and Gimli) hope appeared lost. Believing Rohan was lost, Théoden decided to mount a final, suicidal charge against Saruman's forces. Unexpectedly, however, Gandalf arrived in the nick of time with Erkenbrand and the scattered Rohirrim, along with a forest of Huorns who had been sent to the battle by Treebeard. The Orcs were trapped and utterly annihilated. The wild Men were taken captive, however, were freed after swearing an oath of loyalty to Rohan and clearing the battlefield of the dead. (The mercy of this act amazed the captives, who had been told by Saruman that the men of Rohan were cruel and burned their captives alive.)

Days before, at an Entmoot in Fangorn Forest, the Ents, furious over the destruction Saruman had wrought upon the forest, decided to march on Isengard. They were to move up to Isengard and destroy it. By 3 March the destruction was completed, and the command of Isengard was taken by the Ent Treebeard. At Gandalf's request he sent a large herd of Huorns to the Battle of Hornburg, to aid the Rohirrim.[citation needed]

Gondor Edit

Main article: Battle of Osgiliath

For over 3000 years, the realm of Gondor had held back the threat from the East. In time, the kingdom declined, and Sauron prepared to swoop in for the kill. Faramir, captain of Gondor, had divided his forces to too many fronts. The two most important of these were in the island citadel of Cair Andros and the ruined city of Osgiliath. In a strict sense, the War of the Ring began with the Great Signal from Minas Morgul and the answering signal from Mount Doom, and thus the attack on Osgiliath was the first battle of the war proper. Sauron's two armies obliterated the fortresses, and Faramir was forced to retreat to the causeway forts, the last defence against the Morgul forces. Soon these too were destroyed, and only Minas Tirith remained.

Main article: Battle of the Pelennor Fields

The attack soon began, as the Nazgûl hovered above and spread terror and confusion, and siege towers tried to take the walls but were all destroyed. After several repulsed attacks, the Gate of Minas Tirith was broken, and the Lord of the Nazgûl entered. He was the first and only enemy to do so. All seemed lost — until six thousand Rohirrim, under King Théoden's command, came and somewhat relieved Gondor's defenders. Still, the battle was in doubt until Aragorn arrived with a large force out of South Gondor. The joint force of Gondor and Rohan then successfully defeated their enemies after an exhausting day of fighting. This battle resulted in the deaths of the Witch-king of Angmar, King Theoden, and Denethor, Steward of Gondor.

Main article: Battle of the Morannon

The Battle of the Morannon was the final major battle against Sauron in the War of the Ring, fought at the Black Gate of Mordor. The Army of the West, roughly 6,000 strong, led by Aragorn marched on the gate and faced a vastly larger force as a diversionary feint to distract Sauron's attention from Frodo and Sam, who were carrying the One Ring through Mordor. It was hoped that Sauron would think Aragorn had the Ring and was now trying to use it to overthrow Mordor. Despite the seemingly impossible odds the Army of the West was eventually victorious, for when the Ring was destroyed, Sauron's forces fled or surrendered in dismay.

Northern Theatre Edit

Mordor's war effort was focused in the south against Gondor, but using his outstretched right arm Sauron attempted to flank the lands of the Free Peoples through Rhovanion, using orcs and allied barbarian nations of Men. In this theatre of the war (which had spread far across Middle-earth) Sauron's primary objective was to use the forces at his primary base of operations in the area, Dol Guldur in southern Mirkwood, to defeat Lothlórien, then pass the Misty Mountains (attacking Rivendell), and wheel around to take Rohan and Gondor from the rear. However, Dol Guldur had to deal with the threat of the Woodland Realm of Thranduil, and thus split their forces between the attack on Lothlórien and the one on the Woodland Realm. Sauron wanted to use his barbarian Easterling allies in a joint attack with the Orcs from Dol Guldur on the Woodland Realm, and then have this victorious army link up with the other ones attacking Lothlórien and defeat it. However, unfortunately for Sauron a strong and extremely powerful Dwarf nation now existed at the Lonely Mountain thanks to the efforts of Gandalf, as well as the Dwarves of the Iron Hills and allied Men of Dale. Mordor's Easterling allies were tied up fighting the Dwarves of Erebor and Men of Dale,and never linked up with the Mordor forces assaulting the Woodland Realm, which in turn could not link up with those attacking Lothlórien, and the line held.

Bridging the gap between the northern and southern theatres of the war was the line of the River Anduin between Lothlórien and Gondor, running along the Rohan border. Orc armies peeling off from the assault on Lothlórien tried to enter Rohan via this route, while almost its entire army had left to fight at Minas Tirith, but the Ents of Fangorn forest counterattacked and drove the orcs back in a panic, and most if not all drowned while attempting to flee by crossing the river.[citation needed]

Dale and the Lonely Mountain Edit

Main article: Battle of Dale
Battle of dale

Battle before gate of Erebor

When the war began, the Dwarves of Erebor refused to cooperate with Sauron in his hunt for the Ring. And so Sauron sent an army of Easterlings to Dale. On March 17 they met the armies of the Dwarves of Erebor (and of the Iron Hills as well) and the Men of Dale. After three days of fighting, Men and Dwarves were overrun, Dale was sacked and razed to ash (the second, possibly third, time in a century) and sought refuge in Erebor. The defenses of the Lonely Mountain were prepared for the battle that would decide the fate of northern Middle-earth, and possibly even the War of the Ring itself.

The Easterlings hurled their full force at the allied armies, exploiting their dreaded heavy infantry force to punch a hole in the Dwarvish and Mannish lines. A furious melee ensued, evolving into a tempest of fire, dead and dying men, and the flash of steel. Both sides took horrendous losses, the Easterlings from the arrows, spears, and rocks cast from the Lonely Mountain's cliffs, and the Men and Dwarves from the scimitars and maces of the Easterlings. Finally, King Brand of Dale fell before the gate of the Lonely Mountain, and King under the Mountain Dáin II Ironfoot fell as he was defending Brand's body.

The Dwarves of Erebor had learnt a crucial lesson from the devastation of Smaug and the Battle of the Five Armies nearly a century earlier, a lesson bought with the blood of loved ones. They fortified all of the sides of the Lonely Mountain, preventing the breakthrough of orcs that nearly caused the loss of the Battle in the days of Bilbo Baggins and Thorin Oakenshield. The defenders knew with grim fatalism that there would be no Beorn and no Eagles to save them this time, and they were thus determined to fight to the last. The Lonely Mountain was staged to become the Minas Tirith of the North, a ruthless battle of the will of the defender and the will of the aggressor.

The invaders from the east constructed siege works, battering rams, and assorted siege catapults to bombard their enemies into submission. However, despite all of their efforts, the great gates of the Lonely Mountain withstood the tidal wave of invaders from the East. Many Men and Dwarves made their escape to Erebor however and were able to withstand the siege of the mountain fastness. When news spread about the victory in the South, the Easterlings became extremely demoralized and proceeded to scatter, while the sons of Brand and Dáin let their army out of Erebor to break the encirclement.[citation needed]

Lothlórien and Mirkwood Edit

On March 11, Lothlórien was first attacked from Dol Guldur. It was attacked two further times, on the 15 and the 22. When the Dark Lord had fallen, Celeborn led his army out of Lóerin, and crossed the Anduin. Dol Guldur was captured and destroyed by Galadriel.

Thranduil of Mirkwood was also attacked from Dol Guldur on March 15 resulting in the long Battle Under the Trees, in which Thranduil's kinfolk won a hard victory. After the destruction of Dol Guldur, Celeborn met Thranduil on April 6, and as the shadow had passed, they divided Mirkwood and renamed it Eryn Lasgalen.[citation needed]

The Shire Edit

Main article: Battle of Bywater

After the defeat of the Dark Lord, Saruman used the magic of his voice to convince Treebeard to release him from Isengard. He travellled to the Shire, where he replaced Lotho Sackville-Baggins as the Chief under the name Sharkey. Under his command Ruffian men entered The Shire and ruined it. They were defeated by Hobbits under the lead of Meriadoc Brandybuck and Peregrin Took in the Battle of Bywater on the 3rd of November. The Hobbits headed to Hobbiton where Frodo ordered Saruman and Wormtongue to leave the Shire. Wormtongue, however, killed Saruman, before he himself was killed by the Hobbits and their arrows. With the death of the wizard Saruman, the War of the Ring finally ended, as did then the Third Age.[citation needed]

Consequences and Legacy Edit

The War of the Ring had great influence on all of the lands of the northwest of Middle-earth. Most importantly it led to the restoration of the Kingdoms of Arnor and Gondor as the Reunited Kingdom, under King Elessar Telcontar. The Steward of Gondor was dead, but he was succeeded by his son Faramir, who kept the office and was given the title Prince of Ithilien.

In Rohan the heir apparent, Théodred, was killed, and, during the Battle of Pelennor Fields, King Théoden died as well. He was succeeded by his nephew Éomer. In the Glittering Caves at the Hornburg, a Dwarven colony was established, and Isengard was given to the Ents, who filled Saruman's pits and reforested the land, renaming it The Treegarth of Orthanc

In Dale, both King Brand and King Dáin II Ironfoot were killed, who were succeeded by their sons Bard and Thorin III Stonehelm. They sent their emissaries to the crowning of Elessar, and were in alliance with Gondor until their Kingdoms ended.

For the Elves, the final decline had begun. With the destruction of the One Ring, the power of the Three Rings faded, and the kingdoms that had been preserved by their magic began to fade with them. The bearers of the Rings left Middle-earth, and Lórien was eventually abandoned. The Elves of Lothlórien who did not depart over the Sea moved east to the southern third of Mirkwood, below the Narrows, which they named East Lórien. In Eryn Lasgalen however, Thranduil's rule continued, and they had peace. There was also an Elven colony in Ithilien. Many of the Elves of Rivendell departed over the Sea, and by Aragorn's death 120 years later, it was entirely deserted.

In the Shire life continued as it had prior to the war. It was declared a free land under the Sceptre of Annúminas, and Men were forbidden to enter it. The Westmarch was added to the Shire by King Elessar in SR 1452.

The different races of Men that had served Sauron suffered grievously at the hands of what appeared to be booty and loot just begging them to come; much of Harad's army was annihilated on the Pelennor Fields, slaughtered by the swords of Gondor and the lances of Rohan. The mighty Easterlings hastily retreated back to their homelands after Sauron's fall and fought several territorial wars with King Elessar over lands near the Sea of Rhûn, but ceased to be a threat altogether. While they were still a menace, much like a sleeping viper, they never troubled the Reunited Kingdom again.

Once the Fourth Age began, the elves stopped having an active influence on the affairs of Middle-earth, having started fading away ever since the Third Age. Orcs never became a serious threat again, reduced to small bands of mountain brigands they were never more than a nuisance.[citation needed] All the Nazgûl were killed, with Sauron reduced to a mere shadow of malice. Wars would still be fought by the Reunited Kingdom and Rohan against the Men that had allied with Sauron, the Haradrim and Easterlings.[citation needed]

Adaptations Edit

Many adaptations of The Lord of the Rings include part of the War in some form or another.

There are several games that are patterned after the war: the Games Workshop 2005 Summer Online Campaign, for The Lord of the Rings Strategy Battle Game; a board game published by Fantasy Flight Games called War of the Ring; a board and counter wargame called War of the Rings published by SPI in 1977 (which shows irrefutably strong influence over the Fantasy Flight version); The Lord of the Rings: War of the Ring, a real-time strategy computer game published by Sierra Entertainment in 2003; the Battle for Middle-earth series of real-time strategy games published by Electronic Arts in 2004 and 2006; and a board and miniature wargame published by Nexus Editrice in 2004.

The War of the Ring is the title of the eighth volume of The History of Middle-earth. The War of the Ring was the title J. R. R. Tolkien wanted for the third volume of The Lord of the Rings, feeling that the title "Return of the King" gave away too much of the plot.

Known battles Edit

War of the Ring is also the name of several games based on the novel, including

The War of the Ring is the title of the eighth volume of The History of Middle-earth.

The War of the Ring was the title J. R. R. Tolkien wanted for the third volume of The Lord of the Rings.

Small Wikipedia logo This page uses content from Wikipedia. The original article was at War of the Ring. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with The One Wiki to Rule Them All, the text of Wikipedia is available under the Commons Attribution-Share Alike license.

Translations around the world Edit

Foreign Language Translated name
Afrikaans Oorlog van die Ring
Albanian Lufta e Unazës
Amharic የ ሪንግ ጦርነት
Arabic حرب الخاتم
Armenian Պատերազմ ռինգում
Basque Eraztunaren Gerraren
Belarusian Cyrillic Вайны Пярсцёнка
Bengali রিং যুদ্ধের
Bosnian Rat za Prsten
Bulgarian Cyrillic Войната на Пръстена
Burmese လက်စွပ်စစ်
Cambodian សង្គ្រាមនៃចិញ្ចៀន
Catalan Guerra de l'Anell
Cebuano Gubat sa mga Singsing
Chichewa Nkhondo ya Mphete
Chinese (Hong Kong) 魔戒聖戰
Corsican Guerra di l Anellu
Croatian Rat za Prsten
Czech Válka o Prsten
Danish Ring Krigen
Dutch Oorlog om de Ring
Esperanto Milito de la Ringo
Estonian Sõrmuse Sõda
Fijian Na Ivalu ni na Mama
Filipino Digmaan ng Singsing
Finnish Sormuksen sota
French Guerre de l'Anneau
Galician Guerra do Anel
German Ringkrieg
Greek Πόλεμος του δαχτυλιδιού
Haitian Creole Lagè nan an Bag
Hausa Yaki da Zobe
Hawaiian Kaua o ke Apo
Hebrew מלחמת הטבעת
Hindi रिंग के युद्ध
Hungarian Gyűrűháború
Indonesian Perang cincin
Irish Gaelic Cogadh an Fáinne
Italian Guerra dell'Anello
Japanese 指輪戦争
Kannada ಉಂಗುರದ ಕದನ
Kazakh Cyrillic Жүзік соғыс (Cyrillic) Jüzik soğıs (Latin)
Korean 반지의 전쟁
Kurdish Şer yên de Rîngê (Kurmanji Kurdish)
Kyrgyz Cyrillic Шакектин согуш
Latin Bellum autem Anulus
Latvian Gredzena karš
Lithuanian Karo Žiedo
Luxembourgish Krich vun de Réng
Macedonian Cyrillic Војната на прстенот
Malagasy Ady ny Peratra
Malaysian Perang Cincin
Maltese Gwerra taċ-ċirku
Marathi रिंग युद्ध
Maori Whawhai o te Whakakai
Mongolian Cyrillic Цагираган дайн
Nepalese रिंग युद्ध
Norwegian Krigen om Ringen
Occitan Guèrra de l'Anèl
Pashto د حلقوي جګړې
Persian جنگ حلقه
Polish Wojna o Pierścień
Portuguese Guerra do anel
Punjabi ਰਿੰਗ ਦੀ ਲੜਾਈ
Querétaro Otomi Ar hñäki jar anillo
Romanian Războiul Inelului
Russian Война Кольца
Scottish Gaelic Cogadh na Fàinne
Serbian Рат Прстенова (Cyrillic) Rat Prstenova (Latin)
Sindhi منڊي جي جنگ ?
Sinhalese මුද්ද යුද්ධය
Spanish Guerra del Anillo
Swahili Vita ya Gonga
Swedish Ringens Krig
Tahitian Tamai o te tapea Rima
Tamil ரிங் போர்
Telugu రింగ్ యుద్ధం
Thai สงครามแหวน
Turkish Yüzük Savaşı
Ukrainian Cyrillic Війна Кільця
Urdu انگوٹی کی جنگ
Uzbek Узук уруш (Cyrillic) Uzuk urush (Latin)
Vietnamese Cuộc Nhẫn Chiến
Welsh Rhyfel y Fodrwy
Yiddish מלחמה פון די רינג
Xhosa Kwimfazwe Khonkcweni
Yucatec Maya K'atun le ts'ipit k'ab

References Edit