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Spotlight On Middle-Earth : Ithilien

Ithilien is a fair region of climbing woods and swift-falling streams. Forests of resinous trees, fir and cedar and cypress, its slopes are covered in a wealth of sweet-smelling herbs, shrubs and countless flowers. 

Many great tree grow here, planted long ago among groves and thickets of tamarisk and fragrant terebinth, of olive and of bay. So much beauty and light next to the dark and faul land of Mordor.

According to the historical records still kept in Minas Tirith, during the First Age the region we today call 'Ithilien' was populated by a race of wild Men known as The Drúedain, also known as Woses or Wild Men of the Woods. 


High King Elendil  and his son Isildur, Prince of Ithilien

At the beginning of Second Age the region was known as 'Armen'. In S.A. 3320 High King Elendil and his sons founded the Realms in Exile also known as the Kingdoms of the Dúnedain - this was the name for the realms of Arnor and Gondor. It was at this time the region was renamed 'Ithilien' in honor of the High King's elder son Isildur. The main city was Minas Ithil (Tover of the Moon). During this age Ithilien was a prosperous and mostly peaceful land, when Gondor was strong and the land of Mordor was deserted. 

Minas Ithil  is renamed Minas Morgul

In the Third Age  Itihien is the backdrop of several incursions by the Easterlings from Rhûn and Haradrim. The land of Mordor was slowly repopulated and in T.A. 2002 Minas Ithil was captured by the enemy and remaned Minas Morgul (Tower of Black Sorcery). The population if Ithilien was forced across the Anduin to escape the looming threat of Ringwraiths and Uruk-hai that the lords of Morgul had secretly bred. The region became deserted however the Stewards of Gondor kept a number of scouts and a specialized force known as the Rangers of Ithilien based in secret locations such as Henneth Annûn.

The secret refuge of Henneth Annûn


Henneth Annûn (Window of the Sunset) is an hidden outpost of Gondor and main base of the Rangers of Ithilien under the command of Faramir. The refuge consist of a deep cave hidden under a west-facing waterfall overlooking a beautiful pool below. This waterfall is the fairest of the falls of Ithilien. As the story goes the creature Gollum leads Frodo Baggins and Samwise Gamgee through Ithilien on the way to the pass of Cirith Ungol into Mordor. The two hobbits are found and blindfolded by the Rangers and taken to the secret refuge for interrogation, but will be allowed to leave when Faramir is satisfied they are not agents of Sauron. In the meantime Gollum goes fishing in the beautiful pool and almost gets himself killed by the Rangers. Frodo begs them to let the creature live. Faramir warns Frodo to be wary of Gollum whom he does not trust.


After the War of the Rings, Aragorn now King Elessar declares Faramir Prince of Ithilien and Lord of Emyn Arnen. Over the next years the region will be ruled by the Princes of Ithilien, a line that started with Faramir and Éowyn White Lady of Ithilien. Minas Ithil will be repopulated after been cleansed of the last remaining enemies in the Morgul Vale. A colony of Elves of Mirkwood will settle in Ithilien - Legolas and Gimli will live in this colony for a number of years until their departure over the Sea after the death of King Elessar in F.A. 120.

The Forbidden Pool 

Field of Cormallen


Gentle and wild, there’s nothing quite like Ithilen with its patchwork hills, dramatic dales, ancient woodlands, silver streams, beautiful waterfalls and old ruins. Here you can lose yourself among flowers, travel back in time with visits to ancient stone circles and crumbling halls, or step into the secret refugee of the rangers that still patrol these lands.


Article by Amorey  - Laurelin Archives Webteam

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