We have visited and traveled to many cities in The Lord of the Rings trilogy, some beautiful, some dangerous, but all remarkable and unforgettable. There are cities of the Shire, Elven cities, cities of Men, and Cities of Gondor, along with some more that need to be mentioned.
What are they like, who lives there, why do they need to be mentioned? It is not easy to count all of them but we will try to do that in this article and not only name them but also rank them by importance. Here are the most important The Lord of the Rings cities.
Archet was a remote village among the trees on the edge of the Chetwood. It was mostly inhabited by Men, but several Hobbits could have also been found there. In the War of the Rings, the town’s woods became home to Ruffians.
Fornost was a town that had been abandoned for about a thousand years. It was the capital of Arnor and later Arthedain. It fell into ruin and became known as Deadmen’s Dike, especially among the inhabitants of Bree who lived nearby. No one besides rangers visited it anymore, but after the kingdoms of Gondor and Arnor were reunited, King Elessar had the ruins rebuilt and made a glorious city.
14. Goblin Town
It was a goblin dwelling in the Misty Mountains that consisted of branching caves and tunnels stretching from the High Pass in the Northern part of the mountain range. Goblins carved most of these tunnels. In the movie The Hobbit, Jackson showed it as a huge underground chasm with long bridges stretching out along it.
Edoras was the capital of Rohan, made mostly of wood and also a place where Rohan’s kings were buried. It was the largest settlement, with the river Snowbourn flowing through it.
The city was surrounded by a wall and it had a spring that flowed along the main road. Edoras was the place where Aragorn, Gimli, Legolas and Gandalf the White met with Theoden.
12. Lake Town
It was a small settlement of Men, constructed entirely of wood, upon wooden pillars which arose from the Long Lake, south of the Lonely Mountain and east of Mirkwood. It was famous for trade between the Men, Elves and Dwarves of northern Middle – Earth.
It was known as Smaug’s resting place with his bones on the bottom of the lake. The Men of Lake-town spoke the Common Speech, Westron and among themselves its ancient form.
Dale was destroyed by the dragon Smaug and then rebuilt after Smaug’s demise. It became a great realm of Men. Dale was a merry town that lived from trade, mostly in food-supplies and was renowned for its bells. They also had a toy market that was considered a wonder of the North.
Three years after Smaug’s destruction, it was rebuilt by Bard the Bowman and soon regained its prosperity. It was located in the valley between the south-western and south-eastern parts of the Lonely Mountain.
Pelargir was the great port of Mordor, located above the delta of the Anduin and south of the White Mountains. It became a haven for the Faithful who escaped the persecution from the King’s Men. It was an even greater haven in the days of the Ship-kings.
Gondolin was an Elven hidden city somewhere in the middle of the land of Beleriand in Middle-Earth. It was founded by Turgon the Wise, a Noldorin king and it endured the longest of all the Noldorin kingdoms in exile. Its streets were wide and paved with stone, with beautiful houses and courts with colorful flowers. Their towers were built of white marble and squares with fountains in their centers.
8. Lonely Mountain
Lonely Mountain or Erebor was located northeast of Mirkwood, near the Grey Mountains. The name referred to both a mountain and a subterranean Dwarven city within it. In the other half of the Third Age it became the greatest Dwarf city in Middle-Earth. The mountain was rich in jewels and metals, 3500 metres tall and snow capped in spring.
Inside it was full of passages and tunnels which led to cellars, halls and mansions. Its main entrance was through the Gate of Erebor in the South and in its interior there were chambers that were used for various activities.
A village of Men and Hobbits, located east of the Shire and south of Fornost. It was the chief village of Bree-land, built under and around a part of Bree hill and surrounded by a hedge and a deep ditch. It was settled by Men from Dunland in the Second Age. It was the place where Gandalf and Thorin seemingly met by accident.
In Jackson’s The Hobbit, Bree was only seen in a flashback when Thorin and Gandalf discuss Smaug and Thorin’s missing father, Thrain.
Hobbiton was a village in the center of Shire and a home to many important hobbits, such as Frodo and Bilbo Baggins Samwise Gamgee. Its most important locations were Bag End and the Old Mill. Hobbits mainly lived in Hobbit-holes, but there have also been buildings made of wood, brick and stone. It was built on both sides of the Water.
Hobbiton was devastated during the War of the Ring, but after The Scouring of the Shire, Bag End was restored and the new mill removed.
5. Minas Morgul
Minas Morguls’ location was in the upland valley Morgul Vale which lies underneath the Mountains of Shadow. It controlled the only passes that led into Mordor, the Morgul Pass and the Pass of Cirith Ungol. It was once a fortress of Gondor, called Minas Ithil and it protected the capital Osgiliath from the forces of Mordor.
It was described as beautiful, full of lights from the silver moonlight, a walled city made of white marble built on a high rock. Within the walls, there could be found white houses and a tower. It was built by the Faithful Numenoreans in the Second Age as a defence against Mordor.
Rivendell was established by Elrond as a refuge from Sauron after Eregion fell. It was a peaceful town, very well hidden in the Misty Mountains on the eastern edge of Eriador, at the edge of a gorge of the Bruinen River It had various nicknames due to the part travelers came and entered. Bilbo and the company of Thorin stopped there during the Quest for the Lonely Mountain.
Years later, Froddo and his company visited Bilbo who retired and stayed in Rivendell. Together with several other Elves, Men and Dwarves they met at the Council of Elrond where they found out that all of them are connected to the fate of one Ring.
Commonly known as Moria, this is the most famous Dwarven city, located beneath the Misty Mountains, carved through their rocks. Dwarves created the greatest city ever known, founded by Durin in the old days. Khazad-dum or Moria was full of chambers, halls, mines, stores and passages. Dwarves lived in the city and worked in its mines.
2. Minas Tirith
Minas Tirith was the capital of Gondor from Ta 1640 onward. Many important events are connected to this city, such as the Battle of the Pelennor Fields and the coronation of Aragorn II Elessar. The town was divided into levels and each of them was within white walls.
Each level contains many passages, alleys and full-fledged houses. Within the seventh wall, there was the Citadel of Minas Tirith which contained armories, barracks and mess halls. In Jackson’s adaptations, this town was pretty faithful to its description in the books.
This abandoned city gained its importance during the War of the Ring. It became the first capital of Gondor. The town’s two most distinctive characteristics are a majestic stone bridge over the river Anduin and the Great Hall, which served as a throne room for Isildur and Anarion.
Osgiliath was featured in many scenes in Jackson’s adaptations, especially in the third movie where there was a battle against Orcs, a lost one which forced Faramir and his men to flee.