First Sight of Ithilien (ca. 2003), by Ted Nasmith
Ithilien ca. T.A. 1640
|Other names||"Land of the Moon"|
|Type||Region; Royal Ward|
|Location||Between Lower Anduin Vales, Ephel Dúath, Nindalf, and Poros|
|Ruler||(T.A. 1640) Queen Mirien of Gondor|
|Summary||Original royal demesne of Isildur|
Ithilien (S. ‘Land of the Moon’). This province of Gondor was founded by Isildur in 3320 Second Age as his personal demesne. It was the land east of the Great River and west of the Mountains of Shadow, and was bordered by the great marshland of Nindalf in the north and the Poros river in the South, and was noted for its trees, hills and streams, especially in the northern part of the province.
Regions and Rivers
Anduin Cair Andros Cirith Helkond Clearfalls Cliffs of Shadow Cormallen Cypress Hills Dor-Brannidor Emyn Arnen Emyn Fuin Ephel Dúath Erborn River Forithilien Gonderyth Duath Harithilien Imlad Morgûl Ithilduin (Morgûlduin) Nan Ascarwing Nan Zurenen Poros River Gaelos Southern Cliffs Taur Ithilien Tyrn Thurion
Settlements and Points of Interest
Amon Barad Andiant Athrad Poros Barad Dae Barad Nemorn Barad Perras Bar Húrin Blackbird Hamlet Brangobel Cross-roads of the Fallen King Dol Henfin Duindir Elf Village (Ithilien) Faramir's Lookout Firimas Hallras Harlanc Haudh-en-Gwanûr Henneth Annûn Hyand Byth Hyarpende Ithilien Ithilduin Caverns Lân Mefam Lookout Long Bridge Mar Maliarnin Minas Morgûl Moon-land Falls Osgiliath Ost Sarram overgrown hollow Pen-Arduin Ranger Cairn Rianbar Rolanthir Secluded Glade Tir Ethraid Tomb of Herion Tuntham
Ithilien ca. T.A. 1650
- Political Organization: Province; Royal Ward.
- Rulers: Mirien, Queen of Gondor; Tuan Dor-Brannidor, Steward of Minas Ithil; Andril, Commander of the Garrison of Minas Ithil.
- Administrative Organization: The Queen of Gondor is the traditional ruler, appointing most local offices; eight noble families hold 60% of the land, the rest is held directly by the Queen.
- Population: 30,000 Dunedain and Ithilwaith.
- Military: 350 Heavy Cavalry led by the Commander of Minas Ithil; 1,750 Regular Infantry led by the Commander; 900 Militia led by the Steward.
- Products: Textiles, books, art, herbs, horses.
The easternmost of the territories originally governed by Elendil and his sons, Ithilien remains very much a border province, despite the addition of lands in Rhovanion and Harondor conquered later by Gondor's kings. The nobility of Ithilien try to maintain the province's reputation as the "Garden of Gondor" mainly by limiting the extent to which the rich soil of the Anduin's left bank is tilled. A pleasant forest, used as a retreat and a hunting preserve, covers much of northern Ithilien. Strict laws protect the game there, and a small army of Rangers guards against poachers and spies from abroad. The lack of a strong agricultural base for the region keeps the population small, for most food must come to Ithilien by road with a commensurate rise in prices. The decline of Osgiliath makes trade with the rest of Gondor even more difficult, and despite its proximity to the center of Gondor, Ithilien increasingly finds itself isolated. In fact, were it not for the army stationed in the region and the scholarly population of Minas Ithil, the whole province would be deserted except for the nobility and their servants in their splendid summer estates.
Ithilien, like all of the provinces of Gondor save Dor-en-Ernil, is under royal control, but unlike the other provinces it is a traditional fief of Gondor's Queen. Since most Queens of Gondor choose to remain with their husbands, the province is usually administered by the Steward of Minas Ithil and the nobility. However Tarondor's Queen Mirien has decided to try her hand at governing the province. Her presence there has caused a great deal of unrest, but she has thus far shown herself to be a deft administrator.
Ithilien holds Gondor's large reserve army in the East, ready to travel into Rhovanion or Harad should the need arise. Raids deep into Ithilien are rare, but enough hostility exists between Gondor and her neighbors for vigilance to be the wisest policy. King Tarondor also keeps the troops stationed there at the ready because of the greater frequency with which Orcish raids have been crossing the Ephel Dúath in recent years. Though the commanders at Minas Ithil occasionally make raids deep into Mordor they cannot stem the growth of the Orcish population in that black land. Ithilien produces much wool, which the weavers of Minas Ithil then transform into sturdy fabric. Indeed, herdsmen from as far away as Dunfearan come to the city to have their wool spun and woven into beautiful bolts of fine cloth. In exchange for the textiles which flow out of the city, the citizens of Ithilien receive the first choice of luxury items brought overland on trade routes East and South. Despite its economic and military roles, Minas Ithil, and the whole land of Ithilien for that matter, is famous as the intellectual capital of Gondor and the whole of Endor. Not even Fornost Erain can match the bibliographic resources found in Minas Ithil. There, a grand library and the only university found in Middle-earth provide a magnet for the greatest minds of Endor. A sizable community of artists makes its home in Minas Ithil as well, further enhancing the city's reputation as a haven for the mind and the soul among the usually pragmatic and unimaginative Gondorians.
Ca. T.A. 1640-1650
- Mirien, Queen of Gondor; Tuan Dor-Brannidor, Steward of Minas Ithil; Andril Commander of the Garrison of Minas Ithil
Ca. T.A. 3018-19
- ICE MERP #8302: Minas Ithil
- MERP Fan Modules: MORDOR GAZETTEER