Disclaimer: All of the following are either direct quotes or paraphrasing of excerpts
from A Guide to Middle Earth by Robert Foster.
Hash-marked# names are characters present/mentioned in the Hobbit movies.
*Asterisked names are characters present/mentioned in the LotR movies.
| *Caras Galadon
| Dale# |
| *Edoras | Esgaroth# | *Osgiliath |
| *Minas Anor/Tirith | | *Minas Ithil/Morgul
| *Amon Sûl# | *Barad-dûr | *Cirith Ungol |
| Dol Guldur# | *Helm's Deep | *Orthanc |
Town of Men and Hobbits founded in the Second Age. Situated at the crossing of the Great East Road and the North Road, Bree was initially an important town, and although it had dwindled by the end of the Third Age, it no doubt flourished once more during the Fourth Age. Bree was built against Bree Hill and the side not facing the Hill was surrounded by a hedge and a dike containing two gates for entering and exiting along the Great East Road.
Chief city of Lórien and site of the court of Celeborn and Galadriel. The city consisted of many tall mallorn trees in a walled grove, with the Elves living on telain, or flets, throughout the branches.
City-kingdom of Men on the southern slopes of Erebor, destroyed by Smaug in Third Age 2770 and rebuilt by Bard after Smaug's death in 2941. During the War of the Ring, Dale was attacked by Easterlings allied with Sauron, and its inhabitants took refuge in Erebor until the downfall of Sauron, after which the combined forces of Men and Dwarves broke the siege.
Capitol of Rohan, built by Eorl and Brego. Meduseld, the palace of the Kings of the Mark, was found here, built in Third Age 2569. Meduseld held within it a great feast-hall, and due to its roof of gold, was also called the Golden Hall.
City of Men on the Long Lake, built of wood on stilts driven into the bottom of the Long Lake. Esgaroth supplied food and drink to Erebor and the Woodland Realm. It was governed by a Master, chosen by the people, or perhaps by the important local merchants. Destroyed by Smaug in Third Age 2941, but rebuilt using gold from his hoard.
City and first capitol of Gondor, built along both sides of the Anduin between Minas Anor (Tirith) and Minas Ithil (Morgul). The chief palantír was kept there in the Dome of Stars, but during Gondor's civil-war, the kin-strife, that building was destroyed and the palantír was lost. Osgiliath became mostly deserted during the Great Plague of Third Age 1636, and in 2475, it was attacked by Uruks of Mordor and was completely abandoned and left as a guard outpost against further attacks from Mordor. There is no record of it being rebuilt during the Fourth Age.
Also called the Tower of the Rising Sun, Minas Anor was the chief city of Gondor during the Third Age. After the fall of Minas Ithil, Minas Anor was renamed Minas Tirith, the Tower of Guard. The city was built on seven levels on a hill with the King's House in the center and at the top. The gate of each level faced a different direction from the one below it and the Great Gate of the outermost level faced eastward toward Mordor. The city was not attacked until the final battles of the War of the Ring, when the Lord of the Nazgûl led the forces of Mordor against Minas Tirith in the Siege of Gondor. During the siege, the Great Gate was broken, but the arrival of the Rohirrim and the resulting Battle of the Pelennor Fields prevented the enemy from entering the city. After the War of the Ring, the Great Gate was rebuilt and Minas Tirith remained the capitol of Gondor.
Also called the Tower of the Moon, Minas Ithil was the sister fortress-city of Minas Anor. A palantír was kept here, but that was taken to Barad-dûr when the Nazgûl beseiged and overtook the fortress during the Third Age. After the Nazgûl gained control of Minas Ithil, the people of Gondor renamed it Minas Morgul, the Tower of Black Magic. After the War of the Ring, it was renamed Minas Ithil, but was not re-inhabited because of the dread remaining there.
The Watch-tower of Amon Sûl was built by Elendil in the Second Age on Weathertop, the southernmost of the Westher Hills. Amon Sûl was on the border of three realms, and the chief palantír of the North-kingdom was kept there. During the Third Age, the rulers of the three realms fought for control of the tower and its palantír, and the tower was burned. By the time of the War of the Ring, all that remained was an uneven ring of stones atop the hill.
Sauron's fortress in Mordor. Barad-dûr was built with the power of the One Ring during the Second Age, and its foundations could not be destroyed as long as the Ring survived. When the Ring was unmade in Mount Doom at the end of the Third Age, Barad-dûr was completely destroyed.
Tower just north of Minas Morgul (Minas Ithil) and originally built by Gondor early in the Third Age to guard one of the passes into Mordor. Built in three tiers against a mountainside, the tower's main gate was guarded by Two Watchers. In Sindarin, 'Cirith Ungol' means "Pass of the Spider", in reference to Shelob's Lair nearby.
Sauron's fortress in Mirkwood. Sauron built and dwelled in Dol Guldur during the Third Age, corrupting the forest into evil and building his own powers. Eventually, he was driven out of Mirkwood and retreated to Mordor. After the War of the Ring, Celeborn and Galadriel destroyed the fortress and the forest was cleansed.
Gorge in Rohan, used as a refuge in times of war. Within Helm's Deep were the Deeping Stream, the Glittering Caves of Aglarond, and the Hornburg, a fortress originally built by Gondor. The Hornburg was so named because if a horn were sounded in its tower, the echoes could be loudly heard throughout Helm's Deep. It was said that no enemy could take the Hornburg if it were defended, and that held true for the Battle of Hornburg fought during the War of the Ring.
The tower of Isengard, 500 feet tall, built by the Dúnedain of Gondor. Saruman dwelled there during the Third Age, but after the War of the Ring, the tower and surrounding lands returned to Gondor's control.
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