The watch tower of Amon Sûl
|Place in Arda|
|Summary||Fortress of Arnor|
|Realm|| Arnor, later Arthedain|
|Lord||Kings of Arnor and Arthedain|
|Type||Watch tower and latter fortress|
|Lifespan||Late Second Age - TA 1409|
Weathertop was a hill in the Eriador region of Middle-earth, the southernmost and highest summit of the Weather Hills. The watch tower at its top overlooked the Great East Road in central Eriador, east of Bree, about halfway between the Shire and Rivendell. The hill rose a thousand feet above the relatively level lands round about, and with only the lower Weather Hills stretching away northwards, offered a commanding view in every direction. A path led from the north side of Weathertop northward to the other Weather Hills.
The strategic importance of Weathertop was recognised early, and during the reign of Elendil the Dúnedain of Arnor built a watchtower on its summit, installing the most powerful of Arnor's three Palantíri in the tower. This Palantír further enhanced Weathertop's value, as it could be used for intelligence gathering and rapid communication with the King in Annúminas, or later in Fornost.
In TA 861, Arnor was divided into the kingdoms of Arthedain, Cardolan and Rhudaur. Weathertop stood at the junction of their borders, and became the focus of a long-running territorial dispute between the three kingdoms, with frequent border skirmishes and minor wars. During this time, Weathertop may have changed hands on several occasions. By the latter part of the 14th century, Weathertop was controlled by Arthedain and Cardolan, which were at that time allied against Rhudaur and Angmar, and was the chief fortress in their fortified border with Rhudaur. The watchtower and fortifications were burned and destroyed in TA 1409 by forces of the Witch-king.
King Arveleg I was slain while defending the watchtower, but the Dúnedain of Arthedain saved the Palantír and took it to their capital at Fornost. By the time of the War of the Ring only a ring of broken stonework remained of the watchtower.
Portrayal in AdaptationsEdit
Weathertop is a scene of action in the Peter Jackson film The Fellowship of the Ring (2001). After fleeing from Bree, Strider and the hobbits avoid the main road and approach Weathertop from the north. At the top they discover a cairn with a message from Gandalf, and see the Ringwraiths approaching in the distance along the road. That night, the Ringwraiths attack their camp in a dell below the summit, stabbing Frodo with a Morgul blade before being driven off.
The Hill that Weathertop is set on is on a large farm near Port Waikato, in the Waikato Reigon of New Zealand. The area surrounding has many limestone cliffs and boulders, some of which contain fossils.
Places of Middle-earth and Arda
Forests & Mountains:
The rest of Arda:
- The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, "A Knife in the Dark"
- The Atlas of Middle-earth pg. 126