The Rangers of Ithilien or Rangers of the South, much like their distant cousins the Rangers of the North, were a military group whose purpose was to defend Ithilien, the gate to Minas Tirith, and to prevent Haradrim and Orcs from entering Gondor.
They were selected from the descendants of the people who had dwelt in Ithilien before it fell from Gondor's control in TA 2901. They were camouflaged in green and brown cloaks, and fought in a style resembling modern Guerilla Warfare: that is, stealth, sneak attacks, etc. They often crossed the Anduin in secret to harass the forces of the Enemy in Gondor's old domain.
The Rangers often conducted ambushes against the Haradrim (digging traps for their Mumakil), attacked Orc scouts, and protected the old road from Minas Morgul to Osgiliath. Ranger attacks were feared and dreaded by all of the enemies of Gondor, being able to slaughter entire battalions at unawares. Just a hundred to a few hundred of these trained archers can take out companies multiple times their size. In the Two Towers book, a company of Faramir's rangers waylay a battalion of Haradrim, killing even their mumakil. They were very deadly with a bow (which was their primary weapon) and they were nearly as skillful at stealth as the elves, even if they had only heard of them in stories at the fireside. Their chief at the time of the War of the Ring was Faramir, Captain of Gondor, and future Steward of Osgiliath and Prince of Ithilien.
Portrayal in adaptionsEdit
The Lord of the Rings film trilogyEdit
In Peter Jackson's Lord of the Rings movie trilogy has an original Ranger of Ithilien named Madril, played by John Bach. He serves as Faramir's lieutenant. He helps defend Osgiliath, but is fatally injured and is eventually killed by Gothmog with a spear-thrust. New Zealand actor Alistair Browning played Damrod.
- The likeness of the actor who portrays Anborn was also used in the 2006 EA video game The Lord of the Rings: The Battle for Middle-earth II as the portrait of the Men of the West's worker unit, and the Ithilien Rangers are playable archer-like units.