The sieges that took place in the War of the Ring include the Battle of the Hornburg and the Battle of the Pelennor Fields. Both the forces of Sauron (and Saruman) and Man used powerful tools against their enemies. The following are some of the most notable.

Ballista Edit

These large siege weapons resembled giant crossbows. A cord at the back would spring forward, releasing
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Corsair Ballista

normally a spike or a piece of rock or metal. The orc army used these at the Battle of Helms Deep to hoist the siege ladders up to the wall. A version called a "windlance" was seen in the movie adaption of the hobbit

Battering ram Edit

These tools were used to smash down entrances to the area under siege, normally a large wooden gate. The battering ram was hauled by Uruk-hai at the Battle of Helm's Deep, and was battered against the doors to the main hall of Helm's Deep. At the Battle of the Pelennor Fields, trolls had a large wolf-like ram called Grond, which contained a burning fire in its 'mouth'.

Bomb Edit

A metal shell resembling a mace head filled with a black, volatile powder. Also called "Explosive Mine" and "the Fire of Isengard/Orthanc". The powder is ignited by a suicide soldier, one of the insane Uruk Berserkers with a magnesium torch. Used exclusively by Uruk-Hai solely for the purpose of breaching the Deeping Wall during the Battle of Helms Deep.

Catapult Edit

Main article: Catapult

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Gondorian Catapults

Catapults were used at the Pelennor Fields by both the army of Minas Morgul and the Gondorians. It was like a large sling that swung and fired pieces of debris at the walls, its purpose to simply smash and destroy buildings. The Gondorians used catapults to fire broken debris from their city. Note that the majority of catapults pictured in the films are trebuchets.

Siege ladders Edit

Siege ladders are extremely tall ladders used to scale large buildings. Uruk-hai used them at Helm's Deep.

Siege Ladders at Helm's Deep

They were connected to a grappling hook and thrown up. Ladders would then rise up and lean against the wall. Uruk-hai could then climb them. They weren't very effective, as the Rohirrim and Elves could easily kick them down. In reality, the weight of the soldiers on the ladder (especially so for heavy Uruks) would make taking down the ladder quite difficult.

Siege tower Edit

Siege towers

Trolls pushing the siege towers through Osgiliath to Minas Tirith

The largest of all siege weapons, the towers were the most effective weapon in getting into a besieged area. The siege towers of The Lord of the Rings were wooden, and were pushed by trolls. Orcs would remain
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Siege Tower

inside until it reached the wall, where the front would fall forward like a bridge and the orcs would appear. They were used at Minas Tirith in The Return of the King. The most effective way to deal with them, as said by Gandalf, is to fire arrows at the hulky trolls that transport them.

Trebuchet Edit

A trebuchet is a type of catapult that can be easily targeted. The Gondorians mounted them on their walls, and used rubble as ammo. Unlike most catapults, trebuchets utilise counterweight to hurl objects, generally a large block of wood or stone attached to the main beam.


An example of a real trebuchet.

Trebuchets are strong enough to fling projectiles weighing up to 160 kg (350 lbs), making them useful for warfare, especially to defend (or to take) a castle, fortress, or walled city. 

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