The Two Watchers

The Two Watchers

The Two Watchers were two three-headed phantom-statues located on the southeastern side of the Tower of Cirith Ungol, guarding the "gate".

They served as guardians of the tower, creating an invisible barrier between them through the force of their will alone, which prevented any enemy from passing the gate. The statues seemed to be somewhat sentient, being able to sense enemies whether visible or invisible. The statues, seated unmoving upon thrones, one on either side of the archway, had three joined bodies- one that faced inward, one that faced outward, and one that faced the other. The heads were like vultures with glittering black eyes, and they had clawlike hands which lay upon their great knees. They seemed to be carved out of huge blocks of stone. Some evil spirit of vigilance lived within them and created what Sam felt to be, "some web like Shelob's, only invisible".

Encountered by SamwiseEdit

During the quest to destroy the One Ring, the Hobbit Samwise Gamgee came to the tower to save his friend and master, Frodo Baggins. His initial willpower was not enough to overcome their dreadful snare, and Sam was forced to use the Phial of Galadriel to pass the Watchers, but once he had done so the Watchers let out a terrible cry and an alarm bell was rung in the tower alerting the Orcs within that an intruder had entered. Sam succeeded in saving Frodo, and again used the Phial to escape from the tower, along with the power of Elvish words. The Watchers again let out their terrible cry as the two Hobbits passed them; the archway collapsed behind them, and a Nazgûl settled upon the broken gate and let loose a chilling cry.

It is unknown by whom these statues were built, though it is likely they were made by Sauron; It is also possible that he might have only supplied the evil spirit within them, and that the Men of Gondor, who built the tower itself, may have built the statues.[1]

Portrayal in adaptationsEdit

Peter Jackson's The Lord of the Rings trilogyEdit

The Watchers appear in Peter Jackson's The Return of the King. They do not hinder Sam's entry. However, the scene was filmed but cut due to pacing.

Video gamesEdit

The Watchers appear in the Return of the King video game, though in them they are nothing more than statues, and do not block the entrance or escape of enemies. In the animated movie, the Watchers are far more accurate, even resembling their description from the book.

The Watchers appear in The Battle For Middle Earth II and its expansion pack; in the Rise of the Witch King, watchers can be build as an annex to Mordor's Fortress. These watchers provide "fear" power which means keep off enemy units from the fortress.


  1. The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, "The Tower of Cirith Ungol"

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