|The Great Battle of the Last Alliance|
|Part of the War of the Last Alliance|
The Elves and Men meeting with the Armies of Mordor.
|Gondor, Arnor, Lindon, Lothlórien, Rivendell, Mirkwood (Eryn Lasgalen) and Moria||Mordor|
Witch King of Angmar
|150,000 Men (Mainly from Gondor and Arnor), 150,000 Elves of which, vast majority were from Lindon. 50,000 Dwarves of Durin's Folk along with many birds and beasts and other creatures of good. Greatest host of light since the War of Wrath.|| Nazgûl|
Millions of Orcs, Trolls, and evil men (Haradrim, Easterlings, Black Numenoreans and Variags); thousands of other evil creatures (including evil birds and beasts).
|Heavy; Gil-Galad, Elendil, Anárion, Amdír and Oropher were slain. Many Elves, Men and Dwarves killed.||Very Heavy, almost complete annihilation. Sauron's physical body is destroyed, Barad-dûr destroyed (except the foundations), and The One Ring is taken by Isildur|
The Last Alliance of Elves and Men was formed in 3430 of the Second Age in response to the threat of conquest by the Dark Lord Sauron. This army was the largest force ever assembled in Middle-earth since the Host of Valinor during the War of Wrath. The Last Alliance was the greatest military alliance involving all the Free Peoples of the world united under one banner and the only large-scale war fought until the War of the Ring. After this war, the Elves never managed to make a great and mighty show of force in war again. A notable exemption to this was when Lord Elrond and Glorfindel of Imladris, joined their large elven forces (an arrayed force from Lindon, Eregion, and even Lorien Elves) with an as large or larger still army of Gondor force under heroic Prince Eärnur of Gondor. These forces drove the Witch King back from Fornost Erain and all the way back to the walls of Carn Dum. Some few thousands of elves were involved, but nowhere near as many as their had been during the Second Age.Therefore, the Last Alliance of Elves and Men was not the very last alliance of Elves and Men, yet it was the very last that was in direct conflict with Sauron himself, and the very last in which the Elves could muster so many to fight, with the last great elven king and a majority of the elves having perished or left Middle Earth at the end of the Second Age and beyond.
Because Elendil and Gil-galad had taken the initiative, they had the luxury of time to prepare for the Battle of Dagorlad. Both kings spent two years gathering their forces; Elendil and Isildur met Gil-galad at the watchtower of Amon Sûl on Weathertop and together they led their hosts to Rivendell, where they were joined by Elrond and his company of Elves. In Rivendell they spent a further three years making plans, forging weapons, and training for the great battle ahead of them. That is the reason Rivendell is also known as The Great Forge.
Climbing over the Misty Mountains they had started recruiting the Dwarves of Moria under the command of Durin IV. They journeyed south down the River Anduin, gathering Elves led by Oropher and Amdír, the kings of Greenwood and Lórien, respectively, and eventually were joined by the army of Númenóreans from Gondor led by Isildur's brother Anárion. But when they reached the area of Fangorn forest, a battle took place. Sauron had sent a host ahead of them to destroy the Entwives who lived there. From then on, they were believed to be wiped out until they showed themselves again. In the third age when Pippin and Merry convince them to march on Isengard. The host that comprised the Last Alliance of Elves and Men is said to have been the greatest seen in Middle-earth since the War of Wrath. It consisted of hundreds of thousands of Dwarves, Elves and men.
The greatest and most decisive battle took place before Mordor, on the plains of Dagorlad. It was here when the Last Alliance destroyed Sauron's main force. Although this was a victory, many were lost, including both kings Amdír and Oropher due to their annoyance at following the supreme command of Gil-galad, the High King of the Ñoldor, and thus charging prematurely at the enemy. Many Silvan Elves were also killed alongside Oropher, and so were many Elves and Men. Oropher's army fell in the face of the Black Gate but Amdír and his army were driven back all the way to the Dead Marshes where they were slain bitterly. the bodies of these elves stayed preserved in these Marshes up until Frodo and Sam passed it with Gollum. After this battle, the Black Gate was thrown down by the host of men and Elves who followed Gil Galad and Elendil and the Siege of Barad-dûr began, lasting seven years, during which Anarion, son of Elendil and lord of Minas Anor, was killed by a rock shot from a catapult atop Barad-dûr. It is said that Anarion and his army had made it all the way to the gates of Barad Dur without the help of the other armies but as soon as Anarion fell, the army joined the main host and came to the command of Elendil. The war ended when Sauron himself came forth and fought Gil-galad in combat, who was then joined by Elendil. Although they both fell in battle, they managed to defeat Sauron and bring him down. Isildur then subsequently cut the ring from Sauron's hand, thus dispersing his spirit.
It should be noted that while it is called the Last Alliance of Elves and Men, Tolkien states that all races came to battle that day, even birds and beasts, and that all were found on either side except for the Elves, who fought solely under the banner of Gil-galad, and the Orcs. Dwarves were also found on both sides, with those of Durin's folk, led by Durin IV, [approximately 20 - 50,000 Dwarves] fighting on the side of the Alliance.
After this defeat of Sauron, several notable things occurred. The battle brought a close to the Second Age and began the Third Age. The High Kingship of the Dúnedain passed to Isildur, son of Elendil; however the death of Gil-galad ended the line of High Kings of the Ñoldor and the titles of King of Lindon and High King of the Elves in Middle Earth ceased to be because no one had the authority to claim them. Also, Thranduil and Amroth became the kings of Greenwood and Lothlorien, respectively, after the deaths of their fathers Oropher and Amdír.
Portrayal in AdaptationsEdit
Peter Jackson's The Fellowship of the RingEdit
Peter Jackson's The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring differs in some ways from the above account, supplying more details and changing some aspects. The elves used falxes (two-handed, curved swords) and Sauron wielded a giant mace (considering that the elven forces consisted of Ñoldor, the Elves should have used straight swords like the Dúnedain. In any case, it was the Ñoldor who taught men in the First Age how to craft various weapons, so the Dúnedain's weapons should be very similar to the Elven weapons). The original concept for the battle included Sauron and Gil-galad's duel, and Sauron seizing Gil-galad by the throat when the High King fell; the heat of Sauron's hand would cause the elf lord to burst into flames. However, this scene was cut.
The remainder of the scene is in the film. Elendil goes to avenge Gil-galad but a blow from Sauron's mace throws him against some rocks and he is killed. His son Isildur rushes to his side. Sauron approaches and Isildur grabs his father's sword, Narsil. However, Sauron steps on the blade and it breaks into several pieces. Isildur uses the hilt to slice off Sauron's fingers, including his right index finger, which bore the One Ring. As Sauron's life force is bound to the ring, his armor explodes and his body and spirit vanish. The force of the explosion knocks over everyone in the surrounding area.