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Minas Tirith Forums » Lord of the Rings » The Retaking of Osgilliath in the youth of Denethor
Author Topic: The Retaking of Osgilliath in the youth of Denethor
The Dread Pirate Roberts
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When Beregond and Pippin are sitting upon the wall of Minas Tirith talking, Beregond says that Osgilliath was retaken from the enemy in the youth of Denethor, but he doesn't say what part Denethor played in the event. Is there any evidence that this was one of the deeds of Thorongil while he served Ecthelion II?

I've done a bit of searching but found nothing yet.

Here's the quote:
quote:
‘It was a city,’ said Beregond, ‘the chief city of Gondor, of which this was only a fortress. For that is the ruin of Osgiliath on either side of Anduin, which our enemies took and burned long ago. Yet we won it back in the days of the youth of Denethor: not to dwell in, but to hold as an outpost, and to rebuild the bridge for the passage of our arms. And then came the Fell Riders out of Minas Morgul.’


[ 11-12-2007, 04:06 PM: Message edited by: The Dread Pirate Roberts ]

From: Blacksburg, VA | Registered: Apr 2002  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Roll of Honor Thorin
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Great question. I would guess that Osgiliath must have been lost about 2954, because at that time the Tale of Years says that the “last inhabitants flee Ithilien.” I assume that Osgiliath must have been held by Gondor prior to that for people still to live in Ithilien. Osgiliath was the main crossing point for communications. So I think that Osgiliath fell around the year 2954.

From 2957 – 2980 Aragorn made his great journeys. Towards the end of this period he served Ecthelion. We know it was towards the end because the Appendix states that he served King Thengel in Rohan prior to serving Gondor. This time period begins three years after Osgiliath probably fell, so the time frame fits perfectly with something Thorongil would have done.

However, Denethor was one year older than Aragorn. During 2957 – 2980, Denethor would have been 27 – 50 while Aragorn would have been aged 26 – 49. If the retaking of Osgiliath happened towards the end of this time period, Denethor must have been in his forties. Would someone of that age be called a “youth”?

From: Helsinki | Registered: Aug 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
The Dread Pirate Roberts
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It is possible a man in his tweens could be considered a youth but the evidence you post cuts it awfully close age-wise.

Then again, if the city was lost in 2954 it was then only in the first or second year of the rule of Ecthelion II when that event occurred. And so Denethor being the son of a newly appointed steward could possibly still be considered a youth at that time.

But for how long? How long did Thorongil stay in Rohan before coming to serve Ecthelion? That period of time, as you point out, would make Denethor that much older when Thorongil came to Gondor.

I'm not giving up on the idea yet, but it appears based on the dates we have so far, it's going to be an uphill climb just to establish the possibility.

From: Blacksburg, VA | Registered: Apr 2002  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
The Dread Pirate Roberts
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Bump for more input. I've found nothing. []
From: Blacksburg, VA | Registered: Apr 2002  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Prince Imrahil
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When my computer speeds up a bit, I'll see what I can find...

...so here are some tidbits:

quote:
So I think that Osgiliath fell around the year 2954.
I can't find anything to support this. According to the Tale of Years, 2954's entry says, "Mount Doom bursts into flame again. The last inhabitants of Ithilien flee over Anduin."

As to what constitutes the "youth of Denethor," that depends on how long Stewards (or others of high blood) typically lived at the time.

I can't really find anything else right now and it's bedtime for me.

[ 01-08-2008, 03:19 AM: Message edited by: Prince Imrahil ]

-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-
And last and proudest, Imrahil, Prince of Dol Amroth, kinsman of the lord, with gilded banners bearing his token of the Ship and the Silver Swan, and a company of knights in full harness riding grey horses...tall as lords, grey-eyed, dark-haired, singing as they came.

-Minas Tirith

From: Dor-En-Ernil, Belfalas (by way of VA) | Registered: May 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Snöwdog
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The city was sacked and burned in the Kin Strife, and the Palantir lost. A couple hundred years later, the great plague decimated the remaining population and the city started to fall into ruin, especially after the seat of power was moved to Minas Anor. The Uruks captured the city nbut was driven out by Steward Boromir. Other than Beregond's statement, there seems little to suggest that Denethor had anything to do with a 're-taking' of Osgiliath. The destruction seemed to have happened long before Denethor was born. Faramir and the Ithilien Rangers defended it until driven out during the war. Must look for more on this.....
From: In the Shadows of Annuminas | Registered: Aug 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
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