The Complete Ruins of Osgiliath:
another short introduction.
This is a collection of short tales which are all based within
the historical framework and
subcreative environment of Middle-earth. Some of them are based upon and expand certain
known events, whilst others use the framework of Middle-earth as a vehicle to tell a story that
simply wished to be told.
Because of this, these short tales do not lay any claim to be
in any way "definitive". They are
merely the authors' extrapolations and art at work seeking to uncover or pull into sharper focus
events within Middle-earth.
There probably have been and will be other thoughts and
approaches to some of the events
highlighted herein, and they would be as valid as that which is found in the pages of this
collection. It is hoped that these short tales entertain - beyond that, there is no intention of the
The vehicle of this collection is Osgiliath, first city of
Condor and its long history from the days
of its founding in the Second Age to the time of the War of the Ring, and this thread connects all
the tales in this collection.
Tales from volume 1 such as The Road Beyond and The
Inheritance are stories which do not
tell of any specific event in detail - they merely are - as Bombadil might have said. The rest;
Conspiracy to Rule, The Wringing Bells and The Dark Shadow relate to events within the
Tale of the Years. Since the history of Osgiliath is dark and tragic, so these tales are also caught
up in that tragedy, and some may find the tales distressing, particularly The Wringing Bells. It is
not a tale for the faint-hearted! It is of course fictional and based upon historical events which
concern the city of London.
The tales of Volume 2 are also sequels or connectants to those
of Volume 1, so those of you who
have not as yet read Volume 1: Beg, Borrow, or Steal (or as Professor Tolkien suggested to one
young admirer of the Lord of the Rings by mail; prefferably buy) the first volume and thereby
transform the enjoyment of Volume 2 into something far greater. The tales of Volume 2 do stand
on their own however - if it is necessary for them to be read in that fashion. These are yet more
short tales based around the long history of Osgiliath, first city of Gondor.
The Road to Peril introduces the stalking figure felt by
Mareth on the banks of the Anduin. To
See in Time is the companion tale to The Inheritance from Volume 1. When the Crescendo
Dies Away is an indulgence in music and is somewhat connected to the Kinstrife as is Mosquito
the last of the tales, which borrows heavily from the times of the French Revolution for its
In volume 3, For one who wandered alone takes the reader back
to a footnote from one of the
tales of volume 1 which at the time seemed to me insufficient. This tale attempts to piece together
the strands that were left hanging loose at that juncture and there is a longer note at the end by
way of further explanation. Armindil's Lament is a departure for these collections in that it is a
poem which was quoted from on the cover of volume 2. It is connected to a character from one of
the tales in volume 2. The next three tales are connected to the Great River Anduin, seen as
friend, as foe, as lifeline - an inevitable component of tales about a city straddling the longest
waterway in Middle earth. The Song of the Water maid is completely independent of previous
tales, but was in conception one which was in my mind right from the outset as a powerful image.
Raising of the Western Sea is a tale that encompasses the entire chronology within its
framework although it is the first tale in the collection that occurs in the years after the War of the
Ring. It is probably the most hopeful and positive of all the tales written about Osgiliath.
Fledgeling's rest is a tale of adventure that comes just at the end of the War of the Ring. The
Last of Osgiliath is a tale by Susanne Stopfel also the cover artist, whose encouragement
inspiration and impetus helped to get this project off the ground. Finally A Carriage Awaits was
my little surprise at the end, rounding off a tale that has now carried through all three volumes.
This is not an official publication of the Tolkien Society, and as such does not express the
opinions views or thoughts of the membership at large or the committee in particular.
Osgiliath - notable dates.
3320 The city was founded
3429 Sauron attacks Gondor and Anarion defends Osgiliath
3434 Last Alliance, battle of Dagorlad and seige of Barad Dur;
420 King Ostoher rebuilds Minas Anor
1432 Kin strife in Condor
1437 Burning of Osgiliath and loss of palantir, Eldacar flees to the North
1636 Great Plague, many die including the King and his family
1640 Osgiliath falls into ruins. The Kings House is moved to Minas Anor
2002 Minas Ithil fall~ to the Nazgul and becomes Minas Morgul
2050 The loss of King' Earnur, last king of Condor
2474 Attack on Condor. Osgiliath finally ruined and stone bridge broken
2957-80 Aragorn disguised as Thorongil serves Rohan and Condor
3018 Sauron attacks Osgiliath
Information reproduced from the Tale of the Years, Return of
Appendix B by JRR Tolkien.
Back to my Tolkien page