Cirion is a fictional character in J. R. R. Tolkien's universe of Middle-earth. He is first mentioned in the Appendices of Return of the King as the twelfth ruling Steward of Gondor. His role is later expanded in Unfinished Tales.
Cirion was born in T.A. 2449 and succeeded his father, Boromir I, in T.A. 2489 at the relatively young age of 40.
During his rule, the evil Men known as Balchoth gathered for an assault upon Gondor, passing over the Undeeps of Anduin into the northern province of Calenardhon. Cirion could not spare many men to defend this part of his realm, and in despair he sent several messengers to their old friends the Éothéod, a people living in the far north.
After not receiving any answer for a full year, Cirion set out west through Anórien, to prevent the Balchoth from crossing the Anduin at the Undeeps and the Wold.
The army of Gondor was defeated and driven back across the river Limlight to the Field of Celebrant. In what was probably a coordinated attack, Orcs had come out of the Hithaeglir (Misty Mountains), and assailed the flank from the west, driving the forces of Gondor towards the Anduin. All hope was lost, when unlooked for came the riders of the Éothéod out of the North. Together the Éothéod and the army of Gondor defeated the Balchoth and Orcs, driving them into the Wold.
The Oath of Cirion and Eorl
Cirion was a wise man, and foresaw the benefit of maintaining an alliance with the Éothéod. He told Eorl that he would leave Calenardhon in his care, and meet Eorl again in three months' time. Back at Minas Tirith, Cirion ordered some of his most trusted servants to go to the Firien Wood in Anórien, and in secret clear the way to the mountain of Amon Anwar at the Halifirien beacon.
Three months later Cirion, his son Hallas, the Prince of Dol Amroth, and two other Councillors of Gondor set out for Calenardhon, and Cirion met with Eorl. They ascended Amon Anwar, and Cirion revealed the shrine to Elendil, built in secret at this mountain, as it formed the centre of the Gondor of old. At this secret place, he revealed his plan to give Calenardhon as a free gift to the Éothéod, so that there should be a perpetual friendship between the Éothéod and the people of Gondor. On the behalf of his people, Eorl accepted this deal, swearing the Oath of Eorl and becoming the first King of Rohan. Cirion then swore an oath of unending mutual aid and friendship in return, cementing it with an invocation in Quenya of the Valar and Eru. This was the first such oath that had been taken since that made by Elendil and Gil-galad at the forming of the Last Alliance.
Vanda sina termaruva Elenna·nóreo alcar enyalien ar Elendil Vorondo voronwë. Nai tiruvantes i hárar mahalmassen mi Númen ar i Eru i or ilyë mahalmar eä tennoio. This oath shall stand in memory of the glory of the Land of the Star, and of the faith of Elendil the Faithful, in the keeping of those who sit upon the thrones of the West and of the One who is above all thrones for ever. (Unfinished Tales,3,II(iii) (pp. 305, 317))
Cirion died in T.A. 2567 and was succeeded by his son Hallas.
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